A Funny Tweet Lands Mom in Human Trafficking Investigation

A Mississippi mom who sent a tweet about her 3-year-old child found herself in the middle of a human trafficking investigation.

Oxford Newsmedia journalist and editorial director Alex McDaniel sent this tweet:

McDaniel says the issue began when a case worker from Child Protective Services went to her office with a Lafayette County sheriff's deputy.

"It took a few minutes for me to fully absorb the fact that it wasn’t a sick joke or misunderstanding. I was caught between knowing I’d done nothing wrong and knowing these people had the power to take my son away from me."

She says what led them to her was an anonymous tip to Mississippi's child abuse hotline, reporting her as "attempting to sell my 3-year-old son, citing a history of mental illness that probably drove me to do it."

McDonald was required to pull her son from preschool and bring him back to the office to meet with CPS.

While now she has been cleared of the misunderstanding, McDonald says this was a targeted attack.

"The thing is, I’m a female news editor in small-town Mississippi with strong opinions on racism, sexism and fighting for LGBT rights. Luckily, Oxford’s a progressive, forward-thinking town, but you don’t do a job like this without making enemies." 

She said of the incident a "huge reminder that the internet is a scary place and even being smart about posts involving your personal life can hurt you if someone knows how to fashion your words into a weapon."

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