In case you missed it, the Trump administration has been concocting a policy that would involve monitoring the social media of disabled people in order to determine who may be falsely claiming disability benefits from Social Security. This policy is cruel, invasive and yet another instance of the Trump administration discriminating against disabled people.
Forbes’ Imani Barbarin wrote an excellent piece explaining how the policy is both incredibly ableist and predatory:
The proposal, like many of its policies regarding disabled people, shows a fundamental misunderstanding of disability and takes advantage of how social media operates in order to cut them off from the support they need. Disabled people don’t all function in the same way, and disability is not a set of stereotypes like taking selfies staring longingly at the world. They live lives while managing their energy for the activities they can handle and trying to make those they cannot more accessible.
Additionally, studies have shown that a majority of social media users show only the good in their lives, not the hardships or difficulties. Disabled people should be allowed to share the full scope of their existence without fear they’ll be accused of lying—and even fraud—by the United States Government which will likely reason that if a disabled person is seen going to the mall or taking time to swim or jog, they can be working.
Barbarin also cites the spread of “Inspiration Porn” on social media, frequently circulated by abled people without permission from the subject, as a possible way that abled people and the administration misunderstand the circumstances of disabled people.
Writer and veteran Dylan Park highlighted on Twitter how those who have mental health issues and/or disabilities are by no means static in their wellbeing, which abled people often don’t realize:
Disabled people should not have to play into stereotypes in order to receive benefits, and they certainly shouldn’t have to worry about what they post on Facebook or Twitter.