In a “perfectly reasonable attempt” to protect their children from the Ebola virus, a group of concerned parents in the US have asked Facebook to introduce a new feature that will compel users in Africa to declare their Ebola status.
“The news is that this Ebola is sweeping through Africa like wild fire, so this is a perfectly reasonable attempt to prevent our kids from catching this disease by watching online videos and images originating from Africa or even accepting friendship requests from people in Africa,” George Palin, a worried parent from Louiseville, Kentucky, told YesiYesi Ghana.
Concerned parents from Louisville, Kentucky, a city about 5,199 miles from the disease epicentre in Liberia and 800 miles from Dallas where the only 3 cases of Ebola in United States were recorded, are asking the social networking giant to introduce an exclusive feature for African users which will require them to indicate their Ebola status. The proposed feature will appear under a users’ personal details section and it will be accessible to all other Facebook users. “Any African who refuses to indicate their Ebola status should have their Facebook account disabled,” demanded another concerned American parent.
The American parents also debunked remarks that their request was an overreaction considering the virus is transmitted through direct contact with bodily fluids of a person showing symptoms of the disease. “Things spread very quickly online, we just don’t want our kids catching this Ebola thing on Facebook. I was surprised to hear they have Facebook in Africa, but hey, if they have it, then we have a responsibility to ensure our kids are fully protected,” said a mother of two.
“This is hardly an overreaction when Syracuse University, a place of advanced learning, cancelled the invitation of photojournalist Michel du Cille, who had been covering Ebola in Liberia, despite the fact that he had not shown any symptoms after the recommended 21-day monitoring period. You cannot call our request an overreaction when a school in New Jersey delayed the start date of two new students from Rwanda, a country more than 2,500 miles from the Ebola outbreak in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.”
“Why not just place a quarantine on everyone in Africa, it’s only a small country anyway,” suggested one American parent.