Thursday, August 22, 2013

WORST STATUS OF THE DAY























Illustration by Mika Revell

Worst Status Of The Day is a Facebook page where you can submit screen shots of people’s awful Facebook statuses  Its creator wanted to highlight how pointless, mundane, cringe, dumb, ignorant and ridiculous some people's updates  are. I spoke with the sites founder who calls himself Don Worst Status to discuss the page.

How did the idea for the page come about? It feels like it was born out of rage?
It definitely comes from a place of anger. I was sick of the awful status updates I was seeing from my friends on my own timeline and wanted to set up a forum for people to share similar offenders statuses and vent their Facebook anger. Originally the statuses I was posting fell under the mundane category. I think it was a girl I know who made a status about eating 3 pieces of cake in one day that inspired me first.

How did you begin to get statuses and gain exposure for the page?
The first few statuses I posted were either written by someone I know, or sent to me by a friend of mine, but now I am getting up to 20 submissions a day from strangers. Exposure of the page was 100% viral. I just invited everyone on my friend list and the page quickly grew. Everyone has idiots on their Facebook.

I was drawn to your page instantly. I'm one of those people who screams “SHUT THE FUCK UP!” inside my head when I see someone posting a god-awful update. You have different types of statuses; the painfully mundane, the terrifyingly stupid and the ones that just make me lose faith in humanity.
The racist ones probably wind me up the most, but other then that it would have to be the ones that are just outrightly stupid and show a complete lack of knowledge. For example there was a girl who asked if the holocaust “was still going on?” Also, illiteracy to the point where the person can barely communicate a simple point is slightly worrying and raises questions about the education system. Other things that piss me off are constant statuses about going to the gym or what they are eating. I get sent a lot of these but they don’t make it on to the page anymore, being trumped by the more ridiculous ones.

I frequently come away from your page feeling depressed. You get these awful snapshots of peoples lives: talking about their kids, their relationships and casual racism. Did you start out wanting to expose these types of issues or did these types of status just start to be sent to you?
I just post the best of what I'm sent with no underlying agenda, although the short and sweet dumb statuses tend to be more popular. I would definitely like to expose the perpetrators of racist statuses a lot more and not give them the anonymity I give the others, but I think the page would get quickly shut down by Facebook administrators.

There is a style of abbreviation and text speak I see constantly on the statuses posted. I can’t work it out sometimes...I see people in the comments also struggling with what is being said. I'm sure it’s a true sign of getting old and losing touch with ‘the kids’ but it freaks me out. I remember showing my friend one status and he declared it ‘the death of language’. What’s your take on this? Is it just the evolution of the youth vernacular or is something really being lost here.
A lot of the statuses I post include London slang words, which I see people struggling with, but I guess if you’re from London you understand it fine. I don’t really have a problem with the usage of slang anyway, it’s the abbreviation of words and spelling mistakes that get to me. For example spelling ‘like’ – ‘lyk’, or ‘time’ – ‘tym’ makes you look like a fucking idiot. Also auto-correct is everywhere now so I don’t really think there is an excuse for some peoples spelling. That said, I don’t think any of this shows ‘the death of language’. There have always been people like this out there, social media just gives them a platform to broadcast their illiterate opinions. 

Do you have an all time worst favourite?
‘Abdi & the bear’ is probably my all time favourite. It’s a fable-like story about two boys and a bear written by a guy called Abdi. It’s beautifully stupid.















Have you had much hate mail from people who have had their statuses posted?
Not too much actually. In the early days when I used statuses from my own friends I had a few people delete and block me. I have also noticed that some other friends have put me on limited profile. Sometimes when people find themselves on Worst Status Of The Day, they see the funny side and end up liking the page themselves. Other times I get sent angry messages asking who I am, and who sent in the status.

Were you surprised by how openly racist and xenophobic people are on Facebook?
Extremely shocked. I had no idea that there was still so much ignorance and racism in the UK, and that people were so comfortably posting that kind of stuff on a social platform. Coming from a multi-cultural background in London I'm not used to those types of views. After that soldier was killed in Woolwich, there was a ridiculous amount of religious and racial hatred on Facebook targeted at Muslims. There clearly is a rising problem with EDL and fascist views in this county. 

There was one status that stayed with me. A girl was updating her status from an abortion clinic complaining about the wait. I couldn't find that on the timeline. Did you remove that one?
I know the one you’re talking of. She made a few statuses in a row about not wanting to keep the baby then being pissed off about the length of the queue when she was there. Funny she would want to share that information with Facebook, right?  If it’s no longer up it must have been reported by someone and removed by Facebook.

Have you ever been sent something too outrageous to post?
A lot of the racist statuses I have been sent have been too offensive to post. If I were to post them it would end up with someone making a report and me getting a short ban from Facebook. A lot of people don’t understand that I put the status up to be berated. Also, I tend to avoid statuses that talk about the dead, even though I received a status that said ‘rest in pest’ instead of ‘rest in peace’ the other day and was almost tempted to post it.

You've recently started posting Facebook photos too. Do you see yourself expanding to exposing awful Instagrams or Vines?
I've posted a few photos with a comment attached, but no, I want to stay pure and stick to Facebook statuses. I flirted with the idea of an Instagram version for a bit after seeing someone upload a photo of a glass of water.

Worst Status Of The Day on Facebook

UPDATE 13. September 2013
I just got an email from Don Worst Status wanting to make more people aware about racism on Facebook. Most recently this ignorant shit cunt Facebook user posted this:










Don said 'This status was reported by me and many others, but Facebook declined to remove it. Also I have many other posts that have been a hell of a lot more racist than this, but the police do not seem to care too much and make them impossible to report. They refuse to have an email address to send stuff of this nature and refuse to take reports over the phone. The only way to file a report is to go into a police station and show them screen shots from your laptop and it probably won't go anywhere after that. It's funny that they care so little about this stuff when they were so hot to arrest people even joking about rioting during the London riots.'