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Dear Instagram, These Posts About Fibromyalgia Are Not 'Jokes,' They're Trolling

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Not too long ago, I came across an Instagram post by a fellow person with fibromyalgia, expressing outrage that an Instagram user had made a post accusing people with fibromyalgia of being lazy and using a “fake” disease to accommodate this laziness.

Also vexed, I went to investigate this page. Sadly I found it was full of such posts, attacking people with depression as well.

I posted a number of comments, along with other users, calling this person out for being unfair and even made a post about it on my own Instagram. What I found was a huge number of people either agreeing with this user’s posts, defending them by calling the page “satire,” and even having a go at me for voicing my opinion on the matter. Some told me not to be so “emotional.”

Now, for those who are unsure of what satire is, this is the definition on Google dictionary:

Satire. noun the use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people’s stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.

Probably one of the most familiar examples of political satire is George Orwell’s “Animal Farm,” an amazing book with communism at its core. If you look online, you will easily find many other good examples of satire. Pawel Kuczynski is a Polish illustrator who also highlights the problems in the world through his satirical drawings.

I can take a joke as much as the next person with chronic illness, and yes, we can still take a joke (thank goodness for animated gifs). But calling anyone with an invisible illness a liar is not satire. These are not jokes. It is not funny.

I reported the page to Instagram, and they claimed it did not breach their rules.

In a world where we are constantly fighting to prove our disabilities are just as real as those that can be seen, this does not help.

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Getty image by pupunkkop

Originally published: December 14, 2017
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