Trump WH Seeks To Monitor The Disabled To Ensure They Aren’t “Too” Happy

Trump WH Seeks To Monitor The Disabled To Ensure They Aren’t “Too” Happy

A new policy proposal by the Trump administration calls for the surveillance of disabled people’s social media profiles to determine the necessity of their disability benefits. The proposal, which reportedly aims to cut down on the number of fraudulent disability claims would, monitor the profiles of disabled people and flag content that shows them doing physical activities. When it comes down to it, the policy dictates that disabled people shouldn’t be seen living their lives for fear of losing vital financial aid and, possibly, medical care.

The administration has been working closely with the Social Security Administration in an effort to reduce false claims believing that social media holds a cache of information regarding eligibility of Social Security Disability Benefits. They believe that by monitoring the social media accounts of disability benefit recipients, they can root out false claims and reduce the overall amount of money spent on the programs.

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.

The truth about disability is that it isn’t a series of down moments but both highs and lows that comprise the lives of the disabled. Simply because disabled people are seen exercising, dancing or shooting hoops does not mean that they have the ability to sustain that level of energy all day. This type of policy also plays upon the assumption that people with disabilities all function and move about in the world in the same way, which is entirely untrue. There are wheelchair users who can walk, people with cerebral palsy that can run and amputees that are bionic. It is just as dangerous to assume that disabled people should have to “overcome” their disabilities to do what they love as it is to assume there is nothing they want to do. One person’s body should never be considered a prescription for another.

Another thing that the general public does not understand about disability and the internet is that attention to disability issues often operates within an economy of “Inspiration Porn.” Abled people often film, post, share and circulate photos and videos of disabled people doing extraordinary things as a litmus test to how “poor” life could be with a disability and how disabled people achieve “in spite of” their disabilities (quite often, this type of posting occurs without the disabled person’s permission). And, while many disability advocates disdain this type of media representation and are vocally calling for an end to inspiration porn, there’s a not-so-often talked about number of disabled people who play upon these stereotypes for their advocacy and to further their own quest for disability rights.

Quite often, in order for disabled people to be seen as needing help, nondisabled people need to see them as pitiful, helpless and ripe for a nondisabled person to swoop in and play hero. Without the ability to do so, a great many nondisabled people would not pay attention to disability issues. Disabled people know that, and it would appear the U.S. Government does as well. Public sympathies rarely side with disabled people who appear confident and comfortable in their own bodies. Therefore, there will be little outrage for cuts to disability benefits for active disabled people.

Aside from the cruelty it takes to cut necessary funds from a disabled person’s life because of a moment of activity, it seems willfully ignorant. Many in society already see disabled as “fakers” trying to take money from unsuspecting people, and this policy would only raise those tensions among the public. Disabled people are people, and as such, lead complex lives with ups and downs like the rest of the population. Relying upon a reductive narrative of disability is dangerous and will cost lives. Due to this, the administration should look inward and learn how to #BeBest.

8 Responses

  1. WOW.caranensis!You got it exactly right!Damned if you do,damned if you dont…..when Hurricane Irma hit,I was still able to carry food,clothes and bedding to a warehouse.Now,I need to be deal is-take opiates to make life bearable.After ortho surgery,I will STILL need to take them,even tho surgery is the only solution they have.Hmmm……things that make us go hmm….However,I cant agree w/JMMc on Pres.Trump bearing respondsibility for this mess.God put him in that office,along with all us evangelicals,because America needed a swift kick in the ass to get back in shape!The border situation is a security crisis.Iran could EASILY use it to their advantage.A mass bulldozing of humans that dont give a damn about law and order would rapidly turn us into the very same turmoil they are trying to escape.How do you think your SSDI or Medicare would function then?You worked all your life so that the Democrats can give it to any and all refugees?All Obama cared about was turning the White House into a Paul McCartney concert hall with rainbow lights lit up at nightA “Dope-rah Winfrey”flophouse.all the glory Obummer and Billary suckedup when Bin laden was killed was groundwork,blood and sweat laid down by Pres.DG.W.Bush administration,No,this clenching down of much needed medicines and re-arranging of Medicare was on the way for awhile now,whether it be elephants or donkeys at the helm.Just a sign of the Last Days.We all have less time than we think.If I am pushed to suicide,I pray God’s forgiveness!!My prayers and sincere compassion for those like myself,wrestling with pain 24/7Please hang on!!Love to you!Lisa Alligood

    • I hope and PRAY all gets better Allisnotsogood…
      BUT I must call attention to POTUS 43 W’s “Presidential Daily Briefing” stating “Obama Determined to Strike Inside U.S.” handed to him in August 2001. Enough said then about POTUS 44 Obama finishing what never should have happened. Our former Mujahadeeni freedom fighter opposing Soviets lastly dumped in a watery grave thanks to Seal Team 6 and a president who thought about things before making mistakes.
      As a bit of advice…do not believe what you see and hear on FOX News. Saudis have more American blood on their hands than the Iranians ever thought about. The border caravans did not invade us but our record deficit spending under this criminally corrupt and incompetent administration WILL BANKRUPT US! And 2/3 of it FUNDS YOUR MEDICARE and SSDI.?!
      The chronic pain community is costing the Dotard in our White House pimping out Uncle Sam for dictator love letters TOO MUCH MONEY! Wake up and see the obvious!!

  2. This article is months old, and if you read the original content in the New York Times, it does site fraud as a legitimate problem. Rather than hype panic and fear, please check sources first. We have enough anxiety just trying to get by and get our medications.


    This author has a consulting firm and works with a state agency. He does a little content marketing on the side, to give the appearance that a person with a disability, is in on the tissues. He tells people with musculo skeletal injures that a form of chiropractic treatment is a cure for chronic pain. It is very likely he was either paid for this promotion or took out a trade for a massage.

    We live in the time of alternate facts, where deceptive marketing, is replacing facts and science. All we need is a member of the disability community to throw more discrimination, misinformation and alternate facts, at people who cannot defend themselves. He targeted the disabled people who have chronic pain, a severely stigmatized group. It is no wonder that so many have chosen suicide, in the absence of proper healthcare. He further stigmatizes and undermines a vulnerable group, one that is already under attack by the administration.

    Targeting this group for a version of deceptive content marketing, is not only disturbing, it is dangerous. In a backward state like ours, it is not likely any of these people can return to work. Former addicts who denounce opiates are better job prospects here, than educated people with chronic pain, failed back surgeries or spine injuries. They can now use this group in targeted advertising, for a health intervention with no scientific evidence to support it.

    There are sites for content marketers, they tell content marketers that fear builds engagement. The US used to have laws against this kind of marketing, but the FTC has not caught up. No one is considering the unintended consequences from this kind of content marketing. Our state has really bad health outcomes, rampant corruption, and a shortage of physicians. One way they normalized all of this, was with this kind of content marketing.

  4. So if we do as we’re told by the nonmedical “professionals” and attempt exercise in any form it “proves” we’re not disabled? It seems those of us who live with chronic pain can’t do anything right in the eyes of these idiots!!

    • Connie;
      That’s one of the many Catch-22s of the pain world; if you can exercise, you’re obviously not in pain. If you don’t exercise, you’re only in pain because you sit around all the time. If you’re limber, you’re obviously not in pain or you couldn’t stretch. If you’re stiff, you’re only in pain because you don’t stretch enough. If you look good, you’re obviously not in pain. If you look like you’ve been dragged backward thru a hedge, it’s obviously b/c you’re an addict. They are endless. We can’t frigging win.

  5. Yea,,we love our existence of in pain 23 hours a day,,yes were soo happy w/that meager existence were killing ourselves at record numbers were soo happy ,,,WHAT A IDIOT,W/A PERVERSE ABUSE OF HIS POWER,,,,,The America our parents grew up in ,,is GONE!!!!maryw

  6. Uhhhh…Why would A-N-Y of the chronic pain community E-V-E-R support our current president OR what is now HIS Republican party?
    Jeff “I take an aspirin when I hurt” Sessions.
    AG now has doubled down on intimidating prescribers.
    Senators Braun (R) and Manchin (D.I.N.O.) attempting to practice medicine via fiat.
    A government engaging in record drunken sailor spending leading to our obscene deficit. And so they shift attention to a drop in the bucket that is disabled people getting a benefit most have paid for!
    Social media surveillance by any government for such purposes is Orwellian and dangerous. It’s only representative of many other 1984 nightmares bestowed upon us by Mango Mussolini and his menacing minions.
    Remember Orwell sated “every issue is a political issue” and Obmacare didn’t really give us death panels but this president is making Trumpcare into a death camp looks like!

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