On Sept. 4, Holley Biffle allegedly posted a Facebook status update that would change her life.
“Caught my son walking home from school with the gay kid from across the street. My hand and his butt are going to be sore for the rest of the night.”
The message of hate has made Biffle a subject of revile herself. On Saturday, Facebook users who disagreed with the parent’s public status have dedicated a page to her: Holly Biffle: Proud Homophobe and Child Abuser. At publication time, it has 422 likes. (Update: The page has since been deleted by Facebook.)
“I love the fact that when you type her name into google all of this stuff comes up condemning her for how awful she is,” Molly Nurse wrote. “Sometimes the power of the internet really can be a good thing.”
Since the post went viral, Biffle has deleted her Twitter account and made her Facebook page private. However, Facebook users are still able to send her messages, some spurred on by a Tumblr post:
“So yeah. This bitch … over here, is posting about how she’s going to abuse her child for hanging out with a gay kid,” pantsareforassholes wrote with a link to where to message her on Facebook. “Have at it, Tumblr.”
Based on the screenshots they are posting to the Facebook group, users’ messages to Biffle span from civil disagreement to hate speech and threats to call Child Protective Services.
April Winchell of Etsy parody blog Regretsy has used her popularity to speak out against people who want to reply to the original hate message with hate messages of their own. Instead, she urged readers to make donations to LBGTQ charities in Biffle’s name.
“I’m not defending this woman, or supporting her revolting perspective. But a public beating like this is going to turn her into a martyr, and she will be used as a shining example of ‘how intolerant the gay community can really be,’” she wrote.
The Facebook group’s members have replied, upset that Regretsy singled out the group’s most incendiary replies.
“We have had a lot of compassionate voices on here, too,” Andrea Panini Barrera wrote. “Too bad regretsy is operating like the mainstream media, highlighting the most hurtful reactions to Biffle's comments and victim-blaming.”
If the group’s purpose was to push Biffle off the Internet, it has succeeded. Changing the sentiments of those who applauded the original post will be more difficult.
UPDATE: Holley Biffle broke her silence late Tuesday by making her Facebook public. Biffle wrote she has been framed for words she didn't say:
"This is the REAL HOLLEY BIFFLE and that page that I beat my kids up and what not is a HOAX, a terrible joke, full of lies. That are hurting my family. I'm sorry for who ever did this. JUST know it's not ME."
Biffle responded to the Daily Dot's requests for comment on Wednesday, Sept. 19: "I will contact you as soon as I get a lawyer thank you <3."
We have updated the story to reflect the uncertainty of the authorship of the original post and will continue to update this story as it develops.