For those who are unaware, there’s a very popular facebook group called Dogspotting where people post pictures of cute dogs they see on the street. The group is approaching 1 million members. I used to be an avid member of the group, posting the occaisional dog pic, enjoying some of the funny memes on the page everynow and then.
I was sitting in a cafe in Cape Cod when I spotted two ducks who were getting very close to my table. I snapped a quick pic of these very cute fowl, and posted it to dogspotting with the caption “is this dog spotting?” I thought it was a funny little joke, and people would appreciate it. Within a few minutes the post had gained some traction, but after leaving my phone in my pocket for ten minutes I didn’t realize what had happened. When I opened my phone again to see what was going on with my post, it was nowhere to be found. I was banned from dogspotting.
This seemed very strange to me, as I had seen other similar posts in the group before, and thought nothing of them. But apparently an innocuous pic of ducks was too much for the dogspotting admins. Too much to the point where they didn’t just remove the picture, but ban me entirely. No explanation (though I don’t think an explanation was neccesary.)
As a response to my ban, I decided to make a group called Duckspotting, where people could post pictures of ducks they see in the wild, but I also decided I would allow any duck-adjacent content. Pictures of chickens, geese, dogs in duck costumes, all are allowed in the group. I invited my friends, who had been with me through this incident, to the group and they invited some more people. Within an hour, however, a few people who weren’t friends of any of my friends had joined the group. I looked into who they were, and it seems that 5 out of the 20 Dogspotting admins had joined my group. And their goal wasn’t just to lurk, they started shitposting in the group, making fun of my post in Dogspotting and posting nonsense in my group. My friends and I were very surprised by this, as why would these people be so petty to try and mess with some group that wasn’t doing the same to them. We did some digging and found that Dogspotting has become a bit corporate, and almost cult like; selling merchandise, sponsoring some dog products, creating T-Shirts that say “we’re DEFINITELY not a cult” (or something in that vein.)
No matter, I decided to leave them in the group and not kick them out like they did to me. In fact, I welcomed them to the group, stating “all are welcome here, be kind, post duck related content :)” I didn’t want to stoop to their level and create more tension. They’re still in the group, dormant now, and I’m glad! The group now has around 350 members, with a few posts a day of great duck related content. One of the members actually went to a Duck fair in Toronto!
If you’re reading this, and you’d like to join the group, we’d love to have you!