Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Roloff Family Complaints About Lack Of Privacy On Social Media Sites - Rap's Roundtable

Frequent contributor Rap541, in this edition of Rap's Roundtable (you are welcome to comment and express your own thoughts on the topic) decided to tackle the issue of the Roloffs privacy on the internet or more specifically, the Roloffs and their friends complaining about the issue.


You know, I was thumbing thru a twitter account that someone pointed out to me
https://twitter.com/#!/illusion_spirit because it was someone vehemently protesting about other people on Twitter talking about Jeremy and Jacob Roloff. [Some people have noted the similarities between Illusion_Spirits arguments and that of close Roloff family friend and former LPBW producer Chris Cardamone on a fake Jacob Roloff Facebook Fan page].

While I have my suspicion about who this person is - the writing and opinions are such that its clearly one of the inner circle, the same who post here quite a bit, the  actual identity isn’t really important. Oh and Inner Circle? Please don’t whine in a series of anonymous comments how paranoid that view is - the cat’s out of the bag and Jeremy’s taking pictures while Mueller throws it - The Roloffs pay so much attention to this blog that there’s legal proof. Matt can lie all he wants, but there’s proof he and his buddies pay a *great deal of attention* to this site. No, the interesting things are many fold.

First, far be for me to make an assumption about the Roloffs but am I the only one who finds it odd that the claws of defense *never* come out from the anonymous posters and twitterers when it is Zach Roloff being lambasted and hated on? I’ve noticed that for a while, actually, that I can call Zach an immature whining baby who has been pampered and cosseted to the point that he’s actually embarrassing to watch… and the “don’t be hating” crowd that clearly are Roloff associates don’t say boo. And it isn’t just me - head on over to Television Without Pity - everything about Zach, including some things that I seriously don’t think can be helped - namely things caused by achondroplasia - are routinely and openly mocked. With utterly no protest. I’ve always found that odd and interesting in what it says about the Roloffs, their inner circle, and their often vehement fan base.

Second, this Illusion_Spirit on Twitter (the name is amusing isn’t it? Not subtle at all) really has a bug up his or her ass over the issue of privacy. Frankly the constant harping on privacy is a major clue. I’m going to be really up front here. Some people have a really strange idea of what privacy is and how you maintain privacy, particularly when you‘re on a tv show. I include the Roloffs, their buddies, etc in this group based on their behavior.

Look, I’m not unreasonable. If LPBW had lasted one season, I would find Matt and Amy’s attitude that the kids shouldn’t change how they live a lot more palatable… and a lot more realistic. But here’s the reality. The show lasted for six seasons. There’s still reruns on various cable channels. There may even be more specials? So things I found amusingly quaint in season one - like the Roloffs telling people on TLC’s forums to not try to attend the Faith Bible soccer games or the league games because “the children need to live their lives normally” start to become laughable. You put your home on tv, and you display it as party time fun land, and you encourage people to come and spend money at your pumpkin farm… and then you wonder why people drive up your road looking for you in the off season? Really? I find it hard to believe that it never ever dawned on anyone in the Roloff circle that if the show was popular that people would be increasingly interested in them.

Then we have Jeremy on Myspace. I don’t intend to rehash the facts there because the issue here is privacy and to a lesser extent parenting, not What Jeremy Said. The issue today is, in part “is typing the name of someone you’ve seen on a reality tv into a social media search engine really a violation of their right to privacy?”

The answer btw is no. Ever see the show Fame? I’m dating myself a bit. It starts with a lovely woman telling her class of students this: “You want fame? Well, fame *costs* and right here is where you start paying.”

Fame costs. Fame has a price. There’s an upside, money, people cheering your every move on, and a downside, fans pestering you with questions and yes, people looking you up on line. The Roloffs early on tended to take a similar stance to their position on fans attending the kids soccer games - leave the kids alone to be kids and everyone try to pretend that these kids aren’t on a candid reality show.

Now, this is perhaps where the Roloff arrogance started to shine through for me and all to see. See, if you spend the time looking through the TLC forums about LPBW, you can find people warning Matt in 2006 that they were looking up the kids on social media sites and finding them using objectionable language. Lest anyone play the “but Matt and Amy can’t know everything that’s said about them on online forums” card - Matt responded to these people. He responded with excuses for the most part, and more calls to remember that the kids were kids and not celebrities.

My point? The Roloffs were duly warned that people were using social media sites to look for and interact with them and their children. Matt and Amy, and their staffers, can play innocent and naïve all they want - the reality and facts are that they knew something was going on and didn’t do anything until after it blew up. Fame costs. When you put yourself and your children on tv, you absolutely lose some privacy. When you’re famous, it’s much harder to be an anonymous face in the crowd. That’s one of the prices you pay. And with all due respect, the Roloffs aren’t exactly loath to interact with the public as long as there’s a pay off - money, publicity, more contacts. For all the vaunted complaining about people driving up to the farm and taking pictures… If you call ahead and pay three hundred dollars, Matt and Amy will give you a grand tour of their so very private property (per court documents, Matt and Amy consider their driveway as private as their bedroom) and let you take pictures of their private fiefdom. Including that driveway that’s as personal and private as their bedroom.

On a slight aside, I’ve always found it rather disappointing from a parenting standpoint, and frankly from a career standpoint, that Matt and Amy Roloff never seriously stepped down on the kids for the "creeper" remarks and the "randoms" remarks. The internet NEVER forgets. Zach in 2006 was online calling fans dumb idiots for wanting his picture and Jeremy was saying fans suck the unsuckable… If this was a one time occurrence that never happened again, again, I’m not unreasonable. Most people aren’t unreasonable, and they can understand a 15 year old lashing out. But folks, its six years later and Zach and Jeremy, and Molly and Jake are still whining and moaning about “creepers” and “randoms” (the Roloff kids and their friends often refer to fans of their TV show as creepers and randoms) and really? Matt? Amy? Staffer friends who coddle these adult children? (Only Jake qualifies as a child and at 15 he’s old enough for Mommy and Daddy to have explained name calling is wrong) Could someone remind these precious little ones where the money came for the expensive trips and expensive toys and the extended childhood? Because yes, it does look a wee bit ungrateful for the “kids” to continue whining in forums that aren’t private. Particularly since Mom and Dad Roloff have always had the power to remove the family from the public and intentionally chose not to.

Oh and with the possibility of new specials coming, Molly Jo? Guess what? You, just like Zach and Jeremy are now an adult and you choose to expose yourself on tv so yeah willingly putting yourself on tv and then whining about “creepers” is going to have *consequences* especially if you do it on line since nothing on the Internet is private.

Oh, and another thing, Matt, Amy, staffers, Roloff kids? Enough with the “we’re just quaint lil people down on the farm who ain’t got no ideas about how the internets work!” schtick. The farmer routine is cute for the show, but no one really believes that none of you know anything about being on line. It’s also kind of offensive how you equate being a farmer with being a naïve person who doesn’t understand the intricacies of the modern world but that’s a different article. And after six years of being on tv, its also well… difficult to believe you still insist you’re not celebrities.

Now this Illusion_Spirit seems to have a problem with people wanting to see Jake Roloff’s Twitter. Now first, really, are so many people demanding to see Jake Roloff’s Twitter? For the record, no, I’m not wanting to see it and frankly doubt very much that there‘s a horde of people wanting it either. I don’t need or want that access and I doubt any good would come of it. Much like the other Roloff kiddies, I think it’s unlikely that Jake has anything worthwhile to say, and will likely only manage to say something embarrassing that will get repeated again and again. That’s why I have always felt it was bad for the Roloffs to interact online. They’re celebrities, and the Internet never forgets celebrity missteps.

And really, the whining point seems to be that Jake and Jeremy (not Zach, no one seems to care there) can’t have their Twitters public without snoopy fans wanting to chat with them. I’m told (hard to believe but yes indeed, Rap541 rarely hangs around Twitter at all) that at one point Jake’s Twitter was open to the public. And apparently Jake was complaining that fans were "following" him and he intended to block any fans who followed him. This is what started the “Jake is ungrateful” talk concerning Twitter. So Jacob Roloff doesn’t like it when he sets himself up on a public Twitter account and “randoms” and “creepers” type in Jacob Roloff and find him.

Back in December, Jacob Roloff on his then public twitter account (notice the absence of Twitter's "locked" private symbol) made this tweet hashtagging Spiritswander. This tweet was actually discovered by people simply searching for the word "Spiritswander" on Twitter.

Boo hoo. No, needless to say my heart isn’t exactly bleeding for the kid. First, because one of his gripes is that he can’t retweet his little friends comments because if they have curse words. Yeah, bummer. The grim irony is that this early fame (and all of its benefits and curses) is probably preventing Jacob from “Pulling a Jeremy” with his buddies on line…. Since you know, his parents could care less what he’s doing on line. Second, because its not the fault of the creepers and randoms that Jacob is famous. Sorry, Jake, but it’s not. You know why everyone wants to look you up? Its not because you’re that special, it’s because you’re famous from being on a tv show. And who put you on that tv show? Me? The creepers? Or your mom and dad? By the way, the answer is choice three.

And the internets never forget and the only way to keep something private on the internet is to NOT PUT IT ON THE INTERNET. Folks, this may shock you, but in my misspent youth, I took any number of goofy pictures of myself making obscene gestures, committing acts of vandalism, having some boy suck tequila out of my bellybutton… but since I choose to not put the actual photos online, I can always play innocent. Nothing you put on line is private and as soon as it’s out there… it’s out there. In fact, Roloff kids, let me give you a piece of advice.

If you think it might be misinterpreted, don’t post it. If you think its funny but it might offend, don’t post it. No matter how private you think your Facebook is set, if you have anyone other than yourself allowed to see your embarrassing photos of yourself throwing cats, then *everyone* can see it. Let me explain. 

Let’s take the cat tossing photos as an example. Somebody posted those on a social media website. That someone was either a Roloff or a close member of the inner circle. The photos circulating among people on line. At some point, the photos were sent to Spiritswander. The fact is, the way the internet works, those photos might have been under super secret lock down in a Roloff face book and your friends clicked and linked and their friends clicked and linked and three hours later, everyone knows. No one has ANY guarantees of privacy on line. And no, it’s not stalking and it’s not hacking. It’s just not *private*. You’re cussing or posting a photo of yourself doing something dumb, or you make an off color remark, and your friends see it and repeat it to their friends and someone thinks it’s funny, and three hours later Mueller and Jeremy are the stars of a cat abuse rant on Oh No They Didn't. It’s just not private on line and I tire of the Roloffs acting like special little snowflakes on the topic. Nothing on line is private. Your friends talk and reprint and retweet and send copies of the things you say on your “private” social media sites because they don’t have their settings private or they just aren’t concerned.

Here’s an example that was sent to me in preparation for this article. Many thanks to Chris Linton for allowing me to reprint this.

He (Chris Linton )had posted on a Jeremy Roloff facebook discussion page once (not an official page). That's where he think he got noticed. Then Mark must have noticed Linton. Mark, was "security" and utlitity help for TLC during the LPBW glory days of travel budgets when for their New Orleans trip. Maybe Mark misunderstood Chris Linton's sarcasm or just liked Chris' profile picture. Anyway, Mark sent Chris Linton a Friend request. Chris saying that he is a nice guy, accepted. Thus they were Facebook friends.

After a while, Mark tags his friends, the Roloffs, in pictures and posts them. Mark also commented on the Roloff pictures and Chris Linton would sometimes see those . When Mark re-posted paparazzi pictures of the Roloffs in Hawaii, Jeremy commented and that's when Chris Linton commented to Jeremy something harmless.

Mark got on his knees and kissed Jeremy's toes, apologizing for Chris Linton posting to Jeremy (he wasn't even rude, he said that it looked like to him that Jeremy knew the paparazzi cameras were shooting him) and Jeremy said that was ridiculous remark to make. So Mark, feeling that Jeremy might get upset, sucked up to Jeremy, told Jeremy he was very sorry for Chris' comment and would delete Chris Linton as a FB friend and then did delete him.

The point of all that, was it's an example of how Chris Linton was minding his own business, he was not "Stalking" or "hacking" and all of a sudden Roloff pictures and comments come into his Facebook news feed. Why can't he blab about what he saw?"

See? It’s that simple for something “private” to get out. And when you’re famous tv stars, this kind of thing happens more often than you might think and by the time it circulates once or twice, someone you may not even like is seeing it. Your privacy isn’t being violated because you’re the one putting out the unfortunate language or pictures. This is true even if you aren’t celebrities… and you are, kids. Why do you think “randoms” seek you out on line? Because Roloffs are just so awesome? Or because Mommy and Daddy Roloff sold your childhood out?

Boo frakking hoo. Fame costs. This is how you pay. Now I am sympathetic to a point in that Jake isn’t the one who made the decision and he is the one to pay the piper, and less sympathetic to Jeremy who is an adult and who made the adult decision to choose fame. Likewise Zach (who no one cares about) and Molly, who is now freshly on the firing line. Yes, the unpleasant downside of all the free trips and owning three cars and living in a restyled mansion, being indulged with expensive hobby equipment and never having to work, is that “creepers” and “randoms” want to get to know you and think, based on how you’re portrayed on a reality show, that you’re cool and interesting.

Now the point is often made that it’s a shame that Jake has to keep his Twitter private in order to protect himself from fans wanting to read his tweets and talk to him. [I'm told from experienced Twitter users, that people like Jacob and Jeremy's girlfriend Audrey, don't like having their twitter private because it prevents everyone from retweeting their posts and if Jake tweets Will Ferrell, he may not see it and can't retweet Jacob even if he wanted]. Well… Fame costs. This is Jake paying. Does the blame lie with the overzealous fans? Nope. Not really. Sorry but Jake’s internet privacy woes, and his *fame* are the direct result of the adults in his life. That means his parents and the producers who plastered his face, his name, his address, and his every private moment all over the world. I didn’t make this choice. His parents did and the producers of the show were complicit in the decision.

 Let me give you an example. Matt *chooses* to tell us how he was called “Shrimpy” as a ten year old and how his father’s seemingly cold response “Well, you are” helped him accept himself. That’s all fine and good, that he feels comfortable sharing a possibly embarrassing moment…. But that isn’t the choice Jake gets. Jake is not allowed the choice to say “I don’t want to have episodes air and dvds sold where I cry and Dad calls me a sissy man” Jake doesn’t get the choice because his parents made the decision for him that he was going to be “Jake Roloff of Little People Big World”. That’s fame for you, and fame costs. This is what Mom and Dad Roloff wanted for their kids, the reality of the money, the trips, and all the goodies, is that you have fans who are always watching and you will always need to be careful of how you present yourself.

That means if Jake wants to curse like a sailor on line, he’s going to have to keep it under wraps on a private twitter/facebook etc. The clock can’t be turned back, and thanks to the show, if ANY of the Roloff kids mess up badly, they will be on the future’s equivalent of TMZ as a “reality show kid gone bad”. That’s the price of fame. This is what Matt and Amy and the producers of LPBW chose for their kids, a life in the public eye. They consistently seek more television exposure, despite red flags like kids failing in school. They both consistently say they have no regrets.

No regrets.

So if their parents have no regrets about their lack of privacy, I really don’t see why my heart should be bleeding over the fact that Jacob Roloff lacks the privacy his buddies have to be an ignorant, mouthy teen. Jake? Jeremy? (not Zach or Molly, no one cares there) And you staffers and insiders who run to buck up these poor little ones? Guess what? No one is stopping you from having a public twitter or a public face book or a public foursquare or a (insert whatever new social media site comes up). No one. You don’t like it that the fans want to be your friends? Tell them so. If you feel you can’t do that without there being *consequences*, well guess what? Fame *costs* and right here is where you start paying. And when the creepers and randoms have got you down, please point your anger at the right people, your mom and dad who sold your privacy out and who consistently say they have no regrets about it.

Roloff kids? Boo hoo you can’t openly mock the fans of the show that buys you fun trips and a ton of treats without *risking* all those trips and treats… Don’t be grateful, continue whining to the staff. The staff will run out and anonymously blame the fans for violating your privacy by looking you up the same way they look up their school buddies and the same way you look up famous people you watch… But it’s never going to change. This is the price you pay for fame.

The creepers and randoms? They didn’t sell your privacy out. Your friends on the crew and the staff who puff you up and defend you anonymously (Ever notice its a rare Roloff insider who gives up their privacy to defend what Matt and Amy have no regrets over?) wanted to make money off your privacy and you know what? They did. And your mom and dad who whine incessantly about their privacy and who only share their childhood moments when they want to? Made money selling *your* childhood moments and your privacy and they have no regrets.

Fame costs. Its easy for Matt and Amy to have no regrets when they aren’t asked to pay in quite the same way as their kids. After a while though, this little game of “We’re not famous but we are! Don’t treat us special but do treat us with kid gloves and never ever forget that we want all the privileges of fame and NONE of the problems!” nonsense gets old. The bell has been run and it can’t be unrung. You’re famous now. That’s what Mom and Dad Roloff wanted. If you want to complain about your inability to be anonymous, complain to Mom and Dad.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Amy Roloff Cookbook: Short And Simple Availble To Pre-Order On Amazon.com

Amy Roloff's cookbook is now available to pre-order, via Amazon.com. The cookbook, entitled Short And Simple was the featured topic of one of the Little People, Big World "special update" episodes on TLC.

Amy has announced on Facebook that the book should be out in the fall of 2012. The publication date is listed as October 1, 2012.

According to the details on Amazon.com, the cover photo is credited to Rick Schafer, a foreword by Amy's parents Gordon & Pat Knight. It also lists former Little People, Big World producer and very close Roloff friend, Chris Cardamone, as a contributor.

Here is the description from Amazon.com:

"Millions of fans have watched Amy Roloff prepare meals for her family over the past seven years of TLC's family-friendly reality TV show, Little People, Big World.

Cooking for a family of six, Amy developed a lot of simple recipes that are easy for homemakers and moms to prepare. Cooking has also leveled the playing field when people of all sizes sit down and enjoy the good food she prepares. Now she has put some of the most requested and loved recipes, along with some of her own personal favorites, in this cookbook for everyone to make and enjoy.

SHORT & SIMPLE FAMILY RECIPES contains 75 recipes from Amy’s kitchen with easy-to-follow instructions for preparation. Organized by courses and meals—For Starters, Breakfast or Brunch, Lite Lunch Fare, Time to Gather: Family Meals, Kids Corner, Simple Sides, and Sweet Endings & Baked Goodness—the recipes include mouthwatering, easy-to-prepare favorites such as Scallop Pesto Crustini; Crabby Cakes; Cowboy Eggs; Farm Country Omelet; Ham, Cheese, Turkey, and Avocado Panini; Southwestern Slaw; Amy’s Pork Fried Rice; Roast Pork with Spiced Apples; Mike D’s Hamburger Pie; Roloff Farm Rustic Peach and Berry Cobbler; Birthday Cake in a Bag; and Bananas Foster.

The cookbook is illustrated in full-color with professional photographs of the food as well shots of the Roloff family farm and Amy cooking in her kitchen."

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Jeremy Roloff Photography Websites, Twitter and Facebook Account

People sometimes ask about Jeremy Roloff's photography and where they can see some of his pictures. There's a couple of different sites where he has his pictures publicly.

One site Jeremy is using is this:

For those that inquire about the type of camera Jeremy uses: He used to have a Nikon D5000, but now according to that stats on the 500px site, he uses a Canon EOS 50D. In one of the Little People, Big World "specials" on TLC, viewers saw Jeremy return home and ask Matt and Amy to buy him a new camera.

He also has an Instagram which is a photo hosting application for phones that you can view online via Webstagram.

Jeremy also has a public twitter account:

If you're wondering, he does not really interact with LPBW fans on his twitter account. In his 200+ tweets, he has responded to fans a few times with a "thanks" -- such as when someone was praising him for being a Christian.

Jeremy also just started a Facebook Fan Page which is connected to his account on the 500px site.

Jeremy had a couple of public Facebook fan pages in the past which always ended badly. Usually, he would rarely use them or interact with people. Eventually people would voice their displeasure and discuss the several reasons that they thought negatively of Jeremy. Often times his friends would begin posting to Jeremy on the fan page with messages such as "Jer, what is with these losers on your page?"....then people would point to that as proving their point....and eventually he deleted the page(s).

On this new page, Jeremy lists himself as a Public Figure with the message:" Follow me on twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/jeremyjroloff and follow me on: http://500px.com/JeremyJamesRoloff