Warning: The video is graphic and contains profanity. Viewer discretion advised.
SAVANNAH, Ga. — “You wanna try me, right?”
So begins the live Facebook broadcast of a mother beating and berating her 16-year-old daughter in their Georgia home.
The teen sobs as her mother slaps her all over her body and hits her with what appears to be a plastic object. The mother accuses her daughter of embarrassing her by posting sexy photos of herself on Facebook and having sex in their home.
“That s— cute? You’re 16 right? You’re only f——g 16! And you wanna be a THOT!” she said.
The acronym THOT stands for “that hoe over there.” The video spread through social media, sparking debate about corporal punishment and public shaming.
After nearly four minutes, as the teen whimpers in the corner, her mother turns the cellphone camera on herself, fixes her hair and addresses her audience.
“Now, I’m gonna need y’all to send this viral, please share this. ‘Cause I’m not done, more to come,” she said.
Many thought the mother took the beating too far, especially for disciplining a teenager.
“There is something so sick and disturbing about going out of your way to embarrass your child. Especially, when your form of discipline is about embarrassing your child for natural urges we all experience at 16 years old,” Veronica Wells wrote in a post on the lifestyle blog MadameNoire.
Others said her use of the medium sent the wrong message.
“To put this on social media is showing her it’s OK to put your business out there,” said a writer on the teen’s Facebook page. “What happened to ‘What goes on in my house stay in my house'”?
Many more empathized with the mother and the lesson she was trying to impart.
“I understand where this mom coming from but she could have handled it in a respectful way. She’s only trying to save her ’cause it’s a nasty world out there,” another Facebook poster wrote.
A post on what appears to be her daughter’s Facebook page, written by the mother, gives her side of the story.
“I love my daughter with all my heart,” she said. “Whatever happens after this, oh well, my daughter is not going to disrespect me or herself for nobody … lesson learned.”
The teen seemed to take responsibility in her own post, saying she shouldn’t have embarrassed her mother and that she shouldn’t have been doing what she was doing. She said she loves her mother and she understands why her mom did what she did.
“I know next time to just keep my business to myself.”
The uproar prompted law enforcement to look into the incident.
The Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department received several phone calls from concerned citizens who saw the Facebook Live video, spokesman Sonny Cohrs said.
Special Victims Unit officers followed up and spoke to the mother and daughter, he said. Although the daughter said she feels safe in her home, the case has been referred to the Department of Children and Family Services for follow-up, he said. There are no charges pending.