Arizona Is Shaming “Deadbeat Dads” On Social Media

Photo: Ross D. Franklin/ AP Photo.
Arizona has a new plan to make sure parents pay their child support — embarrassing them on social media. On Wednesday, Arizona governor Doug Ducey sent out a tweet that introduced the hashtag #deadbeats as a way to describe those who owe child-support payments. He wrote, "WANTED:421 #deadbeats in #AZ who owe a combined $20 million. Let’s bring #AZ moms & kids justice. These deadbeats are the worst of the worst."
The Twitter account for the state's Department of Economic Security has begun posting photos of parents who have large outstanding payments along with the hashtag #deadbeat.
Although this measure is aimed at bringing in child support, and therefore helping the kids of these "deadbeat dads," posting their fathers' photos with the damning hashtag could make the children's lives more difficult. Shame aimed at dads could easily become intense embarrassment for kids if classmates find out their parent is a "deadbeat."
What's more, there are often situations in which parents simply can't make payments, like extended unemployment, which often aren't considered when official government action is taken. But Ducey seems to think all "deadbeats" deserve to be shamed. He explained in Arizona's State of the Union address earlier this week, "If you're old enough to father a child, then you're old enough to accept financial responsibility for that child. If you don't want your embarrassing, unlawful, and irresponsible behavior going viral: Man up, and pay up."

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