Ariz. Now Tweet-Shaming 'Loser' Deadbeat Dads

Account to post photos, names of 421 parents
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 13, 2016 9:21 AM CST
Ariz. Now Tweet-Shaming 'Loser' Deadbeat Dads
Arizona Governor Doug Ducey presents his State of the State address, Monday, Jan. 11, 2016, in Phoenix, Ariz.   (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

Sure, Twitter is great for debating Making a Murderer theories, but now it's also facilitating the state-sanctioned shaming of "deadbeat dads" into paying child support. Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey announced Monday that the state would begin posting photos and names of "losers" who owe child support, using an account run by the Arizona Department of Economic Security, in an attempt to shame parents into paying up, reports the Verge. "For too long, you've been able to remain anonymous, able to skirt your financial and legal responsibilities with no shame," Ducey said. "If you don't want your embarrassing, unlawful, and irresponsible behavior going viral: man up and pay up." Officials have already shamed two dads, using #deadbeat; one allegedly owes $170,993.

A DES rep tells CNN the agency plans to shame 421 non-custodial parents who've racked up large debts over the past five years. "This issue is about awareness and accountability," she says. Since 1999, Arizona has "required the Department of Economic Security to post these photos and information to the website," but efforts are now being amplified. Not all are on board, though. "There are all kinds of potential legal concerns surrounding public shaming and I don't know that there's any evidence that it works," Arizona House Minority Leader Eric Meyer says, noting some parents may not have jobs or money. Asked about possible consequences, including the effect on future court cases, a rep said Ducey "has no sympathy for men who aren't meeting their obligations to their children" and "intends to track them down." (Deadbeat dads can become trapped in an unbreakable cycle.)

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