Sam McRoberts now claims the controversial comments were "bait" to track down bots on social media, but as many people online pointed out, you can never really take back what you say on the Internet.

By Rebecca Macatee
March 18, 2019
Kaspars Grinvalds/Shutterstock

Being a parent is hard work, and every mom and dad has moments of exhaustion, frustration, and even resentment. That said, children shouldn't be made to feel like they're a burden or unwanted, and if this sadly ever becomes the case, Twitter isn't the appropriate place for a parent to bring it up.

Just ask Sam McRoberts, an author, entrepreneur, and father of one who tweeted (and has since deleted) "that having a kid is probably my biggest life regret." McRoberts noted that while he "love[s] my son," he knows himself and "the challenges of parenting well enough" to have come to this conclusion.

In another now deleted tweet excerpted by Someecards.com, McRoberts wrote, "Nobody f--king prepares you for all the BS that comes with parenting, and society/biology heavily push towards perpetuating the species. I'd bet money that most people regret having kids, but justify it after the fact, or pretend otherwise because it's taboo."

Not surprisingly, these seemingly heartless revelations didn't go over well with the Twitterverse. As McRoberts' tweets went viral, the backlash was swift. Parents and non-parents alike called McRoberts "a sorry excuse for a human" not only for having such a controversial viewpoint, but for expressing it publicly.

Here's the twist, though: McRoberts claims his incendiary tweets were "bait" that allowed him to track down "bot/troll accounts" on the social media site. On Monday, five days after McRoberts posted the original (and now deleted) "regret" tweet, he posted the following:

In an email to Parents.com, McRoberts said he "tried a good half dozen incendiary tweets, but that tweet was the golden ticket." He claimed he's "been able to track down over 50,000 bot accounts just from that

."

So why delete the tweet, if it's just part of some bot-finding social media experiment? According to McRoberts, "Once I had enough data, I took the tweets down, as people were starting to get out of hand with the hate (death threats, fake reviews on my business/books, harassing my family directly, etc.)"

We asked McRoberts to clarify if what he initially wrote was intended as "bait" and not representative of his feelings toward his son. "Yep! Just bait for trolls," he responded, "and apparently really effective bait."

"My kid is pretty awesome, at least most of the time, which I guess is how it is with most kids ;)," McRoberts added. "Not always easy, but worth the challenge."

We'll let you draw your own conclusions on this supposed bait and bot explanation. In general, though, we'd advise parents not to say anything online that could come back to hurt their children later.

As one Twitter user wrote in response to McRoberts' initial comment, "the Internet is FOREVER—it NEVER forgets, even when someone deletes what they put up, it will always & forever be out there to come back & remind them of what they said or did."

And when that involves your kids, you've got to be careful.

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