Walmart Censors My 2nd Post Asking Why They Censored My 1st Post About my Wife Being Mugged in Front of Their Oakland Store

Walmart censors my comment asking them why they censored my comment

Yesterday my wife was mugged in front of the Oakland Walmart Store. Her iPhone was stolen which honestly isn’t that big of a deal. It could have been worse. My daughters were in the car and watched it happen. They are six and eight and were upset by it. My wife is really sore today and a little beat up but mostly ok.

I posted a comment about this negative experience on their Facebook page which they censored. So I wrote a blog post about this whole sort of negative experience. After that I posted a link to the blog post asking if someone from Walmart could explain to me why they’d censored my original post. They censored this post as well. Nice work guys!

Still nobody from Walmart has said boo hoo to me or my wife about the incident. I think they should explain why they censored my post. I think they should explain why when they have a store with such a terrible reputation they can’t put a security guard out in front of it. I think they should explain why it took so long for anyone at their store to acknowledge the assault outside their store and why the manager tried to discourage my wife from reporting the incident to the police.

I don’t blame Walmart for my wife getting mugged. These things sort of happen in Oakland. I could always move out to the suburbs I suppose like a lot of other people. I do think that Walmart could do a little better job managing security around a store with an obvious problem though. Last quarter alone they made over $4 billion. Yes $4 billion with a B. You’d think putting a security guard out in front of the Oakland store wouldn’t be such a stretch for them.

I think they could also do a better job in social media. They clearly have time to respond on their Facebook page and appear quite active on it. They just don’t have time or care enough about this particular problem to do anything other than delete comments about it.

Social media is supposed to be about having authentic conversations. It also should be a place where customers can go and address real concerns and expect to be handled fairly and repsectfully.

In other super exciting news, Walmart has a big campaign out today that they are bringing layway back for electronics! How awesome is that, right? Now I can buy my wife a new phone now and not have to pay for it until after Christmas! woo hoo!

Thanks to the 369 people who retweeted the original tweet and shared the incident elsewhere in social media. It’s too bad Walmart can’t treat people a little more decently.

Be Sociable, Share!
Loading Facebook Comments ...


  1. Dan McDevitt says:

    Amazing that Walmart will make the effort to censor your posts but not provide security to a store in an area with such a known problem or to assist bringing the criminals to jail. Yes I know for a fact they hire many people with criminal issues but that is no excuse not to hire a full time security guard if not for show/visibility like having security cameras. Since your wife and daughters health and safety wasn’t anyone’s concern least of all management I hope that your wife sees a physician asap if not for an additional paper trail. Your daughters may be traumatized and need therapy hopefully not but they MAY need it. Hopefully you have found a credible lawyer for your family. Hope that you and your family recover asap from such a terrible experience. Peace.

  2. Mimi Drake says:

    Be sure that your wife gets an medical examination ASAP after the incident, and that she describes her discomforts or injuries and attributes them to the incident. Whether or not she needs any medical treatment is irrelevant. She needs to establish a medical record.

  3. Brendan says:

    Hey Thomas,

    Glad your family is alright, have to tried to contact your local media outlet and tell them your story.
    Take care


  4. Bill Binns says:

    “I could always move out to the suburbs I suppose like a lot of other people.”

    Yeah, I would do that. Seriously, there are plenty of places to live where that sort of thing does not happen or happens so seldom that it’s not worth worrying about. If that happened to my wife, I would take it as a warning and hit the road.

    No offense intended and I’m glad your family is OK. You must be freaked out.

  5. Shan says:

    If you haven’t watched it yet, you should look up “Wal-mart: The High Cost of Low Prices”. It was on Netflix to watch for free, probably still is. It will explain to you exactly how crappy their security actually is. A lot less safer than you may even realize. It’s a good watch and if you didn’t already have a bad taste in your mouth for Wal-mart, you will after watching it.

  6. I just hate that this happened to your family! Praying for you guys!

  7. Julie says:

    I agree, WalMart should have at least responded with “we are so so sorry to hear about this incident. Please contact our (insert department/person here) at (insert number here) to report the incident so that we can address it in a timely manner.

    We stopped shopping at WalMart in our area because I don’t like the creepy, scary folks loitering in the lot, near the doors, by MY CAR, etc. It doesn’t feel safe, so I will go to Target, and pay a few cents extra and wave at the security cameras.

    Prayers for your wife and kiddos. What a terrible event for them to live through.

  8. Branden says:

    Get a very good lawyer and try and sue Walmart i know this is kinda stupid cause Walmart’s very big and probably gonna win cause they have lots of lawyers.

    Peace and hope you recover from this.

  9. Micah Burke says:

    Sorry about the mugging! That’s awful.

  10. Tabby Caat says:

    You have layaway and credit confused. With CREDIT you get the item now, pay later. With LAYAWAY you pay (some) now, pay some more in a week or two, etc. and don’t get the phone until later (when it is paid off).

    As for WalMart’s social media strategy – they likely employ someone for minimum wage (or less than minimum wage, in a 3rd world country) to watch their FB page and delete anything uncomplimentary. That person isn’t being paid to forward your complaints, and doesn’t care about your complaints. For that poor person, your complaints are just causing them more work, and they dislike you from the moment you post your complaint. They have absolutely no motivation to assist you with getting the attention of WalMart suits.

    I hate WalMart – I never shop there if I can possibly avoid it. As your poor wife learned, it’s a false economy – you think you are saving money but in the long run you likely are buying crap that isn’t worth what you paid for it, and that’s if you don’t get mugged in the parking lot.

    Finally, this saga looks a lot like your situation with SF MoMa. You have a way of trying to catch flies with vinegar that doesn’t work well for you. You seem to get angrier and angrier with each volley. You obviously have a valid issue, but the way you raise the issue isn’t helping you get resolution. I suggest rethinking your approach.

  11. Art Zemon says:

    I’m very sorry that your wife was mugged and relieved that she was not seriously injured.

    Given that you are so unhappy with Wal-Mart’s behavior, why don’t you vote with your dollars and shop elsewhere? I share your dissatisfaction with Wal-Mart so I do two things: 1) I am vocal about my dissatisfaction with the chain, and 2) I spend my money at other stores.

  12. michaelejahn says:

    Sorry for you, your wife – and oh, my – that you children saw that !

    Wondering if WalMart had Security Cmeras, and if it was recorded…

  13. Bryan U says:

    I also now shop at Target instead of WalMart given all the security problems that occur at all the local WalMart’s.

  14. @Tabby Caat: Julia was assaulted and robbed in front of her young children, and criticize Thomas because he’s upset and wants answers? I suggest you are the one who needs to rethink your approach.

    Walmart has a Facebook page as a public front for their company. They allow public comments, and Thomas took advantage of that to try to bring awareness to what happened, not just for him and his family, but for the safety of people in general who shop at that store. If Walmart didn’t want to have people comment on a social networking page, then they should change how it’s set up.

  15. John says:

    What do you expect dumbass! Your shopping at Walmart, the people who frequent those stores are the same people who bitch about walmart not paying there employees enough. Walmart could give a shit about you or your family! Maybe next time shop local. Walmart has ruined small family business but people still keep shopping at there stores. Good luck idiot!!

  16. Wow, I’m really sorry to hear this happened to your wife, and since your kids saw, to your family. And as if I needed another reason to think that Walmart is a scourge… Another reason to avoid shopping there. Ever. Take good care.

  17. Irony says:

    These responses always make me chuckle.

    Apparently, Thomas, John think’s you’re unintelligent since he calls you both a “dumbass” and an “idiot”.

    Of course John doesn’t offer much evidence that he’s a good judge of intellegence.

    Dear John,

    When combining the two words “You are” the correct form is “You’re”. See that apostrophe? It means that there is a missing part in there. In this case it’s the space and the letter “a”. This is called a contraction.

    Stated correctly, the next display of your intellectual prowess is the run on sentence you start with. See, “You’re shopping at Walmart” is a complete sentence. It starts with the subject, “You”, has a verb, “are”, and describes what “you are” with the predicate “shopping”. “At Walmart” is a preposition that expands upon where you are shopping and is not a complete sentence as it lacks the subject and verb. The remaining portion of that is also a complete sentence. The subject is “the people”, and the verb is “are”. The predicate, which is who “the people are” is “the same people”. The rest are, again, prepositions that further describe the subject or the predicate.

    You didn’t capitalize “Walmart” the second time you wrote it. It’s a proper noun and as such is always capitalized.

    Your next big flaw is “there employees”. Since you’re trying to imply ownership, not location, the correct word is “their”. You did the same thing further down with “there stores”.

    The next sentence includes an incorrect idiom. The phrase is actually “couldn’t give a shit”. It suggests that even fecal matter is more valuable than their concern.

    The last sentence could seem a little tricky. What you probably meant was to wish luck to someone you’re deeming has the mental age of 3 or less, but what you actually said was something about an idiot that has good luck. That’s where punctuation is necessary. What you should have said is, “Good luck, idiot.”

    If you’re going to pass judgement on someone else, be sure that you’re ready to be judged.

  18. Reality says:

    Well first of all, if your wife got robbed don’t post it on their Facebook page, call the police. Second, they probably deleted your comment thinking you were a troll just messing with them. This is still the internet folks.

    The rest of you just hate WalMart and have nothing intelligent to say about the actual situation the person is describing. The user “Irony” even goes on a rant on bad grammar. Go teach English if you want to give lessons.

  19. Mimi Drake says:

    “Reality” is only partly right and mostly arrogant. Possibly right about the FB deletion, that could be because the FB page admin mistook the comment for heckling or trolling.

    Under the surprise and stress of the situation, Thomas or Julia might not have gone back inside Walmart to file an incident report. That was the first order of the day, after the incident. If not done, must be done, still not too late.

    Plus also a police report (with Oakland Police that might be a joke though). And the medical examination and report is vital, no matter how serious or light the injuries.

    These 3 paper trails are fundamental to establishing the bona fide of the incident. Without them Walmart’s insurance company will not be paying any attention to Thomas’ allegations.

  20. me says:

    It is incomprehensible that these huge coprorations such as Wal-Mart and Kimberly Clark (my beef with Kimberly Clark nothing to do with the Walmart incident) and many others would rather spend the time censoring their public forums so that the real truth is buried, instead of taking the time and energy into actually doing something meaningful to try to rectify or at least acknowledge that there is indeed a problem. I do hope that this gets out across the web and that the Oakland Walmart will indeed swallow their ill-conceived pride and at least apologize to the Hawkfamily

  21. First, I’m glad that your family is ok and I hope that your wife will be recovering soon from this traumatizing experience.

    The behavior of Walmart is clearly unacceptable. I think your approach is not good either.
    By “mass-spreading” your problem you are giving the impression that it’s a general problem while it only concerns your store (or few others). Lots of people may want to support your gripe because they also have encounter this type of situation in a previous personal experience, therefore they protest against the situation but not really against Walmart

    According to me, the right approach would be to gather the customers of your store around your problem. They are the ones who make the store works daily through their purchases; they are the ones the store cannot leave aside! Your article will may be read all over the world but how many customers of your store will be really reached?

    Besides, I try to apply this approach by creating Critizr a mobile app (only available in France) which aims to solve this kind of problem in a local way. We think that a local problem must be supported by the real customers of the store and has to have a local answer (from the manager or the director). It’s the most effective way to get results, no wave on social network.


  22. Patrick Berzai says:


    If this was such a high crime area, why did you send your wife into the store and not go yourself?

    Also, what protection did you expect Wal Mart to provide your wife that YOU did not feel the need to provide her? Should Wal Mart also escort you home?

    I dont work for Wal Mart, nor do I particularly like them, but they were right to censor you.

  23. James says:

    I hope your wife got in a couple of good licks, might be a good time for defensive fighting classes for her and the children. Glad everyone is O.K.!

  24. Vajra says:

    I did not read the first post, so unsure about what actions you’ve taken. Here are some general actions to take when one has been the victim of a crime:
    1. Call the police;
    2. If you have suffered ANY injury of any kind, including bruises, abrasions, soreness, etc., see a physician;
    3. Write down a description of the perpetrator;
    4. Notify the business on whose property this occurred;
    5. Have any witnesses, including children make some record of what they saw (for young children or the elderly this could be a recording or voice memo: don’t ask leading questions, just ask them to memorialize what they saw or heard or felt;
    6. Call the police: I have had excellent response from OPD in every incident in which I called them, save one.

    There are two laws in CA for the taking of property from the person: one is commonaly known as “purse snatch”, the other is commonaly knows as “robbery”. The difference is that no force greater than that necessary to take the object is a “snatch” but force or fear constitutes robbery. It sounds like your wife was the victim of a robbery. If a gun was used, there is a mandatory prison, as opposed to jail, sentence.

    As for those who criticize Thomas and his wife for their shopping choices, STFU.

  25. Aris says:

    Go to – i’m sure your wife might be able to identify the perp there 🙂

  26. judy says:

    I can simpathize – they don’t care about customer safety – Walmart has many more problems & manages to sweep them under the rug!!

    Back in the spring, my husband & I stopped to pick up an item at the Richmond location – as we were leaving I slipped on spilled oj at the check out lane – badly bruised, I was told to seek medical treatment – I needed to cover this out of my insurance & pocket -IF they were at fault (???) I would be reimbursed – GUESS WHAT ???- since they did not have TIME to set safety flags -they denied any responsibility. I only had a hairline fracture in my wrist and badly bruised hip and leg. I could still work, so they did not have any responsibility for me not seeing the spilled juice, in the walkway – at the register line!!

    I also know about a lady who slipped in a water spill – in the aquarium – pet dept. She broke her hip and had to get legal assistance – and waiting a court date – she’s unable to work, but some reason about no employee seeing the accident – (they had to call an ambulance ) – the inital claim was denied.

    The more we ignore these issues the easier for them to get away without providing customer safety. If ANY of these had happened at any other establishment – we would have had some type of customer support – NOT left to our own devices.

    GOOD LUCK !!! I’ve found other stores for my shopping!

  27. Tabby Caat says:

    @Celine, I had my purse snatched and stolen by a bicycle-riding thug, out of my shopping cart in the parking lot of a Home Depot, just inches from my shoulder. I lost photos that can not be replaced, an item that was given to me by my mother, cash, and a really nice purse. I definitely know what it’s like to be robbed in a store parking lot.

    Thomas got kicked out of SFMoMa for taking a photo. He got kicked out – in part – because of how he handled the situation. Was he in the right? Yes! Did his approach get him satisfaction? NO! This is my point. He doesn’t get satisfaction because of HOW he deals with the situation.

    Nothing is going to reverse the situation – his wife’s phone was stolen. What he does now will either help people feel better about the situation, or it won’t. So far I haven’t seen him do anything that helps people feel better. He’s getting more and more upset as he Rages against the Machine, and the Machine ignores him. My suggestion is that he sit down and say to himself “How’s that working out for me?” and then consider trying a different tactic.


    1) Sit down and hand write a real letter to the store manager, CC to headquarters, (hand write a second letter to mail to HQ) and put them in envelopes, stamp, and mail them off. (Take a photo first. 🙂 Hand written letters get FAR more attention than a post on a FB page that is being monitored by a delete drone.

    2) Shop somewhere else.

    3) Let it go.

  28. Axel Bushing says:

    Considering the litigious nature of the American middle class ( and the seeming ready availability of lawyers willing to work on contingency fees in the USA) I am really impressed that this has not escalated into a humongous lawsuit against WalMart.

    Way to take the high road!