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Woman Defended for Photoshoot Mocking Breakup with High School Sweetheart

Internet commenters rallied behind one 21-year-old woman whose police-themed photoshoot ruffled the feathers of her now ex-boyfriend.

In a viral Reddit post published on r/AmITheA**hole, Redditor u/ExtensionPresent15 (otherwise referred to as the original poster, or OP) said she was in a relationship with her high school sweetheart for four years before he decided it was over—and enlisted the authorities to ensure the separation went smoothly.

Titled, "[Am I the a**hole] for doing a cop photo shoot because of what my ex did?" the post has received more than 11,000 upvotes and 950 comments in the last day.

"I...just got out of a 4-year relationship with my [high school] sweetheart," OP began. "He decided he was done and it broke my heart."

Continuing to explain that the breakup was painful, but amicable, the original poster said her former partner kept things cordial and slept on the couch in their shared apartment.

Until it was time for him to move out.

"He showed up at about 7 pm...with his buddies and two cop cars that sat in the parking lot right outside...with their lights on the whole time," OP wrote. "I was mortified. Our relationship was not violent or dramatic.

"I still don't know why he wanted police...but I spent the week after having to answer questions about it from everyone we know," OP continued. "The next weekend, my best friend showed up announced with a bottle of wine and two Party City cop costumes to try and cheer me up.

"We took all sorts of goofy pictures of her handcuffing me...it was the first time I smiled since the breakup and I decided to post some of the funnier ones," OP added. "I woke up the next morning to texts from him and a bunch of his buddies saying how terrible I am and that I should be ashamed for making fun of him."

Messy breakups are not a new phenomenon.

But with the continued proliferation of social media platforms, the potential for catastrophic breakups has grown exponentially.

Three years ago, researchers at Colorado University concluded that, as a result of inhuman algorithms, social media prevents separated couples from moving on from each other as they would have in previous generations.

Where living, breathing human beings would be expected to possess the wherewithal not to invite a friend's ex to a gathering, or pull out photographs of a friend's ex to remind them of all the good times they shared, many algorithms are designed to show social media users content from the people closest to them, including recently-removed romantic partners.

"Most contemporary relationships also exist online, where they are represented on social media platforms through tagged photos, mutual friends, and entire conversations that form a digital timeline," the study published by Colorado University reads.

"As a result of persistent connections, even algorithms designed to encouraged reminiscence and well-being...can produce insensitive encounters long after a relationship is over," it continues.

However, scorned social media users are not without options, and most platforms feature both mute and block buttons for a reason.

Woman wearing fake police hat and mustache
Woman photographed in a fake police hat. Members of Reddit's r/AmITheA**hole forum defended one woman who put on a "cop" photo shoot with her best friend after her ex-boyfriend called the real police to supervise him moving out of the former couple's shared apartment. DeanDrobot/iStock / Getty Images Plus

Throughout the comment section of the viral Reddit post, many Redditors echoed this sentiment and called out the original poster's ex-boyfriend for complaining about the breakup becoming a public spectacle after he already made it that way himself.

"[Not the a**hole]," Redditor u/Beancaped wrote in the post's top comment, which has received nearly 16,000 upvotes. "He's your ex now, he doesn't get to comment on your posts.

"Even if he did, though, you were just trying to have fun," they continued. "Well done on bouncing back!"

Redditor u/gnothro, whose comment has received more than 3,500 upvotes, offered a similar response.

"What a dramaqueen," they quipped. "You dodged a bullet here, he can go be dramatic somewhere else."

"So home boy can dish it out by having a police escort for no discernible reason but can't take it when you have a hilariously adorable, cathartic photo shoot," Redditor u/pennywhistlesmoonpie chimed in, receiving nearly 3,000 upvotes. "So [not the a**hole] it ain't even funny."

Newsweek reached out to u/ExtensionPresent15 for comment.