Saturday, November 17, 2007

Deadly MySpace Cyber-Bullying

There is a story on the front page of today's Chicago Tribune that is so disturbing I cannot stop thinking about it. A young teen and a friend had a falling out. Instead of saying, "Oh well. It happens." The PARENTS of one of the girls set up a MySpace account as a fictional teen-age boy. They started by pretending to be her friend. Then they relentlessly sent mean, nasty messages to their daughter's former friend. The 13-year-old former friend was so distraught that she committed suicide.

This is something PARENTS did. What I don't understand is what made them concoct this plan. Somewhere, two adults sat around and said, "Hey, let's get back at Megan by harassing her." They knew she struggled with depression, and yet they thought it was a good idea? How warped do you have to be to decide to harass a child because she was no longer your daughter's friends

Our girls are growing up in a house where they will have no expectations of privacy. Our only web-connected computer is in the family room where I can see everything. (They are still young, but it's never too early to plan.) I will monitor them like crazy. It's not that I don't trust them -- or expect that I will be able to trust them -- it's that crazy people exist and want to harm them. If you doubt it, try reading Megan's story from the CNN or the Post Chronicle.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

The lesson is parents shouldn't let 13-year-olds who suffer from depression and attention deficit disorder unsupervised access to the internet. There are many mean people in this world and yes, some have access to the internet. Are we ready to make it illegal to hurt someones feelings? Our jails are pretty full already with real criminals.

Anonymous said...

People are ridiculous, always placing blame everywhere else rather than where it should be placed...the parents. They have raised the child, taught it morals and hopefully rational, yet when one of the unstable ones commit suicide, its not their fault. That's a copout. You made the child had the child and raise the child. If you cant do it and take responsibility for that, then perhaps you should get fixed...

Anonymous said...

One of the people playing with this little 13 year old was an adult parent who lived down the street and knew her. She may have known she had problems. She was an adult. This is completely out of line behavior. I would say harassments in the least. If she knew the girl suffered from depression already, I would say it is potentially criminal. This adult contacted her through MySpace. In the least this is outrageous. If this happened to my daughter, you bet I'd go after this other parent, criminally and/or in civil court.

Anonymous said...

Parents are just looking for a scape goat and i am sure what they think will be a payday down the road....what a couple of dead beats

Anonymous said...

CURT and LORI DREW

Address:
269 Waterford Crystal Drive O'Fallon, MO 63366

Telephone #
636-272-2670

Susan said...

The white boy who was beaten went to the hospital and was back at school the same evening for a school function. So WHY are the black students being accused of attempted MURDER???? Send everyone in that town to the Pacific Northwest and we will show them how to live peacefully.

Arick said...

"They relentlessly sent mean, nasty messages to their daughter's former friend." -- Umm, I'm not sure you can befriend someone by sending them nothing but nastey messages...get the facts strait. Plus I agree with the other posts that its totally the parents fault no one elses, take some responsibilty.

Arick said...

"They relentlessly sent mean, nasty messages to their daughter's former friend." -- Umm, I'm not sure you can befriend someone by sending them nothing but nastey messages...get the facts strait. Plus I agree with the other posts that its totally the parents fault no one elses, take some responsibilty.

Anonymous said...

I have a statement to all of you who have posted a comment, and one of my own. Allot of you have side tracked, and talked about something else that’s not even relevant to what people post here for comments, basically a 13 year old girl who got bullied on the Internet, this case being “my space”, not sure how it would be their fault by allowing this to happen, which is not, most think it is, but hey you want to blame some one right, kinda like some one who made a comment about her parents are the once who are responsible, or some one who just went way out there saying “blacks” get into more trouble then “whites” do, well race is an issue, but heck, stay away from trouble, then we would not have crime, right?

The real picture is this: a 13 year old girl killed her self because of a bully by the name of John Evans, if I am not mistaken to that name who does not exist in the real world, not to mention the Internet.

So what the law enforcement should do is this, they should trace the party or parties who were involved in her death, and treat it as murder one, and prosecute the cyber killers to such degree, and send a loud, and clear message to the World, you do something that will harm some one, you should, and must pay for it by going to jail, and I have one better, if the State carries a death penalty, they, meaning the prosecutors should go one further by that statement of my. I am not against death penalty, because you commit a crime, you pay for it, unless the crime does not involve death, and your able to fix your problems, then you have proven other wise about who and what you are to society.

Will what I say happen here, probably not, because it takes a dedicated source of people to make it happen, and in this part of the World we have more lazy people then anything any where else.

Anonymous said...

This reminds me. I once had an Internet "friend" on IM. We talked for a while on the computer. Never spoke in real life. Eventually she got annoying discussing every problem in her sorry life to me. I got annoyed with her and told her off. I left her s/n on my buddy list, but never saw her come online again. I wonder if I killed Lissa79? I guess I did kill her. I'm depressed now. I'm going to kill myself now.

Anonymous said...

What a terrible nightmare for this family. My heart and sympathy goes out to her family and friends.

While, I don't want to jump to conclusions because we often do not have all of the facts I also find it deeply disturbing that anyone, much less a mother, would go to this extent to emotionally impact a youngster.

I just cannot fathom the fact that an ADULT deceived a 13 year old girl who clearly had issues. This woman had nothing but vindictive motives in mind. That woman, and her cohorts, need to be held accountable. NO QUESTION. Just who does she think she is? My guess is that she has the emotional and intellectual IQ of a child. Who else would feel the need to belittle a young girl? Quite frankly, I worry for the safety of her own children. They likely are the victims of some level of abuse. NOBODY IN THEIR RIGHT MIND WOULD DO THIS SORT OF THING!

I don't think that most people would intentionally push someone to suicide or columbine disasters. But there needs to be laws to protect people from intentional emotional bullying.

This woman is no different than sex predators pretending to be someone they are not. Law enforcement needs to step up to the plate here. Otherwise, this woman will likely get it from another lunatic parent. But maybe that is what the cops in that town expect - losers "taking care of" losers.

Anonymous said...

I thought this was one of the saddest stories I'd read until reading some of the posts relating to it. Perhaps some posting would find pedophiles behavior blameless, because the use of the internet should be the responsibility of the parent; not that of a twisted perverted mind. Wake up and come back reality. This was in, my opinion, abuse caused by an "ADULT" on a "CHILD". While criminal law has not caught up to technological advances, I suspect criminally there is not much that can be done. I only hope the parents of this abused girl take civil action, and make those responsible pay for this putrid event.

Anonymous said...

Parents this, or some one else that, it seems like all want to blame some one other than our selves or this Josh Evans, some one said John Evans? Just trace the party down, we all know its possible by Internet…

Please are crazy in this World.

I do agree, they should go after the cyber bully, and prosecute that person. Hey it’s the World we all live in, and what we do that can make us criminals.

Anonymous said...

"Perhaps some posting would find pedophiles behavior blameless, because the use of the internet should be the responsibility of the parent; not that of a twisted perverted mind. Wake up and come back reality."

Exactamundo. Parents are definitely responsible for monitoring their children. But, any adult who commits fraud and deliberately impersonates online should be held accountable - if for no other reason than for that in itself.

This woman is probably lower than trash and had no idea what she was getting herself into. But that is too bad. A precedent needs to be set.

~* PeaChes said...

i just heard this story on the news a few minutes ago and i think that it is very sad that something like that happend. Myspace is no longer a safe place for kids, neither teens. Its all too frequent that myspace is on the news about something crazy happening and a childs death or rape. What i think personally is that myspace soon needs to be shut down in order to avoid any more tradgeties. Me being a teen myself thinks that its simply NOT a safe enviroment, theres no way to monitor child rapists or other harmful people out there. Thats why i've stopped using it all together.

Anonymous said...

i might be acting very immature ( then again im still 14 ) but that's bs.