I am sick to death of people going after kids online.
Speaking as a multiple time hacking, stalking and cyber bullying victim myself, let me say that the angst of having a total stranger posting shit about you online, making fake stories up and swearing in a drunk rampage that they're going to "expose" you, is scary enough when you're a grown woman.
It's worse to a child/tween/teen, who hasn't had anybody tell him/her yet that sometimes, people are psycho assholes.
And I'd like to know when it became "normal" to attack strangers online, starting with kids and grieving parents.
Although I reference an anime here, this story is about something in real life. Please read.
It was 1997. I had just finished a nice, long chat with my contact teacher, and I wanted to just relax on the computer for a half an hour before bed. That's all I wanted. I had just found a great page about Sailormoon, and I wanted to see a sneak preview someone posted from a season he hadn't gotten yet.
In stepped my $%#@ father.
Suddenly, the keyboard is ripped out of my hands, and he directs me to a page I'd never seen before. Shockingly, it's still up:
The site, clearly meant for adults, is a hate shrine devoted to Chibiusa, the first child of Sailor Moon and Tuxedo Mask in the series Sailormoon. At first, it looked like a regular humor page of people complaining about the horrid voice they gave her in the DiC dub. (They have a point. It's awful.)
But the further into the page you go, it gets really graphic. There's a game where you shoot the little munchkin in the head, there are pictures of her being fried to a crisp, beaten, exploited, shot, stabbed, and then each segment of the page is marked with a picture of a sword going through her head. Pretty intense for 1997! O_O;
Now at the time, I just assumed that this was just a hate page based on an anime character. Nothing more. Yes, it's very disturbing, but it's a cartoon. It's make-believe. It can't be classified as a threat. The people running the page never intended for people to (in real life) attack little kids or the team at DiC, it may be a crass site, barely skimming the line of satire, but at the end of the day, it's adults playing pretend, just like in politics. They don't go after any real children.
What I didn't realize was that this almost harmless site, was just the warning beacon to something far worse.
The last few months, my Facebook has been overrun with the worst thing I've ever seen. It wasn't bad enough when hackers tried using my account to spam people with pornography, now a bunch of losers think it's funny to pick on children, starting with dead children.
The most famous child of the dead? Amanda Todd.
For those of you who managed to miss the whole story, I'll be brief.
Amanda Todd was a minor in her early teens.
She caved into peer pressure, and at the request of FAKE friends, posted a photo of herself half naked.
Again, peer pressure caused her to do this. This was NOT "stupid whore getting attention" this was your average, American teen, caving into pressure from other teens, begging her to do it.
It went viral.
A stalker got a bunch of people to harass her online, and post fake, nude photos of her.
She got bullied at school.
Her family sent her to another school.
The bulling and stalking continued.
She went out on a date with a boy who LIED to her, saying he was single.
He already had another girlfriend.
The two of them LIED about Amanda, and posted online that she's "a dumb fucking whore slut".
Amanda was so forlorn that she turned to drugs and drinking bleach.
Little was done to stop this.
The schools involved didn't lift a finger to help her.
Amanda killed herself.
Now any SANE person would drop the story here, and bombard the two schools with questions on why they let her be bullied, and didn't do anything to stop it until she was dead. Even more sane would be the police, who "could" go after Amanda's stalker, bullies and the dipshit who lied to her.
We have ADULTS, fully grown people posting garbage like this:
"Stupid attention grabbing whore got what she deserved. Fucking slut, I'm glad she's dead."
"Why does Amanda get all the attention? Why not this kid or that kid? They killed themselves too! Fucking TMZ."
"She posted this and that on Blip. She's as bad as Paris Hilton. She deserved to die."
Excuse me?? Is this what we've become as a society?
But Amanda isn't the only dead child getting attacked. There are over one thousand pages on Facebook, devoted to trolling memorial pages for dead children, calling kids as young as two "fucking attention sluts" and posting photo shopped pictures of these kids being killed in gruesome ways.
All of these people? They don't even know the kids. Total strangers, all over the age of 18.
Do you feel proud of yourselves, internet wastes?
Does it make you feel proud, to pop onto a dead child's page, and post your garbage?
Do you feel happy, when a child's grieving parents are holding back the tears, trying not to kill themselves, trying not to find you and kill YOU, because you thought it would be a riot to post "fucking whore" on the page of a boy who just died of cancer?
Do you laugh yourself stupid, thinking about the badly GiMP'ed photo you posted of a child being blown up?
Let me ask a stupid question. What if it was YOUR child?
What if YOUR kid was dying. Maybe he's six and has a rare disease, or she's 10 and is being bullied into an early grave. How would you feel? Can you look YOUR child in the eye, and call them a "stupid attention whore"? Can you tug on a child's oxygen mask, and say "GAWD I hope you die, you deserve it." CAN YOU??
And what does it get you? A blocked Facebook account, the ire of people you don't even know, an FBI agent gleaning your home address from a report sent in by a frantic father?
You get nothing for posting this. No prize, no award, TMZ don't care if you live or die.
No fans, no accolades, nobody to even think you're funny, nothing.
You get what you are.
So to my readers, I'd love an answer. At what point did it become "okay" for adults to harass kids?