Haven’t written in a while. In general I am distracted by work. When I’m distracted by work I find my eating habits to decline, and my enthusiasm to take photos of what I eat to diminish as well. I’ll do my best to bring it back this week.
However, I read the most sad story today, so sad I wished it was a horrible urban legend, something Snopes.com could refute for me.
Found via Romenesko News … summary – young teen meets cute boy on MySpace. Teen is led to believe the boy thinks she’s cute, pretty, nice, really likes her. One day the boy turns and begins to say mean things. She’s not a nice person. She’s a slut. She’s fat. Teen, completely distraught and confused as to why boy would turn after having such a good MySpace friendship with him, hangs herself in her closet. While her parents are downstairs making dinner.
Turns out cute boy is actually a fake MySpace profile, created by a former friend and friend’s parents. This family who faked the profile lived down the street from young teen.
No criminal charges will be filed, but there is no doubt that this death could have been prevented. Adults are supposed to know better, they are supposed to show their kids how to be the better person. How to be human. Adults don’t get involved in their kid’s squabbles. They show them that this is nothing. How much the future holds. They certainly do not condone torturing young girls at a time when self-esteem is so critical.
The journalistic ethical issue which resulted in this landing on Romenesko in the first place is that the local paper covering the story did not name the neighbors, “out of consideration for their teenage daughter.”
Readers were furious. But it didn’t matter. Bloggers took the matter in their own hands, investigated and found out who the neighbors were, posted their name, address, phone numbers and then some. Did everything but include a link to Mapquest. (Another thread of angry commenters can be found here). Heck yeah, readers of St. Charles Journal have a right to know who. I would want to know who to keep my kids away from. So, kudos to the bloggers. But I can’t help but speculate the debate that went on when deciding not to name names.
Oh, there better have been a debate.
Final afterthought … any repercussions for MySpace? If people were allowed to create false profiles, could this have been prevented? Facebook kicks you out if you are not who you say you are. On MySpace, no one is who they say they are, or so it seems.