By now we’ve all heard about Jessi Slaughter, the young girl who was cyber bullied after posting a video telling people to stick a glock in their mouths. When her father got involved, the family posted a recording of the eleven year old crying. Dad was in the backrgound yelling. It went viral and the family was then systematically harassed by Internet hackers, some going so far as to make death threats.
The police are involved and the family has been on Good Morning America discussing their trials. You would think that after going through such a harrowing ordeal, Jessi’s parents would cut off Internet use. It’s the obvious, logical, common sense, you really have to be an idiot not to, step to take.
If you haven’t already guessed, they did not do this and they are back on the Internet in a clip that will make even the most strong stomached of you want to vomit.
Above is a a Tinychat session that users recorded. Jessi, screen name “Jessikill” was on it when her father becomes aware and begins yelling. You can hear him say “I might go to jail tomorrow!” followed by obscenities that make you realize where the young girl got the colorful verbage for her online rants. The man is clearly at the end of his rope, unable to control his daughter and in the dark when it comes to the technology she is using.
We’ve all been there and while he is acting like a maniac and should have just CUT OFF INTERNET SERVICE, I still feel sympathy for him. Many have speculated that a certain sound heard in the video is him slapping his daughter, but she still talks back, so I am unconvinced.
“The Internet’s what’s got us where we are… Jessica, the cops are watching the Internet right now… they are watching every word you’re saying and you keep typing… stop typing!”
It’s all a very sad and sick and twisted display of an Internet culture out of control, manned by children who have grown up in a world where privacy does not exist. While kids may know how to download and upload and encode and what not, they are not mature enough to understand the repercussions of their actions. What would be normal behavior for young kids making mistakes and acting out can turn into memes instantly that can ruin their lives.
On the flip side, there are the adults in the situation. Many parents have no idea what to do. One can only communicate with their children about the dangers and monitor their behavior. But your children may not listen. Jessi has put her family through the gauntlet and was very aware that this fight was being recorded or had the potential to be recorded and obviously does not have the maturity or mental capacity to care.
It’s scary. Really scary. Kids have access to go online at school, the library, friends houses and their phones, so this gets tricky and it’s almost impossible to regulate. However, if you’re having a problem that is escalating to the level it has with Jessi, take away the computer, cut off the cell phone, ground them and even home school for a few months if possible. Jessi’s parents need to crack down on her however they can because she is not learning her lesson. Take away music, candy, her favorite anything, her everything beyond food, shelter, oxygen and Maslow’s other needs because it will help her in the long run.