Oh Lord! To be honest, I’ve had mixed feelings about this ongoing malarkey for some time now. It’s tiresome, tawdry, boring, and largely irrelevant.
People out there who have retired from the scene will know what it’s like. Spending huge amounts of time investigating and tracking, sending out warnings, desperately trying to get people to stop what they are doing or to at least try to get away from the dangers.
It takes me back to a relatively recent experience. A ten year old boy was on Facebook, obviously out of his depth. I politely warned him to go away, to get off Facebook, to be careful what he was doing. As usual, it took me about five seconds to know where he lived, who he was, and to name his entire family. Oh good grief! For some inane reason, the father decides to get involved. ‘Who do you think you are, telling my son to get off Facebook?’ The usual old toot. Even after an explanation of the dangers, of how he had let his child break the rules, still no understanding. See what we are up against? Same old idiot parents. However, all was not lost. Eventually, mother arrives. At least she understood, and she asked how best to protect her son’s online existence.
The same sort of thing happened with Carol Todd. On Christmas Eve, 2010, she was contacted by one of the heros – most probably from inside the Capper community. I have my thoughts about who it might have been. The message was a big, plain warning – as simple a warning as can possibly be – ‘Your daughter is in trouble’. What did she do? Instead of thinking it’s lockdown time, she took this as some sort of threat, and told the police. She didn’t take it as a massive heads-up to get Amanda protected, because as we now, in Carol Todd’s own words, Amanda ‘won’ when it came to online webcam activities.
If you look at the chatlogs involving Amanda and BlogTV, and many other sources, there were people telling her to stop. ‘Don’t get banned’. ‘Don’t do it’. The background is quite convoluted and complicated, but it’s worth pausing maybe to understand what was going on at the time. A certain group of people were desperately working to get the girls flashers offline and safe. At the time, there was a policy – track down the girl involved. Give plenty of warnings, plead and cajole, explain and educate. One of the prime people involved in all this sorry saga was good old Peyton Ramsey, who was actually having an ‘affair’ with rOra at the time.
In many cases, the hero activity would work. Girls would realise the stupidity of their actions and clear off. But for the worst offenders, it didn’t work. So the next step in the policy would kick in: the threat of disclosure. If all other lines of communication had failed, the ultimate step was: we will tell your friends and family.
These actions added yet another layer of complexity to the whole issue. It is likely – VERY likely – that some of the online communications Amanda received were due to this method of trying to stop the girls from performing. And that is why is is so difficult to sort out just what went on. This policy is well-known, and it was the mainstay of many of the heros and White Knights online. However, if you follow the 4chan noticeboards, you will notice that it has now been dropped, mainly due to the Amanda Todd story. It was realised that, if the exposure threats were carried out, the repercussions might not be quite what were expected.
And this is what makes the Aydin Coban case so dangerous. If the trial does come to Canada, it won’t be a trial of Aydin Coban, it will be a trial of Amanda Todd and what she got up to online. The defence will show every trace of her activity, every video, every conversation – the whole kit and caboodle.
There is mention online – at this point NONE of it is to be trusted – that the Canadian girls involved are ‘in counselling’ (yes, there are actually other girls apart from Amanda Todd, you know). Now imagine this scenario – which isn’t that far away from reality:
Each of the girls will have remained anonymous. Whatever they did or didn’t do online will have passed – maybe forgotten, maybe passed over with a sigh of relief. Their videos or pictures, names, faces – all unknown. Until now. The Aydin Coban court case will dig this all up. Parents who never knew what was going on will have counsellors, police, the Press, knocking on the door. Stand by for more histrionics.
There is one HELL of a lot of information for me to process. So….laters!