The importance of truth

truth

I am tidying up this blog. I have gone back through the comments and deleted a few that were pointless, and I will soon be taking out some of the old posts that have become irrelevant.

What I have noticed is how this blog degenerated to an extent that it went too far away from having any value. That was for several reasons. Very few people bother to read any of the informative links I provided, and that can be frustrating. Why bother to find interesting articles when no one reads them? I quickly learned that, in general, people don’t come to the Internet and expect to actually have to think – they just want opinionated ideas that feed their own thoughts.

However, knowing that if I went down the path of rationality the amount of views this blog would get would plummet downwards, I made what now seems to be the wrong decision – to cause a ruckus and get more attention, in the hope that maybe 1% of the new viewers might get something from it. It has worked to a slight extent – there are regular readers who come here so that they can lose their tempers yet go away with even more to think about, but I feel that I have let down those people who actually did want answers and solutions.

So the blog will change slightly. No stupid comments will be allowed. There will be no more deliberate provocation, no more playing with the Todd supporters. I will try to return to common sense. Therefore we come to today’s post.

What should have happened with the Amanda Todd story, and why is it so important to know the truth?

The Todd story is not all about cyberbullying. Searching for evidence of cyberbullying in the story is actually quite difficult. There is no appearance of it around the BlogTV displays and, in fact, Amanda seems to have reacted much more to the attraction of online admiration. There is absolutely no evidence of it from 2010 through 2011, when Amanda’s output was at its height. Just think – if Amanda had been so depressed and terrified in that period, she would have turned off. Simple as that.

Not until late 2011 do we have evidence of someone creating a ‘shitfest’ by publishing Amanda’s details – an unfortunate event – and the first instance of any bullying only appears in the real-life fight, and, although we have an idea that this episode was dealt with, maybe it should have been handled differently. It is not until after Amanda’s bleach episode that we see the next instance of what could be termed cyberbullying, and after that there is little trace of it. We know without shadow of a doubt that it is very likely that Amanda’s final action was triggered by something else. And yet it’s all to do with cyberbullying.

Yet stand back and look at what the source – the main source – of the problem really was: online webcam use in unregulated chatrooms.

This is what should have happened:

After the Amanda Todd event, there should have been a huge investigation into the problems caused by the existence of sites like Omegle, BlogTV and so on, and further investigations into the sites like cameracaptures where money is made from trawling webcam chatrooms for pictures of girls and boys in compromising situations. However, because the truth was avoided, this wasn’t done.

It would have been very easy to launch a campaign against the kinds of sites that got Amanda into so much trouble. The Canadian government should have looked at options:

1. Make sites like cameracaptures illegal – strictly illegal. This is a huge task, but at least try to make if difficult for them. I would suggest that all porn sites are required to have written confirmation that the people involved are over 18, that all porn sites have at least some barriers to entry such as registration by credit card or driving licence, and that all ISPs are forced to exclude porn sites unless specifically requested by the user. I would also advocate a compulsory payment for each visit to a porn site, or at least an established subscription cost.

Problems: the porn sites are too many and in too many countries. Not a good excuse. I am sick and tired of governments saying the problem’s too big so we will ignore it, yet somehow they can manage to eavesdrop on all our private conversations for the so-called sake of National Security. Barriers will be overcome. Of course they will, but perhaps they will deter a few of the very young kids that are being exposed to all this. And it is easy for ISPs to ban certain sites, yet they know that it costs a bit of money and that a huge amount of traffic comes from porn.

2. Regulate these sites in the same way that restaurants are monitored by food inspectors, or that builders are regulated by Health and Safety experts. With the massive advances in technology available, it’s getting easier by the day to do that.

3. Strongly regulate sites like Omegle and the rest. At the first hint of child porn, slam them with hefty penalties. Close them down.

4. The press is regulated. Television is regulated. There are rules about what can and cannot be shown. Impose the same set of rules on media like Facebook. It’s easy. All you have to do is say that Facebook facilitates the publication of pages, therefore is a publisher. Instead of having Facebook set their own haphazard rules about what constitutes hate speech and what have you, the government should set clear rules. My suggestion is that the moderation of Facebook should be done by a seperate not-for-profit organisation, and that Facebook should pay for the running costs. It’s not like they are short of a few dollars.

5. Like with cigarette pack warnings, force Facebook, Google and the likes to publish advice on their home pages – perhaps links to suicide helplines, general notices, or a simple ‘Take care when surfing the Internet’ note. Or even ‘Cyberbullying is a crime’.

All of the above points need debate, but I think they are valid.

So what has happened? Because people avoided the stark truth about Amanda’s activities, sites like cameracaptures and Omegle, even Facebook, must be killing themselves laughing. It’s like they are magicians, deftly drawing attention to one thing while doing some trickery behind the scenes.

Where does a lot of blame lie in this aspect of Internet threat? With the porn, chatroom and social media providers. Where has the blame been firmly placed? On so-called cyberbullies who are, for the most part, young kids. Watch the madness of the news. A young kid sexts relatively innocently. He becomes a child pornographer. A young girl sends photos of herself in a stupid moment – she becomes a child pornographer. Kid says a snarky remark, they become vicious suicide-causers. Someone puts themselves on YouTube and gets called fat, and suddenly it’s a major crime.

And when the raving lunatics have finished blaming the kids, they go on some mad vigilante hunts for pedophiles and stalkers.

I need to say a couple of things. People have become extraordinarily confused in their hatred-driven fervour, and have lost all their senses.

First. Pedophiles and predators exist. Yet there is a vast, vast difference between the child porn circulating on Tor and the child porn of a dick pic sent by a teen to his girlfriend, yet they now close to falling in the same category.

Second. The headless chickens have run around looking for pedophiles and in most cases they are hopelessly wrong, unable to distinguish between genuine pedophiles and people who are being set up. It is dangerous to act in this way. Take my word for it, if you think you’ve found a pedophile, then you haven’t found a pedophile. However, these vigilantes have ignored one simple fact. The existence of the sites I have already mentioned make it easy for perverts to have access to whatever they want. Chasing down a mixture of young curious kids, dirty old men, or idiotic teens does little, while the sources are left untouched. But hey – a vigilante campaign in which people run around saying they are ‘Anonymous’ and acting like they are the Batman and Robin cyberpoliz is much easier than organising a proper campaign to get governments to tackle the problem. ‘Oh let’s send a stern rebuke to Facebook’. ‘Oh, let’s report a Facebook page’.  ‘Let’s sign an online petition’.Ya. The political activism of the couch potato.

So what has happened due to the truth not being told?

The sources remain untouched. Unmoderated chatrooms thrive, kids still pile on to them for a chance of nakedness, cameracaptures is still there.

Meanwhile, the Canadian government for some bizarre reason has used the Amanda Todd story to try and force forward a bill against privacy. And what does it do to combat all this? Nothing much. I will not go into detail, but would it have helped Amanda? Just think of this scenario:

Amanda goes online and gets naked. It would have saved her, because she would instantly have become a child pornographer (there is no lower age limit for this crime).

So we enter the plea that she was too young to know what she was doing. However, we are in dodgy territory. Amanda published her videos. On BlogTV her videos were archived, so anyone capturing the image didn’t actually have to be in the chatroom at the time. So do we have a problem – as with Tara Murphy – that these images are in the public domain? Amanda was on BlogTV and YouTube and displayed herself. How would this be treated in the ‘sending of photos without the user’s permission’? The Canadian law is concerned with private photos being sent – not with public broadcasts.

Now people will say that all the viewers will have realised it was child porn, and therefore are guilty of owning it or spreading it. Fair enough. But there were already laws in place to deal with that. The publication of Amanda’s photos was already illegal, covered by the anti-child-porn laws. So is that proof that laws don’t work? Like the law against Amanda smoking weed and drinking?

In Amanda’s story, would anything have saved her? Firstly, let’s forget that the new laws make Amanda the criminal. Would the cops have been able to help? No, not at all. Let’s also forget that Amanda had 100s of viewers, so tracking any one single scapegoat would be virtually impossible. And really, judging by the huge footprint of Amanda on the Internet, we are talking 1000s, not 100s.

So to make it simple, let’s just deal with the potential blackmailer. First things first. The message that Carol received on Christmas Eve was a word of warning, not a threat. Amanda was deeply into the Capper world at that time, and the message was from someone trying to help by describing the blackmail techniques.

Now, given the new laws and a lot of luck, say we find the sender of that message. He/she simply turns around and tells is like it is – ‘Amanda is in the world of the Cappers’. What do the cops do? Investigate all of BlogTV and the rest? Arrest the sender of the message for trying to warn Carol? Or – as they chose, try to desperately get Amanda to stop, which she didn’t. In fact, she got worse.

So let’s move on a year. Austin Collins? Tyler Boo? OK. In order to find them, the cops have free rein. They find out that Tyler Boo is registered on Facebook as Tyler Boo, 999 Nowhere Street, Nowhere (that’s how lax Facebook registration is). They find that Austin Collins’ IP address leads to a WiFi system in Starbucks.

But let’s just imagine that these two are idiots, and the cops find them easily. What would the penalties be? Who knows. Going back in time they would have simply got some sort of slap-on-the-wrist reprimand. Even now, once the police discovered who they were, it’s unlikely anything would happen. Using a mixture of observation, knowledge, and a little guess work, I would say that Austin Collins was definitely 14-15 years old, and that Tyler Boo would be not far off the same age.

Now consider the last downside of all laws destined to do good – nine times out of ten, they do worse.

Tale time: In the 1960s the UK police were getting fed up with robberies with people using knives or coshes (around the time of the Great Train Robbery). So they decided to get heavy and make the penalties the same as they were for robberies using guns. The result: the criminals used shotguns instead of knives and coshes, because the punishment was the same. Deaths and injuries escalated.

If Canada decides to make it a terrible crime to spread pictures, it will just go secret. Like Snapchat. Kids aren’t dumb when it comes to technology. A potential Tyler Boo or Austin Collins will just make damned sure they are hard to trace. Sure, it may make people think twice, but there’s a thing with kids – make something a double-dare and, for a few, there is more excitement in doing it. Dolan and a few others posted the videos on the RIP pages knowing full well they would never be caught, and getting the thrill of the naughtiness of it all. Even now, the videos appear on YouTube from time to time, and there have been no arrests.

The Todd supporters remain convinced that not only was Amanda enticed and coerced (let them think that) but they think that Tyler Boo or Austin Collins or the 100s of other people involved with Amanda were predatory and professional stalkers aged 40+. They weren’t. Austin Collins was definitely a kid (40+ predators do not talk of ‘shitfests’) and Tyler Boo was, if you read his messages, much more likely to be a misguided 4Chan activist. The very fact that Amanda was so easily contacted shows a much more different problem.

I will stop for now, but maybe later on in the week I will explain more about why the truth needs to be told.

Meanwhile, back to tidying up this blog.

7 thoughts on “The importance of truth

  1. time to erase and run huh? you’ll eventually mouth off to the wrong person. My guess is that you already have, which is why you hide behind a screen and keyboard

    • Seriously? I mean seriously? I mention that no more silly comments will be allowed and you post this? What is wrong with you? Why can’t you contribute something sensible? Is it any wonder why I despair?

    • If we discuss versions of truth, we could be here endlessly. What should be noted is that my truth about the multiple videos was seen to be the wrong version months ago; that my version of the truth that said that Amanda was certainly enjoying her BlogTV displays was seen to be the wrong version months ago; my version of the truth that stated Kody Maxson is innocent has certainly bitten the dust,to be replaced by the story of another poor sap in Holland.
      Anything that is true will stand the test of time. I’ve gone out of my way to provide details here, and I have provided evidence and proof. Yet most commenters here never challenge any specific points, just choosing to attack and call me names. If you want to make a point, then at least try to engage in sensible conversation. If you can’t, I will be forced to delete any more comments you might have to make.

      • It would appear to me….that even though you claim to want sensible conversation, I have a hard time believing that to be a truthful statement. Unless of course the person with whom your conversing with agrees with you 100%. If that said person does not, is it not you who also resorts in name calling, bashing and blog publishing? Just trying to understand bud. I guess since it is your blog you have the right to say and bash whom ever you wish. BUT just know…that I will no longer read this blog, this will be my last comment. Why? because I find what u’ve done despicable and unforgivable. I should have cut you off long ago….yet I didn’t. Trying to fix a broken toy who is just satisfied with being broken. Yes, and to hide from my own shit life. Forget my name and all you know or think you know about me. One day perhaps you will allow your heart to feel regret, then again maybe not…you have already switched off your humanity long ago. Since I’m not like those who comment here….I only wish you peace. May you find it before this truth destroys you. (delete if you wish, it’s really only meant for you anyways)

      • I wait for a constructive comment. I find it all quite odd. The same people who have supported vindictive attacks on innocent victims, such as Kody Maxson and others, come here and call me despicable. The same people who supported a huge amount of lies – the one photo, the fake blackmail, the anti-RCMP propaganda – come here and say I am a liar. I suffer personal attacks – being called a pedophile, being told that I will be killed – by friends of Carol Todd, yet for some reason I am the villain.
        I have tried to allow all comments here, yet the vast majority are nonsense. I politely explain time and time again why I have to hide, yet the question still arises. Then I lose my temper simply due to the stupidity of it all – criticism of me hiding my identity from people commenting as ‘Anon’, ‘MxCoder’, ‘Weyland_Ind’. It drives me mad that the only people who comment like that are just too dumb to contribute.
        Bashing people? Let’s take Tara Murphy as an example. She came here in bashing mode, using words like ‘scum’ and saying that people like me should clear off. That’s fair. Then when I investigate, I find that not only has she used the Internet to exploit her own naked pictures in a bad way – there is nothing good about titillating pictures inviting comments like ‘more tits please’ – amongst those pictures were snaps of her own young daughter, which I did not publish. And yet people like you rushed in to say I should have left this woman alone. The fact that, in all seriousness, she was a bad influence on her daughter seems to be OK. This is what confuses me and causes the anger – Tara Murphy posts semi-porn involving her daughter and people say ‘Never mind’, I try to establish a blog in which I try to warn of the perils of all this stuff and people attack. All I can say is that it drives me mad. Truly.
        As for switching off my humanity, I might argue the opposite. From what I can see from the Amanda Todd story, ‘humanity’ believes in telling lies, starting vendettas, madly attacking anyone who disagrees, bullying children who express an opinion, criminalising children for basic acts of stupidity, whilst glorifying mad vigilantes and lying failed parents.
        At the beginning of this blog, I was more on the side of what I am struggling to believe is real humanity – that people will eventually see through the lies of the press and others and have a rational approach to dealing with problems.
        In order for people to understand the full story, hard truths have to be acknowledged. Yet they haven’t, really. People point blank refused to contemplate that things like BlogTV existed, and therefore not much has been done about it. The complexities and dangers of why young girls go online needs to be researched. If I stated that Amanda was getting naked online, people just denied it. When I proved it – to show people that this goes on – all that happened was that I got attacked.
        When I tried to explain that good parenting was necessary to combat these problems, I got attacked again. It might look like the blog became an outright attack on Carol Todd, but I felt it necessary to expose all her horrendous errors. Why? Because they were horrendous errors. This wasn’t a case of silly mistakes, it was a case of absolute negligence.
        Now your comeback will be that people have done good from all of this, but that is another danger.
        The Todd story caused an eruption in ‘We will help you’ pages – 99% of them dangerous, and I wonder how many of them may be there for grooming. It seemed that every day a new anti-bullying ‘charity’ emerged. Yet they were all fools. Why?
        Non-professional help is extraodinarily dangerous. That is just a fact, and I won’t go into too much detail here. Suffice to say – many of the so-called do-gooders who give advice are like people rushing into the site of a car accident and pretending to be a doctor.
        There are many things that the do-gooders failed to recognise.
        If a person comes for genuine help, that person needs support over a long period. It’s not enough to say ‘we’re here for you’ and then move on to the next ‘we’re here for you’ and so on.
        If a person comes for some sort of solution, the worst thing you can do is give advice, unless you are extremely qualified.
        An example: Renee befriended girls via the Amanda Todd Official group, gained their confidence and trust, then grassed them up to parents. Do I HAVE to explain the downside to that? OK. Firstly, the kid learns not to trust an adult, because they get grassed up. It’s not for nothing that doctors and counsellors have strict confidentiality laws. Secondly, what if the parents go ballistic? What if they aren’t reasonable people? And so on. To be honest, all these things are obvious to most people, and I get so angry that I have to explain this.
        Last, but not least. What you do-gooders failed to realise was that you become part of the problem. There is a vast amount of girls (not so much with boys) who go online for attention. They simply love going online and saying they will kill themselves, self-harm, whatever just to get attention. Tallulah Wilson got a huge amount of attention for her self-harm pictures. What you do-gooders have utterly failed to realise is that attention ENCOURAGES some of these girls, and it becomes addictive. A sob story gets a few likes, a suicide threat gets more, cutting gets loads. These girls don’t go online for help – they go online with the specific intent to gain attention, and you give it to them, enabling their addiction.
        I am losing my patience a bit now, so maybe it’s time to draw a close. However, I will explain why I lose my temper. In order to properly explain things, this blog would end up with pages and pages of words.
        I would have thought that the dangers of Renee Porten’s actions were obvious, but no. 700 pages of explanation and facts.
        I would have thought that the pitfalls of almost enticing people to come online and divulge their sadnesses would have been plain to see. But no. Another 700 pages of explanation and facts.
        But hey, it’s me that is despicable. It’s me who has no humanity.
        Bring people’s attention to BlogTV etc? Inhuman.
        Try to get people to see the wider problems? Inhuman.
        Try to get people to realise that we need to look far beyond cyberbullying for the solution to teen problems? Inhuman.
        Try to be rational and talk common sense and to recommend that people get educated before they set themselves up as the be-all-and-end-all experts on suicide help and psychiatric treatment? Inhuman.
        To be honest, maybe I’m proud not to be closely identified with humanity.

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