I still haven’t looked at the latest Amanda Todd news, mainly because it’s too ridiculous.
Over the last couple of years it has become obvious that, in many ways, the police and all others involved in this fiasco are completely ignorant headless chickens.
The phenomenon of online sexual behaviour is relatively new. It started as soon as people had access to a computer, and I can remember the halcyon days when only a few were online and one could at least find decent conversation if one tried. But it was amazing how quickly the scum infested the Internet – chatrooms full of White Supremacists and brainless conspiracy theorists, the most popular search term soon becoming ‘free porn’. I can remember when MySpace was new and trendy, only to wither and die, become MySpaz, and be replaced by Facebook which, in its turn, became infested by lunatics.
And then it just spread. Now, it seems that every child over the age of three has an iPad or a SmartPhone, a tablet or a laptop. What was once the domain of adults and young nerds is now the realm of the teen.
In 2011, if someone had told me that children as young as eleven were going online flashing their tits, expressing themselves in terms that would make a sailor blush, filled with self-loathing and world-hatred, self-harming themselves for ‘likes’ and threatening suicide for attention, I would have dismissed it all as outrageous fantasy. But now – after seeing the examples of Aurora Eller, Jessi Slaughter, Giovanna Plowman and hearing of the incidents of Tallulah Wilson, Daniel Perry, Hannah Smith and of course our favourite online superstar, Saint Amanda, it’s all beyond me.
So what is today’s post for? I often wonder about the purpose of any of these posts. Perhaps it’s because I still feel the need to battle against stupidity, yet in my heart I know it’s a battle that will never be won.
After the Amanda Todd fiasco, everything should have been discussed in the open, and the truth should have been told. But people being people, all the ugly truths were swept under the carpet. No one ever really wants to know the truth.
Parents haven’t really been helped. The Amanda story has reinforced the myth of the bogeyman predator, the root of all evil. Yet the vast majority of all of Amanda’s woes came from herself, her parents, her peers. With the enemy online described as an older male, a pervert, a pedophile, that has produced a fairy-tale ogre, whereas in reality the real threats to many of the children come from people their own age. Just look at the Parsons case – not an adult in sight. Look at all the other cases – Rebecca Sedwick attacked by schoolmates, Tyler Clementi killed by his own age group, Aurora Eller the victim of her own father plying her with drink, Felicia Garcia killed by the shame in her own social circles, nearly every other instance of sexting scandals – all children, not even old enough to be named in court.
There’s been barely a mention of the online sites making money from stolen webcam videos. In all of this, I would have expected a huge outcry against the cameracaptures site and others who featured Amanda’s videos. But no. Easier to hunt imaginary predators hiding away than to deal with reality that is just an overt webpage click away.
But what has struck me is the absolute ignorance of everyone involved. The Daily Capper was operating in plain daylight. It wasn’t secretive, it was all over YouTube. It basically showed the workings of online teen webcam activity, yet it went on with nobody giving a jot. But yet again, none of the mainstream Press bothered with it.
The police, Carol Todd, and all the keyboard warriors have no idea about the culture of online exhibitionism. They have no idea that for many of these children – Amanda included – it’s simply an addictive Coliseum of attention-seeking.
Each character – just like some horrific XBox game – has a role to play.
The flasher – nearly always a girl looking for attention, looking for love even. She might start off as a girl looking for friends online, looking to be the next Zoella or the next Demi Lovato or Ariana Grande. “Look at me! I can put on make-up, I can sing”. But when it dawns on them that Internet fame is for the few, she soon falls victim to the next player, and realises that the way to get proper, easy, effortless attention is to flash. She can be a star in her own bedroom.
The voyeur – nearly always male, predominantly young but with no age limit. The voyeur is the bored teen, the hormonal nightmare, the loner, looking at one extreme for a tit-flash that is the thrill for the thirteen-year-old boy online, and at the other extreme it’s the psychologically damaged obsessive looking for control.
The blackmailer – a version of the voyeur who resorts to threats to get a girl to go further, who plays for ‘wins’. Can be any age, usually found on the 4Chan boards. This person will take the flasher and lead her in – sometimes not entirely unwillingly (as with Peyton Ramsey and others). The mutually beneficial partnership of blackmailer/victim is an oddity – they both contribute to each other’s notoriety. Svengali.
The teaser – a girl who is fully aware of what is going on, and enjoys being part of the action. A coquette. A temptress. An attention-seeker. For these girls, NOT being blackmailed is a bad thing. They revel in their victimhood. Peyton Ramsey is in this category, and I will suggest that Amanda Todd was also one of them. The teaser is the most frustrating of all the players. They will come to you (as they have done to me) with terrible stories of woe, of how they have been mistreated on Ask or on Epikchat or on Facebook. You give them all the information and support, tell them to get off, block, move on then…..weeks later they are still there, still flashing, still on Ask. The teasers are simultaneously the girls you most want to help, and the ones you most want to just punch in the mouth for being so stupid. They are the ones who make people give up in despair.
The hero – now this one is a doozy. The hero is part of the problem, and that is what many people fail to understand. The hero seems himself as some sort of White Knight. He hangs around teen chatrooms waiting for an incident, then rushes in to protect the victim. However, in a lot of cases, it’s the hero who causes most damage.
How does a hero work? A hero will try to warn the victim. He will also seek to publicise the activities of blackmailers. He sees himself as a cybercop, a fighter against wrong-doing, a protector of innocence. However, a hero becomes confused, and, from a psychological perspective, it’s quite interesting. A hero has an over-inflated view of what a girl is like. He thinks that it’s all like some sort of Victorian chivalry game – ‘Excuse me, young lady, but you ought to stop flashing’. ‘Well, thank you for you advice, kind sir, I will do so immediately’.
When the hero is met with ‘Fuck off, it’s none of your business, I wanna flash’ their brain malfunctions. The victim is no longer a damsel in distress, but has become a Whore of Babylon. Freud would have a field day here.
So what does the hero do? He blackmails. If the girl doesn’t heed his warnings he turns nasty. ‘I will tell your parents, I will tell your school, I will tell the cops’.
The above scenario was very common amongst the 4Chan tribe. A lot of heroes didn’t even bother with warnings – they went straight into ‘tell the parents’ mode. That is why it is so difficult to work out if Amanda was being blackmailed by heroes or blackmailed by voyeurs. What is interesting is that the ‘blackmail by heroes’ tactic was discussed by 4Chan after the Amanda Todd incident, and some were all for dropping that approach due to the dangers highlighted by Amanda’s story.
So….if you want to see more of how ‘hero blackmail’ works, take a look at this twitter account:
I don’t know who ‘Peytie Rams’ is. All I know is that there are many more out there. It’s heartbreaking.
Look at some of the tweets:
‘ I can get him arrested, dm me all the info u have and it will happen trust me. I have done it before’
‘I do what I do for the girls that can still get out hopefully with minimal damage’
This puts the hero on the moral high ground. Except it’s not moral highground – it’s horribly misjudged semi-vigilantism. Look at other tweets to girls – one of them an 11-year-old:
@emilytuccinardi be prepared for the police to confiscate your phone, ipad, laptop, etc in order to search them for evidence
@emilytuccinardi if that still doesn’t get results we will simply email your school
@nessagirl1010 currently Jennifer and Dan Stoeckmann are being messaged and sent screens as proof that u cam for pedophiles on epikchat
@MirandaHoran8 I will message everyone in your family and the police if necessary
@stewart_justina U think at 11 u know everything so we are going to find out soon. Don’t say u weren’t warned.
Peytie Rams is a danger. But look at the similarities with the Amanda Todd case – “we will tell parents, we will tell schools, we will tell everyone”.
I’ve researched some of the people mentioned. A couple of years ago I might have tried to help, but not now. I don’t have the emotional resources any more.
Carol Todd reads these posts (or they are brought to her attention). She should have networks set up – friends, cronies, police – who should deal with this. Will anything like it feature on her blog? I doubt it. All these kids are Snowflakes. Light up purple. Wear a wristband. But actually do something about it? Actually try to understand? Actually tell the whole true story? Nope. Too much like hard work.
So. Yet another waste of my time. But I will leave you with an anecdote.
I have contacted the police and Carol Todd on various occasions. People are aware that I mention names in this blog. I sent out an email to the RCMP, politicians and Carol saying that me mentioning names was not a good thing, and if they asked me, I would refrain. I said that if I had no reply, that would mean that they were, in effect, sanctioning whatever behaviour I chose, even if it was damaging. No reply came. Several times.
So…Merry Bloomin’ Christmas to you all.