The blog that never dies

Oh well. It looks like this blog may get a slight new lease of life this month as the trial of Aydin Coban starts on January 25th.

Carol Todd will be there, but she might miss all the action, which is weird. The trial is set for a length of eight days and Carol is going over in the first week of February. She’s raised quite a bit of money on her crowdfunding which I must admit I was surprised by. She must have more fans than I thought. Still, it’s not without at least one criticiser who objects to paying for Carol’s other half. One has to ask where Norm is, though. It’s like he never existed.

As usual, I always doubt Carol Todd’s motives. She’s always ready to hijack every possible moment to make it all about Amanda and I wonder sometimes if the parents of other victims are sick and tired of it as they don’t want their own children to be seen as being in the same league as our dear Cutieelover.

It’s strange that Aydin Coban has already been pre-judged by everyone, even when it is highly unlikely that he has anything to do with Amanda. The trial doesn’t feature her, and it’s a really big stretch to bring him in to the history. So far, Carol has managed to avoid any real questions from the media, but as time goes on there’s much more of a risk that someone may at least raise the BlogTV incidents. I believe that Carol is so blinded by the myth that she thinks that nobody will ever dig a bit deeper. That would explain why she doesn’t seem worried by the extradition, but she should know that a court case won’t be like an interview with the Vancouver Sun – it will look into every detail and rake up a huge amount of stuff that may not look good.

If Aydin is released (which is a possibility) extradition might be tough. I’m not sure that the Dutch officials will find someone innocent or deem that they have been in prison long enough already then just hand him over to what is essentially a lynch mob. But I have a feeling that if he’s not released and is found guilty of various crimes then the RCMP and others may say that’s enough. It would be hugely convenient to accept a guilty verdict in Holland, and then just close the case with an assumption that he was involved with Amanda. I’m also guessing that the Canadians would accept that. They would dismiss the Dutch as being too lenient, say it’s all a terrible miscarriage of justice, rave and rage for a few weeks and then move on. Seriously, it would be better to go that way than to bring out all the details in a Canadian court.

I might restructure this blog. To be honest, I’m a bit too lazy to bother but I expect that viewing figures will rise at the end of the month. For me, it depends on whether or not the trial gets much publicity.

So we’ll see. This could be the biggest anticlimax ever. In a way I sort of hope that Aydin will confess to being the killer predator villain that everyone wants him to be. At least that would be an end to it. Yet something tells me this won’t happen, and the story will drag on and on and on………

 

A German story

Trying to find a video, the best I could do was Grandmaster Flash.

I came across this article from Germany, and was astonished by how many echoes there were of the sorts of problems mentioned in the blog.

http://www.zeit.de/2014/26/cybermobbing-pubertaet-erotikvideo

The translation is appalling, but it’s worth giving it a go.

It talks of ‘pubetaeren Irrsinn’ which is basically ‘puberty insanity’.

‘Laura’ goes online, exhibits herself to a kid, kid passes video to her boyfriend, he circulates it, she gets shunned, parents and teachers get involved, blah blah blah…….then…….wait for it……she does it again.

If anyone bothers to read it, at least read the whole thing. We learn that ‘Laura’ could easily delete the video but chooses not to, and that, in general, most of her peers think she deserved whatever happened to her. There’s also references to broken families, trouble at home, but we’ve read all this before. There are a ton of comments and from what I can gather they fall into the categories that are now becoming common – online communication is dreadful, teens are mad, and what the Hell should the parents do in all this. The days of sympathy seem to be over.

 

10 Reasons to condemn Carol Todd

wibble

People ask why I don’t like Carol Todd. Unfortunately, their attention spans are usually too short to fully explain, so I have to resort to the tried and tested approach of the listicle. Here is my list of ten reasons why Carol Todd should be condemned:

1. Whilst campaigning against bullying, cyberbullying, harassment and stalking, not once did she speak out against the kind of person who publishes pictures like the one at the top of this page.

2. Early on in her dire drive for fame, she described herself as feeling like a ‘rock-star mom’. That’s a disgusting term to use within the context of such a tragedy.

3. Despite trying to convince us that Amanda Todd was vulnerable and mentally unstable, she told us that she allowed Amanda to drink and take drugs because it was a ‘battle’ she didn’t want to fight.

4. Knowing that one of the main sources of Amanda’s demise was Amanda’s use of chatrooms supplied by Omegle, Stickam, Tinychat, BlogTV and many others, she never mentions this in her preaching to gullible parents.

5. She pockets a ton of cash for ‘expenses’ on her many trips around Canada and from donations to the Amanda Todd Legacy but, because this is organised as a non-profit and not a charity, we will never get to see where the money goes, unless we see the occasional cheque done for publicity. Do we even know how much has been donated? 100,000 bucks? 200,000?

6. In conjunction with 5 above, many of those people who originally donated to the fund in its early days would never have donated if they had known the full story. Carol never told the full story.

7. Rather oddly, she underplays the fact that from 2010 to early 2012 she hardly featured as Amanda’s mom at all. In fact, she was pretty much the absent mother. Amanda rapidly declined after returning to live with her mother. That’s no surprise. We also have to consider why a mother who pretends to have been so concerned tells us that, after Amanda made her plea-for-love-I-have-no-one video, she never even asked about it. Any reasonable mother would have been extremely concerned.

8. As we know from the real RCMP email, Carol Todd was fully aware that Amanda was producing her own material from December 2010 onwards. Yet even after the cops arrived in 2010, and when they warned her again nearly a year later, she still allowed Amanda to produce what is now called child pornography. One has to wonder why, but I suggest ‘Fame at any price’.

9. Carol Todd never came to terms with the possibility of suicide ideation and the encouragement that some vulnerable kids might have received from the notion that Amanda was a role model. We may never know the destructive impact of words like ‘Amanda is in a better place’, ‘she is an inspiration’, ‘she is an angel in Heaven’.

10. One thing that I can never forgive Carol Todd for, beyond her quest for fame, her lies, her fraud and her encouragement of persecution of innocent people, is that she has become so single-minded, so closed to any criticism, so full of herself, that she has failed to understand that the vast majority of Amanda Todd content online is defamatory, with pictures of ‘Todding’, bleach-drinking, censored flash pictures, memes and jokes all aimed at Amanda’s online reputation. Although she thinks she is some sort of world-saving guru, all she has done is to cause the proliferation of those pictures and videos of Amanda more than anyone else could possibly have done. For that, and perhaps even for that alone, she should hang her head in shame.

10a. Carol Todd tweeting the September video today has desperation written all over it.

For those who may argue ‘Oh she has done good’ – she hasn’t. Go online and see the hatred and the malice, the conflict and dismay surrounding Amanda’s story. If anything, the Todd story has caused more playground fights, more enmity, more confusion and pain than any other story before. And all for what? The fictional tale of a manipulative girl and her mother.

The truth about cyberbullying

R.I.P. Richey Edwards

There are some quite vociferous campaigners against cyberbullying. They are tilting at windmills.

There is a shameful and quite disgusting motivation for many of them. For Carol Todd, it’s a grand desire to finally feel like that ‘rock star mom’, as she so disgracefully described herself after Amanda’s death. The fact it lines her pockets is just a side issue. For Canning, he has been corrupted by the dual vices of revenge and fame. For Elise Estrada and those like her, it’s a convenient way to gain publicity. For authors, their sales multiply if they are on the bandwagon. For Raffi Cavoukian, he can promote his new album. And so commonly for the parents, it’s a convenient way to purge themselves of the guilt for being so useless.

Here are a few facts for you:

Rehtaeh Parsons

Allowed to run around like a stray dog looking for a home. Long term absence from school. Drugs. Drink.

http://news.nationalpost.com/2013/08/08/why-police-could-only-lay-child-pornography-charges-in-rehtaeh-parsons-case/

‘But, in fact, as the Post reported this spring, the sexual assault case was a dog’s breakfast of shifting accounts from Rehtaeh herself and credible statements from a witness — almost unheard-of in sexual assault complaints — who was at the house that night and said that the sex that took place was consensual.

And there never were four boys involved, that allegation coming only from Rehtaeh’s mother.’

Todd Loik

Unfortunate depressed child.

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2014/01/07/todd-loik-suicide-bullying_n_4555856.html

“Also, we did numerous interviews of people — you know friends, family — through the schools to try and ascertain if there were other problems that were existing not online … But we did not uncover any evidence that that was the case.”

Amanda Todd

Online stripper. Delinquent. Useless parents. Mentally ill? This blog provides enough evidence.

Rebecca Sedwick

Victim of poverty and family dysfunction. Depressed.

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Society/2014/0409/Rebecca-Sedwick-suicide-what-the-police-files-show-and-it-s-not-bullying

‘And now, reviews of the police files for the case paint a far more complex picture of what Rebecca was dealing with – including family problems with her mother, stepfather, and father; a history of self-cutting, and a breakup with an Internet boyfriend just before her suicide. The reviews of the police files also reveal little evidence of the online bullying that Judd said was so pervasive.’

Hannah Smith

Mentally ill. One of many showing the new emergence of cyber self-harm.

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/may/06/hannah-smith-suicide-teenager-cyber-bullying-inquests

“The evidence I have was that on the balance of probabilities they would all have been at Hannah’s own hand. Why she did it, I don’t know.”

Cora Delille

Depressed. Family problems.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/21/cora-delille-suicide_n_5366546.html

“It’s a very complex issue,” Pickerington police Commander Matt Delp said. “There are multiple variables at play. This is just one little bit of the big picture.’

Jamie Hubley

Depressed. Lonely. Confused. A lost soul.

http://www.queerty.com/15-year-old-jamie-hubley-commits-suicide-but-was-it-bullying-or-depression-20111017

‘How do we help when the issue isn’t bullying but more nebulous causes like depression, anxiety and alienation?’

Olivia Penpraze

Another lost soul. Depression.

‘That’s when he stumbled across his daughter’s online suicide diary. For two years, the petite teen had been chronicling her depression on blogging site Tumblr. ‘

Jenna Bowers

Depression exacerbated by bullying in REAL LIFE.

“She struggled with her depression,” Murchison says. “We were working at it, doing things that we needed to do at home to help. She was in counselling and seeing the doctor.”

And the list goes on. You can see. Cyberbullying blamed, then proven NOT to be of any concern. There is not ONE viable case of cyberbullying being a direct cause of suicide. In ALL cases, there are complexities – Parsons’ boyfriend dumped her ten minutes before the suicide, Todd’s the day before; Hubley’s sexuality was an issue; Hannah Smith’s cyber self-harm; but in the majority of cases it’s all to do with parenting.

How can you NOT know your child is doing dreadful stuff online? For nearly two years Carol Todd just sat back and watched Amanda drown. Instead of telling her to STOP she simply documented the whole ordeal. She let her daughter ‘self-medicate’ with alcohol and drugs. She knew – from the RCMP emails – that Amanda was producing new material, yet never stepped in to prevent it all.

The Sedwick family. A long history of issues.

Rehtaeh Parsons? Like I said, allowed to drift like an unwanted stray dog until she dies – then suddenly the family claim it’s all everybody else’s fault.

I am angry right now. Angry at the hypocrisy and the stupidity of it all. The Todds and Cannings and all the other lunatics have completely obscured the profound problems that are growing – not cyberbullying, not imaginary online monsters, not social media, but PARENTING and MENTAL ILLNESS.

Child writing suicide notes online for two years and the parents don’t know?

Child stripping and masturbating online and the parents want the cops to deal with it?

Child putting pictures of their self-harm online and no-one notices?

Child pleading for love on YouTube and the family don’t get the message?

Aaaaaaaarrrrrrrgggghhhhhhh!!!!!

I have tried and tried and tried over the last few months to battle all this ignorance. People have no idea what I have been doing in the background – warning teachers about suicide ideation, explaining to misinformed academics the emergence of digital self-harm and the role reversal of online attacks, correcting every single misconception that I can find, desperately warning parents to be vigilant.

And all for what? So that cretins can use childish tactics with which, much to my own shame, I have allowed myself to get involved. Mentally disturbed idiots starting a petition to have me investigated. People who genuinely think that I am some sort of criminal. OK – I gave them a bit of encouragement, but we are back to the lunacy of ‘he knows so much therefore he must be guilty of something’.

But I stick with it, based on the universal fact that truth and honesty prevail. Someone said I am fearless, but I’m not, for I have nothing to be afraid of. Except incorrect sentence construction.

I hope to put the games behind me. To be honest, I wanted it to escalate, and I was severely disappointed in the petition results. The cops and other authorities won’t listen to a lone voice like mine, no matter how hard I try to rattle their cages.

So what will happen next? Very little I guess. Have a good Sunday!

 

Insert sensible title here

Philip’s always running around trying to find certainty. He needs all the world to confirm that he ain’t lonely.

Philip thinks the world would be right if it could buy truth from him.

Anyway. That’s what the lyrics should have been.

Does anybody read this any more? I can tell you that, as a blog writer, it’s pretty weird to write stuff and not know how the Hell it is being received. The very idea of getting a few dozen reads a day is enough to send most bloggers into a self-referential reverie in which, overnight, their barely literate writings have become, for them, the future of information as we know it. But for me – with my perhaps self-destructive, self-esteem killing inner voice of reality – it’s all a bit meaningless. Based on my current level of 730,000 views and the comments I have received, I would be exaggerating if I said that my words have been important to 0.01% of the people who have read them.

However, for the time being it looks like I’m not going to give up. It’s not easy. I have incredible levels of self-doubt and self-criticism and, rather crazily, they increase as I become more certain that what I am trying to say isn’t just a pile of crap because, after all, it can be the height of insanity to have utter self-confidence. That’s not saying that what I write here IS the be all and end all of ‘truth’, nor is it saying that what I have written here is God’s gift to the art of communication but, looking round at what others have to offer, it’s a damned good try.

A couple of things have sparked off my renewed interest in the blog.

Firstly, the arch-villain Carol Todd has crept back out after a couple of months of virtual invisibility. And before anyone says anything – yes, I am fully aware that calling Carol Todd an arch-villain is not very constructive but seriously, dudes and dudettes, the feelings of antipathy I have towards that woman are quite overwhelming. But we’ll leave that to another entry that will be coming soon as a response to her latest effort on her Huffington Post blog. And again, before anyone gets upset, I just ask one thing: does ANYONE know where all the Amanda Todd Legacy Fund money goes?

Secondly, in the UK, the Times has started to get on the cyberbullying bandwagon and, as usual, they are way off in all their dreadful reporting.

Begin rant.

The average thick-as-shit reader of news loves a headline, especially when accompanied by a picture of some child victim, especially if that child happens to be ‘pretty’ and female. They love to read of the horrendous death of some kid who was a promising future Olympic gold medallist because they once ran down to the shops to get some sweets, or was the next generation’s saviour because they once gave a poor person 10 pence. If their pea-brained attention spans get them beyond the picture and the headline, they don’t want to be alarmed by an in-depth article regarding the whys and wherefores of all that happened, and they certainly don’t want to be told that it might be their fault. Of course not. The only thing they like better than victims is to have something to blame. Blame the government! Blame the children! Ermmm….blame the adults! Oh no, that’s us! Errmmm…blame something else! Blame cyber-bullying, because we all know that every suicide in the 21st century was down to that and nothing else!

End rant.

That’s enough for today. I will more than likely be blogging daily for the next few days, and just in case anyone is interested, the posts will concern the treatment of young boys as sex-crazed-monsters, the half-arsed attempts by the Times to reduce the reasons for every child suicide down to a set of feeble anecdotal paragraphs designed to gain traffic to their website, and Carol Todd’s latest insane foray into the world of shit articles.

So….ta ta for now.

Oh, Canada

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/carol-todd/cyberbullying-bill-_b_4335740.html

Oh dear. It’s not that I really want to offend a whole nation. I mean – why add an entire country to the never-ending list of people who hate me? But Canada – just what the heck are you doing?

Let’s put the lovely Rob Ford to one side – every country has its buffoons. But your country – well, your politicians and Press – are looking ever more foolish by the minute. And the Amanda Todd story has not helped. Where did you go wrong?

Somehow or other, you’ve allowed the likes of Carol Todd and Glen Canning to become some sort of folk heroes, when they are not. To a certain extent, the world looked to you for a response to cyber-bullying and online extortion, and you failed miserably. You had the two big poster girls – Rehteah Parsons and Amanda Todd. You had the opportunity to take the ball and run with it, to show how a civilised country can meet the challenges of the 21st century – and you blew it.

First mistake? To take the Todd and Parsons story and to treat them as if they were much the same. They are not. They are completely different – the Todd story being one of misleading discrepancies, of a child allowed to run riot in real life and online, and of woeful inadequacies shown by all those who should have protected her; the Parsons story being more about misfortune – a girl who got drunk, and who was taken advantage of in a terrible way.

Second mistake? Ignoring the experts. Very early on, people who were aware of all these problems, people who had studied hard and had worked with cases like these, were all turned away. Instead, Carol Todd – essentially a low-level teacher with ideas well beyond her ability – was made into the fount of all knowledge regarding child care. Someone who had failed at so many levels started to win awards, to be praised and lauded. Years of expert advice from around the globe regarding suicides, suicide ideation, and how to deal with the aftermath, were thrown aside and replaced with knee-jerk and populist responses. I dread to think of the damage done to young children since the beginning of this fiasco.

And now we have the latest mistake. Carol Todd (perhaps one of the most deluded people on the planet, and definitely one of the most politically and socially naive) and others have been taken for a ride by the government in the ‘Protecting Canadians from Online Crime Act’ – possibly one of the worst attempts at a new Law that I have ever seen. Just how many times throughout the last year have I said ‘It’s a disgrace’?

There is absolutely nothing that will protect children in this Law – nothing at all. It would have been easy to insist that porn suppliers at least make online verification tougher – with credit card or driving licence proof of age. There is no mention of holding sites like Omegle responsible for any online activity that might endanger children, and no onus on the ISPs to try and filter anything. And perhaps more importantly, there was no hint at making parents more responsible for the actions of their offspring. I can’t help but think that if parents were to share the blame for their children’s misbehaviour, they might spend a little more time bothering about how they bring up their offspring.

However, let’s deal with what is there. No spreading of intimate images. Pathetic. At an adult level…well, pish! If an adult is stupid enough to share ‘intimate images’ online, then part of me thinks they are simply too stupid to be worthy of consideration. The Tara Murphy pictures show stupidity at the highest level. (Personally, I would introduce a new Law to protect Canadians from themselves – the ‘Don’t be stupid’ law. However, locking up half the Canadian populace might be a problem. Maybe make them Toronto councillors.)

The spreading of intimate pictures is aimed at the Rehteah Parsons case. However, think about the scenarios it kicks off.

Kid X takes a picture of a girl. At this point, he becomes a child-pornographer. Aged 13-16, he becomes one of the most hated types of criminal. Except he’s not. He’s just acting on the spur of the moment, doing what a ton of kids have done, and will no doubt continue to do. But there are laws to cover that. This new law starts with the picture being distributed. So the kid sends it to a friend; a friend sends it to another friend. Except even that doesn’t happen. It goes to many friends, then on to many more. Within minutes, hundreds of people can be in on the act. Are they all guilty? Or just the first person? Or the second person? If the first person is guilty of initiating it, are all his friends and his friends’ friends accessories?

So you track down the individual. Then what? He says ‘She gave her permission’ or ‘She was up for it’. His pals agree. Ah ha! No defence. If the girl is under 18, she is deemed incapable of giving permission. So the boy is up the creek. Or is he? Well, if he is under 18, as is the case in so many of these instances, he will still be seen as a child, also incapable of making rational decisions. The lawyers will have a great time dealing with these cases.

The huge mistake of this Law was to assume that all the likely perpetrators are over 18, and that’s simply not the case. We’re dealing with kids 11 years of age and up, not with the general public.

Now on to the Amanda Todd fiasco. The ‘intimate images’ doesn’t really apply, and with the convoluted story, it would still be damned difficult to make a case. We know that Amanda broadcast herself, but that is cleared as OK because she was under 18 and therefore legally incapable of knowing what she was doing. There were already pre-existing laws concerning child pornography and its distribution  that would have covered most of the problems involved here.

Would this Law have helped? No at all. Imagine that Amanda was doing it now. Nothing much has changed. I still find it odd that Amanda would be seen as doing nothing wrong, but that’s another source of infinite arguing. But anyway – Amanda’s online, doing whatever. Immediately, any viewers are deemed criminal. For some reason, the facilitators like BlogTV(YouNow) and Omegle are untouchable. That’s fair enough. There are already laws to cover all of this activity. But it didn’t stop Amanda back then, and it wouldn’t now. Most of the viewers would be hidden behind aliases, some of the more experienced ones would use proxies. But again, the Law doesn’t kick in until distribution.

So what’s the case here? The initial distributors would be BlogTV and Omegle and the likes, yet they seem to escape each time. ‘Wot us, guv? We are just tryin’ to carry on our innocent business’. Sickening.  So the government conveniently overlooks the webcam channels. So who is guilty?

Complicated. At this point, all of Amanda’s viewers were guilty of a crime. So who is the distributor? In a way, it was Amanda; in another, it was the webcam site provider. So the distributor is the person who put the video on to the porn site? But who was that? I have my suspicions that BlogTVand Omegle feed the sites for income. Was it them? For goodness sake, we don’t even know if it was Amanda herself. So it could have been any one of her hundreds of viewers. Almost impossible to track. But even assume that it was one person, where do you stop? Amanda’s video was picked up by other people – in her own words she says her friends found the pics. Was the first sender of the link guilty? The second? The hundredth? Or all of them? All of Amanda’s friends are, under Law, not only child-pornographers but now distributors. See the impossibility of it all? For God’s sake, even the Fifth Estate could have been penalised – they showed images of Amanda without her permission, and at least one that falls under the latest Draconian porn definitions.

So let’s take it down the line. Amanda puts her pic online; someone puts her pics on a porn site; loads of people distribute the pics. Months later, someone finds the picture online. The picture is now so common and public that no claim to being a ‘distributor’ can be made. Yet another big pay-day for lawyers.

And just don’t forget. Throughout this story we can totally guarantee that the majority of those involved were minors, so we’re back to square one again. Can minors really be held responsible for their stupid actions?

So it’s one gigantic balls up. The comments on the latest Carol Todd Huffington Post show how badly it’s all been taken. Carol Todd’s urge for fame and her delusional belief that she is God’s gift to child care expertise has allowed her daughter’s story to be used badly by the politicians.  Fantastic – roll out a crappy Law, attach the Todd and Parsons name to it, everyone’s happy!

This legislation won’t save kids. Seriously, if anything it will make things worse. It will make criminals of young people for stupid acts of youthfulness; it will make more people use proxies and anonymity; kids will hide their activities even more, thinking that the once-innocent flashing will see them in prison; SnapChat will become even more popular. Amanda entered her age as 21 on two sites, so kids will just lie about their age even more. The idiot of the century still writes ‘If the police were given more guidelines and training back then, they could have done their job in looking in the right places for the perpetrator who took the photo’ when we know it wasn’t a photo and it wasn’t ‘the perpetrator’ – it was a bunch of kids.

Of course, I was on the side of one commenter: ‘yes, let’s make your failure of parenting the problem of every canadian citizen, whether they have children or not. ‘

But this Law is a waste of time, and I suspect it will be thrown out quite rapidly. Get with it, Canada, the rest of the world is beginning to laugh at you!

Addition:

http://www.cbc.ca/m/touch/canada/story/1.2440785

“I would hate for the public to be misled into thinking that this is what will deal with cyberbullying, because I think it’s [only] a partial approach,” says Jane Bailey, a law professor at the University of Ottawa.’

‘“When it comes to the social fallout that Amanda Todd and Rehtaeh Parsons suffered from their peers, most of the time, they knew who those people were,” says Slane.’

‘The problem with the bill, says Bailey, is that it focuses on criminal and punitive measures instead of the attitudes and actions of cyberbullies themselves.’

‘Legislators need to have “a better understanding of how young people are thinking these days,” says Shariff. “This has become simply part of their communication, especially when they’re teenagers.”

Do you know where your children go online?

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/nov/09/children-online-sexting-bullying-security-settings

Regular readers will know that my favourite newspaper is The Guardian, and I commend them for this recent piece they did in the Guardian Weekend.

Let’s look at some highlights. My comments, and anything I think is noteworthy, are in bold. Please take the time to read the whole thing on the Guardian website.

‘Thirty years ago, children were taught never to accept sweets from strangers, but the equivalent modern message, about staying safe online, doesn’t seem to be getting through. For all its positives, the online world is full of potential hazards to young people. Sexting, bullying and sexual approaches from strangers are online dangers modern teenagers routinely face. And adults’ knowledge of what young people are doing online is often vague and complacent.

Well, I hate to say this, but that’s what I’ve been saying for nearly two years now. But heigh-ho, at least everyone else seems to be catching up with me.

Here’s what some of the young people say:

‘If anyone has a child with a moderate level of online popularity who has joined ask.fm, you can almost guarantee that they will have received an abusive message. Questions are posted publicly on your profile page, and you can reply to them, but the senders are anonymous. Most of my friends who have had Ask have received a question saying, “Why are you so ugly?” or, “When are you going to kill yourself?”

Ask crops up yet again. It’s ‘pretty common’. ‘If people get a lot of abuse, for some reason they seem to get even more’. It pains me to repeat this, but didn’t good old Philip tell you this ages ago?

‘I know people who have been hospitalised by Ask. People already suffering from depression go on Ask and get questions saying, “Why don’t you kill yourself, cut yourself?” It’s affected them and they have actually ended up cutting themselves. In some cases, their parents found out; in others, they didn’t. With one person, even when they went to hospital, their parents didn’t know what had happened until a few weeks later.’ Those good old attentive parents again.

‘When I started, my mum wasn’t aware of what I was doing.’ Are mums ever aware? ‘But when I wanted to go to a gathering of YouTube people, I thought it would be easier to explain everything than tell Mum I was going to meet people she would feel were “some random strangers”. She was a little concerned, but I explained I knew the area well and that if anything were to go wrong, I’d be able to leave; and she let me go. Now she watches my videos. She thinks it’s quite cool. I try not to release too much information about myself and where I live, so I’m sure she feels safe about it. If there was anything she felt was inappropriate, I would take it down.’

Katie’s contribution is perhaps the most worrying. Here are just a few extracts:

‘My stepsister once sent a naked picture of herself to her boyfriend, and when they broke up, he printed it off and made a poster saying, “Look at me, I’m a slag” that had her phone number and her BBM pin [her “address” on the Blackberry service] on it. The posters were put up round his school. She started getting messages five minutes later. She ended up changing her number and getting Mum to buy her a new phone – she told her it was broken. The boy probably got told off for putting the posters up, but no one ever contacted my stepsister. Our mum still doesn’t know.’

A whole school can turn on one person.

‘It’s not going to sound very nice, but if a boy’s big down there, they get left alone. If it’s small, the girls will send the picture around and take the mick.’ Throughout this nonsense, there is a permeated belief that all this, for some reason, only has an effect on girls, and it’s only boys who send the photos round. But obviously that’s not true.

‘Older men, people I’ve never spoken to, are always adding me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. I’ve had a message saying, “I hope you’re a real ginger – I want to taste you.” It has become normality.’ God help us!

‘Some children as young as 11 had already been sexting. Kids at that age are really naive. If they haven’t got anyone telling them about the consequences, they won’t know.’ Well, the parents certainly won’t, that’s for sure.

From Pete:

‘You just talk to anyone – a cartoon character, say – you don’t know who they are. On Habbo my friend got messages from someone who said he was 12, but he must have been about 40. He was asking her to do certain things. That made her lose trust in people and become more secretive. I don’t think she told the police, but I think she told her parents, and went to counselling.’

‘There are a lot of weird websites – there’s one called Tagged. They say it’s a way to make friends aged between 13 and 18. Obviously people aren’t using it to make friends – they’re using it for things they probably shouldn’t be: adults targeting young people sexually. A lot of my friends use a chat app called  Kik to send photos and messages to friends and family. Most people use it correctly, but some people use it to get in touch with people they don’t know, and can be forceful about trying to get them to send explicit photos. I’ve got Kik but I don’t post my news on it because I don’t want people I don’t know talking to me.’

From Khushal:

‘When I was 14, I came into school one day and my friend said: “Welcome to Facebook.” Someone had made a fake account in my name. There were things on my profile that were Photoshopped, like my face on a nude picture of someone else. And abusive comments towards others, about people’s mums for example – sexual remarks. It was very disturbing. Someone was using my account to bully others in my name.

I felt so ashamed by what was on there. A lot of people stopped talking to me. I felt like an outcast. Finally my friends made me go to my teachers and parents to talk about it. They didn’t know you could do such a thing or what you could do about it. Eventually Facebook got the account deactivated, and found the IP address and who had done it. I was told it was someone I knew, someone in my year group. Their parents were told, but I never found out who it was. That anonymity for the bully, it’s like there’s a screen protecting them from everything. It gives them power.’

‘It’s happening with younger and younger people, because they are growing up with this technology. I’ve been in touch with children as young as 11 being cyberbullied.

A lot of people think, “How can I tell my parents?” Parents should make sure their child knows they can come to them for anything. They shouldn’t just tell the child to turn the screen off or deactivate the account. They should guide them into confidently confronting the attack.’

From Avril:

‘I’m careful online. I don’t friend anybody that I don’t know. My parents are always telling me not to talk to strangers online. They have also taught me about cyber safety for the last two years at primary school. We know more about technology at my age. We’re used to it. We’re born with it.’

I find Tom’s contribution quite sad on many levels.

‘The sort of stuff we do, boys my age, is go on pornographic websites. Most are massive collections of all types of free content. I could watch from two minutes to an hour a day. Does it affect the way I look at women? Massively.

‘I haven’t sent any, but I have received topless pictures from girls I know, generally from my class at school. It’s unlikely the girls’ parents know. They’re probably better at hiding it than I am. Half the time I just look at the pictures and don’t reply. When you don’t reply, they can see that you’ve opened it, which normally makes them send a couple more messages, saying, “Reply to me, goddammit.”‘ I find this interesting. Yet again, the media tends to rant on about it being the boys who are to blame, but here we see that girls send out the pictures. Haven’t I been trying to say this for nearly a year now? Yet the new laws suggest that, in this case, it would be Tom who would be classified as a child-pornographer, not the girls who sent him the pictures. And what is the poor kid meant to do? Tell on them? Come off it – nobody likes a tattle-tale.

What would I advise a parent? Never, ever buy your son or daughter anything electrical. Fifty years ago, people my age were more innocent, doing stuff like bike rides down the canal. Now, you’re stuck in your room. The real you is your second life; life on the internet is your first life.’ This is just so sad.

I thought I was going to write a ton about all this, but it speaks for itself. What is astonishing is the age at which some of these young people have commenced their Internet life.

In the knee-jerk reaction to all this from the authorities, we can see that it’s not only a case of shutting the stable door after the horse is 100 miles away, it’s a case of biased, bigoted, misandrist, populist bullshit.

Nearly all of any legislation introduced has, bizarrely, seemed to imply that the sending of nudie pics by girls is OK (because, of course, all girls are innocents who are victims), but the boyfriends and classmates (males) who receive them are heinous villains who need to be incarcerated. It’s not sought to deal with any of the problems – it’s just sought to appease the likes of the lunatics, who read hysterical nonsense in the gutter Press, with ill-conceived laws that will only make matters worse.

Centuries ago, the masses used to clamour for the execution of witches, and were only happy when someone got burned alive; then it was heretics; then it was based on race or politics. The same types of people who would have joined in with genocide and pogroms are now looking for another group in society to punish and persecute. Except now it’s even more scary – the people they want hanged are children. If they fail at that, then it just happens to be any innocent person who dares to speak the truth, or an innocent person who just happens to be unfortunate enough to have fallen victim to the Anonymous finger-pointing exercise.

Every day, my contempt for humanity deepens.

Readers, I beg you. Keep striving. Stand up for love and understanding, for education and the gaining of knowledge. The world can be a great place, and there is a Hell of a lot of positive stuff out there. Just don’t let it be spoiled by ignorance and stupidity. Don’t let it fall apart – strive for peace and forgiveness. Keep your kids safe. Love them. Teach them. Protect them.

Tell them Philip Rose told you to do that! LOL.

http://www.anti-bullyingalliance.org.uk/

Take care, everybody. And remember what I called this blog.