Anonymous, the group famous -- or is it infamous? -- for hi-profile, hi-securty information hijackings, has focused on a non-stereotypical target: the man the group says drove a 15-year-old Canadian girl to take her own life. The girl's name is Amanda Todd; in Canada her case is somewhat famous, and web pages created as memorials to her have been vandalized since her death.
Online "jailbait" websites -- and child porn hawkers -- appear to be having a field day with this tragedy.
Someone in New Jersey decided to turn the tables on these creeps ! Unsatisfied with responses that labeled the death a "bullying" tragedy, someone created a New Jersey chapter of Anonymous dedicated to finding justice for this young woman.
Over the fleur-de-Kos for the (warning: NSFW) details ...
Amanda Todd, weeks before her suicide, posted a nine-minute-long video to YouTube in which, using handwritten note cards, she described what had occurred in her life. Someone online lured her into exposing her breasts to a web cam. A year later a man left a message on her Facebook page demanding a show -- and threatening that if he didn't get what he wanted, he would send those earlier images to her parents and others. She defied the threat. Vancouver police advised her that he followed up on this threat by circulating the images.
Anonymous put up a Postbin item giving a name and reporting a street on which the suspected tormentor lives, but not identifying a house number. In a video Anonymous leaked, the group claims that at worst, this man is Amanda's stalker and drove her to suicide, while at best he's a paedophile who has preyed on others.
A link to another video (since removed by YouTube as in violation of its policies against threats and harassment) included the response of a second victim of this predator's harassment -- in which she threatened to expose him to still another of the victims he had attacked whose identity she had discovered. VICE has more information about the suspect.
Other Canadian media reports show that women are outraged over the lackadaisical and victim-blaming responses to Amanda's death as well:
Jarrah Hodge, member of the City of Vancouver’s Women’s Advisory Committee and founder of feminist blog Gender Focus says, “I found it odd how there seemed to be no specific attempt to address the gender aspects including the factors that led to ‘the mistakes’ she made and the way she was manipulated and slut-shamed. At one point yesterday after they took the video down from YouTube, it was still up at some other sites like ebaumsworld,[...]and it was horrible to see how a lot of folks who didn't know she'd committed suicide were on about how ‘emo’ the video was and how it was ‘whining’ from someone who ‘doesn't know how to give a good BJ.’”Bravo, Anonymous! Keep the pressure on these creeps!
As VICE points out: While Amanda described being bullied by her classmates in the original Youtube video she posted, the pedophile that stalked her through high school is clearly reason her torment began and continued to worsen. While this story is receiving a lot of attention in the media, the Canadian press has so far failed to properly illuminate the role of popular jailbait image boards and the horribly destructive control that one lone creep, hiding behind his computer, had over Amanda’s life. Luckily, the RCMP has a 20-25 man task force working on this, as they told the National Post, so at least they seem to know what’s up.
One commenter there pulls no punches about the situation:
Kellie Christiansen · Works at MBC Global Pty LtdRemember: Amanda was lured into exposing her bare breasts to an anonymous male via a webcam. The person who did this broke existing Canadian law. People who knew her claimed after her death that a man in his 30s had been stalking her for several years. Over a year after the initial encounter, the creep created a specific, hateful -- and approved by the company -- Facebook page to further harass a teenage girl, out of nothing more than spite that she wouldn't titillate him further. As Soraya Chemaly points out in that article, Facebook's stance can be readily derived from its actions:
i'm so fucking sick of seeing comments on articles relating to amanda todd about how she "made a bad decision" and couldn't "live with the consequences" or something along those lines. fuck that noise! a nudie shot on a webcam doesn't make you a slut. hell, 10 nudie shots on 10 different webcams doesn't make you a slut. sure, when you're a teenager, other teenagers are going to tell you you're a slut, or you're a whore, or you're cheap and skanky, cause they're teenagers, they're insecure, they're hormonal, and they're being fed the same bullshit about sex and nudity that everyone else in the West is getting. but we have got to stop shaming women for displaying their bodies as they see fit! this shit needs to be PUBLIC. FUCKING. KNOWLEDGE. if you wanna show some random dude on the internet your rack cause it gives you an internal thrill, it should be your fucking right to do it, and it should be nobody else's place to judge. this might sound like i'm preaching some ideal world that can never exist but it CAN. next time you think "oh she's such a slut" or "man, she's been around" or "didn't she send some nudes around once? whore", take a second to think about this. would you be saying that about a guy if he'd fucked 5, 10, 20 people or taken 5,10, 20 nudes? maybe, but not to the same extent. we need to initiate radical acceptance of the biological and psychological norms of teenagers, especially young girls. we need to be teaching kids that their bodies are okay and it's not sinful or wrong or dirty to be happy with your body and even maybe displaying it. once it's socially ok for a woman to display her body without getting all the bullshit about being a slut or an attention seeker, it's likely that alot of teenagers would STOP feeling the need to do it, because the aspect of rebellion would be gone, and they'd have a healthier idea of sex and when it is/isn't appropriate. teenagers are supposed to explore their sexuality and they're supposed to find it confusing and weird, that's just how they're wired. but the bullying wouldn't happen if the bullies didn't have the shitty, sexist, religious ideals of their narrowminded parents, and if it was common knowledge in schools that sex is normal, sexual urges are normal, and it's ok for a woman to act on those, in an appropriate time and place.
This is pretty much Facebook's attitude and why it deals with this page and assorted others by adding [Humor] to titles. As a result, according to Facebook's interpretation and adherence to its own policies, they will not take down Boobs, Breasts and Boys who love them, unless the boys are babies since they do take down photos of breastfeeding mothers. They will not take down [Controversial Humor] rape pages, but they will remove a photograph of a woman crossing the street in New York City because she is topless (legal in New York, but not the sovereign state of Facebook). Obscene being defined by Facebook as a breast not in service to a man. Maybe it's not a breast problem at all, but a nipple issue. Maybe Facebook lawyers are scared or put off by nipples. This isn't offensive. At best it is sloppy and stupid and incoherent and, at worst, overtly sexist and misogynistic.This is just another reason Facebook is evil, IMO.
And, yes, I know, I know, the 12-year old slut meme page does not openly suggest, say, hitting a pre-teen girl who makes the mistake of posting a photo that lends itself to Dom and James' critical insights, nor does it make jokes about raping children or women. Other Facebook pages, with fans ranging from the tens to the hundreds of thousand, however, do. For example, "[Satire] Kicking a slut in the vagina and losing your foot inside" is still up and does not specify age of slut to kick and, as Cath Elliot pointed out in the Guardian last year, if "[Humor] Roses are red, violets are blue... I've got a knife, get in the van (and multiple variations thereof), is not "hateful, threatening or gratuitously violent, I don't for the life of me know what is." "Roses are red" is not controversial however, it's just plain [Humor], like these side-splittingly clever pages and communities: "Seeing a Pregnant Woman and Wanting to Punch Her In the Face" (47K); I just want to get drunk and punch the slut in the face; or, accompanied by a photo of a woman down on her knees, hair gripped in a man's hand..."got a sec you slut, Hit the deck you mut (sic)" (Note: this group appears to have been removed since the initial research for this post). "I'd Punch You if You Were a Woman" ("This is a Page fully dedicated to beating woman unmercifully! Haha kidding of course.") Then there's You are a Slut Get Hit by a Car and last but not least, in the less than 5 minute survey that I just undertook using search terms like "woman," "hit," "slut," and "punch," is the whole "Shut the F**k Up and Make Me a Sandwich" meme -- punctuated occasionally by hilarious photos of women bleeding and with blackened eyes and bruises. The terms "babe" and "bitch" additions are optional for the search.
Facebook's small print also prohibits the use or posting of content that is "threatening" or "hateful" or that "incites violence." That's what the terms say. Really. This stuff is [Humor], [Controversial Humor] and [Satire].
The harm done Amanda didn't stop online, though.
But if you read through Amanda's statements in her video, there was bullying online and offline, but it was the offline bullying that left her beaten in a ditch. The predator who targeted her repeatedly chose to hide online, true, but surely blackmailing a minor to perform sexual acts and distributing child pornography goes far beyond what we'd classify as bullying.As the Vancouver Observer notes:
Let's start with Facebook. It's a publicly traded company and social network that has embedded itself in our lives like no other technology has. We've given it great power, and it is in Facebook's best interest to chip away at our privacy to increase "stickiness" and by extension, profits. We've put our trust in Facebook, and it has failed us in many ways, but it particularly failed Amanda.Follow the "little test" in that article for a chilling view of just how fast a predator can find a victim with nothing more than a Facebook account.
30-year-old (former?) Facebook employee living in New Westminster, British Columbia, is the man who allegedly harassed Vancouver-area 15-year-old Amanda Todd so relentlessly that she took her own life on Oct. 10. In their YouTube video, a Guy Fawkes-outfitted anonybro with an auto-tuned voice reports that Anonymous has discovered a connection between Maxson and Todd, and it looks pretty damning.Observer editorialist David Egan also wonders if the RCMP hasn't used Facebook, which apparently Anonymous did, in its hunt for Amanda's tormentor ... damned good question to my way of thinking.
Facebook is known to be cavalier about users' privacy, and to have an anti-woman bias.
When are we going to, whether in the US or Canada or Mexico, Australia or China or New Guinea or Albania or Turkey or Russia or England, France, Spain, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Pakistan or South America, stop pretending that women cannot think for themselves, shouldn't own their own bodies, don't have souls, don't deserve choices, and shouldn't be respected?