4Chan Puts 11-Year Old Girl in Her PlacePosted on by Rebecca Kelley (Rebecca)
URL for sharing: http://thisorth.at/5hv
If you're not aware of the Jessica Leonhardt (or "Jessi Slaughter," as she's otherwise known) back story, Know Your Meme has a constantly updated history of the ordeal that I'll summarize here. The pre-teen in question was called out on a rumor/gossip site for allegedly having a relationship with some musician from a band called Blood on the Dance floor, of which Jessi is a fan. She posted a denial on the site in typical "I grew up on the Internet" English grammar and spelling-murdering fashion. In addition to this rebuttal, apparently the underage girl had also been posting age-inappropriate images and videos on MySpace, Facebook, YouTube, and elsewhere on the web.
One of her YouTube uploads in particular landed on 4Chan's radar. If you can't stomach watching a rude, disrespectful, idiotic child act like a dumb-ass in front of a camera without losing faith in humanity, I've posted some of her more eyebrow-raising remarks below (remember, this girl is 11):
- "This is to all you f*cking haters. Guess what: you guys are bitches."
- "You know what, I don't give a f*ck. I'm happy with my life, okay? And if you can't, like, realize that and stop hating, you know what? I'll pop a Glock in your mouth and make a brain slushie."
- "You hater bitches are just, like, jealous of me because one: I'm more pretty than you, more friends, more people like me, I have more fans...um, yeah, and all that shit."
- "You're just jealous 'cuz I'm perfect and you're not. Nobody else can be THIS pretty with NO makeup on."
- "Stop HATIN' on me! I'm just a normal girl who's perfect in every way, and you're just jealous."
- "So, jealousy much? I'd just shut your mouths before you make a fool of yourselves again." [here's where /b/ probably thought, "Challenge accepted!"]
- "...and don't try to make smart comments at me, because...I...got, like a shitload of comebacks."
- "If you hate me, you know what, suck my nonexistent penis. Just suck it. Get AIDS and die. You know what, fist yourselves to your little bestiality magazines, get a paper cut on your f*cking clit or dick, and I hope the bitch falls off."
- "Get AIDS and die. Suck a dick and die."
- "...but haters? F*ck. You. [gives the finger] It's a big f*ck you to all those haters, k? Love you all [blows a kiss] bye."
Throughout the video she keeps flubbing up her words and laughing, burying her head and face in her arms and talking about how she's a dork. It's painful to watch because while she's saying some pretty abhorrent things that I wouldn't expect to pour out of most functioning adults' mouths, let alone a child's, it's abundantly clear that she's nothing more than a kid who's desperately trying to seem cool but is going about it in the worst way possible.
Cue the 4Chan attack! What started off as "You're stupid and ugly" escalated to a full-fledged onslaught. Users were easily able to track down her personal information via her various social networking accounts and online profiles. Pretty soon Jessi received incessant prank phone calls, pizza deliveries, spam, and other forms of 4Chan harassment.
You would think she'd want to lay low and back away from the YouTube account by this point, but instead she uploads another video of herself crying and complaining about how /b/ has ruined her life. Her father steps in the frame and provides some unintentional laughs, unwittingly birthing several memes and amusing sound bytes, including that he knows who the harassers are because he's "back-traced it," that he's reported them all to the "cyber-police," and that "consequences will never be the same." Almost immediately, several re-mixes and videos parodying Jessi's blubbering and her father's threat pop up online.
The threats continued to escalate, and now Gawker reports that Jessi has been placed under police protection after receiving death threats. Gawker interviewed Jessi's mother and asked her what she thought of Jessi's original video that sparked the retaliation. She responded that she hasn't seen it and that she "doesn't even go on the computer."
Admittedly, most people, least of all an 11-year old girl, don't deserve to receive death threats and other excessive forms of harassment. However, consider this: in the first video Jessi says horrifically inappropriate things and is pretty much roaming free all over the Internet without her parents checking in on her. Then, in the 2nd video, her father is oblivious to what his daughter has been posting and uploading online and is ignorant to how she's been acting and what she's been saying, and instead of acknowledging that his daughter was being inappropriate and is being disciplined accordingly, he instead goes on a rampage and stomps on the beehive that she just knocked down, making matters much, much worse. Then her mother admits that she has never seen her daughter's video that started this whole mess in the first place.
Many people seem to want to excuse her behavior and her actions by saying, "Well, she's just a kid and she doesn't know better." It's abundantly clear that this kid screams "lack of parental supervision," and her parents' reactions further emphasize it. They didn't talk to their child about what she can and cannot do online, and they certainly haven't been talking to her about which sites she frequents and what sort of information she's allowed to share with complete strangers. She's ELEVEN YEARS OLD. Just because most kids treat Internet access like it's second nature doesn't mean you should shove a keyboard in their hands and a webcam in their faces and assume they're savvy, mature, and smart enough to know what's okay and what's not.
4Chan saw how embarrassing and oblivious Jessi was and took it upon themselves to knock her down a peg or two. It's the Internet's version of dishing out some tough love. "Oh, you think you're bad-ass? Well kid, you play with fire..." Sure, kids are stupid, but as a parent you can influence how stupid your pre-teen child is. Is she "I really like the Twilight series" stupid, or is she "I'm going to post a vitriolic taunt on YouTube and incur the wrath of the Internet's largest troll army" stupid? Good parenting makes a difference, people.
What do you think of this whole mess? Who's at fault here, 4Chan or Jessi and her parents for lack of supervision and "Don't be a dumb-ass online" warnings?"