Wednesday, 10 April 2013

ANTISOCIAL NETWORKING: R.I.P. REHTAEH PARSONS



ANTISOCIAL NETWORKING:
NO COMMON SENSE

Good evening, Synapse Circuit Readers! It saddens me to be writing of yet another beautiful young woman who has taken her own life as a result of an alleged gang rape, disturbing pictures distributed via cell phones of the alleged incident which in turn triggered “slut” taunts from her fellow pupils at her former school. The young woman in question is Rehtaeh Parsons; another Canadian.

This is Amanda Todd all over again! I really thought and hoped that lessons were learned from Amanda Todd’s tragic suicide. But it has become very clear to me that people in general – children and adults alike- have no common sense in dealing with such sensitive situations.

Let me share an example of what I am talking about...

...FACEBOOK TAUNTING
This incident happened last week... Here’s a shortened paraphrased transcription of the events...

Teenage Girl 1 (aged 18): I can’t believe this girl... She’s sending me text messages saying that she’s sleeping with my boyfriend and that she wants to cut me up!

Teenage Girl 2: Send me her number I’d I’ll giver what for... The c**t! F**king bitch slut...

The Mother of the boyfriend: Send me her number and I’ll f**king give her something to bitch about. I’d like to slap the c**t!

The basic scenario: Teenage Girl 1’s boyfriend has gone away for 2 weeks. While the boyfriend is away she starts getting these threatening and taunting messages from this girl who is said to be related to the boyfriend in some way.

The thread went on in a similar fashion until I interjected...

Me: Do you think the young lady may be in need of some mental help? I find it disturbing that this young lady may be suffering from a mental illness or breakdown of some sort.

After my interjection the thread was removed from Facebook.

What was very disturbing about the thread is that the mother of the boyfriend (to Teenage Girl 1) was not taking up her position as a Moral Guide. At a glance you’d think her part in the thread was that of another teen. Here’s a grown adult encouraging young teens to behave like a pack of wolves against a young woman who may have had a mental breakdown. Mental breakdown or not, I think it is an adults responsibility to solve problems - however big or small – amicably i.e. without foul, abusive and threatening language. Adults are traditionally supposed to know better... Now just supposing the person being taunted had committed suicide as a result... How would the taunting individuals feel about it? Would it really have mattered that she was making claims about sleeping with Teenage Girl 1’s boyfriend and that she made violent threats?

Oh, I forgot to mention that I suggested that Teenage Girl 1 ought to inform the police that she was receiving abusive text messages. The suggestion got dismissed with an 'LOL' from a teenage boy saying, “The police would laugh at it...”

PROBLEM POLICE?
I think the police are part of the problem either the attitude of and / or their perceived interest in what seems like trivial matters. I guess in my ideal world the police would have ensured that the young woman would stop sending abusive text messages and furthermore gotten her some medical attention. It’s hard to believe that once upon a time the police had more human contact with the area in which they patrolled... I remember when I was growing up that police officers gave troublesome teenagers a friendly talking to in order to dissuade them from indulging in antisocial practices. They suggested going to youth clubs, joining the Boys Brigade, etc. I was once a bored teen in a group of antisocial teenagers that occasionally got into trouble with other teens and adults in my neighbourhood. I took notice and I thought my actions through. As a result I kept away from trouble and disassociated myself from troublemakers.

Today, the police are more likely to be the cause of conflict. It is a very, very sad indication of where we are as a (UK) society. Collectively, we just do not trust the police. Oh, this not news... I mean, look at the young teenage police liaison person who was forced to quit her position due to her Twitter tweets that were of a racist and homophobic nature. But isn’t that the police all over? Racist and homophobic? The death of a former Conservative Prime Minister couldn’t have come at a worse time! Now I am sure this tragic event for the family and the followers of this former Prime Minister will have some of the UK openly displaying / stating extreme right wing views. In the eyes of many, the strong brutal arm of right wing thinking is the Metropolitan Police force. Regrettably ‘force’ is the operative word.

Oh, come to think of it... I had a strange dialogue with a police officer on the phone a couple of years ago... Very briefly my front door appeared to be forced with cracks around the doorframe. I suspected the neighbours below me that consisted of a very young couple whereby the male was always causing trouble with others. The police came down, took a look at the door and went to the neighbours to ask if they had heard or seen any suspicious behaviour. It was kind of amusing because when the police showed up in their vehicle I could hear the young man accusing his girlfriend (of two young children) of “grassing” him up! To make the story shorter a follow-up call from the police had me as a suspect... “I think you broke the door and called the police to make it look like a break in so that you can avoid paying the landlord for the damage...”

Yes, this is an example of police detective work at its best! My landlord was one of the first people I called! Not that it proves anything...

Am I right to assume the police are like this all over the world?

REMEMBERING AMANDA TODD AND NOW REHTAEH PARSONS

Has anything been learned? What will it take?

Allegedly, Rehtaeh Parsons was brutally gang raped as a minor. So, there was a case to be made for underage sex. Then there was the distribution of pictures that resulted from the alleged gang rape; there should have been a case for distributing child porn and the harassment of a young and impressionable young woman (who should have had a great degree of counselling at the very least). It truly breaks my heart that yet another young woman has taken her life resulting from the alleged incident and from the bullying that ensued. I am finding it incredibly hard to believe that nothing was done! NOTHING!!!!

How is it possible that we have such advanced technology at our fingertips only for us to be in such a dumbfounded situation? A situation where adults are conducting themselves like children... The police can’t be trusted to help people in need... Is this going to lead to vigilantism? I hope not! The last thing society needs is misinformed, mentally feeble Batmen and Batwomen out there. What if that young woman (the one I mentioned earlier) who made the abusive text threats were in reach of the people involved in the Facebook thread... Would she have been physically assaulted as a result?

HERE’S WHAT WE NEEDED YESTERDAY

1. In the advent of pornography being widely and easily available children need to be educated about sex, sexuality and the mental / emotional gravity that comes with sex. Sex is not just something grownups do.

2. More needs to be done about bullying. I believe that bullying can arise from individuals who are not happy with themselves for some reason or another. Bullying is like paedophile abuse where the victims grow to abuse children themselves. Bullied people can in turn bully others.

3. Adults need to show the children and young adults the way forward. Adults should not be joining in the taunting of anyone regardless of age. Adults need to be adults! Adults need to take responsibility.

4. Social networking media must have algorithms that detect bullying! If the likes of Facebook can aim adverts at its users based on their tracked behaviour then surely bullies can be tracked and stopped before it leads to yet another tragic death. Murder! Again, I don’t call what happened to Amanda Todd and Rehtaeh Parsons as suicide. I call it murder! If individuals proceed to knowingly gang up on another with constant taunts it is because they want to hurt the intended. These people will not stop until the intended has done something as drastic as to take his or her life. It’s premeditated murder. There’s no getting around that fact.

5. Technology has become advanced and this advancement must be reflected within modern policing. No, the police doesn’t need clever ways at concealing their wrong doing. The law and the police must be updated to protect individuals who are being cyber-attacked! It is blasted ridiculous that disgusting pictures were distributed that involved a minor and that absolutely NOTHING was done about it.

WHAT THE HELL WILL IT TAKE????


My sincere condolences to the family and friends of Amanda Todd and Rehtaeh Parsons. May their young souls rest in peace and let their tragic deaths not be in vein.

I will do everything I am able to help put a stop to the bullying!

Thank you for reading!


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