Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

Community News Network

November 26, 2012

Slate: Protecting kids online

Recently, a 15-year-old named Kylie tweeted her suicidal thoughts, and a Twitter account called @KillYourselfKylie tweeted back a series of ugly responses. These included "We have 3 b----es who should cut and drink bleach" and "I think i just made someone cut herself yayayyyy" and "We hate you just die . . . " That last note was followed by a list of six first names — apparently teen-agers who knew Kylie.

"Thats it. Im done," Kylie wrote back. @KillyYourselfKylie replied, "I WILL NEVER LET YOU IN PEACE . . . NEVER!!!"

At this point, the Internet groups Anonymous and Rustle League showed up in Kylie's Twitter stream. "We'll get to work on this problem NOW," one message promised. Another one addressed itself to Kylie's tormenters, "So, you think this is FUNNY? Let me introduce you to the REAL Internet Hate Machine, you dumb-a-- bullying Twats. Game: On."

What followed, in an exchange collected by the Daily Dot, was a series of threats and mewling apologies. The Anonymous and Rustle League rescuers threatened to post the full names of the teen-agers who'd been goading Kylie, unless she made it clear that they'd apologized. When Kylie reappeared on Twitter — blessedly tweeting thank yous to her supporters — she found messages like this one waiting for her: "It's nice to see the power of twitter do good. It's a new day for you, @YayyImKyliebaby. A new beginning, with your new friends."

I'm not in favor of outing minors for their online misconduct, but I can't read the full Daily Dot account without cheering for Anonymous and Rustle League. In writing about bullying, I've seen too many posts, on several social network sites, in which kids suggest that other kids should go kill themselves. I find it utterly dismaying and weird — why on earth would anyone court that kind of danger? Think how these kids would have felt if Kylie had taken their bait. I agree with Laura Beck at Jezebel that it would have been nice to see some of Kylie's peers step up to defend her, but in their absence, I'll take the adults who showed up this time to police the Internet. The personal attack on Kylie is much more harmful than spewing racism about President Obama, however gross that is. The Web can make life worse for vulnerable teen-agers — and, this time thanks to Anonymous and Rustle League, it can also make life better.

Text Only
Community News Network
  • An alarming threat to airlines that no one's talking about

    It's been an abysmal year for the flying public. Planes have crashed in bad weather, disappeared over the Indian Ocean and tragically crossed paths with anti-aircraft missiles over Ukraine.

    July 30, 2014

  • Sharknado.jpg Sharknado 2 set to attack viewers tonight

    In the face of another "Sharknado" TV movie (the even-more-inane "Sharknado 2: The Second One," premiering Wednesday night on Syfy), there isn't much for a critic to say except to echo what the characters themselves so frequently scream when confronted by a great white shark spinning toward them in a funnel cloud:
    "LOOK OUT!!"

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • 20140729-AMX-GIVHAN292.jpg Spanx stretches into new territory with jeans, but promised magic is elusive

    The Spanx empire of stomach-flattening, thigh-slimming, jiggle-reducing foundation garments has expanded to include what the brand promises is the mother of all body-shaping miracles: Spanx jeans.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Medical marijuana opponents' most powerful argument is at odds with a mountain of research

    Opponents of marijuana legalization are rapidly losing the battle for hearts and minds. Simply put, the public understands that however you measure the consequences of marijuana use, the drug is significantly less harmful to users and society than tobacco or alcohol.

    July 29, 2014

  • linda-ronstadt.jpg Obama had crush on First Lady of Rock

    Linda Ronstadt remained composed as she walked up to claim her National Medal of Arts at a White House ceremony Monday afternoon.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Can black women have it all?

    In a powerful new essay for the National Journal, my friend Michel Martin makes a compelling case for why we need to continue the having-it-all conversation.

    July 29, 2014

  • Dangerous Darkies Logo.png Redskins not the only nickname to cause a stir

    Daniel Snyder has come under fire for refusing to change the mascot of his NFL team, the Washington Redskins. The Redskins, however, are far from being the only controversial mascot in sports history.  Here is a sampling of athletic teams from all areas of the sports world that were outside the norm.

    July 28, 2014 3 Photos

  • 'Rebel' mascot rising from the dead

    Students and alumni from a Richmond, Va.-area high school are seeking to revive the school's historic mascot, a Confederate soldier known as the "Rebel Man," spurring debate about the appropriateness of public school connections to the Civil War and its icons.

    July 28, 2014

  • Fast food comes to standstill in China

    The shortage of meat is the result of China's latest food scandal, in which a Shanghai supplier allegedly tackled the problem of expired meat by putting it in new packaging and shipping it to fast-food restaurants around the country

    July 28, 2014

  • wd saturday tobias .jpg Stranger’s generosity stuns Ohio veteran

    Vietnam War veteran David A. Tobias was overwhelmed recently when a fellow customer at an OfficeMax store near Ashtabula, Ohio paid for a computer he was purchasing.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 1.33.11 PM.png VIDEO: High-dive accident caught on tape

    A woman at a water park in Idaho leaped off a 22-foot high dive platform, then tried to pull herself back up with frightening results. Fortunately, she escaped with only a cut to her finger.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • CATS-DOGS281.jpg Where cats are more popular than dogs in the U.S.-and all over the world

    We all know there are only two types of people in the world: cat people and dog people. But data from market research firm Euromonitor suggest that these differences extend beyond individual preferences and to the realm of geopolitics: it turns out there are cat countries and dog countries, too.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • How spy agencies keep their 'toys' from law enforcement

    A little over a decade ago, federal prosecutors used keystroke logging software to steal the encryption password of an alleged New Jersey mobster, Nicodemo Scarfo Jr., so they could get evidence from his computer to be used at his trial.

    July 25, 2014

  • Russia's war on McDonald's takes aim at the Filet-o-Fish

    Russia said earlier this week that it had no intention of answering Western sanctions by making it harder for Western companies to conduct business in Russia.
    But all bets are off, apparently, when you threaten the Russian waistline.

    July 25, 2014

  • cleaning supplies Don't judge mothers with messy homes

    I was building shelves in my garage when a neighbor girl, one of my 4-year-old daughter's friends, approached me and said, "I just saw in your house. It's pretty dirty. Norah's mommy needs to clean more."

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

Obituaries
Featured Ads
Poll

The Iowegian wants readers to think about the solicitation ordinance that will prevent groups or individuals from entering a roadway to solicit money. The Centerville City Council in June by a 5-0 vote passed the first reading of just such an ordinance. Public pressure and during a subsequent special meeting, the council voted 3-2 to table the ordinance. A second special meeting to discuss the solicitation ordinance is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 7 at City Hall. So, the question of the week is, "Do you or do you not support the ordinance to prevent solicitation of funds in city streets?"

A. I support the ordinance
B. I do not support the ordinance
C. Not sure
     View Results
Iowegian on Facebook