Thursday, January 10, 2008

Murder on the Internet

In The Washington Post today is a horrifying story of a thirteen year old girl who took her own life because of a cruel internet hoax. The internet is like the wild, wild west; it can be a lawless place where otherwise respectable people take gross liberties if they think they can get away with it.

On this blog, I have seen pious ladies descend to vulgar and vicious slander and insult because they thought they were being totally anonymous. Well, it would be crazy to be in the far west without a lariat; likewise, if one has a site, it is important to have adequate analytics so that one can see who is visiting and from where. If a person cannot read their stats then they should get someone who can. (I have learned a lot from my husband who specializes in that sort of thing.) I really feel for the parents of the girl who killed herself; it sounds like they were trying to be vigilant. But online things can heat up pretty fast.

Thirteen is a difficult age for many adolescents; I know that it was for me. However, no matter how dark the day, suicide was never regarded as an option, simply because from childhood my then Protestant mother had told us that people who kill themselves "go straight to Hell." Yes, I know that theologically that may be considered simplistic by some and that through the mercy of God there are exceptions to every rule.

Nevertheless, my mother's assertions made a big impression on me. I knew that no matter how difficult the trial, I must live through it and not seek to escape by self-imposed death. What a bitter world we have today, where the old cautions are tossed aside, while the dangers multiply in an unforeseen fashion.

Megan, the girl who died, needs prayers, as do her poor parents. Sadly, the culprits who drove the child to her untimely death are not being prosecuted. Share


Terry Nelson said...

I learned of this story a few weeks ago. What is so sick is that it was the parents of another girl who took part in this harassment which led the girl to take her own life. It is hearbreaking.

Yes, we must pray for the suicides - perhaps God would have anticipated our prayer and saved them from hell.

elena maria vidal said...

Thanks, Terry. I had not heard of this sad story before, so heartbreaking. Yes, I agree with you, and that is how I look at it. My Jesus, mercy!

Anonymous said...

This was news some time back.
What makes me angry is that it seems like the couple who did this won't be punished for it and will get away with it. Why no accountability? It's just wrong.

elena maria vidal said...

Terrible. The Washington Post article is a good overview of the entire case.

Anonymous said...

How many more tragedys spawned through the internet have to occur before people are held accountable.

Dymphna said...

I can not understand a grown woman taking part in humiliating a 13 year girl. It's beyond normal behavior.

elena maria vidal said...

Oh, nothing surprises me anymore, Dymphna. Some adults can be very cruel to children, even small children.