I have had a few flame wars online, but I can honestly say that it’s never even come remotely close to physical violence. But then again few of my flame wars are with teenage girls on MySpace.
For those who haven’t hear about this, a 16 year old girl named Victoria Lindsay was supposedly lured to a home and beaten by 6 girls, while 2 guys sat outside as a look outs. The video, which takes place after Victoria was already beaten on for a while, was made by the girls to post to YouTube and MySpace. The video has received millions of views, so in a way the girls were successful.
Of course the father is doing what any good father would do, finding the deepest pockets to blame. And since MySpace is owned by Rupert Murdoch and YouTube by Google, he’s blaming them. “MySpace is the anti-christ for teens” he says. Those sound like the words of someone who has already consulted with a lawyer.
Of course I would like to debunk the theory that MySpace, or any part of the Internet was responsible for this attack. MySpace didn’t beat Victoria, cheerleaders did. They didn’t use MySpace to lure Victoria to the house, they used a cell phone. Hey Mr. Lindsay, AT&T has deep pockets too. I’m kidding of course, these are T-Mobile customers if ever I saw one.
When a girl gets lured by some pervert on MySpace, we blame MySpace for not somehow keeping adults and teens apart, and I guess keeping criminals off MySpace. So they add a firewall between users by age, and they kick out convicted pedophiles. Which works well because no one will ever think about setting up an account under a false name.
Since this is being dubbed as the MySpace beating, what role did MySpace play in this exactly? Well I guess Victoria “talked trash” (which, from the video, appears to be their native language) on MySpace about the girls. Well that sounds like a good reason to blame MySpace. Why stop there? How many gang members get killed for tagging the wrong wall? Why not sue the contractor who put up the wall? Or maybe even the brick manufacturer. Or at least sue the guy who owns the wall that gets vandalized. Why is he not monitoring that wall? Does he not know someone may get angry about what’s written on the wall and kill someone?
Before I let the Internet off the hook completely here, I will say there are a couple disturbing trends. First, I see a lot of people doing stupid things on video just to get popular on YouTube or Break.com. Most of these people seem to have trampolines in their yard (the official backyard accessory of white trash America) and have no fear of getting hurt. Thank god for them it looks like we’ll all have universal health care soon. The fact that the girls were so into posting the video that one shouted out that they only have 17 seconds left, and to “make them count”? is a little disturbing. Although it sounds like she is a better director than Uwe Boll.
I also am a little surprised at how fast information has come out. I know every person in the situations name, and here is a link to a little site called Yahoo that supposedly lists their address and phone numbers. These are juveniles we’re talking about, and their information is clearly on the internet.
Information like this is going to be difficult to stop in the age of MySpace and YouTube. This next generation will be living a good part of their life online, often documenting the types of things that my generation had the luxury of forgetting and not sharing with the world.
So Mr. Patrick Lindsay, I’m sorry about what happened to your daughter, and I hope all the people who beat her go to prison and enjoy their own little beat down. But to blame MySpace is about as crazy as blaming the “tubes“? that cary it. Get well soon Victoria.