A Year Detention – Seriously?

The Children’s Court president judge said the only option for the offences committed was a year of detention. I’m a little underwhelmed by the decision, if in fact detention is the same thing in Australia as it is here. Here’s the thing… a 16-year-old boy decided to “impersonate” a bully on the internet to wreak some sort of vengeance on behalf of a friend. Yeah, the word impersonate is in quotes for a reason. This kid decided to create a fake Facebook page of a known bully and used it to force girls to expose themselves and perform sexual acts while on webcam and distributed the footage of one teenager. That’s not impersonating a bully… that’s being a bully and a whole lot more.

I understand wanting to avenge your friend who has been tormented by a bully, and if the kid had confronted the bully directly, even through the use of violence, while not condoning that, I would have understood. A fake Facebook page where you torment innocent bystanders in the situation?? Not so much. One poor girl he threatened for an hour an a half, telling her she’d be effing dead and mobbed by up to 15 girls the next day if she didn’t do what he wanted her to. Little did she know, her actions were being recorded and he posted them on Facebook and then told her he’d only take it down if she had sex with him.

In all of this, I wonder… EXACTLY how is this avenging his friend??? Because I don’t see it. I see a sexual predator using the identity of the bully for his own personal sexual gratification. This kid needs help — intensive therapy for starters, and maybe he can turn his life around, but I’m more concerned about the girls. I hope their parents get them help to deal with the aftermath of what he has done to them.

I read through several of the comments on the Huffington Post article covering this incident, and was amazed, although I shouldn’t be, at how many people felt that the girls were to blame for not saying no. And how many put the incident on the level of “a boys raging hormones” as if that excused his actions. And yes, there were several comments buried among the others about the fact that they are young girls (13-16) and they were being threatened, and that raging hormones aside, there is no excuse for extorting the behavior or for posting the video. While I did not read through all of the comments, I found it interesting that only one comment questioned whether anything was being done about the known bully whose identity was used to extort these girls into exposing themselves.

A disturbing incident which highlights the need for parents to be increasingly vigilant about how their teens are interacting on the internet. And a year detention in a juvenile facility does not quite seem to fit the crime.

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2 Comments on “A Year Detention – Seriously?”

  1. This is a perfect example of why leaders need to recognize cyberspace policies are needed. I think the biggest problem is that, because all this technology is considered new, people don’t know what to do in these situations. In my opinion, they better figure it out – and fast! As great as the Internet is, it has become a weapon that more and more people are using. These people are ruining the experience for those who use it appropriately.

    1. I agree that it only takes a few to ruin the experiences for the masses. But it is not just the policies that are lacking. It’s the ability to enforce those policies. And having a common policy across the board. For example, right now there is hoopla about Google+ enforcing their real name policy and not allowing pseudonyms. It is a prime example how the misuse of a few ruin things for the masses. Not everyone wants their real name out there. Authors, actors, etc. those who are building their profession based on a pseudonym NEED to interact with their fans through the pseudonym and NOT through their given name. Essentially they are being denied the right to have some privacy in their lives and it deteriorates their fan base through the name confusion. And that’s just one example. Thanks for stopping by. 😀

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