Thursday, September 30, 2010


You know Tyler Clementi, that kid who committed suicide after his jerkass of a roommate secretly recorded him smooching a guy?

If this article is any indication, there are lots and lots of problems involved with this. Considering that it's 11:30 at night right now, I don't know any other way to put this.

Is the suicide of a bright young student tragic? Yes, yes it is. However, what it should NOT be is a symbol for agendas the world over.

First off, look at the title of this article.

Suicide shows need for civility, privacy online

The internet as a whole had very little involvement in this - it's not like the Anonymous is Legion decided to troll this guy, it was one stupid prick who decided to rig his web camera so that he could remotely control it (which, BTW, is something that I don't even know how to do). Furthermore, "privacy online" doesn't work into this, either - it was the guy's roommate who did it, someone who was physically there to begin with to set it up. It's not like some hacker across the country decided to take control of his webcam for the lulz, nor was the victim's computer or account hacked to post the photos. Internet privacy settings or practices had utterly nothing to do with this incident, and it really fucking pisses me off when one person does something bad on the internet and the entire online society/entity gets blamed for it. That's like characterizing the entire United States of America based on the fact that someone got murdered in Chicago. It's ridiculous to title the article like this.

And "civility"? Like I said, Anonymous is Legion had nothing to do with this, it was one single jerk. They really paint the whole internet as a mass of unruly, unwashed, trollish masses with this one statement.

To clarify, yes, the internet was used AS A MEANS, but nothing more than that. This title makes it sound like vast legions of people were egging this guy on, which it wasn't. It was a prick who decided to remotely use his webcam to tweet something humiliating about someone. There wouldn't be nearly as much controversy (ok, maybe less internet scapegoating) if this guy took the photos with his webcam and posted them around campus as flyers, despite the fact that the effect would be the same: widespread humiliation across campus.

It gets better:

"How many suicides will it take?" asked Andrea Weckerle, a public relations consultant who founded CiviliNation, a group that promotes responsible Internet use. "Enough is enough."

Sounds a lot like the anti-gun lobbying groups, if you ask me. "How many murders will it take?" "Think of the CHILDREN." And "enough is enough" sounds ominous enough to raise my hackles. If this one guy becomes enough of a martyr that legislation to regulate behavior on something as vast and international as the internet comes to pass, I'm going to build a giant attack robot and go on a rampage.

People act like this is something new. It's not. The internet suddenly didn't make people mean bullies, they existed to begin with and simply found a shiny new tool to use to torment their victims. Acting like you can "educate" or "legislate" it out of people is fucking ridiculous and reeks of completely and utterly blind optimism that only exists in the minds of five-year-olds who haven't experienced the real world yet. Bullying and the physical/emotional harming of other members of our species is in the subconscious of all human beings, there is NOTHING you can do about it. As long as people can still write and physically speak, there will always be bullies spreading around unwanted information about people among their peers, internet or no.

Oh yeah, BTW, it gets better:

•Gay-rights advocates say Clementi was targeted for harassment because of his sexual orientation.

It would not surprise me if he was mocked for it, but...

"This student taped and mocked him," Goldstein said, referring to Ravi. "Does anyone think that would have happened if (Clementi) was with someone of the opposite sex?"

Yes, I do, actually. A girl could easily be labeled a "slut" or a "whore" using the same exact kinds of evidence - except that that kind of crap doesn't make national news. These people are hypocrites: they decry the bias that contributed to this student's death, and yet it is because of sexuality bias (and the Internet) that this article, with their statement, is even in the national news. People kill themselves all the time and it only makes the local obituary at most. But the instant someone kills themselves because of sexuality harassment, it's BIG FUCKING NEWS. It's sick that this guy and his organization are using the dead student as a martyr to pursue their own agenda, and it's sick that the media is doing the same.

Oh yeah, did I mention that IT GETS BETTER?

To Rutgers officials, Clementi's death put a spotlight on the need for what the university had officially kicked off on Wednesday: a program to promote civility among students.

"How could one roommate do this to another?" asked Rutgers spokesman Steve Manas.

They can do that by being an immature prick with computer skills.

And yet again, another example of trying to influence behavior among people who are supposedly adults. Going off on a tangent here, I'm getting really sick of all of the hand-holding I keep seeing everywhere - in the Dining Halls here, there are "stars" denoting how "healthy" something is, for instance. That just pisses me off because whoever came up with that thought that I was too stupid to know that it miiiight be a little unhealthy to have that swiss cheeseburger with bacon. I'm supposedly an adult, I should be able to take care of myself, even if it's with a little help from family and friends. So please, you condescending pencil-pushers, SHUT THE FUCK UP and let me live my life without your screeching!

Another session was scheduled Thursday for residence hall staff on how to make dorms "laboratories for civil behavior."

Gimme a break. This essentially means that they're likely going to restrict hall behaviors more and more - because forcibly keeping people quiet in their rooms always works so well.

In October, students will be invited to programs and talks that tackle bullying and the proper use of new technologies — including social media.

Because that has worked soooo well in the past. Eradicating natural human behavior DOES. NOT. WORK. Also, twenty bucks says that the students going to these programs know more about how to "properly" use social media more than the people running said programs.

To Internet safety advocates, Clementi was the latest casualty of the Web's ability to abet defamation and shame

See, martyr.

Jessica Logan, an 18-year-old Cincinnati woman, killed herself in 2008 after an ex-boyfriend forwarded her nude cellphone photos to high school classmates.


Megan Meier, a 13-year-old Missouri girl, hanged herself in 2006 after learning that an Internet romance on MySpace was a hoax.

Which is an indication of serious emotional issues to begin with.

Anthony Scala, an Oregon State University student, was convicted of invasion of privacy in 2001 for using his laptop webcam to broadcast on the Internet scenes of his roommate and his girlfriend having sex in a dorm room.

Proving. My. Point. EXACTLY. I don't remember this ever making national news or being cited repeatedly as an example of why the internet is evil. Media freaking BIAS.

Jim Steyer, founder of Common Sense Media, a group that educates families about Internet safety, said they shouldn't bother, and that no matter how many kids hurt themselves, the Internet is here to stay.

"The genie is out of the bottle. This is where kids live today, period. ... And as a parent you can't simply shut it out and protect yourself from the brave new world of social media.


He said that means schools and parents must teach kids to "self-reflect before you self-reveal;" to respect others' feelings and privacy online; to remember that what you do digitally never goes away; and that everything on the Internet isn't true or accurate.

HOLY CRAP, someone sane in this article, preaching COMMON SENSE!

The Internet continued to be a mixed blessing Thursday. Although more than 46,000 people clicked "like" on the newly established "In Honor of Tyler Clementi" page on Facebook, there also were predictions that the young man would go to hell, and claims that homosexuality is a sin.

They just HAD to put this dig on the internet in there, didn't they? *eyeroll* Never mind that we have people like the Westboro Baptist Church who spew their hate at funerals without the use of the internet...

Am I being a little harsh? Yeah, totally. It's late and reading this article put me in a bad mood. However, I don't think it's at all right to push agendas or demonize large groups of people because a single prick and his friends decided to bully someone using a web camera. Stuff like that just pisses me off.


Christina RN LMT said...

Silver, you are my HERO! I love you!

bluesun said...

Proving, once again, that legislating morality doesn't work--from a conservative Christian direction or bleeding-heart liberal direction--but will always be tried.

Scott McCray said...

Outstanding article, Silver!
(Oh, and Christina? Ya done good!)

SCI-FI said...

Well said.

Miz Minka said...

Right on, Silver. *applause*

DaddyBear said...

Outstanding Silver! You can't legislate values, no matter how hard you try.

Home on the Range said...



Jennifer said...

*laments that standing ovations do not translate to blog comments so well
Very, very well said.

CastoCreations said...

Nicely put. It was sad that he took his life ... but it was also selfish and stupid (and immature). The guy who was a jerk to him was just that - a stupid jerk. They're everywhere in life.

bobn said...

Never mind that we have people like the Westboro Baptist Church who spew their hate at funerals without the use of the internet

Thank you for drawing my attention to this vital issue!

Funerals must be banned immediately!


Mulligan said...

impressive ..... most impressive

Obi Wan has taught you well

Silver the Evil Chao said...

Aw, thank you guys so much for the comments. ;.; I seriously didn't think anyone would read this, ahaha. It was something I wrote on a whim because I saw the article in my RSS feed and read it.

Honestly, it's not that good, really. ^.^;; Thank you so much!

memory_lucky12 said...

Every argument you made was perfectly sound. And I really don't think you were being too harsh. Seriously.

Joseph said...

Great stuff.

I have known for a long time webcams can be turned on remotely. That's why I don't have one.

All of these folks needed better support than they got.

The truth may be harsh, but it IS the truth.