Little girl seeks sexy attention...
Recently, someone on eBaums threw a hissyfit because she posted a selection of pictures of herself then claimed she got a bunch of inappropriate attention because she was only 15. But as the story deepens this definitely goes into the -Well what the hell did you expect you twit?- basket.
Her main complaint on the blog seemed to be summed up in the first (really poorly written) sentences:
'im sick of guys looking at my body and thinking oh, she must not be 15. fuck you. your all sick, and i shoulda never even put those pictures up, because i am 15 and im better then that. ...those who doubt that im 15 piss me off'
The responses from other posters, though, did not seem to have any sympathy. An example collection:
'This blog is meant for her to bring attention to herself, and it worked.'
'It sounds like you need to use some common sense and never post pictures of yourself on the internet.'
'All I hear is blah blah blah blah blah. You brought it upon yourself, you take the consequences.'
So, in other words, most people realize that this was a bad idea. And this blog isn't meant for the people that seem to know that. Sure it will reinforce what they already know, and that's good, but it's really meant for the other side. The people that don't know how they should be acting online.
I will admit that the whole thing grated on my nerves, so I did take a look at the pictures that had been posted. There were only two up...presumably the rest had been taken down. One was a clear picture of a girl's face with the comment 'Damn..high much?' and the other was a picture of her school ID to prove that she was 15. Both really bad ideas.
Why? Well, posting a picture of yourself and claiming that you are high on a format where millions of people can see you just by clicking a mouse is a bad idea. Just like those idiots that tape themselves committing a crime just to satisfy their own egos, it's just a set up to bite you in the ass later.
Secondly, on the School ID photo...someone posted right under the entry: 'HAHAHAHAHAHAHA YOUR A CLARKE ROAD TROJAN, I GOTO SCHOOL WITH YOU!!!!!!!!!'
This proves two things. Apparently the English department in that school has failed because no one knows how to write a sentence. But more importantly the person that listed these pictures seems to have thought that she would have an anonymity that she never did. You should never imagine that you are 'safe' just because you are on the Internet. Just because you are using a screen name or an avatar instead of your real name. And even if you're only using a partial picture that will not protect you.
A couple of years ago a Craigslist board and posted an article that was untrue. It was a scam intended to lure people and get their responses. Apparently the person was a male, but posted a listing for a woman who was seeking sex. The male in question then proceeded to collect the answers to the ad, including all of the “sex text” and “dickpix” that were sent, and post them publicly with the respondents' identifications.
Let me say that again. Every response he got for this sexual solicitation he made public. People who were married or in relationships. People who had high profile positions. People who wrote about their ideas for sexual encounters. People who sent pictures of their bodies. All of them put on public display.
There was a full story on the online 'zine Boing Boing (www.boingboing.net/2006/09/10/the_seattle_craigsli.html) but thanks to the temporality of the Internet the link is now gone. However they detailed that following the original post, other net users continued to 'out' or 'shame' the respondents by adding to the public post, with whatever other private information they could dig up on them. Their names, home addresses, or places of employment.
Of course, there was a lot of backlash from this.
Was there a violation of trust? Yes. Was there a violation of privacy? Yes. Was there an inherent, premeditated maliciousness to the whole thing? Of course.
But was this a one-sided affair? Hell no.
Have you ever watched one of those television court shows and noticed that often enough, both the plaintant and the defendant are in the wrong? That they are both assholes and that if the judge had the true legal capability they should both be thrown in jail?
That's what's going on here.
The people who responded the way that they did set themselves up for a fall. One woman who wrote to Boing Boing had this to say:
'I've posted a few 'Casual Encounters' ads...The first ad alone received over 300 replies. Some of them were beyond repugnant...The majority were unappealing but mundane...people who...didn't know how to compose a well-thought-out email or articulate themselves attractively. Those were ones like the one-liner 'yo, hit me on MSN'...I received a lot of dickpix. Then, there were a tiny fraction that drew me in and showed me that as much consideration had gone into their reply as I put into my original post. Those were people I connected with, corresponded with, and eventually met.'
Bacchus from Eros Blog has a similar take:
'Speaking to all men, let me say this: Mailing a potential female sex partner an unsolicited picture of your dick is not appropriate, it's not smart, it doesn't work, it brands you as a vulgar idiot, and it makes all men look bad by gender association with your fucked-up self...So I have no sympathy for the guys who are pissing in the well with these inappropriate responses...Why do they do this? Well, one reason is that they can get away with it. It 'feels' anonymous, there's a perceived zero cost (and) because nobody sees you except someone who (faintly, theoretically, but not really) 'was asking for it.'...Well, guess what? It's not as anonymous as it feels. As proven by the events prompting this post.'
Their opinions seem to echo the earlier responses that this girl received. When you post something up on the Internet it becomes public information. You might believe it doesn't, but it can be hacked, gacked, swiped, recut, and shared. Your IP address and your screen name do not provide you with anonymity. And taking a picture of just one body part while hiding your face does not give you that either.
There is only one defense: Stop posting things you would be ashamed of. Stop posting what you don't want people to see. Control yourself, and you control your world. The problems stem when you allow lack of self-control to rule you.
All I can say is that thank goodness the girl's other pictures have been removed. Hopefully she will come to her senses and learn from all of this. And one responder's words are the reason why:
'I believe that you're 15. having said that, WHY THE HELL IS YOUR PICTURE ONE OF YOU WITH NO SHIRT ON?!?!?! you totally brought this upon yourself...if you don't want (everyone) on this site to ask you for pictures or say inappropriate things to you, then grow up and stop acting like you're 11.'
And that's my hope. That people like her will start taking personal responsibility, and give themselves the respect they should be earning. Sadly, I doubt this will happen. People like her have a tendency to notice that this blog is longer than three paragraphs, and ignore it completely.