The Jessi Slaughter Scandal

An 11-year old girl who calls herself Jessi Slaughter has become an Internet sensation. And not in a good way. If you're late the story (as I am), here's a summary: this girl posted suggestive photos of herself online, received nasty responses, and posted a crying breakdown in response on YouTube. This video whipped up entire legions of trolls to go after her. Some of these trolls found her home and sent pizza deliveries to her. Jessi responded with more follow up videos, which included painfully inept cameos by her father, which, of course, fed the trolls.

Anyway, there's a lot of commentary about the story going around the blogosphere today, such as this take by Adrien Chen of Gawker:

Don't pick on 11 year-old girls. Seriously. No matter how dumb they seem-no matter how much they might seem to deserve it-they are, at the end of the day, 11 year-old girls. You wouldn't make an 11 year-old girl cry in real life; why do it on the Internet?

Cole Stryker of Urlesque focuses his much of his response on Jessi's parents:

Only eleven and posting nudes and threats online! Which is why the real failure here lies squarely on Mom and Dad's shoulders. All 11-year-olds are idiots. When given the power of a worldwide platform to exhibit their vanity, they'll take it. Kids with unfettered internet access need parents who understand how the internet works.

So, the practical application question:

How do you address your children's activities on the Internet?

Screenshot: Urlesque

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