Friday, November 16, 2007

Reckless Disregard

Here's a heartbreaking and infuriating story via Romenesko.

A socially awkward 13-year-old girl named Megan befriends Josh, a hot-looking 16-year-old boy via MySpace. She's all excited until other local teens begin leaving online bulletins calling her "fat" and a "slut." Then Josh turns on her and allegedly writes that "the world would be a better place without you."

So Megan hangs herself in her closet.

You probably think you know the kicker to this awful tragedy. That's right, there never was any Josh. Somebody created a false account and purposefully set out to humiliate Megan. But here's what you probably didn't guess -- the hoax was perpetrated by two adults, the parents of one of Megan's former girlfriends.

Read the story in the St. Charles Journal. The writer omits the name of the -- what's the word I'm groping for -- evil people who exploited the trust of a child they'd previously vacationed with. He does, however, paint a vivid picture of the hell Megan's parents currently occupy.

Some readers see the newspaper's reticence to identify the culpable neighbors as cowardly. I'm not sure I agree. But I'm not sorry that others have done some elementary online sleuthing and identified the creators of "Josh."

I hope there's some payback. Legal recourse would be better than not. But I hope someone other than Megan's poor parents is losing some sleep tonight.

1 comment:

the baglady said...

geez. You would think that adults are above such highschool antics. Are their lives so empty that they have to torture a young girl? I think Megan's parents could definitely sue, but I think MySpace is pretty evil, too.