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Don't let your children use the internet

By J. DeVoy

From Jessica Leonhardt, a/k/a Jessi Slaughter, 11-year-old Florida resident:

Im sorry guys.  I really am.  I just figured that picture was all over 4chan and ebaumsworld and everything.  And it reallly isnt child porn is it? [Ed.’s note: CHECK YOU THIRD CIRCUIT PRECEDENTS.]  you couldnt seee anything, it was like seeing me in a bathing suit.  people that are minors post pictures of themselves in bathing suits all the time.  like i did. and you really couldnt see anything in that last picture. so is everyone on tumblr going to get arrested then for distribution of child porn? and ebaums world? and my impersonators posting stuff too? im sorry, please reply to this with a serious answer? im trying my best to type right for you guys and everything. anyone? (source.)

For obvious reasons, the risque picture, which apparently has made its rounds on the internet, won’t be supplied on this blog.

Naturally, parents who only tangentially understand the internet and its lasting consequences, viewing computers as bizarre voodoo boxes, overreact and embarrass themselves.  Memes are born.


Consequences will never be the same indeed.  My internets will only be enriched by the entries of “backtrace” and “cyber police” into popular culture.

The obvious and serious issue that stands out in all of this girl’s videos is the same: What is an 11-year-old girl doing with unsupervised internet use in what’s apparently her bedroom?  The tone of this blog is consistently anti-censorship, and this post’s title is hyperbole, but sometimes free expression and exchange of information gives way to common sense – don’t give your tween child unfettered and unmonitored internet access.  Putting the family computer, or the only computer to which children can access the internet, in a high-traffic and public area of the home is not new advice, and something consciously done by my parents and my friends’ parents even in the 1990s.

Clearly, not every child with unregulated internet access will end up in this position.  Seeing as it happens, though, why take a chance?  It’s unfortunate that Ms. Leonhardt has to be held up as an example in this case, but this is a teachable moment – as stomach-turning as the phrase is – about the internet’s true nature.  The exposure she receives on this blog is a drop in the bucket compared to what’s already been written about her, and is an important reminder about the worst case scenario for your child and family.

Further reading: Encyclodpedia Dramatica (not recommended if your employer is Goatse-averse).

UPDATE: Despite being viewed OVER 9,000 times, the circumstances of this story have changed this post’s content.  First, Leonhardt has deleted her above-quoted blog.  Second, the video originally linked in this post, along with many others, has been taken down from YouTube due to a terms of use violation.  Thus, I send you off into the weekend with this remix.


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