Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A crazy story about the Web and a girl's suicide

A year or so ago, I read a disturbing article in The New Yorker about a 13-year-old who hung herself in her bedroom because she'd been spurned by a boy she'd met on MySpace. Turned out that the "boy" was really a neighborhood Mom who had made up an online persona, along with her teen daughter.

Now that mom has been convicted on three misdemeanor accounts.

This is just horribly insane. Can you even imagine being the parents of this poor teen who killed herself because of a Web hoax?

Usually, not a day goes by when I don't think about how amazing the Web is, how it's enriched so many people's lives, how much I adore blogging. But stories like this remind me of how dangerous the Internet can be, in ways that defy belief.

I have yet to encounter Crazy People in Cyberspace, although once some unknown creep swiped my credit-card info from Web transactions I'd made and went on a shopping spree. Sometimes, I worry about the fact that I put my kids' photos online, but when I decided to do this blog I wanted to do it openly.

Have you heard of any crazy Internet stories?


  1. I grew up in a big city and all throughout high school and college I heard stories of girls meeting "boys" on the internet who turned out to be Crazy Old Men Who Desire A Specific Something and then end their lives. Its really sad that some people take a wonderful gift like the internet and use it for tragic things.

  2. Yes, I know of someone who got in trouble for going on a child pornography site and was probably going to be sentenced for it and ended up committing suicide. I am not saying that the internet was totally responsible - obviously, he had a problem, but the internet definitely played a role by giving him easy access and letting him give in to his temptation. Very sad.

  3. The story you mention made the news here in Australia. It's very sad. I was just reading an article in the newspaper the other day about the likelihood of rises in cyber bullying: .

    Let's just hope that there's some moves by governments to increase penalties to at least act as a deterrent.

  4. The problem is not with the Internet though. The mum could have disguised her handwriting and sent mean letters. And notice that crimes planned over the Internet are referred to as Internet-related crimes but newspapers don't ever talk about telephone-related crimes.


Thanks for sharing!