No Filter In The World Would Help Jessi Slaughter

According to a news.com.au article by Peter Farquhar, head of Deakin University's School of Information Systems Matt Warren has claimed that the recent trolling of a foul-mouthed 11-year-old Jessi Slaughter by 4chan users is a perfect example of why the Internet needs filtering. It's scary that someone in his position could ignore facts so easily.

To summarise the original story: 11-year-old Jessi Slaughter posted an expletive-laden outburst onto YouTube, including such classy statements as "poppin' a glock in your mouth and makin' a brain slushie" and "Suck it and get AIDS and die". 4chan users picked up on it and began pranking her phone, ordering pizzas to her home, and posting comments on her Facebook, Myspace and Twitter accounts. Jessi's mother claims some even went so far as to make death threats (although the police have told Gawker this isn't true). Three days later, Jessi uploaded another video to YouTube, this time in tears as her father threatens the anonymous pranksters with retribution.

It's certainly a horrible situation, especially for an 11 year old girl who probably doesn't know any better. But having a mandatory internet filter would do absolutely nothing to stop this situation. Let's go through the reasons why:

1. YouTube, and other high volume sites, won't be filtered One of the key findings of the original Enex tests was that filtering high traffic sites like YouTube or Facebook would slow down Internet speeds significantly, and so they would not be a part of the filter. Considering both videos were on youTube, how exactly would a filter have stopped this situation from occurring? That's right, it wouldn't.

2. Cyber bullying can't be filtered This situation is clearly a case of online bullying. Considering the proposed filter will simply blacklist URLs (which won't work either, but for the sake of argument), what URL would be blacklisted in this case? 4chan? Tumblr? An article about the YouTube video? The video itself? Any site that published the girl's personal details? Remember that this all occurred over a matter of days - do you really think that the bureaucracy would be organised enough to monitor all the new webpages being created around this and then add them to the blacklist?

Online bullying is a problem, but it's not something that can be fixed with a filter. It needs something a little more discreet... like a big red button maybe?

3. This is a parenting issue This, perhaps, is the biggest failure in Professor Matt Warren's argument for a filter. He rightly claims that this is an education issue, but "the parents aren't necessarily the ones that should be giving that training, because they don't understand it either."

Aside from the fact that this neglects the large number of tech-savvy parents who do understand the potential dangers of the Internet for children, saying that they shouldn't have a responsibility here is paramount to neglect. In Warren's own words: "Parents will be concerned about their child going out all hours, but they don't care about them staying on the internet all hours."

So what needs to happen here is that the parents need to take some responsibility and educate themselves. If a parent doesn't know how to drive, you don't expect them to give the keys to their teenage daughter and say, "Go and find someone to teach you how to drive". It's their responsibility to monitor who is giving lessons in their place. You certainly wouldn't give the keys to the government and let them teach your daughter how, when and where she could drive either.

It's incredibly telling in the story of Jessi Slaughter that her mother openly states that she doesn't use a computer and hasn't seen the original expletive-laden rant that started this whole mess. And while the bullying of an 11 year old girl is reprehensible, sacrificing our online freedoms will do absolutely nothing to stop bullying, no matter the forum. Like bullying in the real world, parents need to take a more active role in their children's life, whether it's online or not.

[News.com.au] [Fight the Filter]


Comments

    Here's to reason, Nick. I guess Peter just agrees with Mr. Slaughter that CONSEQUENCES WILL NEVER BE THE SAME AGAIN

      I finished this article thinking how nice it is to digest some rational thinking on the issue, then I scrolled down and saw your comment. Here's to reason indeed!

    A very well laid out article and yet another example of how supposedly 'educated' people such as this Professor Matt Warren actually have no god damn idea what they are talking about.

    Somebody desperately needs to create a 'Common Sense' party for the upcoming election so I can vote for it. I nominate the Gizmodo crew!

      'Common Sense' is not so common now...

      Matt's view last year:

      http://safenetuse.com/_blog/SafeNetUse_Blog/post/Technology_holds_no_answer_to_fully_protecting_children/

      I've been screaming this all morning after reading the professor's nonsensical rant about internet filters, what planet is he on? Sounds like he needs to update his "dial-up plan" way of thinking and take a step towards reality. This hilarious incident is nothing more than terrible and irresponsible parenting, plain and simple, 110 percent. Epic parenting fail followed closely by and almost as epic statement fail from Mr Matt Warren. This article also stinks, it reads like News Ltd is actually fabricating advertorial content to sell the idea of an internet filter as being a good thing to the general Australian public. Is there anything News Ltd wont sell? I can't help but have noticed the overwhelming amount of pro iPhone articles it has published online in the last 3 months, over-the-top and misleading advertisements disguised as "news" content. I just hope people can see the lack of journalistic ethic and quality they exhibit and that it isn't going to get any better.

    "It’s certainly a horrible situation, especially for an 11 year old girl who probably doesn’t know any better."

    Yeah no, she knew what she was doing.

      Yep. she was trolling, and she got the troll treatment. viva la 4chan!

    lol! did someone really say that? "seeing as how parents are to lazy and incompetent to protect their kids from the internet, clearly we need to ruin the internet for everyone in order to make it safe for kids"

    he does go on to say education is key. but really, if we have that, why do we need the filter too?

    I would love to see any proponent of the filter in a debate. I can't see how they wouldn't be torn to shreds

      You guys really think it's OK to beat up on an 11 year old "troll"? Wow.

    The 4Chan hivemind is essentially the modern day equivalent of the trickster Loki. Everything it does is simply for its own amusement and delights in the tears that are shed over its pranks, but at the same time it can't ever be reasoned with or controlled.

    This latest trolling assault on Jessi Slaughter should serve as yet another cautionary reminder of why both children AND parents need to be educated and made to fear the dark tricksters that lurk in the bright shadows of the internet.

    Not monitoring your child online? YOU DUN GOOFED!

    Yeah, and if anything an internet filter is just giving everyone a false sense of security that it's going to be okay because bad things are blocked and "Things like this won't happen with the filter".

      EXACTLY. If the government is so dead keen on spending millions of tax payer money on something that is going to work (even though they know and state it wont) why not guarantee it?

      IE. Have people able to claim $$ from the .gov when they still are exposed to the spams n scams of the portals. Then again thats flawed, because that $$ would be tax payers too.

      Result: Abuse of power, in an attempt for more control (power) at the expense of those they govern (control).

    ok, ok, there is a need to filter some stuff from young people, there always has been..

    i remember playing Leisure Suit Larry, and depending on how you answered the questions, depended on how graphic the game was. (even if it was very low res animations, but it also applied to the wording from memory)

    Why not introduce a system like this.. where every time you conenct to the internet, you get presented with a set of questions to prove that you are an adult.. this way it does not need to be linked to you as a person (eg if you logged in with your passport it would link the session to you..) but it would provide a varing degree of filtering depending on your answers.. maybe the proxy that you connect through can remember your answers while the connection is still active, but if you idle for too long (say 30mins) it resets and makes you answer questions again..

    wow, i should patent this idea and run for PM..

    also, i say all this as someone who is actively opposed to the mandatory filter, and may or may not have downloaded my fair share of dodgy things (including porn etc), but if we are going to get a mandatory filter, at least have a way to turn it off if you can prove yourself worthy..

      Actually someone already had this thought, but different accounts for different people leaves it open to password sharing, and tracing specific users..

      from news.com.au:

      Snap of Central Posted at 11:53 AM Today
      Fences around pools are for kids safety, and they work (most of the time), while adults can still access the pool easily. We need something like this for our internet usage. Not a filter as such because that would be against our adulthood rights to access what we wish. We need it to be compulsory for children to have separate user accounts than their parents on family computers, and these separate user accounts should be fitted with Net Nanny type features, not allowing them access to certain sites. Make it compulsory that these be set up on purchase of the computer even. Make it law, but don't take away the rights of the rest of the country. It may sound drastic but, there have been quite a few social networking site - related deaths in the last few years and this needs to be done now. The internet is a different place, and different rules apply, but the government needs to look at this seriously before making a naive decision that puts us in the same boat as china when it comes to censorship. Separate accounts for those under 16, and if your caught without one and your kid does something stupid, you suffer the consequences that the law imposes. That is all.

        Separate accounts is still trying to solve a non-technical problem with technology.

        If none of your child's school friends know how to get around the filtering, one of them has an older sibling who does.

        Hopefully said sibling will give the knowledge away freely rather than trading it, because you probably dont want to know about that trade.

      Adam, this wouldn't work. As a kid, under the age of 10, I obtained a copy of Leisure Suit Larry and was able to play it without any censoring. This is also without internet and access to answers for the age verification questions.

      Children are always going to have a better understanding of the technology that surrounds them than their parents, as it is something they've grown up with and not had to actively learn. If kids want to they'll be able to bypass any method of filtering/securing content that is put up to protect them.

      The only way to combat it is to educate kids coupled with good parenting.
      It's just like children smoking; it is illegal to supply kids with cigarettes, but children still manage to find a way around this. Education and good parenting helps the children to not want to the cigarettes.

        I know it wouldn't protect ALL children, but the innocent ones would be protected.. it would also enable adults to bypass it legally. What we need is a legal way to bypass it that is not linked to accounts/passports/etc

        With the way they want to implement it, the best and easiest way to bypass it is to use a VPN, so soon they will make offshore VPN's illegal..

        I know that some children will get arround the filter with my suggestion, but those kids probably are the ones smoking and stealing cars, or the geeky ones that do it for the challenge..

    is is a really good article Nick, i talked to my mum about why the filter wouldnt work and why its just a bad idea the other day and she sort of got it but still wasnt sure. now after i told her to start reading the "Fight the fillter" Articles she has done a 100% switch and is even telling all her friends and family to really think about what this could mean, and asking them were the money could be better spent

    I'm worried about posting in case I get backtraced.

    But I think the whole thing was fake and done as a publicity stunt. That seems to be the trend in outrageous videos from USA lately.

    To anyone supporting the internet filter - YOU DUN GOOFED UP!
    So take your Cyber Police and backtrace your thoughts because the consequences will NEVER be the same.

    Hopefully people will begin to understand how easy it is for society's undesirables to find a phone number, address, or other compromising detail. There's people out there who are a lot worse than 4chan.

    The fuck is an 11-year old doing posting shit like that on Youtube to begin with? And I couldnt agree more with the statements about 4chan being a hivemind.

    Ive always found 4chan to be a great source of amusement, but maybe thats because nothing they ever do is about me or mine.

      Some of the stuff 4chan does is hilarious and some of their tormenting is well-deserved. On the other hand, some of the stuff they do is just inhumanly cruel. But some do some things and some do others. It's too heterogeneous to be a hivemind.

    cyberpolice? herp de derp, bringing in a filter wouldnt do anything, as this is a classic case of some girl that thinks thes to cool for everyone, and she got what she deserved. You gotta understand aswell that if u block 4chan, or just bring in an internet filter at all, the people of the internet will revolt, and trust me, it wont be pretty, yours sincerly, chris hansen

    4chan IS a high-volume site.

    Nice article Nick.
    IMO it is absolute proof that PARENTS are unlimately responsible for their kids' actions online, not the governments (which everyone has to fund).
    Also a good find by ajd4096, it points out how so-called "experts" will change their opinion to whatever will get them the most media coverage.
    It's a real shame that articles like yours do not get the main stream media coverage that these self proclaimed "experts" do.

    -
    No normal parent would drop their child off at the local park with the expectation that the local security patrols/police will protect their child from everything that could possibly be inapropriate... So why would they do it with the internet?
    -

    "Children are always going to have a better understanding of the technology that surrounds them than their parents, as it is something they’ve grown up with and not had to actively learn. If kids want to they’ll be able to bypass any method of filtering/securing content that is put up to protect them"

    If parent's really cared about the safety of their children they would make an effort to learn and keep up to date with current technology so they can prevent any negative impact that it would have on their kids, instead they sit back and wait until something bad happens so they can point the finger and place the blame on someone else. Take responsibility and be a good parent.

    4chan is on the list..... just sayin'

    Is your news limited? Another example why news.com.au should be taken with a grain of salt in every article they publish. I'm just glad that not everyone is falling for this crap they're serving us and realised they just dun goof'd

    She was posting naked pics and movies of herself on 4chan. Plus the trolling. She got flamed plenty for doing it which is why she put that first vid on youtube. She was referring to 4chan in that vid.
    So, /b/ retaliated.

    The pics of Jessi keep getting reposted on /b/ and the mods are fighting hard to remove all threads about her.
    Although most of the /b/ guys have conceded that enough is enough.

    Funnily enough, the /b/ people are even saying that pulling shit like this is just giving governments more reasons to filter the internet.

    I'm curious to see how quickly people will get around the filter.

    Where there is a will there is a way and with the number of people openly opposing the filter there is plenty of will.

    The Jessi thing isn't an example of how an internet filter would help, it's just an example of how well 4chan can ruin a persons life.

    Consequences will never be the same :/

    11 years old girl with makeup? No need to see (read) more

    I don't agree with this, she knew what she was doing, she openly put herself up for abuse. Her parents are ignorant to what she's done.

    Finally an article which makes sense!
    Nick, maybe you should consider becoming Dean of IS at Deakin? Better yet, take Stephen Conroys job and stop those spams and scams coming through the portal.
    Why are people in influential positions so out of touch and technical dimwitts?

    "Online bullying is a problem"
    No it isn't. The problem is that people get too offended by petty things. This is how censorship begins. Some people say "waaah I'm offended, censor everything," and then it happens. It's just fucking idiotic. This was her own fault, not her parents. Although, her dad was a fucking idiotic for screaming at the internet in front of a webcam, obviously. Age is NOT a limiting factor of intelligence. Age is NOT an excuse. This entire situation was caused not by a lack of 'good parenting' (which usually means indoctrinating your children into believing what you believe, anyway), but by a severe lack of intelligence. People get way too offended. I think it's absolutely deplorable that if you call someone a few mean words (which are just imaginary strings of letters anyway), you have a chance of being punished if they kill themselves. They waste time and resources trying to track people down who supposedly made the person suicide, yet suicide means they killed themselves. Censorship is pointless. Stop being so offended. If you don't believe what I'm saying, you're likely a brainwashed tool.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now