Tuesday, February 21, 2012

My Social Network Stalker

I have a simple rule in life; That if you’re stupid, gullible, or naïve enough, then you are due everything that is coming to you. You’re a virtual target for those stronger, wiser or more cunning than you, which, let’s face it, is the vast majority of people. The weak and vulnerable exist only to be exploited – You’re a granny who has left her door unlocked or invited a conman posing as a man from British Gas into your house? You deserve to lose your life-savings – every penny of them. He should probably even beat you up for good measure, so you can stick your stick face on the front cover of your local rag. Dressed provocatively for a night out and get drunk beyond belief? Well, that’s your own look out – there’s a name for women like you and those who would exploit you can only resist temptation for so long. Let your boyfriend who you love and trust take photographs or videos of you in compromising positions? Well then, Thicky Duncy McThickbrain, he has every right to post them on adult websites without your consent and to deny all knowledge of it when confronted. I honestly put not a jot of responsibility onto the person who commits the crime against you, because it is entirely your fault. Can you get that into your stupid brain? YOUR FAULT. It’s been scientifically proven that evil is not evil if the victim bought it on themselves – rather than make such perpetrators evil, it makes them virtual forces of nature. Their victims are so stupid they’d have only ended up walking under a bus confusing it with a huge cake or magic cloud or something, so you’ve ultimately done them a favour.

But of course I don’t really think that, because that would make me a prick of the highest order. Indeed, it'd make me some manner of über-prick. Prickus Maximus. Because, I'm sure you'll agree, you'd have to be some kind of maladjusted sociopath to pin the blame onto the victim. Oh, but joyous, joyous internet, it seems that there are people around who genuinely do believe that.

Channel 4 showed a documentary last night, “My Social Network Stalker”. It followed the story of Ruth Jeffery, a girl who found herself the target of a smear campaign on facebook which ended up being the work of her boyfriend, seemingly driven to jealousy when Ruth went to University and mixed with new circles of friends. He’d taken photographs and made pornographic videos of the two of them which ended up being circulated around adult sites – which he claimed were the results of his computer being hacked and had blamed on a friend (who was duly investigated by the police). Even when the photographs and videos began to emerge on the internet, Ruth still continued to allow her boyfriend to film and photograph her.

Now, was Ruth stupidly naïve? Arguably yes. Ridiculously gullible and overly trusting? Absolutely. Deserving of a targeted campaign designed to ridicule and demean her from somebody who claimed that he loved her, a campaign that drove her to the depths of despair? Absolutely and categorically not.

Surely an individual who breaks the law and exploits a young and vulnerable girl for some kind of sick personal gain should rightfully be vilified for carrying out such horrible acts? Not according to the majority of massed twitterati/twatterati *;

@RobKir I blame the woman as much as the bloke on #SocialNetworkStalker why go back for more and allow him to take more photos. Pathetic.

@digsey Whilst I agree it’s a horrible thing to happen… she has no one to blame but herself #socialnetworkstalker

@HanSpan I have no sympathy for this girl how many times can you fall for the same computer hack line? #socialnetworkstalker

@DannyGartside #socialnetworkstalker the girl is clearly a slut either way, the mums an alky and the dad is magnum P.I.!!

@claaaireyy she isn’t even being stalked?? Her fault for sending pictures to him ARGH #socialnetworkstalker 

Blame the woman as much as the bloke? Fucking hell. Nobody to blame but herself? No, actually, call me old fashioned but I'd be more fucking inclined to blame the person who posted the photographs anonymously all over the internet. Clearly a slut? Wrong! However you, DannyGartside, are clearly an deluded prick. The boyfriend was a manipulative arsehole who had his young and misguided girlfriend wrapped around his little finger and actually broke the law. You know, that thing that makes HIM the bad guy in this situation?

Humanity, you've failed me. Apart from a few lone voices seeing sense (bemoaning the ridiculously short prison sentence that the boyfriend was sentenced to, pointing out that the first set of naked photographs were done completely without Ruths permission, or the fact that nobody ever apologised to his poor friend who was wrongfully accused and was also blissfully in the dark about the whole thing) it's quite clear that the common consensus is that she absolutely deserved everything that was coming to her. In the same way that beaten wives who return to/stay with their husbands deserve to be beaten black and blue. And girls who go out dressed in anything short of a burkha and dare to have a drink deserve to be raped or murdered and left in a lay-by somewhere.

We can be an obnoxious species at times, believing that anybody can be deserving of such hurt for the simple crime of trusting somebody.

@BrainWrong Heh, silly old people deserved it and were nearly dead anyway.  Knock knock, who's there, Harold Shipman - Is your nan in? #HaroldShipman

I'm also bemused by the sheer number of people who act like they were shocked when it turned out that Ruths stalker was her boyfriend (or alternatively made smug posts along the lines of "I knew it was the boyfriend") - which the program never even attempted to hide. These must be the same people who after watching the first 10 minutes of an episode of Columbo are then genuinely surprised when Columbo reveals the murderer at the shows end. We live in a society where everybody has the ability to be a critic, and in the vast majority of cases it just appears to have turned them all into arseholes as well. How gifted they must be in life to never err, to have never made a single mistake - to stride around this world as infallible Gods amongst us poor weak, deluded mortals.

So, if any of the twitterati/twatterai* above find themselves in a nasty accident, I won't have any sympathy. Not a tiny little bit. They typed ill-thought out hurtful nonsense onto the internet, so it'll just be karmic balance restoring itself. What do you mean you don't think you deserved that happening to you?

Tough tits.

"He was the person I trusted throughout the whole thing", said Ruth sadly. It was a betrayal of trust that it's easy to criticize in hindsight, but it was easy to see that that betrayal had hurt her more than anything else from this man who was jailed for four months but only served two.

Blame the victim? Don't make me laugh.

* - delete as applicable

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for talking sense. Shame not more people do so.

    My overwhelming reaction when I watched the program (only got around to it today) was that I wish someone had stepped up and protected her sooner, the second reaction is that the asshole who did this to her didn't get punished anywhere near severe enough...


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