Diigo Bookmarks 05/15/2008 (p.m.)

May 15, 2008 at 5:32 am | In authenticity, links, media, web | 1 Comment

    Published on the same date as The new oases (which I bookmarked at the time), I missed this story the first time around (April 10). Saw it now via Wendy Waters’s blog, All About Cities. Like “The new oases,” this article is also about mobile computing, and its effects on our social worlds/ lived lives.

    It’s odd this topic should have popped up for me today, as the other article (The new oases) was one I thought of as seeming apposite to a discussion around video commenting, taking place on Fred Wilson’s blog. The conversation there is about Disqus and Seesmic, which have joined forces to enable users to leave video recorded comments (vs. text scribblings) on blogs. Somehow, when I read about this (also on Dave Winer’s blog as well as Wilson’s — I left a comment on the latter’s, albeit straight text, no video), I immediately thought of The new oases and its points regarding isolation. Disclaimer: my “ruminations” have nothing to do with the conversations taking place on either blog or their comments boards. I’m thinking about this from a more abstract angle, although the question, “what’s the point of video comments?” did come up again and again on those blogs, too.

    What is the point? More information? More immediacy? More …more? If it’s more more (immediacy, intimacy, contact), then you really do have to wonder. Can the technology can ever produce or recreate “nest warmth,” that sense of communal belonging, or isn’t each instance of technological mediation just another way of giving us yet another perspective view on our own selves? Another perspective, which is a slice but hardly an integration, a whole?

    It’s not the case that “communal belonging” or what the Germans call “Nestwaerme” (nest warmth), which is a kind of fusion, is a good thing; nor is it a question of whether getting a perspective (let’s call that slicing or parsing) is a good thing. They’re both good things in their appropriate times and places. It’s more a question of not confusing one for the other, and I got the impression from reading responses that there’s a lot of confusion — and confusing of the two. On Wilson’s blog there’s much discussion of whether or not the Disqus-Seesmic joint venture (video blog comments) will produce better comments/ comments streams/ understanding. I don’t think it will. It will just refract whatever understanding exists or is able to be seen into yet more facets. That’s all. Whether or not those slices and perspectives will be pulled into a new whole will depend on who’s doing the pulling.

  • tags: the_economist, nomadism, mobile_technology, mobile_city, technology

  • Wouldn’t it be great to have something like this (based on a virus invading the artist’s computer) be digital/ computer-generated, instead of in the same old technique of …?screen-printed banners? C’mon, so it’s a nice pattern — but if it derived from “a virus that invaded [artist Bratsa] Bonifacho’s computer,” why not make it viral in form?

    tags: vancouver, bratsa_bonifacho, art, art_projects, public_art

Diigo Bookmarks 05/03/2008 (p.m.)

May 3, 2008 at 5:30 am | In links, media, newspapers | Comments Off on Diigo Bookmarks 05/03/2008 (p.m.)

More notes on Brandon Rosario, school reaction, and media fall-out

April 27, 2008 at 12:06 pm | In education, media, newspapers, victoria | 7 Comments

Doc Searls added to the threads on Brandon Rosario’s performance with the wonderfully titled entry, Think softly and punish a big schtick. We know where the soft thinking is…

Doc found a bonus link, Meet Brandon Rosario by Red Tory, a local blogger I hadn’t seen before. (His profile picture is of Francis Urquhart, or “FU,” as he was known to staffers, of House of Cards — a very funny BBC series worth watching.)

Red Tory’s comments board includes an extended discussion of the effect of Brandon’s remark about the physical attributes of a particular teacher. I added a comment to my own April 24 Brandon Rosario entry, partly in response to some of the Belmont students who expressed ambivalence about the “rack” remark. The teacher could use any fall-out that might occur as a teaching opportunity (teachable moment).

There have been a couple of follow-up reports — if one can call them that — in the mainstream media. They’re really laughable — except for the fact that the pot they’re stirring is the pot of stupidity. To see them all, please go to the Facebook group page, Support Brandon Rosario’s fight for Free Speech. There you’ll find not only all the relevant media items (including tv clips), but also the voice of the students and other youth themselves.

The main thing that comes through in those voices is this: Fuck the media.

Every single person on the Facebook comments board is upset by the way the mainstream media are blowing this thing up, and turning it every which way, to create a sensation. Of course the media always manage to find fools to do their bidding — case in point, the class-A fool (a professor of rhetoric) featured on A-Channel’s second report who calls Brandon’s performance totally inappropriate. Professor?

The really “totally inappropriate” thing here is just how incredibly stupid the media assume people are.

They’re digging their own grave, and as far as I’m concerned they can’t fall into it quickly enough.

“Creepy treehouse”

April 18, 2008 at 11:35 pm | In authenticity, education, media | Comments Off on “Creepy treehouse”

I think the phrase “creepy treehouse” needs more traction, which is why I’m blogging it.

Read about it on Flexknowlogy.  Here’s a brief excerpt, but you must click through and read the whole entry by Jared Stein.  It’s excellent!

creepy treehouse
see also creepy treehouse effect
n. A place, physical or virtual (e.g. online), built by adults with the intention of luring in kids.

Example: “Kids … can see a [creepy treehouse] a mile away and generally do a good job in avoiding them.” John Krutsch in Are You Building a Creepy Treehouse?”

n. Any institutionally-created, operated, or controlled environment in which participants are lured in either by mimicking pre-existing open or naturally formed environments, or by force, through a system of punishments or rewards.

Such institutional environments are often seen as more artificial in their construction and usage, and typically compete with pre-existing systems, environments, or applications. creepy treehouses also have an aspect of closed-ness, where activity within is hidden from the outside world, and may not be easily transferred from the environment by the participants.

n. Any system or environment that repulses a target user due to it’s [sic] closeness to or representation of an oppressive or overbearing institution.

n. A situation in which an authority figure or an institutional power forces those below him/her into social or quasi-social situations.

With respect to education, Utah Valley University student Tyrel Kelsey describes, “creepy treehouse is what a professor can create by requiring his students to interact with him on a medium other than the class room tools. [E.g.] requiring students to follow him/her on peer networking sites such as Twitter or Facebook.”

adj. Repulsiveness arising from institutional mimicry or emulation of pre-existing community-driven environments or systems.

Example: “Blackboard Sync is soooo creepy treehouse.” Marc Hugentobler

In the field of educational technology a creepy treehouse is an institutionally controlled technology/tool that emulates or mimics pre-existing technologies or tools that may already be in use by the learners, or by learners’ peer groups. Though such systems may be seen as innovative or problem-solving to the institution, they may repulse some users who see them as infringement on the sanctity of their peer groups, or as having the potential for institutional violations of their privacy, liberty, ownership, or creativity. Some users may simply object to the influence of the institution.

I’ve been observing this phenomena increasingly, as instructors push down hot Web 2.0 technologies, while students push back with vocal objections or passive resistance. I call this the creepy treehouse effect.

Oh, this is very very good.  Do read the whole thing.  Hat-tip to Netwoman for “creepy treehouse” — thanks!

Two random links from my Diigo bookmarks

April 6, 2008 at 5:41 pm | In media | Comments Off on Two random links from my Diigo bookmarks

EDIT: I just noticed now that something in the Diigo Daily blog post functionality must have changed (or I inadvertently changed it?) — everything I highlighted is appearing in the body of my blog post as though it were my text when in fact it’s quotes from the article referenced. I just edited this blog entry to make that clear, blockquoting the bits that are from the Times article. (April 7/08) Further edit, same date: It’s actually too much that all the highlighted bits should get included anyway. I changed the functionality just now to show only the links. Not sure if this will mean that my description of the link (why I bookmarked it) will also disappear, but we’ll see what happens with the next one, which should appear sometime today).

Street photographers fear for their art amid climate of suspicion – Times Online Annotatedtags: freedom, paranoia, photography, public_space, street_photography, terrorism

Here’s a sobering article on the general hysteria over “terrorism,” which has resulted in getting street photographers arrested or detained or questioned. Anyone seen taking photographs, especially covertly or seemingly so, is likely to get in trouble these days. But how can you be a good street photographer if you don’t conceal just a little bit the fact that you’re taking photos in the first place? You want that candid moment, right?

Matt Stuart photographs the unscripted drama of the London streets. Entirely spontaneous, his pictures are made possible by a combination of instinct, cunning and happy coincidence, revealing the beauty and significance of the everyday – what the rest of us see but don’t notice, moments that vanish faster than the blink of an eye.

For his efforts, Stuart has picked up a little collection of pink stop-and-search slips, souvenirs of practising a century-old art form in a city increasingly paranoid and authoritarian.

After 11 years, Stuart is something of an old hand. Using the street photographer’s traditional tool of choice – the discreet and near silent Leica camera – he knows how to make himself invisible, make an image and move on. He rarely runs into trouble; when he does, he knows his rights. (…)

To some, the very idea of covertly photographing strangers might seem “odd”, even distasteful. And yet a proportion of those same people will own a print of Robert Doisneau’s Kiss by the Hôtel de Ville, or have sent greetings cards showing 1930s Paris, as recorded by Brassai. Street photography has given us a lot. More, perhaps, than we know. (…)

Street photography doesn’t just document what our environment used to look like; it shows us how it really looks now, freezing the moment to reveal the weirdness and magic of the split second … Stuart’s photograph of a young dancer, in mid-air, upside-down, in Trafalgar Square … Mermelstein’s of a woman out walking her pet iguana. These images reveal the surreal in the real, force us to appreciate that our city spaces are collages of constantly shifting, surprising juxtaposition.

I ask Mermelstein whether he’s ever hesitated before recording a complete stranger. He says he has … “but I believe firmly that if something’s in the public domain then one has the right to render them photographically. That if you’re out on the street, you’re in public.

  • – interesting, how that compares to France… – post by lampertina

(…) But aren’t there times when he’d rather not be photographed? “Living in London I’m filmed 300 times a day by CCTV, so I’ve got over that quickly.”

(…) “In France, traditionally one of the great centres of street photography, the law now says you own the rights to your own image, so street photography’s become a dead art. In London there’s a growing community of photographers, using digital technology, not just cameras, but blogs, too, to document the city and give each other instant feedback.” (…)

“I’m not going to belittle the issue of terrorism, but this is paranoia. And unfortunately, since Lady Di and now this link with terrorists, photography’s seen by many people as something that’s a little … cheap.”

Street photography on the net

www.in-public.com
A showcase of contemporary street photographers, including work by Matt Stuart, plus a “masters” section, featuring the brilliant and influential Joel Meyerowitz.

www.seconds2real.com
An international street photography collective, with a newsletter, and links to interviews by and films of masters of the art.

www.public-life.org
A German-based collective, including galleries, news and book reviews.

www.billcharles.com/merm/jeffmermelstein_1.htm
Work by Jeff Mermelstein, chronicler of New York.

www.magnumphotos.com
The world’s most famous photographic agency includes work by some of the pioneers and masters of street photography, including Henri Cartier-Bresson and Elliott Erwitt.

Videos (and slides) of keynotes available – The Mobile City » Blog Archive »

tags: mobile_city, reference, locative_media, video, cities, architecture

Michiel de Lange posted keynotes and slides online from the recent Mobile City conference.

(Edit: sorry, this last link is a duplicate — I got mixed up over what was getting sent to my blog automatically, etc. )

How Victoria’s Monday Magazine gets it wrong

February 2, 2008 at 10:16 pm | In free_press, homelessness, local_not_global, media, newspapers, NIMBYism, scenes_victoria, victoria, writing | Comments Off on How Victoria’s Monday Magazine gets it wrong

Victoria has a weekly tabloid newspaper called Monday Magazine, which, starting as an alternative publication ~35 years ago, has somehow managed to stay mired in the worst sort of “us and them” thinking that feeds into (and off) the roiling Schadenfreude of the perpetually resentful.

Lately, one of their old writers from some many years ago, Sid Tafler, returned to roost. He is riding the resentment wave, in particular with an article published a week ago Wednesday (Jan.23), when the Jan.24-30/08 edition hit the street, with Tafler’s “Faulty Towers; Empty condos a tragedy of urban planning failure.” The article — full of errors and shoddy thinking, was promptly posted to Victoria’s best online forum for urbanism, Vibrant Victoria, where it received both a thread of its own, Monday Article – Faulty Towers – by Sid Tafler, as well as lengthy critiques.

Some Monday Magazine articles are online, while others aren’t. Tafler’s wasn’t, but the forumer who started the thread posted a scanned version to the thread — if anyone wants to read the article, click through to the thread. Note that the columns of text in the scans run vertically, and you have to finish the first column on the first scan in the first column on the second scan, and so on…

In the next issue of Monday, the magazine printed 3 letters strongly in support and 1 conditionally in support of Tafler’s junk analysis, with one by former architect Roger Smeeth taking the prize for suggesting silly and impossible things. (Again, see the forum thread for really incisive critiques of Smeeth’s letter.)

I too sent a letter to Monday Magazine, dated Jan.26, but since I was critical of Tafler’s odious column, the editors perhaps didn’t see fit to publish it. And so I’m publishing it here on my blog — because I want to make sure that a record of the opposition and criticism that Tafler’s cheap shot provoked never fades from the Google record.

Here’s my letter:

Dear Editor:

I sincerely hope that Sid Tafler’s ears started burning on Thursday Jan.24, when he, with “Faulty Towers” freshly published, attended Charles Campbell‘s UVic lecture on conglomeration in the Canadian press and heard Campbell specifically and vigorously castigate Canadian journalists for their slovenly habits of retailing untruths. “Faulty Towers” is certainly and thoroughly corrupted by untruth and exaggeration, to the point that one wonders whether Tafler’s exercise in demagoguery veiled another purpose. But maybe he is just being jejune.

It’s difficult to know where to begin setting Mr. Tafler straight, because of course he’s just clever enough to appeal to legitimate concerns around affordability, which breathe enough life into his straw man (or is “Condoria” a woman?) for his article to appeal to the credulous.

But let’s just remember that practically all the condos he so abhors sit on what used to be surface parking lots, and they didn’t displace anybody’s “comfortable single-family home with a back yard.” Really, Mr. Tafler: you appear to be concerned about social and environmental ills, yet advocate a hackneyed suburban vision.

Mr. Tafler writes that “the city of Victoria approved 3,000 condo units in the last five years — 800 in 2007 alone, more than any other year” — as if that were a bad thing. I’d argue it’s a great thing: that’s 3,000 fewer “units” going to suburban sprawl; that’s 3,000 more “units” contributing to the city’s tax base (even if some of the owners are absent some of the time, they’re still paying property taxes, which happen to fund a vast part of the city’s budget); and that’s 3,000 potential “units” of people downtown, shopping, recreating, adding life to those streets.

Believe it or not, there are people living in many of those “units.” Good friends of mine live in Shutters, although, since they travelled for the past 2 months, their “unit” is dark. Likewise, you’ll find many empty-nesters who leave Victoria at this time of year to catch some sun. Their “units,” too, will be dark. In the lower price range, you will find investors buying “units,” but guess what? They rent them out, which helps alleviate Victoria’s rental crunch.

What would Mr. Tafler do instead? Have all these “units” to move to Bear Mountain? Would that be preferable? Incredible as it may seem, some of us cheer every time we can wrest some “units” back to our downtown.

Nor did these projects derail some magical solution to homelessness or affordability. It’s not the case that anyone was willing to step up to donate a building to that cause, nor is it the case that city councils can somehow magically wave a wand and make affordable housing appear.

Which brings me to my last point: you have to love the armchair quarterback, second-guessing all those lazy, incompetent city councilors, don’t you? Really, judging from Mr. Tafler’s grasp of economics (a simultaneously shallow and flaccid grasp it is), I’d hate to see him in a councilor’s seat, because I’m sure he’d go mad at the workload and the demands on his attention by every citizen who knows everything about anything better than he, the councilor, does. Those folks, as Mr. Tafler’s own example shows, are a dime a dozen, and when you’re in that seat, they’ll have you for breakfast. I wonder how Sid Tafler would like being made a meal of.

Sincerely,
Yule Heibel

Tafler was at the Charles Campbell lecture (about which I’ll have more to blog later), and my use of the word “jejune” specifically points to a rather acid comment Campbell was making about Conrad Black v. the Asper family.

Testing YouTube “embed” function

November 25, 2007 at 12:15 am | In just_so, media, web | 9 Comments

Gordon Price is having trouble embedding YouTube videos on his blog.

I have never been able to embed them on this blog — only link to. But I thought I’d give it another try… Here’s an architecture-related video: Jean Nouvels Torre Agbar in Barcelona

Wanna bet it’ll show up as just code?

Pish. It didn’t even appear as code. I suspect that the free version of WordPress doesn’t allow it. On the other hand, if I simply copy the url for that video and link it to text — like this — I can link to YouTube videos directly. But no pretty embedding…

Survival in the newspaper business: rethinking mass culture

November 16, 2007 at 11:09 pm | In free_press, innovation, media, newspapers | 1 Comment

Terrific post by CEOs for Cities, Rethinking Mass Culture:

“If the average reading level is eighth grade, in a mass-culture model you want to write to that level and hope you capture the largest demographic segment. And you hope that those below the level will give you a chance. In fact, you aggressively court this group by trying to prove your accessibility. As for the group reading above the level: your strategy for success is “where else are they going to go?” Your paper is probably the only/best/major source of news in your community.”Newspapers have not traditionally been mass market. In fact they were the classic niche subsidy model. The genius of newspapers was that they aggregated lots of mini-content – comics, bridge columns, stock tables, crossword puzzles, the arts, business, sports – and built enough of a combined audience to subsidize the content that otherwise would not have paid for itself.

“…the fact is that the content that journalists think counts most – coverage of city hall, foreign reporting, investigations – does not have a big enough audience to pay for itself on its own.

“Yet somewhere along the way, this idea of niche aggregation slipped away from the local paper and was replaced by the sense that every story ought to be comprehensible by every reader. The problem: in a culture that increasingly offers more and more choice and allows people to get more precisely what they want, when they want, and how they want it, a generalized product that doesn’t specifically satisfy anyone finds its audience erode away. The more general, the more broad, the more “mass culture” a newspaper tries to become, the faster its readers look elsewhere.

“The very things you see newspapers doing to try to bring in new readers… are the things that while they might have worked 20 years ago, don’t today. That’s because the celebutantes get better dish at TMZ and the Live at 5 guys do better fire and missing kids.”

Read the full post here.

And if you are interested in arts news, you can’t do better than ArtsJournal for news and the array of blogs sponsored by ArtsJournal.

More later, and on other topics, too, but I’m in a total rush right now. Just for now, on the newspaper topic, though: DO, if you’re in that business, PLEASE do consider what Invisible Inkling has to say in 10 Obvious Things About the Future of Newspapers You Need to Get Through Your Head… Really, read it. Great stuff.

Parents in MySpace: disaster follows (potentially for the internet? See update below)

November 14, 2007 at 11:13 pm | In health, justice, media, MySpace, scandal | 5 Comments

My daughter told me about this story, and when I said that it must be some sort of fake “news,” she sent me the following link: St. Charles Journal – News – POKIN AROUND: A real person, a real death. Alas, it looks real enough (the “Pokin Around” part is a play on the columnist’s name, Steve Pokin).

I find this story so disturbing on so many levels that I don’t really want to go over it with commentary — I’m struck by the level of surveillance (and perhaps judgementalism) exercised by Megan’s parents, but admittedly I’m not a parent dealing with a teen who has issues like Megan’s. As for the rest, any sane person can draw their own conclusions. …Maybe, if your brain can handle it.

I’ll copy & paste relevant bits below, but I’d encourage interested readers to go to the story itself and follow the comments, which are also disturbing.

First, a quick synopsis: a 13-year old girl named Megan Meier, who was just days shy of her 14th birthday, commits suicide by hanging herself in her bedroom closet. The reason? She was being bullied by a “hot” 16-year old male, who had initially captured her heart on MySpace by making her feel valued, but who then turned on her. He cyberbullied her with taunts and finally told her that she was a horrible person who deserved to have a horrible life. After Megan’s death, her grieving parents learn that the “hot” 16-year old male was in fact a fictitious character created by the parents of one of Megan’s girl friends — a girl she had become estranged from. This girl — and her parents — can’t be named, apparently, not least because nothing can be decisively proven against them.

That’s the official story in skeletal form. There are other details that add to “understanding” the situation (perhaps), the setting, the timeline, and so on.

You read it and decide for yourself (read the comments, too — they’re part and parcel of the trauma). If it’s true, then… Well, then the barbarians aren’t at the gates, they’re well inside. Everything about this tale is weird.

A real person, a real death

His name was Josh Evans. He was 16 years old. And he was hot.

“Mom! Mom! Mom! Look at him!” Tina Meier recalls her daughter saying.

Josh had contacted Megan Meier through her MySpace page and wanted to be added as a friend.Yes, he’s cute, Tina Meier told her daughter. “Do you know who he is?”

“No, but look at him! He’s hot! Please, please, can I add him?”

Mom said yes. And for six weeks Megan and Josh – under Tina’s watchful eye – became acquainted in the virtual world of MySpace.

(…snip…)

[Megan] loved swimming, boating, fishing, dogs, rap music and boys. But her life had not always been easy, her mother says.

She was heavy and for years had tried to lose weight. She had attention deficit disorder and battled depression. Back in third grade she had talked about suicide, Tina says, and ever since had seen a therapist.

But things were going exceptionally well. She had shed 20 pounds, getting down to 175. She was 5 foot 5½ inches tall.

(…snip…)

Amid all these positives, Tina says, her daughter decided to end a friendship with a girlfriend who lived down the street from them. The girls had spent much of seventh grade alternating between being friends and, the next day, not being friends, Tina says.

(…snip…)

And then on Sunday, Oct. 15, 2006, Megan received a puzzling and disturbing message from Josh. Tina recalls that it said: “I don’t know if I want to be friends with you anymore because I’ve heard that you are not very nice to your friends.”

(…snip…)

Why did he suddenly think she was mean? Who had he been talking to?

Tina signed on. But she was in a hurry. She had to take her younger daughter, Allison, to the orthodontist.

Before Tina could get out the door it was clear Megan was upset. Josh still was sending troubling messages. And he apparently had shared some of Megan’s messages with others.

Tina recalled telling Megan to sign off.

“I will Mom,” Megan said. “Let me finish up.”

Tina was pressed for time. She had to go. But once at the orthodontist’s office she called Megan: Did you sign off?

“No, Mom. They are all being so mean to me.”

“You are not listening to me, Megan! Sign off, now!”

Fifteen minutes later, Megan called her mother. By now Megan was in tears.

“They are posting bulletins about me.” A bulletin is like a survey. “Megan Meier is a slut. Megan Meier is fat.”

Megan was sobbing hysterically. Tina was furious that she had not signed off.

Once Tina returned home she rushed into the basement where the computer was. Tina was shocked at the vulgar language her daughter was firing back at people.

“I am so aggravated at you for doing this!” she told Megan.

Megan ran from the computer and left, but not without first telling Tina, “You’re supposed to be my mom! You’re supposed to be on my side!”

(…snip…)

[After running to her room, while her parents stayed in the kitchen to chat, Megan hung herself.]

(…snip…)

Later that day, Ron opened his daughter’s MySpace account and viewed what he believes to be the final message Megan saw – one the FBI would be unable to retrieve from the hard drive.

It was from Josh and, according to Ron’s best recollection, it said, “Everybody in O’Fallon knows how you are. You are a bad person and everybody hates you. Have a shitty rest of your life. The world would be a better place without you.”

(…snip…)

[Now it moves from tragic to downright sordid:]

The day after Megan’s death, they went down the street to comfort the family of the girl who had once been Megan’s friend. They let the girl and her family know that although she and Megan had their ups and down, Megan valued her friendship.

They also attended the girl’s birthday party, although Ron had to leave when it came time to sing “Happy Birthday.” The Meiers went to the father’s 50th birthday celebration. In addition, the Meiers stored a foosball table, a Christmas gift, for that family.

Six weeks after Megan died, on a Saturday morning, a neighbor down the street, a different neighbor, one they didn’t know well, called and insisted that they meet that morning at a counselor’s office in northern O’Fallon.

The woman would not provide details. Ron and Tina went. Their grief counselor was there. As well as a counselor from Fort Zumwalt West Middle School.

The neighbor from down the street, a single mom with a daughter the same age as Megan, informed the Meiers that Josh Evans never existed.

She told the Meiers that Josh Evans was created by adults, a family on their block. These adults, she told the Meiers, were the parents of Megan’s former girlfriend, the one with whom she had a falling out. These were the people who’d asked the Meiers to store their foosball table.

(…snip…)

According to Tina, Megan had gone on vacations with this family. They knew how she struggled with depression, that she took medication.

“I know that they did not physically come up to our house and tie a belt around her neck,” Tina says. “But when adults are involved and continue to screw with a 13-year-old – with or without mental problems – it is absolutely vile.

“She wanted to get Megan to feel like she was liked by a boy and let everyone know this was a false MySpace and have everyone laugh at her.

“I don’t feel their intentions were for her to kill herself. But that’s how it ended.”

(…snip…)

The Suburban Journals have decided not to name the family out of consideration for their teenage daughter.

The mother declined comment.

Ugh.

Follow-up: I’m very sorry for the Meiers, but this sentence, from MySpace Prank Leads Teenager Girl to Suicide, makes me afraid, very afraid: “…Megan’s family wants that family to be held responsible for what they did, so they’re working with lawmakers to pass new legislation regulating the Internet.” I really don’t want the Tina Meiers of this world breathing down my or my children’s neck when we’re using what I hope will continue to be a free internet.

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