Don't Blame Facebook For Some Kids Beating Up Another Student

from the missing-the-point dept

Pickle Monger alerts us to a CNN story suggesting that a Facebook group "may have lead to the beating of a 12-year-old" boy. Really? Facebook could do that rather than a group of kids who are bullies? The "group" in question was apparently a group (potentially inspired by a South Park episode) for a national "kick a ginger" (redhead) day. There was actually some controversy about this last year as well. It seems bizarre to blame Facebook (or, for that matter, South Park) for this at all, and so Pickle Monger went and checked out the actual Facebook group and noted: "There doesn't seem to be any outrageous comments. In fact most comments are in good humor, some by readheads. The event has one confirmed guest - assumingly the creator, who seems to be readheaded (assuming it's his photo on the profile). The event has two people awaiting reply." Kids do stupid things, and sometimes the stupid things they do involve hitting other kids. That's not the fault of Facebook.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
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    vivaelamor (profile), Nov 24th, 2009 @ 7:36am

    Readheads?

    Am I missing a joke?

     

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      Hephaestus (profile), Nov 24th, 2009 @ 8:08am

      Re: Readheads?

      Yes, are you a Blonde?

       

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      Rose M. Welch (profile), Nov 24th, 2009 @ 8:29am

      Re: Readheads?

      Yes. The joke is how stupid people are, and how little personal responsibility they have.

       

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      identicon
      Call me Al, Nov 24th, 2009 @ 9:05am

      Re: Readheads?

      Through a process of social change it has become unacceptable to taunt people for their race, creed, colour or religion. However, since people like to taunt, it has left only hair colour as something which is not yet taboo.

      That and everyone knows ginger people are inbred.

       

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        Christopher (profile), Nov 24th, 2009 @ 7:40pm

        Re: Re: Readheads?

        No, they are not inbred. I have three 'ginger' cousins who were so NOT inbred, that their parents came from DIFFERENT PARTS OF THE WORLD.

        Now, that aside...... it is not acceptable to taunt anyone for anything, and I told my children that and told them that they would get the old 'slap on the backside of the head' if they did that... and they took me seriously and didn't do that, at least not in front of me.

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 24th, 2009 @ 9:47am

      Re: Readheads?

      lol

       

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      Not That Chris (profile), Nov 24th, 2009 @ 10:49am

      Re: Readheads?

      I just want to go on record that Pickle Monger's note on the subject makes me sic...twice...

       

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    known coward, Nov 24th, 2009 @ 8:06am

    if anything we should be greatful to facebook

    there is a nice record of the kids who want to do the beating, follow it up and arrest the little buggers.

     

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      Shawn (profile), Nov 24th, 2009 @ 8:17am

      Re: if anything we should be greatful to facebook

      Can you fill me in on what law is broken when you 'want to do a beating'? I may need to retain an attorney if that is really a crime!

       

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        known coward, Nov 24th, 2009 @ 8:23am

        Re: Re: if anything we should be greatful to facebook

        well if the beatee were gay, it would be a hate crime. You can not say lets beat all the gays these days. We have legislated thought crimes in the good old USA.

        but i meant "kids who did the beating". my bad. If there were no beating and 'readheads' were not a protected group it would be ok to say lets beat em.

        Personally i am on the "you have to at least attempt to do the crime, to do the time" school of thought, but that no longer holds in this country.

         

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          jjmsan, Nov 24th, 2009 @ 8:33am

          Re: Re: Re: if anything we should be greatful to facebook

          So you are of the opinion that there is no such thing as attempted murder unless the action is actually taken and botched?

           

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            :Lobo Santo (profile), Nov 24th, 2009 @ 8:39am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: if anything we should be greatful to facebook

            That would be logical!!

            If I think really hard about killing somebody; all I'm guilty of is using my imagination.

            If I stab a guy two dozen time in the liver with a dull pair of scissors; that's attempted murder.

            See the difference? Real world action vs NO real world action. Colloquially known as "no harm, no foul."

             

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              Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Nov 24th, 2009 @ 8:49am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: if anything we should be greatful to facebook

              I see the point jjmsan is trying to make. He's referring to conspiracy to commit murder. But even with that, some actions have to be taken to show true intent.

              This "conspiracy to commit" douse not extend to many other things. There is no such charge as conspiracy to commit bullying.

               

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                Amaress, Nov 24th, 2009 @ 12:27pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: if anything we should be greatful to facebook

                That's not conspiracy to commit murder. Conspiracy to commit murder is if I say to you, "Let's go kill jjmsan with a dull pair of scissors" and you say, "That's a great idea, I have a pair right here!"

                See the difference?

                 

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                  Christopher (profile), Nov 24th, 2009 @ 7:44pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: if anything we should be greatful to facebook

                  Actually, no, because you could be JOKING.... you would actually have to pick up the scissor and move in the direction of the person in question or hand them to the other person and THEY move in the direction of that person before it would be conspiracy to commit murder.

                  Still got to do an ACTUAL ACTION that shows that you were planning to ACTUALLY TRY to do the thing in question.

                   

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            A Dan (profile), Nov 24th, 2009 @ 8:40am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: if anything we should be greatful to facebook

            I would say that in order to attempt murder, you need to attempt to murder someone. That seems reasonable to me. Do you disagree?

             

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            Anonymous Coward, Nov 24th, 2009 @ 9:21am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: if anything we should be greatful to facebook

            'the action is actually taken and botched?"

            isn't that the definition of attempted murder?

             

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            Christopher (profile), Nov 24th, 2009 @ 7:42pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: if anything we should be greatful to facebook

            Actually, I think so. No such thing as attempted murder unless someone tries to hire a hitman OR tries and FAILS to carry out the crime in question.

             

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          btr1701 (profile), Nov 24th, 2009 @ 12:43pm

          Re: Re: Re: if anything we should be greatful to facebook

          > well if the beatee were gay, it would be a
          > hate crime. You can not say lets beat all
          > the gays these days. We have legislated thought
          > crimes in the good old USA.

          Wrong.

          The Supreme Court has specifically ruled that hate speech is protected speech and cannot be outlawed. (See American Nazi Party vs. City of Skokie, Illinois)

          If you actually beat up someone for being gay, that's a hate crime. If you just talk about how much you want to beat up gay people, that's hate speech, but it's perfectly legal.

           

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            known coward, Nov 25th, 2009 @ 9:09am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: if anything we should be greatful to facebook

            then what was that thing that was attached to the defense bill? (it is a question not a snide remark).

             

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        Rose M. Welch (profile), Nov 24th, 2009 @ 8:30am

        Re: Re: if anything we should be greatful to facebook

        Did you miss the 'follow it up' part?

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Nov 24th, 2009 @ 6:29pm

        Re: Re: if anything we should be greatful to facebook

        beating up people, planning to beat up people and, in some place, cyber-bulling is illegal.

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 24th, 2009 @ 8:10am

    What's a readhead?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 24th, 2009 @ 8:24am

    It seems to me that the problem isnt with the kids doing the bullying, its with the gingers not knowing how to keep their mouths shut and take a punch

    but really, where are the parents in this? why arent they stepping up and not procreating if they have red hair?

    /lolz

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 24th, 2009 @ 8:30am

    Why are parents letting their twelve-year-olds watch South Park in the first place?

     

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      Call me Al, Nov 24th, 2009 @ 9:00am

      Re:

      Oh thats easy... they think "Look its a cartoon, it must be for kids". Even though South Park has been around for around a decade there are still people who are ignorant of what it entails.

      Essentially its irreponsible parents who don't keep an eye on what their kids are doing. These parents then feel guilty for their failures but don't want to feel guilty. They summon up some outrage and unleash it at the "cause" of all the problems, which in this case is a cartoon watched and appreciated by millions of adults. The media then jumps on it because they love moral panic stories and we end up with this kind of rubbish.

       

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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Nov 24th, 2009 @ 8:32am

    I saw that on the news the other day

    The only thing I could think of was why are they blaming South Park, there was a moral at the end of it (that Cartman didn't get).

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 24th, 2009 @ 8:49am

      Re: I saw that on the news the other day

      the real moral is, if youre not old enough to understand satire, then youre not old enough to watch southpark

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 24th, 2009 @ 8:43am

    They won't blame southpark because southpark is put out by big monopolistic corporations whereas facebook helps to give everyone a voice. So there is a bias in terms of whom they would blame.

     

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    ethorad (profile), Nov 24th, 2009 @ 8:45am

    Where were the ISP cops?

    Never mind facebook, where were the ISP's filters?

    While the ISPs are adding magic filters to automatically detect copyright infringing and business model damaging traffic, they should also add filters for other illegal activities. That way the children* would finally be safe

    *Those with red hair at least

     

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Nov 24th, 2009 @ 9:03am

      Re: Where were the ISP cops?

      great idea, lets let TV teach out kids and then have the ISPs reprimand them and tell them what they cant do.

      being a parent has never been easier!

       

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      Marcel de Jong (profile), Nov 24th, 2009 @ 9:08am

      Re: Where were the ISP cops?

      OMG! Why aren't the ISPs filtering posts like this.. my poor children can't take such ideas. It should be made illegal to be satirical!


      :o)

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 24th, 2009 @ 6:39pm

      Re: Where were the ISP cops?

      Do really you can make a illegal activity filter that won't mostly filter out legal media about illegal thing and unrelated files and media.

       

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    Overcast (profile), Nov 24th, 2009 @ 9:13am

    Maybe they seen one kid beat up another on the news.

    It was probably the fault of the news media.

     

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    technomage (profile), Nov 24th, 2009 @ 9:25am

    Ok, couldn't resist this one, but:

    Of course blame facebook! Think of the Children!

    /sarcasm

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 24th, 2009 @ 9:41am

    "Where are the parents"

    I love it when I see/hear comments like that. (usually from childless people).

    And just what do you expect the parents to do? Restrain them; spank them; punish in some way? That just invites the Neighborhood Watch Facebook group to chime and and helpfully call the Department of Children and Family Services. Then all those silly parents can spend their time talking to lawyers and not messing with their precious Facebook hero children.

     

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      Kazi, Nov 24th, 2009 @ 10:01am

      Re: "Where are the parents"

      Uhhhh, there's plenty of filters one can use for their home network that filter out entertainment sites, pron, movie sites, news sites, bit torrent protocol, internet relay chat ... they are freely available, dynamically updated for their categories. Therefore, a good tool if you want to control what your kids see. Also, they are quite simple to use.

       

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        Shawn (profile), Nov 24th, 2009 @ 10:11am

        Re: Re: "Where are the parents"

        is there a filter that lets kidz go to face book but prevents them from joining an kick a ginger group?

         

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        SomeGuy (profile), Nov 24th, 2009 @ 10:38am

        Re: Re: "Where are the parents"

        You're both missing the point. The Internet and Facebook are not the problem here. The problem is boys getting into fights in the real world, and that's something parents can and should be actively discouraging and punishing. If you feel you're no longer "allowed" to spank your kids there are other alternative punishments that can get the message through that such behavior is unacceptible and won't be tolerated. Internet filters won't keep kids from hitting each other, and that parenting is difficult and time consuming is no excuse to shirk your responsibility.

         

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          Liquid, Nov 24th, 2009 @ 10:56am

          Re: Re: Re: "Where are the parents"

          BS I call BS on the alternative punishments. The human race has survived for decades with getting their @$$'s whipped for doing something wrong. Kid swears you smack him for it, talks back ya smack him for it, wash his dirty little mouth out with soap, make him go pick his own switch from the tree line, and make him go back if isn't the right size, take away his favorite stuff, etc...

          I get sick and tired of reading stories of a spoiled little rotten care bear parents child who calls the cops when they don't get their way. Like the little douche bag who call the cops, because his parents took away his xbox. The kid who killed his dad, because he took something away from him.

          There is a difference between flat out beating your child, and disciplining them. Kids now-a-days don't have the fear of their parents in them, and that should change. Stop letting the care bears who don't have kids, and don't deal with a child who is unruly on a daily basis tell you how to raise your children. They get it taught to them at the start that their parents can't spank them if they do they should call 911.

          complete BS.

          I agree it's up to the parents to make sure that their kids don't do anything bad. Monitor their time on the internet, tv, video games, etc... Parents are too afraid to even do that anymore, because their afraid that their snot nosed little brats will get them arrested or taken away from them for it.

          Only thing a social worker should be concerend about is if the kid is just flat out getting beaten, not fed, etc... something that will endanger their lives, but getting a spanking/whooping no not their place to tell real parents how to deal with their children.

           

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            SomeGuy (profile), Nov 24th, 2009 @ 11:06am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: "Where are the parents"

            I agree with you that there's nothing wrong with a little corporal punishment, to a reasonable extent. But that doesn't mean "alternative punishments" are all BS. Time outs, groundings, taking away phone- or TV- or car-priviledges... These are long-standing and effective punishments that even someone afraid of the child-abuse card can use, that's all I'm saying.

             

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            compgeek, Nov 24th, 2009 @ 12:15pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: "Where are the parents"

             

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            compgeek, Nov 24th, 2009 @ 12:17pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: "Where are the parents"

            whoops, last comment screwed up. anyway, that is how i was raised (corporal punishment) and i have never ever bullied anyone. i think i turned out ok. nothing wrong with a little discipline, just dont beat the kid senseless and your fine as far as i am concerned

             

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          Kazi, Nov 24th, 2009 @ 6:01pm

          Re: Re: Re: "Where are the parents"

          Banning sites is proactive behavior thus being doing actively. You don't want your kids seeing Kenny getting killed each time? Ban the sites where Kenny gets killed. Simple. It's part of parenting if you want to go that way.

           

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        Christopher (profile), Nov 24th, 2009 @ 7:46pm

        Re: Re: "Where are the parents"

        And they are useless if your child has even a little bit of computer experience (sing this with me)!

        That is the bottom line: filtering software = useless if your child knows how to make a Linux partition (not hard to do) on their computer's hard drive.

        It's time to realize that you CANNOT control what your children see..... unless you are going to be standing in the room looking over their shoulder for the ENTIRE time that they are using the internet, which gets annoying to both child and parent.

         

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    identicon
    Who to blame..., Nov 24th, 2009 @ 10:28am

    You're all missing the point

    We should all blame ourselves. We have all let the children down. We have all not done our job to protect these kids from one another. We are not doing our part to save these children (that many of us do not know).

    Even better we could "Blame Canada"

    On a serious note... I'm tired of parents NOT parenting their own children but want to parent mine. It's not your damn job, nor did I give it to you.

     

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    Sergio, Nov 24th, 2009 @ 10:38am

    Sick of this

    Why must we consistantly tell kids they are not responsible for their actions. When kids first started getting bikes, did people blame bikes for making it easier for kids to get to other kids and beat them up? When they invented baseball bats, they that get blamed for kids getting beat with bats? When they invent hoverboards, will they get blamed for some kid drowning because hoverboards don't work on water?

     

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      Chargone (profile), Nov 24th, 2009 @ 1:57pm

      Re: Sick of this

      here's question: what kind of hoverboard wouldn't work on water? one would think that'd be half of the point. [still, falling off and drowning is a viable outcome...]

      that said, i approve the above post.

       

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      Christopher (profile), Nov 24th, 2009 @ 7:49pm

      Re: Sick of this

      Well, the bullshit that these people try to feed you is that 'children's brains are 'immature'..... they cannot control themselves'. Of course, people like myself who NEVER or ONLY WHEN PROVOKED PHYSICALLY attacked someone else physically know better!

      The fact is that most of these children have been raised in homes where they are told that 'beating someone up is a good thing to do if you don't like them!' The definition of white/whatever race trash home, unfortunately.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 24th, 2009 @ 11:08am

    It's not only the fault of parents.
    It's a fault of the societal group the children are in too.

    Granted most parents I see today are clueless about their children and would never think they are in the wrong and even if they did think that they probably put their parental instincts first and ignore the signs.

    But communities are also responsible for the environment the children grow up and pick behaviours from.

     

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    identicon
    El Dooche, Nov 24th, 2009 @ 12:37pm

    Kick the Can Day

    Today is "Kick the Can Day". Everyone should feel free to beat the crap out of Dark Helmet*.

    * Hey DH, I take no responsibility if you actually get beat up today.

     

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    identicon
    Dohn Joe, Nov 24th, 2009 @ 3:46pm

    Post to Facebook

    I like the "Post to Facebook" link at the bottom of that article on CNN's page. Nice touch of irony!

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 25th, 2009 @ 6:33am

    Gingers have no souls.
    If you want to avoid gingervitis, marry an asian. They don't carry the gene.

    South Park, Colorado.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Gene Cavanaugh, Nov 25th, 2009 @ 9:05am

    Facebook and bias

    Yeah, it's like the "darkie" shows that used to be so common. Oh, wait! I know of some cases where that caused some real racial problems!
    Maybe it's like the stuff about Japanese-Americans before World War Twice - oh, wait, we put them in concentration camps!
    Well, we all know Facebook had no part in it, right? Duh!

     

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