Have you heard of Kiki Kannibal? I hadn't -- until I read a magazine article this morning.
This kid, all of 13 years old, started a MySpace account and with her fashion sense and quirky style, quickly developed a large following and some equally large haters.
One thing led to another and before too much longer, she was getting hate mail, death threats (actual real ones, not just made up climate scientist/politician sookiness) and her family had to move out of their home because of vandalism and the like.
She was targeted by a paedophile, posted provocative pictures of herself on her blog, and started running a business making jewellery.
You can read about it here if you want.
At no point, it seems, did her parents say ENOUGH. They say now that they made some mistakes but they had to hit rock bottom to realise that. They wanted to encourage her creative side, which I'm sure we can all understand, and they really wanted to help her overcome the loneliness she felt from being bullied at school.
I get that.
I also get 'Kiki' wanting to be Someone.
What I don't get is why it took all this drama for them all to realise that the Internet is not a childrens' playground. No parent would want to see their child (or their family!) go through what these people have, but bad decisions lead to bad outcomes.
That poor little girl has lost her innocence, and her childhood. Her family has lost their financial security, and their peace of mind. All to allow a child to express herself.
And it's not the fault of the Internet.