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Don't Let Your Child Follow in Jessi Slaughter's Footsteps

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Lori Getz:Last Friday afternoon, 11-year-old Jessica Leonhardt of Florida (who goes by "Jessi Slaughter" and "Kerligirl13" on YouTube) was taken into police protective custody after her online celebrity became her downfall.

Jessi Slaughter

It all began when she posted a video wherein she said she was fed up with "haters" who continued to attack her online. She referred to them as "bitches" and said they were jealous of how pretty and popular she is. She even made reference to "popping a Glock" and "making a brain slushie" out of anyone who continued to harass her online.

At the time she made the video, Jessica said the online bullying didn't faze her. But after that vlog went viral on StickyDrama (thanks to a group of trolls who had specifically targeted the self-proclaimed Internet celebrity), things got much worse. There were crank calls, prank pizza orders, hacked accounts and even death threats, according to Jessica's mother, Dianne (who gave an exclusive interview tomomlogic).Eventually, Jessica's family became distraught, and Jessica and her father went online to fight back (with Jessica crying and her daddy screaming). This video became known as "You Dun Goof'd" and "The Consequences Will Never Be the Same," and was mocked all over the Net.

In hermomlogicinterview,Dianne admitted to initially being unaware of the videos, and even said that she still has not seen them. She wants to believe her daughter and feels that her daughter is the victim of a horrible online campaign to destroy her. But never does Dianne talk about her role as a parent, or Jessica's role in provoking the situation.

While I am definitely NOT condoning the trolls' behavior, I feel that no 11-year-old (or any tween or teen) should be going online and making videos full of profanity and death wishes. (At one point, Jessica says she hopes that all haters will get AIDS and die.) When are we going to start talking about the real problem here? Why in the world does Jessi Slaughter (the online celebrity) even exist? She may be a very nice girl in the real world, but online she is a horrid young person who is full of herself (not an image I would want my own daughter to portray for the masses).

It's hard, I know, to parent in a realm we were not parented in. We aren't sure what questions we should be asking, or what rules we should be setting. I can't control what other people do, but I can pay attention to what is going on in my own home. Jessica's mom references the fact that all of Jessica's friends have webcams, too, so she didn't think it was a big deal ... but what are they doing on the webcams is the real question. No, you can't be with them 24/7, but has there ever been a question about what Jessica does online when her parents are not at home or are in the other room? Anyone checked the Web history lately?

We don't let our children walk out the front door without asking them where they're going, who they're going with, what time they will be home and even what they're wearing. I call it "My Father's Famous Four Questions." (I never went anywhere until he had the answer to those questions.) We need to be translating those same parenting skills to the cyberworld.

In the case of Jessica Leonhardt, the final question might be the most important: What is Jessi wearing? How is she presenting herself to the world online? Jessi attracted a kind of negative online attention that drew real-world consequences.

Life lesson here: Don't let an 11-YEAR-OLD have free rein over the home computer and a webcam. Make sure the family computer is in a public place, and monitor what your kids are doing online. In this Internet age, it's up to parents to protect kids from themselves.


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45 comments so far | Post a comment now
Amber July 21, 2010, 11:54 PM

It aggravating to see that this girl doesn’t realize what she has done. Once it hits the internet like this, it’s there forever. It’s will never leave her; and now that employers are performing online background checks through social sites and google, she will never be respected enough to obtain a decent job. Good job, parents; might as well just drop her off at prison instead of school. You know, better prepared for the future since they can’t teach common sense in school.

anonymous July 22, 2010, 3:29 AM

why the hell does the world immediatly think 4chan did this? it was ebaumsworld, and they are trying to blame us for it.

Officer #0896 July 22, 2010, 4:16 AM

These comments have been backtraced.

- Officer G. Oofed, Cyberpolice

Anonymous July 22, 2010, 7:48 AM

First of all, I’m sorry for the little girl, kids at that age just don’t know what they’re doing. But the fathers response fed the trolls, if he hadn’t shouted these stupid things about the ‘Cyberpolice’, nobody would care.
But I don’t think it will ruin her life, in two weeks she will be an oldmeme (from ebaumsworld, by the way…)

Carlos July 22, 2010, 9:00 AM

This comment has been reviewed and deleted by the Cyber Police.

Officer David Davidson, Cyber Police July 22, 2010, 11:34 AM

Comment redacted by the Cyber Police.

Ya dun goof’d

norway July 22, 2010, 12:02 PM

I can’t really say I feel sorry for this child. She was extremely foul mothed and acted like the queen of the world. When people started to notice this and responded with hatefull comments she did the worst possible thing you culd do. Respond in the same way. She and her father topped it all and tried to “put out the fire with gasoline” by posting a video with her crying and her father going crazy.

Nothing of this would have happend if she just deleted her youtube account and stepped down, it’s all on her

Anonymous. July 22, 2010, 12:54 PM

Ya dun goof’d, jessi.

Jenkem July 23, 2010, 12:04 PM

This comment has been reviewed and deleted by the Cyber Police.

Hansel July 23, 2010, 12:15 PM

I watched the GMA segment on her. It consisted of her being depicted as a “victim” of just being a normal peppy tween. GMA then ran with this and called in two “experts” that dole out common sense.

At one point the interviewer asks “why so much swearing”? But at no point do they make reference to her extreme death threats, lewd sexual remarks and many other such disturbing activities for an 11 year old online.

So basically, to those who watch GMA, Jessi swore on a video and was given death threats by the intertubes.

If only they knew the HALF of it…

anoanmouse July 24, 2010, 6:53 AM

Balanced report. Good job. Sad she had to be made an example of, too bad it caught on as a meme and made her famous.

Michelle July 25, 2010, 1:22 PM

Cant wait until school starts for her at the end of summer, it will be a new hell all over again. Especially if there are more kids like her (which there are sadly) and they will have known everything that’s happened to her as well :P

Kat July 29, 2010, 3:53 PM

This little “girl” is a disgusting and foul-mouthed child that should have the computer + the webcam taken away from her for life. She has some serious issues and her parents are no different. It’s clearly obvious they don’t moniter her time on the Internet nor anything else she gets up to. Has anyone seen her LIP PIERCING? She’s 11 years old for God’s sake not 18! She has posted naked images and strip-tease videos of herself online, those videos/photos won’t ever disappear.

The cyber bullying is all down to her nasty rotten attitude towards others online, she is NOT the innocent victim, she brought it all upon herself. She and her parents need serious help, it’s not a joke, she’s out of control and their blatant stupidity is the cause of it all.

HeilWebster August 19, 2010, 1:08 PM

Phase* her. Free reign*. Idiots.

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