In 2011, 15-year-old Rehtaeh Parsons was allegedly raped by four teenaged boys who were never charged or prosecuted for the crime.
One of those teenaged boys shared a photo of the incident with friends online. The photo was distributed widely among their school community and beyond.
As a result, Parsons faced intense bullying on Facebook and other social media. Boys would anonymously proposition her. Girls accused her of being a slut. She was repeatedly slandered.
Unable to further bear the ceaseless assault, last week Parsons hung herself in the bathroom of her family’s home.
If the story sounds familiar, that’s not surprising.
It was only last October that Amanda Todd’s suicide drew our attention to the perils of unregulated social media use. She also took her own life after facing intense online bullying as a result of a sexual assault.
Who’s next? Perhaps the 16-year-old girl from Steubenville, Ohio, who was drugged and brutally gang raped by members of the local high school football team last year. As with the other incidents, pictures were spread via social media.
Chances are, social media will kill her too. Continue reading