MySpace Suicide Story Sparked Many Reactions

Story Continues to Develop Along Those Lines

Story Reached Most of the U.S. Late Last Week

Many Conclusions

Megan Meier’s MySpace Suicide story sparked a host of reactions and then, reactions to those reactions.

It’s been ten days since the Megan Meier MySpace suicide story came over the horizon into the public’s perception. It’s a story with many twists and turns to it. It continues to twist still.

It was first published in the St. Charles (MO)Suburban Journal and picked up here several hours. We wrote it up immediately for Bloggers News Network (BNN). Although it was reported by a few other blogs within hours, that’s pretty much where it stood for a day.

By the weekend however it had grown into a hurricane of reactions: shock, disbelief, anger, but outrage seemed the most common.

MySpace Suicide – Initial Reactions

The story is a disturbing one, as any teen suicide would be, brought about when 13-year-old Megan Meier, who’d battled depression, was harassed by her online boy friend, Josh Evans. After a particularly nasty note from Josh, and some piling on by his friends, a distraught Megan hung herself.

It was another sad story of a sadder teen committing, to the parents involved, the saddest act of all.

What made this teen suicide story different, was the discovery that Josh was a hoax crafted by a family who lived down the street from the Meier family. The hoax was a reaction to their daughter and Megan having a falling out.

Neighbor against neighbor in suburbia. Adults stalking teens online. Another Internet ‘underbelly of the beast’ in the form of popular social site, MySpace.

After doing our sixth story in four days, Megan’s mother and father, Ron and Tina, appeared on CNN. The story gathered momentum from there and interest is still high, if comments and emails written are any guide.

By the weekend, the story had changed from Megan. It was now the story of “Megan as an illustration”. What kind of illustration seemed to depend on what particular cause the writer was espousing.

There was the “Internet was Evil” reaction with the tragedy held up as the latest proof. Government types were quick to point out “There ought to be a law”: against the largely-unregulated Internet and the really scary place that was MySpace.

More common reactions were sorrow for Megan and her family and disgust and outrage that she was stalked by adults who knew her. Even more disgust and outrage was heaped up on the hoaxers when it was related that Megan’s parents had destroyed a foosball table they’d been storing for their daughter’s tormentors–and the mother filed charges against the Meier parents.

Reactions to the Reactions

The rage reached a crescendo over the lack of legal recourse for the Meier parents.

The storm then shifted over the identities of the perpetrators. Who was this heartless bunch? The Suburban Journal hadn’t named them in the original story “out of concern for their daughter. As ABC News reported it a couple of days ago, Police Cite ‘Air of Vigilantism’ In Response to Girl’s Suicide:

But that hasn’t stopped an outpouring of hostility against her, both online and in the real world. The story hit the national media late last week, with Megan’s parents appearing on Good Morning America and the Today show. Though the newspapers and networks declined to identify the real-life “Josh Evans,” bloggers quickly outed her and posted her family’s name, address and phone number online.

Actually, it was readers who posted names and phone numbers–and large numbers of them, apparently many from Dardenne Prairie, a small suburb of St. Louis.

Read rest of the story:

Megan Meier MySpace Suicide: Reactions to the Reactions to the Reactions

Sources:

Megan Meier MySpace Suicide: Reactions to the Reactions to the ReactionsPolice Cite ‘Air of Vigilantism’ In Response to Girl’s Suicide

Mondoreb blogs at Death By 1000 Papercuts. Interested readers can e-mail him at
mondoreb@gmail.com.

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