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Kiki Kannibal
April 21, 2011 11:30 AM   Subscribe

The Girl Who Played With Fire: Rolling Stone profiles the "rise, fall and stubborn survival" of Kiki Kannibal, ‘The Most Hated Girl on the Internet
posted by zarq (203 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite

 
There seem to be quite a few comments on the Rolling Stone article that say the magazine painted her in too flattering a light. Many call her a bully.
posted by zarq at 11:32 AM on April 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


People may hate Kiki Kannibal, but who can hate Kiki Dee?
posted by stormpooper at 11:41 AM on April 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


Rolling Stone really should consider adding a few more pop-up ads to their online experience.
posted by punkfloyd at 11:49 AM on April 21, 2011 [15 favorites]


Is there a single page link ? I don't want to wade through rollingstone's 8+ pages to see if Kiki has cashed in on being an attention whore (and reaped the pain thereof) or not.

(This intersects yesterday's post about a harassed political writer. I've never heard of Kiki before either)
posted by k5.user at 11:49 AM on April 21, 2011


How nice, she thinks she's the most hated. I'm guessing most of MeFi has not heard of this "most hated". This "most" is in her head.
posted by rough ashlar at 11:51 AM on April 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


Single printer page.
posted by ericb at 11:52 AM on April 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


Don't worry, Kiki. It gets better.
posted by Legomancer at 11:53 AM on April 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


Good god. My teenage years were hard. I dated the small-town christian version of her older boyfriend -- the kind everyone thinks is a great guy but who in truth and in secret is unwilling to take 'no' for an answer. All I can say is I can't imagine how much harder it would have been to deal with all that if there had been an internet to deal with too.

I also have to ask, what the hell is wrong with her parents?
posted by mudpuppie at 11:54 AM on April 21, 2011 [9 favorites]


In sum, I guess, I feel so very old right now.
posted by mudpuppie at 11:55 AM on April 21, 2011


k5.user: "Is there a single page link ?"

Apologies. I usually include it but didn't this time.
posted by zarq at 11:55 AM on April 21, 2011


Stalkers, Hackers, & Predators, Oh My!
posted by broken wheelchair at 11:56 AM on April 21, 2011


Um, did I miss something? I have no idea who this person is, or what the drama is about, and I pretty much spend a good chunk of my waking, weekday hours with a web browser in front of me.

I've never heard of 'StickyDrama' either, and that seems to be the linchpin of the hate. If they're speaking for The Internet now, I think there are some people I'd like to request they bump up the hate queue.
posted by Kadin2048 at 11:57 AM on April 21, 2011 [14 favorites]


At least she was saved an entry in Encyclopedia Dramatica.

Encyclopedia Dramatica Is No More
posted by rough ashlar at 11:57 AM on April 21, 2011


"When I was younger, I was so naive," she says. "I didn't know people were doing things to themselves while they were watching me."

Er, what else would would they be doing? Yeah, what mudpuppie said.
posted by Melismata at 11:58 AM on April 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm guessing most of MeFi has not heard of this "most hated". This "most" is in her head.

I certainly don't and 3 minutes from now will likely forget all about it.
posted by edgeways at 11:58 AM on April 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'm guessing most of MeFi has not heard of this "most hated"

I'm actually non-snarkily interested in the answer to this. Had anyone heard of her before the article?

The article was posted yesterday to this large 4chan-like site that I frequent for intellectual property infringement purposes--think /b/ but less clever, if you can imagine that--which is populated pretty much exclusively by college-age neckbeards who spend 20 hours a day online, and no one had ever heard of her. Even the women on the site, whom you'd think would be the right age and audience to have at least HEARD of her, were clueless.

I know it's a big Internet, but I'm starting to suspect that RS might be playing up her infamy a tad...
posted by Ian A.T. at 12:00 PM on April 21, 2011 [7 favorites]


I know it's a big Internet, but I'm starting to suspect that RS might be playing up her infamy a tad...

She might be Rolling Stone's Sidd Finch.
posted by uncleozzy at 12:01 PM on April 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


For those that were apart of the LiveJournal community "spaceghetto" Kiki was a frequent topic of ribbing.
posted by wcfields at 12:03 PM on April 21, 2011


From the last few paragraphs of the Rolling Stones article:
If she were to go offline, her link to the world would disappear. This is a girl with 12,000 Twitter followers whose actual life is empty of real relationships. She's trapped in suburban isolation; outside the bubble of her family, her most meaningful interactions are electronic. In real life, she's lost.

"How do you even meet people?" Kiki asks. "Like, how do you connect with people? In person, it's just so weird, no one talks to me." Even online, surrounded by hundreds of fans, Kiki feels alone. "I feel like a butterfly in a jar," she says. "They'll watch me. And they'll take from me. But no one ever connects."
This breaks my heart. I'm so angry at her parents! Couldn't they enroll her in softball or Girl Scouts or, hell, even art classes at a local community college? My God! This whole story is so epically fucked up. I wish there were an international 'Social Network Shutdown' holiday so kids like Kiki and the asshats who bullied her could disconnect from all of this electronic chaos and just...like...go outside or something.
posted by chara at 12:03 PM on April 21, 2011 [17 favorites]


Kadin2048: " I've never heard of 'StickyDrama' either, and that seems to be the linchpin of the hate. If they're speaking for The Internet now, I think there are some people I'd like to request they bump up the hate queue."

Gawker background on StickyDrama. They were around from 2007 to the end of last year, I believe.
posted by zarq at 12:04 PM on April 21, 2011


I'm with edgeways - had not heard of her before and odds are I won't care in a short bit of time. Assuming she makes it to her old age (for her right now that'd be 30) she'll look back and think "drama!".

And if she doesn't think this whole 'most hated' was drama and the 'most hated' was in her head then she's either some kind of "star"* or mental ward material.

* Charlie Sheen kinda star. Or perhaps Lada Gaga. Or the voice for the Aflac duck.
posted by rough ashlar at 12:05 PM on April 21, 2011


Why was she hated? Because of her statutory-raping ex boyfriends? Because of 4chan types online? Because of her peers at school just being little shits? I tried skimming the article but my eyes glazed over
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 12:05 PM on April 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


I though it might be about her name.
posted by StickyCarpet at 12:06 PM on April 21, 2011


Mine too. Cliff notes anyone?
posted by dabitch at 12:06 PM on April 21, 2011


"Her parents thought her videos were adorable." They're part of the problem!
posted by ericb at 12:10 PM on April 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


12,000 Twitter followers? Hardly an Internet celebrity.

I have, like, 150.
posted by slogger at 12:10 PM on April 21, 2011


Do you know what I'm looking forward to? When the first generation of "digital natives" have their own kids, and the policies, politics, and news that is born from the once naive kids having their own naive kids find what lurks on the internet.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:12 PM on April 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


This is one of those stories where you end up hating every one involved. couldn't finish it
posted by coolxcool=rad at 12:13 PM on April 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


I want to buy her a cheeseburger.
posted by cjorgensen at 12:19 PM on April 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


There's a book that was published in 1996 by Joey Berlin called "Toxic Fame," consisting exclusively of interviews with celebrities about the experience of being famous. In 1996, it was astonishingly disruptive and difficult to handle, with even minor celebrities regularly getting stalked, manhandled, pilloried in the press, and finding themselves on the receiving end of incomprehensible hostility.

Worst still, fame is at best tangentially related to accomplishment, and only tangentially brings rewards. It's very possible to be famous without doing anything to earn it, and it's equally possible to be famous and not be able to make a living.

But back then, fame was usually connected to something. It was pretty rare that everyday people became famous for no reason, probably because fame is hard work. Sometimes they would experience flashes of fame, but this would quickly pass. Only when there were longlasting criminal trials, like the McMartins, would somebody who wasn't actively seeking fame become famous for any length of time. I mean, your grandmother might have collected potato chips in the state of shapes, and she might have wound up on the tonight show as a result, and for a month or so people would recognize her in grocery stores and the local newspaper would interview her. And that would be it -- she'd fade back into obscurity.

But just as the creation of media, such as film and music, has been democratized so that anybody can do it, so has the creation of fame. It is now very possible for a 13-year-old to create an online persona and maintain a level of celebrity for five years, entirely based on her personality. You and I may not have heard of her, but, then, you probably haven't heard of a lot of what's getting attention on the web, because it has balkanized us into communities of people who are likeminded. I don't know what 90 percent of what people under the age of 20 do online. I don't know what 80 percent of what people over the age of 70 do, and I would know less except that so much of what they do involves email forwards.

There has been an explosion of online bullying. Anybody who gets the slightest amount of attention is met with waves of trollish outrage. And bullying is never earned, any more than any sort of abusive behavior is earned. I believe the commentors who say that Kiki Kannibal was mean to fat people online. I also believe that she was treated like absolute garbage by tens of thousands of people, and was sexually assaulted as a result of her inexperience. Nobody earns that. All of us make mistakes, and say things we shouldn't. She made those mistakes in public, and people online used it as a pretext to make her their whipping boy.

The fact that we're expressing so much nonchalance and disinterest in a very young woman who was caught up in a really ruinous social environment does not speak well for us. I suppose, like others, some on this board might think she somehow brought this all on her head by seeking fame. But we are programmed from birth to seek fame -- every piece of media that we are exposed to tells us our reward for being special is fame, and that famous people are inherently better and more interesting.

What it doesn't tell us is the lesson of "Toxic Fame," which is that Fame isn't a reward, it's a punishment. And this young woman was punished throughout her childhood. Whatever she may or may not have done or said online, vandalizing her house, physically threatening her, probably killing her cat, and sending her thousand of abusive emails? Not earned. Not by a longshot. Adults can't handle this sort of fame -- most celebrities describe themselves as having gone a little mad from it. And here we are, being unconcerned by the intensity and speed with which it happened to a little girl, for no reason other than she made a regular series of videos and posted a bunch of videos? It's a problem.

By the way, for those of you who didn't read the article, I;m sorry your eyes glazed over. But saying so in this thread is threadshitting.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:20 PM on April 21, 2011 [132 favorites]


I spend waaaaay too much time online and I've never heard of her.
posted by jeff-o-matic at 12:20 PM on April 21, 2011


Wait, there was a girl in Bosnia who filmed herself throwing puppies into a fast-moving river?
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 12:20 PM on April 21, 2011


Instapapered.
posted by mecran01 at 12:21 PM on April 21, 2011


Astro Zombie: " By the way, for those of you who didn't read the article, I;m sorry your eyes glazed over. But saying so in this thread is threadshitting."

Thank you.
posted by zarq at 12:22 PM on April 21, 2011 [5 favorites]


Wait, there was a girl in Bosnia who filmed herself throwing puppies into a fast-moving river?

Video.
posted by ericb at 12:24 PM on April 21, 2011


Why was she hated?

According to many of the comments on the RS article it's because she's a raging arsehole.
posted by shelleycat at 12:25 PM on April 21, 2011


I think in some ways this article over-sentsationalises the internet aspect: creepy 18-year-olds have been dating 12 and 14-year-olds and pressuring them for sex long before they had the internet to find them on. The harassment thing can be escalated by the internet, though my cousin had it just from one group of girls at her school bad enough (including physical assaults) to leave that school, and none were online.

But at the same time, I'm so glad that my teenage ramblings were confined by necessity to notebooks that I have since (conveniently) lost, my rather pathetic attempts to dress sexy (aka slutty, because that is what 13-year-olds think is attractive) were seen only by my mother, before she frog-marched me back inside to change, and even if I did things I later regretted, there are no photos of anything.
posted by jb at 12:28 PM on April 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


The fact that we're expressing so much nonchalance and disinterest in a very young woman who was caught up in a really ruinous social environment does not speak well for us. I suppose

Or ....

for no reason other than she made a regular series of videos and posted a bunch of videos?

Perhaps a few of us understand that if you are posting videos you are seeking attention and are not shocked when someone gets attention.
posted by rough ashlar at 12:28 PM on April 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


I haven't heard of her, and I kind of wish I didn't. I kind of thought of sending a "Wow, that sounds miserable, it gets better" message but her situation seems to have reached the point where all attention is bad attention but she can't stop. Just don't look.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:28 PM on April 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


According to many of the comments on the RS article it's because she's a raging arsehole.

I'm not ready to believe this without confirmation. It may be true. But then, the kids who secretly moved the prom so that the lesbian senior couldn't graduate also claimed that it was their victim's fault. Bullies and abusers are awfully good at saying it was the victim's fault, and I am not ready to jump to that conclusion without some actual evidence.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:29 PM on April 21, 2011 [23 favorites]


Perhaps a few of us understand that if you are posting videos you are seeking attention and are not shocked when someone gets attention.

And you considering killing her cat to be attention?

Out of curiosity, did you read the article?
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:30 PM on April 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yes, that is a form of attention.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:33 PM on April 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


There has been an explosion of online bullying. Anybody who gets the slightest amount of attention is met with waves of trollish outrage. And bullying is never earned, any more than any sort of abusive behavior is earned. I believe the commentors who say that Kiki Kannibal was mean to fat people online. I also believe that she was treated like absolute garbage by tens of thousands of people, and was sexually assaulted as a result of her inexperience. Nobody earns that. All of us make mistakes, and say things we shouldn't. She made those mistakes in public, and people online used it as a pretext to make her their whipping boy.

This pretty much speaks to the heart of it for me. I've seen 4chan, 7chan and similar sites decide they just don't like somebody - usually a girl - because she's clearly full of herself and stuck up and shallow and blah blah blah. So they start making jabs at her. Some try to find her dox. They make threads dedicated to harassing this random person, shouting down "moralfags" who object but still coming up with justifications such as "she hates fat people" or "she's a raging asshole". And they keep at it until they've managed to ruin them. It's utterly stupid, and whatever things this girl may or may not have done, she never earned any of this.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:34 PM on April 21, 2011 [22 favorites]


Man, for some reason every now and then Forbes just fucks up its display monstrously, where if I cut and paste I can still get the real text, but it just looks like a pile of diacritical gibberish when displayed.
posted by klangklangston at 12:35 PM on April 21, 2011


Yes, that is a form of attention.

I guess my next question is, do you think it is an appropriate form of attention?

I know this is trotted out all the time, but I don't actually see any difference between "She should have expected to get her house vandalized, acting like this," and "she should have expected to get raped, seeing how she was dressed."
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:35 PM on April 21, 2011 [17 favorites]


And you considering killing her cat to be attention?

I consider it part of a drama cycle. She reacted to someone's poke, so others were told and then more poked, she reacted and another round of poking.

The cat's death may or may not have been tied to her whole drama cycle.

The Star Wars Kid, the student who was posting about how condoms were a sin - they got poked and reacted. At some point they stopped responding and the drama cycle was ended. I can't imagine that no one clued her in on 'If you stop responding they'll get bored and move onto some other target' not to mention the observation that on the internet you are 150 milliseconds from every asshole on the planet.

She's internalized the 150 ms lesson - I'm hoping its just part of a drama feed cycle VS a deeply internalized message.
posted by rough ashlar at 12:39 PM on April 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


do you think it is an appropriate form of attention?

Well who do YOU think has the power to change this drama cycle?
posted by rough ashlar at 12:41 PM on April 21, 2011


Stories like this, and some of the shit I've seen her friends put up on MySpace/ Facebook/Twitter/etc, make me feel WAY better when my daughter complains bitterly about her purposely webcam-less laptop. Most teenagers just don't have the good decision-making skills to really understand that they can massively fuck up their lives with stuff they put online.
posted by deadmessenger at 12:41 PM on April 21, 2011 [7 favorites]


I can't imagine that no one clued her in on 'If you stop responding they'll get bored and move onto some other target'

That's so adorable that you think this works.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:41 PM on April 21, 2011 [11 favorites]


I thought this was going to be about boxxy.
posted by ArgentCorvid at 12:41 PM on April 21, 2011 [9 favorites]


I consider it part of a drama cycle.

That's an interesting characterization. I consider it to be abuse. And I have not discovered that trolls go away of you ignore them, any more than bullies go away if you keep your head down and try not to make eye contact,
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:42 PM on April 21, 2011 [12 favorites]


Most teenagers lack a sense of scope and frailty, more so than the average "rest of us." It isn't hard to see how this would go badly, like staggering through a dark alley at two a.m. in your sharpest suit and best bling, but that scenario does not make the actions taken against her "right," merely predictable, and predictable perhaps only if you are a grownup with a little fear in you.

This is why we are admonished to be kind to fools of all sorts.
posted by adipocere at 12:44 PM on April 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Wow, is this Metafilter? This is a young girl who was raped, punched, stalked by pedophiles, whose cat was killed, whose house was vandalized, who received death threats, etc etc etc.

I don't care what she said online to whom. I don't care how skimpy her outfits were or how much attention she sought. You really think she wanted to be raped punched stalked threatened? No one deserves that. NO ONE.
posted by desjardins at 12:44 PM on April 21, 2011 [125 favorites]


Thank you for posting this. I glanced at the article the other day in the bookstore for a bit and dismissed like others are doing here since I had never heard of her. Reading it in full, I saw the mention of Jessie Slaughter, someone who seemed to have a very similar trajectory of infamy and harassment. In a way I gather you could tell her story and it would seem very similar to Kiki Kannibal's. For all the lulz associated with seeing her father spew nonsense like "cyberpolice" and "I backtraced it" there was something very depressing about thinking of the anonymous threats and abuse sent her way.

These are girls who are probably outcasts in school, and use the Internet find validation or any some of connection to others. They construct alter egos of themselves- perhaps more assured or aggressive. This is not necessarily because that's their ideal image of themselves, it's more part of trying on different masks- these girls are doing the experimenting with roles and attitudes that I think most teens do.

However, the main difference between now and when I was a teen is that the exploration is done online, where no one sleeps and nothing is ever truly deleted. The anonymity of the masses coupled with the deduction skill and information pooling of Internet detectives leads me to feel that this combination of stalking/harassment/etc will become only more common as with each generation being online is the norm.

As a closing thought, my niece is approaching this age and it freaks the hell out of me.
posted by Dr-Baa at 12:45 PM on April 21, 2011 [5 favorites]


Yes, that is a form of attention.

I guess my next question is, do you think it is an appropriate form of attention?


Clearly not. And I get where you are coming from with the rape metaphor, but she is being personally targeted for harassment, it's not a general "nobody should post videos on the internet" thing. She shouldn't, because she is being stalked by violent weirdos.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:47 PM on April 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also, I didn't know who this person was before now either, but I'm not a teenager and neither are most of you. The internet is a vast wilderness, you know. Just because you don't know someone exists doesn't mean the story is not important.
posted by desjardins at 12:47 PM on April 21, 2011 [7 favorites]


rough ashlar: "Well who do YOU think has the power to change this drama cycle?"

An outside force. Certainly not the victim. In my experience, bullies are unlikely to "live and let live" if the person they are bulllying backs down. They see it as a sign of weakness and attack with greater force.

This young, underage girl was stalked and raped. She was threatened, harassed and then physically attacked. My impression of your comment is that you're blaming the victim here.

On preview, what desjardins said.
posted by zarq at 12:49 PM on April 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


I'm not a teenager, but I have heard of her and the ugliness around her. I don't understand the dismissiveness in "well I never heard of her, why should I give a shit?"
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:50 PM on April 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


I consider it to be abuse.

And what, exactly, is to be done about it? Pass a law? Post everytime you see abuse?

Somehow change the brutish nature of man? (Such has been tried for years, but you may be the person who will make it happen!)

That's so adorable that you think this works.

PramiusParis - who thinks of that MetaFilter persona with a lack of input to feed the fire.

The dead Encyclopedia Dramatica was filled with the drama flavor of the month. Sure did look like once the drama target stopped posting the 150 ms crowd moved on.

HB Gary was the drama flavor of the month a while ago and the cycle of drama only increased each time there was a reaction from HB Gary.
posted by rough ashlar at 12:51 PM on April 21, 2011


vShe shouldn't, because she is being stalked by violent weirdos.

I disagree. I don't think that she should stop making things and looking for an audience because there are monsters in the world. I might see her stuff as art, but it's ... something. It's making something. It may be just a girl blabbering online, but this is the form some of are mass culture is starting to take. And I think that's a good thing. I think the urge to make something and share it is a good one. I wouldn't want her to stop any more than I would want somebody to stop drawing because a bully thinks it makes them a fag and beats them up.

I never want to see somebody bullied out of doing something they enjoy. I am not comfortable that you are making her responsible for ending somebody else's miserable behavior, and that the key to doing so if for her to give up something that means something to her. Hell, the young lesbian girl, Constance McMillen, could have put an end to all of the abuse she was suffering just by choosing not to go to prom.

That answer sucks.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:52 PM on April 21, 2011 [15 favorites]


I might not see her stuff as art, rather.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:54 PM on April 21, 2011


This young, underage girl was stalked and raped. She was threatened, harassed and then physically attacked.

And the legal system is where in this matter?
posted by rough ashlar at 12:56 PM on April 21, 2011


And what, exactly, is to be done about it? Pass a law? Post everytime you see abuse?

And what, exactly, is your solution? What are you arguing for? Because it sounds like you're arguing she deserves the abuse and because you haven't heard of her, you don't care anyway.

Please tell me that's not what you're arguing.
posted by Avenger50 at 12:57 PM on April 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


HB Gary was the drama flavor of the month a while ago and the cycle of drama only increased each time there was a reaction from HB Gary.

Again, this is victim-blaming, and the responsibility is not and should not have been on HER to end the "cycle of drama", as you call it. Calling it "drama" sounds like a bunch of middle-school popular girls divided amongst themselves because one began dating the ex of another. This isn't "drama"; this was flat-out abuse that broke several laws, and not a god damn thing she said or could have said brought this upon herself.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:57 PM on April 21, 2011 [9 favorites]


And what, exactly, is to be done about it? Pass a law?

There are already laws about killing someone's cat (which is what Astro Zombie was referencing). There are laws about rape, assault, vandalism, pedophilia, etc. What is your point?
posted by desjardins at 12:58 PM on April 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


And the legal system is where in this matter?

Clearly you have not read the article, so you are simply trolling.
posted by desjardins at 12:59 PM on April 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yes, it SUCKS. But we are talking about cat killing child rapists here. Monsters, not the average bully. The best thing for this girl is not to keep putting herself out there, we can solve society later.

The bullying should have stopped at school so she didn't turn to the internet in the first place, but it's done.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:00 PM on April 21, 2011


I disagree. I don't think that she should stop making things and looking for an audience because there are monsters in the world.

And yet in the real world, there be monsters.

What is the part that will result in the least amount of harm - find the monsters or let the people who 'are making things and looking for the audience' that doing that has a risk?

And when one gets harmed - are you to embrace their internalized message that "I am the most hated"?
posted by rough ashlar at 1:00 PM on April 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


God. That stickydrama blog makes Gawker look good.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 1:01 PM on April 21, 2011


I'd say that this isn't an internet problem; it's a regular family/school problem magnified into an apocalypse by the internet.

That poor kid. I can't imagine why anyone would think a 13-year-old girl could do anything to "deserve" this whole business.

I know from experiences of friends that unusually pretty young women who don't hide their looks/sexuality are treated as fair game by everyone, from men who are attracted to them to men who hate and resent them to women who are jealous of their looks and the attention they get. I've seen a friend of mine (also blond, slim, does a lot with her hair, wears tight fashion punk clothes) have really, really scary experiences with random people--things that were scary to me and I wasn't even the target--just total strangers threatening violence, sexual and otherwise. It seems insane if you haven't spent time with someone who looks like this, just absolutely crazy what people think they can do and say.

Of course, it's awful that the internet enables young women who don't maybe have the best judgment about sexual display to do foolish things that impact them later, but the larger problem is the pathological violence and sexual rage that these young women attract.
posted by Frowner at 1:01 PM on April 21, 2011 [14 favorites]


I do have a suggestion, but I don't know how reasonable it is. My suggestion is that we have to decide who the web belongs to -- us, or the bullies. When we see bullying, we need to flag it, and report it to the web pages' editors, or moderators, or the hosting company. We need to collectively push for clearly stated policies regarding abusive behavior online from the places that host comments section. And we have to keep doing this, every time we see it, until the bullies end up in whatever small corner of the web they can claim for their own.

Because we're just going to see a lot more of this otherwise. And, from my experience, places that host unmoderated discussion forums and the like rarely take it seriously until pressed, even as they see the conversations turn into cesspolls, and the cesspools turn activist.

Because the other option, your option, is to let the bullies chase everybody else off the web.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:02 PM on April 21, 2011 [24 favorites]


One slim hope is that Stone's now pursuing a law degree, and most states have a morals exam as part of passing the bar. Hopefully, this can be brought up to make his law school years a waste of time and money.

(And it's kind of a shame that Anonymous doesn't lash out at folks like Stone, or even that no one's gotten around to just beating the shit out of him.)
posted by klangklangston at 1:07 PM on April 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


the bullies end up in whatever small corner of the web they can claim for their own.

And how does that stop the 150 ms crowd from expressing that in 'the real world'?

Is that not the issue here?
posted by rough ashlar at 1:08 PM on April 21, 2011


rough ashlar: " And the legal system is where in this matter?"

It's mentioned in the article. It's all over the article. Read the article.
posted by zarq at 1:08 PM on April 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Reading is hard. Spouting platitudes is fun!
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:10 PM on April 21, 2011 [13 favorites]


The thing is, there will always be places with little or no moderation where stuff like this can happen, because places like that are profitable and attract a lot of eyeballs, and that a lot of people think is harmless and fun, including a lot of people with the money and skills to run sites. In this respect it's different from classroom/workplace bullying, which is only fun for a small set of people most of the time, and which is uncomfortable for a lot of people a lot of the time. There will also always be young kids with emotional and social needs, something to prove and a certain recklessness. The thing is to protect those kids IRL so that they can't get so hurt online.

I mean, I love communities with a lot of character and serious...hm...crowd-sourced moderation/vigorous home-grown detrollification practices. But those are a lot of work and honestly are only fun when you've exorcised your various demons and don't need to hurt others/be hurt.
posted by Frowner at 1:10 PM on April 21, 2011


Is that not the issue here?

That part of the issue. But those things didn't just happen on their own. They were fomented online.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:12 PM on April 21, 2011


Couldn't they enroll her in softball or Girl Scouts or, hell, even art classes at a local community college? My God! This whole story is so epically fucked up. I wish there were an international 'Social Network Shutdown' holiday so kids like Kiki and the asshats who bullied her could disconnect from all of this electronic chaos and just...like...go outside or something.

I don't know about her, but doing those things in the real world is where my worst pains came from. In sports, got bullied and beaten, blamed for all the losses the teams had, coaches just laughed. Boyscouts, got called "fag" and threatened for liking things that "boys shouldn't like". School was utter hell, with only a handful of friends, with more of the same. I just happened to be in the age before the internet, my poor Apple IIe and C64 couldn't connect to anything. Who knows what i would have done to find that connection online if i had it. "Going outside" is no solution, especially when you are in bumblefuckredneckville, in fact it can be much, much worse.
posted by usagizero at 1:12 PM on April 21, 2011 [12 favorites]


Video of Kiki on Dailymotion allegedly being a bully herself.
posted by nuala at 1:12 PM on April 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


One slim hope is that Stone's now pursuing a law degree, and most states have a morals exam as part of passing the bar. Hopefully, this can be brought up to make his law school years a waste of time and money.

The follow up option to get to that same point - each time Stone gets a bar grievance it hurts the ability to get insurance. But to have the outraged internet masses follow about Stone becomes the 'to the real world' bitter taste does it not?

This is how it works: if an attorney gets one bar grievance in his first year of practice, his insurance carrier will cancel his malpractice insurance immediately; two in any one year, no matter how many years of practice, they will cancel; three and they will cancel his law firms insurance.
posted by rough ashlar at 1:14 PM on April 21, 2011


I was also was struck by the similarities between her relationship with her rapist and the poor anonymous girl on AskMe who was staying with the dude she had to wrestle for a gun.

It's always amazing to me how normal insane things seem to the people dealing with them.
posted by klangklangston at 1:15 PM on April 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


The thing is, there will always be places with little or no moderation where stuff like this can happen, because places like that are profitable and attract a lot of eyeballs, and that a lot of people think is harmless and fun, including a lot of people with the money and skills to run sites.

A website's like any other community though. Even in the absence of moderators, members of the community can rally to put down efforts to ruin someone. I've seen a few "operations" get snuffed out due to repeated shamings. And if the mods don't care about the law, the admin will, and if the admin don't care, you can bet the host will. Even on the boards known for exactly this type of behavior, not everyone is exactly down with life-ruining. People need to speak up and act up more.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:17 PM on April 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


Video of Kiki on Dailymotion allegedly being a bully herself.

Ignoring that the video itself was edited to make the young woman seem hideous, I would agree that the content was troubling. But, then, if it's being used as justification for a campaign of bullying, it's misconceived. People say stupid things all the time. Reasonable people don't respond by saying, oh, well, obviously we have to go write "slut" on her house.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:18 PM on April 21, 2011 [7 favorites]


They were fomented online

Making a small corner is still a online corner for such fomenting.
posted by rough ashlar at 1:18 PM on April 21, 2011


Also:

nuala: "Video of Kiki on Dailymotion allegedly being a bully herself."

An edited, context-free video tells us nothing, and certainly doesn't warrant any of the shit she went through, so I have no idea what this contributes.

posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:18 PM on April 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


nuala: "Video of Kiki on Dailymotion allegedly being a bully herself."

I don't think transcoded youtube poops are admissible.
posted by boo_radley at 1:18 PM on April 21, 2011


Here's the thing, I got a nice ad for HP for that video. AZ does have a point about pushing this stuff off into the internet ghetto instead of having it just be part of net culture.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:23 PM on April 21, 2011


I can't believe people are buying this bullshit.

But from the day she started sixth grade at Sawgrass, Kiki had a hard time fitting in, especially with the Hispanic and black girls who dominated her classroom. "I was bullied constantly," Kiki recalls. "They would call me a white ho and a white bitch." Her parents complained to the school but were disappointed by what they saw as a lack of response.


Those cruel latinas! Those foulmouthed nigras! Little middle-school dominatrixes!

Kiki fought back by embracing her outsider status, chopping her long hair and dyeing it pink. She remade herself into a "scene queen," a teen trend that uses as its baseline the snarl of goth — thick makeup, piercings, fishnets — and brightens it with the cutesy uplift of hair bows, vivid Eighties colors and lots of Hello Kitty. The effect is a hodgepodge of the grown-up and the infantile: adolescence visualized. But Kiki's new look made her even more of a freak at school, and her tormentors' words turned to punches.

So in the 6th-7th grade, she's wearing thick makeup, fishnets, and piercings? Like, at age 12 or 13? I'm perplexed, because a quick look for the school in question suggests it's mainly populated by ordinary looking kids and has entirely average demograhics, in other words a typical middle school, hardly the brown-tinted urban nightmare portrayed in the RS article.

Exasperated by the school — and by schools in general, having tried various options for their autistic son — her parents withdrew Kiki after seventh grade to home-school her with her older brother.

Hmmm...

When Kiki was ready, she'd take the high school equivalency exam and enroll in college courses. (Kiki would accomplish this by age 15.) Meanwhile, she would launch her own company to make and sell jewelry, and learn real-life business skills. [...] The plan seemed OK to Kiki. But she was stuck at home and at a loss as to how to meet new friends. She wanted to reach out to the world beyond Coral Springs and find misfits like herself. So, with her parents' permission, she joined MySpace.

Surely the Young Republicans have a junior chapter. Missed opportunity of the decade.

"It was kinda like a video game," Kiki says. "I didn't see it as real people, more like as a number."

And let's face it, how many of us really want to be treated as real people in the first place? When it comes down to it, wouldn't we all rather be me components in someone else's dramatic life plan?

Kiki was horrified. From the safety of her computer, she lashed out, calling her attackers "nasty low-lifes" and "sub-humans."

What could possibly go wrong with this strategy?

Cathy and Scott suggested to Kiki that it was time to leave MySpace, but Kiki protested: "If you take me off the Internet, the bullies will win." Pushed out of school, she was determined not to back down again. Her parents thought a teachable moment might be presenting itself: Maybe if they stood their ground, justice would prevail.

These are the parents that pulled her out of the school she wasn't fitting into after they moved to Florida to deal with a mid-life crisis, because it was dominated by mean hispanic and african-American kids, yes?

Afterward, Danny was tender, whispering to her in Spanish — Kiki didn't understand a word — and telling her how much he loved her. He also warned her not to tell her parents, saying, "If your mom found out, we wouldn't be together." Kiki was awash in shame; she felt betrayed and deeply violated by what Danny had just done to her. At the same time, she didn't want to lose him. So she kept quiet and continued dating him, including submitting to sex. "It was always, 'If you don't do this, you don't love me,'" Kiki recalls, breaking down in tears. "I kind of pretend like it never happened."

By this time, it was dawning on Kiki's parents that something wasn't right about Danny. One clue was when he showed up with a batch of new tattoos: Kiki's face on his shoulder, "Kiki" across his stomach, and on his ankle, a Hello Kitty holding a balloon with the name "Kirsten." The Ostrengas were alarmed, but Cathy had heard enough about Danny's chaotic home life to make her feel sorry for him. She knew that his 29-year-old sister, Rosa, had been convicted of armed robbery and had just emerged from prison after eight years. Danny had also recounted how at age four he had seen his father chase his mom with a gun. He told them his dad was no longer in his life. What Danny didn't say was why his father had left: He'd been deported to his native Peru after being convicted of sexual battery of a minor. The child had been under the age of 12.

"I felt bad for Danny," says Cathy. So she let him stick around, reassuring herself that it wouldn't be for long, since Danny had told them that he and his mom planned to move to North Carolina soon. Anyway, he seemed to make Kiki happy.


WHAT

Hello? What is this 'poor Kiki, bullies are so horrible, nobody deserves this treatment?' This story is just warmed-over true crime pulp - WHITE GIRL A VICTIM OF BESTIAL LUST!


She can't go offline. One reason is practical: Kiki has a business to run. But the other reason is more existential: If she were to go offline, her link to the world would disappear. This is a girl with 12,000 Twitter followers whose actual life is empty of real relationships. She's trapped in suburban isolation; outside the bubble of her family, her most meaningful interactions are electronic. In real life, she's lost.

Give me a fucking break. The only think that's missing from this story is that 'my mom got scared, so she sent me to live with my uncle and auntie in Bel-Air.'

If she feels threatened by the online world then shut down the website, close the accounts, and stop calling herself Kiki Kannibal. It's one thing to complain that people are mean, it's another to actively perpetuate the same behavior that you think led to trouble in the first place, including publishing sexy underage photos of oneself in a national magazine in a story that amounts to MY SORDID LIFE OF SHAME. Curiously, no screenshots of hate-filled inboxes or photographs of vandalized houses. I guess the pain was too great.

I don't believe a word of this and I can't believe so many people are buying into this exploitationist tabloid trash as if it were the unquestionable truth. This is a story of an obviously dysfunctional family evoking scary racial and techno panic stereotypes in the name of a struggling costume jewelry business, and I'm astonished that it's getting the time of day here. If you buy into this, I have bridge that's over 9000 feet long that I want to sell you.
posted by anigbrowl at 1:27 PM on April 21, 2011 [19 favorites]


Your points might be stronger, anigbrowl, if you didn't mockingly recharacterize the sexual assault of a minor by a man who seems to have been a serial assaulter into some sort of mock-horror joke.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:30 PM on April 21, 2011 [26 favorites]


Well I read the whole article and I'm pretty sure only RS is applying the hyperbile of most hated. And this girl is guilty of not much more than having permissive (at best) parents, and being a typical, lonely, none too bright teen age girl. No parent should let their 14 year old girl model lingere online. Our one computer that goes online is in the living room and when my kid is surfing, I know exactly what he's looking at. I turn my head 90 degrees. Not complicated. It isn't going to change. The webcam is not hooked up without a good specific reason. Nothing difficult, nothing oppressive, because we start with the premise that the internet is a fibre optic cable to satan's anus. Well maybe not that, but surely two way connection to real potential evil. There's way too much hindsight in some of these posts that overlook the fact that teen age girls (and boys) need bales of attention, and a good amount of approval, and they will do some stupid shit to get it. They need good and cool friends, and this can be the hardest commodity to find. I am ALL for some serious draconian measures against peeople like this Stone scumbag and if he gets a law degree, the world will be a considerably worse place for it, but any kind of bullying needs some deterents with fangs and claws in it.
posted by Redhush at 1:30 PM on April 21, 2011 [6 favorites]


the internet ghetto

Part is gone - Encyclopedia Dramatica. But banishing it does not destroy it, it'll just move to other places.
posted by rough ashlar at 1:31 PM on April 21, 2011


But we are talking about cat killing child rapists here. Monsters, not the average bully.

I'm not convinced that her cat was killed by someone. The article said her cat disappeared an unspecified amount of time after a random threat out of who knows how many, and outdoor cats tend to just disappear like relatively often. Plus it seems like if someone kills a pet to carry out a threat, they would either leave evidence (such as the dead body) or send some sort of taunting message about it afterwords.

Also I don't think her rapist boyfriend can really be considered part of the bullying, although what he did is terrible. She was definitely a victim of bullying and I wouldn't wish her life on anybody.
posted by burnmp3s at 1:32 PM on April 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Your points might be stronger, anigbrowl, if you didn't mockingly recharacterize the sexual assault of a minor by a man who seems to have been a serial assaulter into some sort of mock-horror joke.

That's because I don't believe this news report to be credible. I think it's an elaborate fiction designed to play on a particular set of prejudices.
posted by anigbrowl at 1:36 PM on April 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


Did a little more research... Adrian Chen over at Gawker went after the owner of StickyDrama with a vengeance last year. List of articles can be seen at their "StickyDrama" tag. (Link goes to their UK site, because the US version has that awful new interface.)
posted by zarq at 1:37 PM on April 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


So we've gone from "she asked for it" to "it's an elaborate fiction".

It's been a great day at Metafilter.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:37 PM on April 21, 2011 [16 favorites]


But from the day she started sixth grade at Sawgrass, Kiki had a hard time fitting in, especially with the Hispanic and black girls who dominated her classroom. "I was bullied constantly," Kiki recalls. "They would call me a white ho and a white bitch." Her parents complained to the school but were disappointed by what they saw as a lack of response.

Have you never encountered this scenario? Racism by white people sure can create the racialized bullying of white kids, if they're already being bullied for something else. I've actually heard comments like this directed at white girls--it wasn't because of "reverse racism" or some canard like that; it was because we live in a racist society where there's so much racial invective that it seems like a natural weapon to a lot of kids, and it seems natural to turn the tables if you possibly can. Just like, there's racialized bullying between African immigrants and US-born African-American kids here which has turned into real violence. White racism is still the driving force, expressed through other means.
posted by Frowner at 1:38 PM on April 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also I don't think her rapist boyfriend can really be considered part of the bullying, although what he did is terrible.

It's certainly not part of the main online bullying, but it certainly has bullying aspects to it, especially the suicide attempt.

But yeah, her involvement with the guy, while entangled into the huge knot of Online Persona Strangeness which seems to have descended on this girl and her family, isn't really a main part of the bullying.

Well, except for where people were following their relationship closely online and were using that as a springboard into more online abuse.
posted by hippybear at 1:38 PM on April 21, 2011


I think it's an elaborate fiction designed to play on a particular set of prejudices.

Well, considering you're essentially now accusing a little girl and a nationally respected news magazine of lying about rape, I would think you would want to put together some sort of evidence besides cherry picking comments to support your point.

Really, that accusation, without evidence, is reprehensible.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:39 PM on April 21, 2011 [11 favorites]


I feel like I need to add that I don't believe anything Kiki has done warrants the kind of vicious bullying and harassment she has experienced. I posted the Dailymotion video simply as a data point because I saw that no one else had linked to it. Hence the allegedly in the text of my link.
posted by nuala at 1:44 PM on April 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Jesus. Having read this StickyDrama post, I am going to reverse some of what I said earlier. It's not surprising, if Kiki Kannibal was participating on StickyDrama, that there are videos of her mocking fat people or the disabled -- the site seems geared toward bullying and mockery, and the owner approves every video placed on the site, and seems to have a taste for videos that involve this sort of vileness.

Were I a parent, there is no way I would let my child participate on a site like this. I do agree that part of the problem here is poor supervision.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:50 PM on April 21, 2011 [12 favorites]


This is a weird story. Bullies versus a 14-year old modeling lingerie. It's really hard to pick a moral side.
posted by phaedon at 1:54 PM on April 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


The responsibility is with the parents. This is a, "Kids, don't talk to strangers" situation, not a "You were asking for it by wearing that." situation.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:55 PM on April 21, 2011 [6 favorites]


The thing is, right now in a 5 mile circle around each and every one of us there are stories exactly like hers, minus the internet attention, there are numerous cases of domestic abuse, child abuse, acts of sadness and anger... Yes absolutely, she did not deserve the horrible things that happened to her. But, her story is no more important then every single one we do not hear about. I hope she finds peace down the road, but there is nothing I can do for her I am too busy advocating for so many who do not have voices, or an article about her in national magazines.

PWF goes missing/is abused/experiences XYZ and people flip out, and yes PWF deserve help and attention when in trouble... but so does everyone else.

And anytime something is presented with the form "The most X of the Y" I instinctively flare up about it.
posted by edgeways at 1:56 PM on April 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


What's hard about it, phaedon? Do you think making ill-advised and inappropriate "sexy" videos is on a par with criminal mischief, assault & battery, stalking, etc?
posted by Mister_A at 1:56 PM on April 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


I find the StickyDrama/Christopher Stone coercing teenage boys into having sex in order to have a place to sleep aside to be the most disturbing and confusing part of the Rolling Stone article.
posted by nuala at 1:58 PM on April 21, 2011 [13 favorites]


The responsibility is with the parents.

This is it in a nutshell. They were in the best position to have solved all of this early on and they failed to do so. My wife and I have a 13 y.o. in the house and his YT, FB, etc. activity is followed routinely. The second he began to compromise his safety or peace of mind with his online activities, he would find those activities severely restricted if not gone altogether. It would not be as simple as that, perhaps, but compassionate, determined parents could exerted have their wills forcefully here and saved this girl a world of grief.
posted by barrett caulk at 2:05 PM on April 21, 2011 [8 favorites]


What's hard about it, phaedon? Do you think making ill-advised and inappropriate "sexy" videos is on a par with criminal mischief, assault & battery, stalking, etc?

As far as keeping something like this from happening again, are you asking me, do I think it's easier to end criminal mischief once and for all, or how about you stop letting your 14-year old book modeling shoots and get the fuck offline? I'm going to go with the latter and blame the parents. I admit I can't even bear to read the entire story, it disgusts me. Sorry. Badger me at will.
posted by phaedon at 2:12 PM on April 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Jesus fucking Christ. The treatment of this girl is just awful. She made some bad choices but in general 99% of teenage girls operate in a headspace where they desperately want attention but have no idea how to get it without being half-naked, and they shouldn't be attacked for it.

But her parents are fucking morons. If they cut it off after they had to move, I would have thought their initial permissiveness was due to naivete. But they not only let her continue, they let their fifteen-year-old daughter post videos of herself dancing in lingerie. And they call it "cute." Really? Really?


When Cathy reached out to Stickydrama's administrator and demanded the removal of the "MySpace Murder" item, the response infuriated her. "If she were my own child I would have taken that fucking computer and Sidekick away a long time ago," wrote the administrator, presumably Stone. "If you had your daughter's best interests at heart, you would put an end to the 'Kiki Kannibal' fame that is obviously so unhealthy at her age."

You know, the Stickydrama people are clearly creepy raging assholes, but they have a fucking point here. Oh, I'm sorry. How dare they suggest her attention-seeking behavior is garnering attention! How dare they!

Nobody should blame the victim. But if you play with fire, burn your hand, and respond by throwing your arm in and adding a gallon of lighter fluid, you still do not deserve to get burned but you are an idiot.
posted by schroedinger at 2:15 PM on April 21, 2011 [15 favorites]


The Ostrengas were alarmed, but Cathy had heard enough about Danny's chaotic home life to make her feel sorry for him.

Wow. This mom seems some sort of combination of dumb and naive. I'm sure this Danny kid needed some sympathy. But letting him date your daughter? No. Fucking. Way.

The big takeway here is that this girl's parents basically failed at being parents.
posted by GuyZero at 2:19 PM on April 21, 2011 [5 favorites]


Indeed, consequences will never be the same.
posted by ShutterBun at 2:24 PM on April 21, 2011


Well, there is a pretty good chance they were just overwhelmed. They had one autistic kid to homeschool and a girl with some severe social issues. It can be tough to tell the girl may be the one who needs the most attention and care at times. It's cliche, but this has cry for attention written all over it.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:25 PM on April 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Well, there is a pretty good chance they were just overwhelmed. They had one autistic kid to homeschool and a girl with some severe social issues. It can be tough to tell the girl may be the one who needs the most attention and care at times. It's cliche, but this has cry for attention written all over it.

I would like to give them the benefit of the doubt, but they had to move. If that's not a wake-up call that something about your parenting needs to change I don't know what is.
posted by schroedinger at 2:30 PM on April 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Well, considering you're essentially now accusing a little girl and a nationally respected news magazine of lying about rape, I would think you would want to put together some sort of evidence besides cherry picking comments to support your point.

Really, that accusation, without evidence, is reprehensible.


1. She's an adult, not a little girl. I question the story she has told the magazine as printed.

2. She's an adult who claims she's being victimized anew each day because she has no choice but to go online to run her 'Kiki Kannibal' jewelry business: She boasts a Twitter, a Tumblr, a Buzznet, a YouTube channel, two websites — one of which sells her jewelry and apparel — and an AIM screen name, which she gives out freely. And, of course, there's her Stickam, where she continues to stream videos, now dressed more modestly.

2a. "When I was younger, I was so naive," she says. "I didn't know people were doing things to themselves while they were watching me." Do I really have to explain the suspension of disbelief required to take a statement like this at face value?

3. Nationally respected news magazine do not illustrate their stories with multiple pictures of scantily-clad minors or punctuate their stories with phrases like Two months later, Kiki's rapist and first love was dead. This is pure tabloid trash. It's not news, it's True Crime.

4. There's a distinct absence of evidence in the Rolling Stone article. There are no photographs of the trashed house (although you would think such photos would exist for insurance or evidence purposes, and that the family would retain digital copies or negatives). There is no explanation of whether a warrant was ever issued against this Danny Cespedes in relation to Kirsten Ostrenga.

5. This might be because the law in Florida is complex, and the mere fact that Cespedes was over 18 does not necessarily mean he committed statutory rape even if he did have sex with Kirsten Ostrenga because she was under 18. See Florida Code, Chapter 794 (sexual Battery). Consent appears to be a valid defense in Florida where a minor is aged between 12 and 18. I don't write the laws, so don't blame me if you don't like it.
posted by anigbrowl at 2:30 PM on April 21, 2011 [7 favorites]


Well, considering you're essentially now accusing a little girl and a nationally respected news magazine of lying about rape, I would think you would want to put together some sort of evidence besides cherry picking comments to support your point.

I'm not disputing anything in particular (other than the cat thing that I already mentioned), but it's pretty obvious that the article tells the Ostrenga family's version of the story. It would have been interesting to get more outside points of view. For example while I doubt Cespedes' family would say that he was a child rapist even if it's true, it would be interesting to hear their side of it, especially since the article goes out of its way to paint their entire family in a bad light.

Also I wonder how much of the willingness on the part of her parents to allow her to continue her online persona was based on the fact that apparently from the beginning they had encouraged her to use it as a way to make money as some sort of weird life they planned out for her. They basically set her up to skip having any sort of normal childhood start relying on the Internet to run a business as a career before she was 16. Were they expecting her to become some sort of rich celebrity from all of this?
posted by burnmp3s at 2:30 PM on April 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


"...lashed out with a pair of tweets that devastated..."

I don't need to read the rest. I already don't care.
posted by Catblack at 2:35 PM on April 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


None of that is evidence, anigbrowl. Could I ask you to back down from this accusation. It's not going to go well, it will derail the thread, and you have not one shred of evidence for taking this particular discussion off the tracks with your highly dubious hunch,
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:35 PM on April 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


Period.
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:35 PM on April 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


I won't argue that Cespedes didn't have struggles of his own, but he systematically sought out 14 year old girls. 18 girls in total, according to the article. He repeatedly raped Kiki. He was very clearly a predator. It doesn't surprise me that his family is in denial about that and trying to blame someone else.
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 2:36 PM on April 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


This might be because the law in Florida is complex, and the mere fact that Cespedes was over 18 does not necessarily mean he committed statutory rape even if he did have sex with Kirsten Ostrenga because she was under 18.

The article pretty explicitly says that, at least the first time, she says she did not consent regardless of whether or not she was legally able to consent.
posted by burnmp3s at 2:41 PM on April 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


What a remarkable nadir this thread has become.
posted by boo_radley at 2:53 PM on April 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


For example while I doubt Cespedes' family would say that he was a child rapist even if it's true, it would be interesting to hear their side of it, especially since the article goes out of its way to paint their entire family in a bad light.

Well, I don't think the article really addresses the Cespedes family much at all beyond Danny. And apparently the author of the article did attempt to interview them but instead talked to their lawyers and was told they had no comment.
posted by hippybear at 2:55 PM on April 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Just running in to thank Astro Zombie and Marisa for fighting the good fight in this thread. Your comments give me hope.
posted by jokeefe at 2:59 PM on April 21, 2011 [18 favorites]


You're all missing the most important aspect of the story. Is this sympathetic portrayal of KK's anguish going to help or hurt her online jewelry business?
posted by fredludd at 3:08 PM on April 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


boo_radley: "What a remarkable nadir this thread has become."

I've spent the last two hours trying to decide if I should ask the mods to delete the damned thing.
posted by zarq at 3:11 PM on April 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


Maybe a MeFi thread. This won't be the last time a thread like this comes up, and maybe it would be better if we hash out some of the questions raised by this, instead of just lump this into the useless category of "stuff MetaFilter doesn't do well."
posted by Astro Zombie at 3:21 PM on April 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


MeTa, rather.
posted by Astro Zombie at 3:22 PM on April 21, 2011


None of that is evidence, anigbrowl. Could I ask you to back down from this accusation. It's not going to go well, it will derail the thread, and you have not one shred of evidence for taking this particular discussion off the tracks with your highly dubious hunch

Let's be careful about this. I don't see anywhere that anigbrowl is arguing that Kiki was not raped, which you probably understand, but talking about his "accusation" can lead people to thinking that.

What anigbrow is saying is the information in this article is one-sided, unresearched, and sensationalistic. It's pretty clear that it consists of an interview with Kiki and members of her family. Sorry that it's just a hunch on my part, but it doesn't sound like clear thought is really their strong suit. (Not saying that anybody deserves anything, etc.)

There's not one shred of evidence for nearly anything in the article; asking for a little bit of evidence, hell, even multiple perspectives, is surely not the same thing as making an accusation in the absence of evidence?
posted by nathan v at 3:23 PM on April 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


None of that is evidence, anigbrowl. Could I ask you to back down from this accusation.

Honest question: why? It's not a court of law, it's a MetaFilter thread. I see the veracity of articles questioned all the time here.
posted by jess at 3:23 PM on April 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


Astro Zombie: "Maybe a MeFi thread. This won't be the last time a thread like this comes up, and maybe it would be better if we hash out some of the questions raised by this, instead of just lump this into the useless category of "stuff MetaFilter doesn't do well.""

To be honest, I haven't started a MeTa because I didn't want to cause any trouble for the mods. Which is also why I've been holding back on asking for this to be deleted, too. I feel like any action I take here is going to give them more work to do. Something I'd like to avoid.
posted by zarq at 3:24 PM on April 21, 2011


None of that is evidence, anigbrowl. Could I ask you to back down from this accusation. It's not going to go well, it will derail the thread, and you have not one shred of evidence for taking this particular discussion off the tracks with your highly dubious hunch.

It seems to me that both you and Rolling Stone are the ones throwing accusations about without evidence; while the case never went to court due to Cespedes' flight and subsequent death, it does not follow that a conviction would have taken place. That said, if he did have sex with Ostrenga, that would be lewd or lascivious battery, for which consent is not a defense. Awkwardly, the same statute would criminalize much of the breathlessly-reported Stickam exhibitionism, potentially making criminals of both Kirsten and her parents for different reasons.

None of this is meant to suggest that statutory rape is OK or is deserved. MY problem is with the exploitative and obviously biased nature of the story.
posted by anigbrowl at 3:25 PM on April 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


Gosh - I feel stretched thin just posting on Metafilter. How teenagers can maintain a gazillion friends over multiplie social platforms boggles my mind. I guess it boggles their minds too. At the end of the day - I just hope things settle down for KK and real world craziness die down.
posted by helmutdog at 3:31 PM on April 21, 2011


Fair enough. You sounded awfully close to recharacterizing this as a scheme by racists to invent a tale of sexual assault in order to damage an absent third party. If that wasn't your intention, it wasn't your intention. But you do seem ti be well into the realm of doubting somebody who says they were sexually assaulted. That's a risky place to be, even if you don't like the reportage.
posted by Astro Zombie at 3:33 PM on April 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


Not to mention it goes beyond statutory rape, by her account of what transpired the first time.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:36 PM on April 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


It is impossible to rationally talk about subjects like this because the language used is so loaded. I think awful choices were/are being made all around by the parties involved, but that no one deserves rape or bullying, even for being a stupid teenager who may be a bully herself. (Stupid as in 99% of teens make stupid decisions a stupid amount of the time. That percentage falls to 95% by the time you're an adult.)

That said, I looked at the photos in the article, and I have no way of telling whether the person pictured is 14 or 19 or 23 without any other clues. She's a physically mature woman, biologically speaking, however much her mental dev needs to catch up to that--which is why we legally separate "statutory rape" from pedophilia. Except we don't on the internet, where any sexual attraction to a sexually-mature person who is under the legal age of your local jurisdiction is pedophilia.

Adults should be kept away from sexually mature but under-age teens, for all sorts of good reasons. But to throw words out like "little girl" or "pedophilia" irritates me because it makes the words meaningless in their true context, adults preying on pre-pubescent kids. (Plus "little girl" seems really patronizing.)
posted by maxwelton at 3:39 PM on April 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Calling herself "Kiki Kannibal," she began posting pictures of herself, highlighting her hairdo of the moment: a mullet that she'd layered, bleached and fluffed — think Ziggy Stardust — and then dyed with dark horizontal stripes.
Who took these photos? They don't look like camera-timer self-portraits taken on a whim by a young girl.
posted by dabitch at 3:44 PM on April 21, 2011 [11 favorites]


The fact that someone would attach their real name to a comment like "Her boyfriend should have killed her after he raped her. Problem solved." just astounds me (from the Rolling Stone comment section, I'm not going to repeat the person's name).
posted by desjardins at 3:44 PM on April 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Statuatory date rape was common in my high school. It's not all that shocking to me, sadly. So I will leave all that.

But spare me the bullshit of not making friends in 'the burbs'. My tween is doing just fine with no fucking webcam, social media accounts OR lingerie. Her parents sound lobotomized. It's too bad, really, she seems (seemed?) like she has the chutzpah and the fashion sense to parlay her life into something great, and instead she's taking the low road. Someone needs to pull the plug on her router.

(and Astrozombie, respected news? Rolling Stone? We must be reading two different publications because the ones I get are full of sensationalist, subjective (e.g."MOST-HATED") drama. Can I borrow your copy?)
posted by pink candy floss at 3:47 PM on April 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't think that she could have found a better publicist than the author of that RS article. The whole package -- including the death of the boyfriend/boyfiend, Kiki's arrogance and racism, Kiki's brave persistence in facing up to cyberbullying, etc., etc. -- add up to the sort of branding that should attract a shitload of venture capital, catapulting Kiki Kannibal beyond mere celebrity level.
posted by fredludd at 3:51 PM on April 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


respected news? Rolling Stone?

Sure. It's the copy with some of the best war reporting going on now. And that issues is .. oh, five years worth of issues.
posted by Astro Zombie at 3:53 PM on April 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


It is impossible to rationally talk about subjects like this because the language used is so loaded...to throw words out like "little girl" or "pedophilia" irritates me because it makes the words meaningless in their true context, adults preying on pre-pubescent kids

So, assuming the allegations in the article are true and he trolled for 14 year olds on My Space and forced them to have sex with him, your problem is that he's being called a pedophile rather than a serial rapist of post-pubescent under-age teens? Seems like hairsplitting. And most people in this thread didn't use the term pedophilia anyway.
posted by burnmp3s at 4:01 PM on April 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sure. It's the copy with some of the best war reporting going on now. And that issues is .. oh, five years worth of issues.
I will concede on the war subject.
posted by pink candy floss at 4:03 PM on April 21, 2011


But spare me the bullshit of not making friends in 'the burbs'. My tween is doing just fine

You realize the flaw in your point here, right?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 4:07 PM on April 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


As others have said, there's so much going on here, so much...wrong that it's difficult to comment.

The immediate thought that comes to my mind, however, is that if she is really being regarded as a "little girl" throughout this, her parents really needed to be facing charges of neglect or endangerment or something a long time ago.

Posting pictures of your 14-year-old self in lingerie? Not smart. But forgivable. You're 14.

Looking at pictures of a girl in lingerie on the internet, who might be 14, or who might be 24, for all you know? You really need to taking a good fucking look at yourself.

Knowing that your 14-year-old daughter is posting pics of herself in lingerie on the internet, not caring, thinking it's "cute", and encouraging it for, essentially, commercial purposes? I'm pretty sure you need to face some consequences.
posted by Jimbob at 4:10 PM on April 21, 2011 [5 favorites]


I'm actually non-snarkily interested in the answer to this. Had anyone heard of her before the article?

I think i saw her on Stuff You Will Hate.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 4:11 PM on April 21, 2011


Does Rolling Stone actually call her Most Hated? I don't recall that in the article, and people are taking issue with it and criticizing RS over it. That seems to come from the Forbes piece.
posted by Astro Zombie at 4:14 PM on April 21, 2011


Astro Zombie: "Does Rolling Stone actually call her Most Hated? I don't recall that in the article, and people are taking issue with it and criticizing RS over it. That seems to come from the Forbes piece."

She's referred to that way on the cover of the magazine.
posted by zarq at 4:18 PM on April 21, 2011


2a. "When I was younger, I was so naive," she says. "I didn't know people were doing things to themselves while they were watching me." Do I really have to explain the suspension of disbelief required to take a statement like this at face value?


Based on my memories of being a naive female teenager, there is a solid chance that she had no idea people were doing things to themselves while they were watching her. Yes, even after the boyfriend.
posted by aniola at 4:18 PM on April 21, 2011 [18 favorites]


She insisted that the two kids stop seeing each other. But Danny kept coming back, telling the Ostrengas through tears that he couldn't spend another minute living with his mother. Cathy and Scott decided he had worn out his welcome but couldn't seem to figure out how to kick him out.

Part of being compassionate is learning how to set boundaries. A better thing to do in that situation would have been to work with him to find appropriate community resources.

It sounds to me like her parents were naive about the idea of how to find/build community. If they had known that, they could have helped redirect some of her creative energy to IRL-based activities.
posted by aniola at 4:37 PM on April 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


your problem is that he's being called a pedophile

In that particular case, I don't really have a problem with that description in that the person clearly has a pathology where the immaturity of his victims is key. I still don't think it's accurate, but it's not far off the mark.

My problem with the term is the abandon it is used when discussing teens. When I hear "pedophilia" I picture little kids, not physically mature people whose faculties haven't caught up to their bodies (and who therefore still need protecting). Being attracted to kids is unnatural. Being physically attracted to teens is natural; witness every movie which purports to take place in high school with an "R" rating for sexual themes. Still doesn't make it right for adults to have sex with the underage, though I'm sure that distinction will be lost on the pitchfork brigade.

Perhaps "pedophilia" no longer means what I thought it meant. Last summer a group of middle-aged friends and I were sitting having a snack when a lovely young woman walked confidently by in a nice summer dress, rocking her septum and lip piercings and her fairly cool upper-arm tatoo. After she passed we all kind of raised eyebrows at each other in that "ah, it's good to be alive" sort of way. Turns out she was sixteen (I know this as I was later introduced to her by her father, an acquaintance). I think had she been walking around with a big "I'm sixteen" sign on, none of us would have given her a second glance, just because that isn't right or cool. Are we all pedophiles for admiring her without that knowledge?
posted by maxwelton at 4:47 PM on April 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


Life imitating art perhaps.

It's been four years since I watched television, yet the other day, I found some videos of Comedy Central's 'roasts' of famous celebrities on youtube. Specifically, the recent roast of Donald Trump.

I was taken a back and watched for an hour, unable to unglue attention from the spectacle presented, famous celebrities attacking each other in ways that left the range of funny, surpassing humour into calcified animosity and just general meanness.

And there, I watched as a man who purports to run for President of the United States sat amongst a group of people who verbally abused each other. What it provoked was the feeling that America is declining at such an accelerated rate, that chaos is erupting literally in every corner of the society.

Reading this article about 'Kiki' was shocking, for the parents never acted upon their simple roles as parents and unplugged their child from the internet. Rather, she was raped and continued to prostitute herself. Yet, they cheered her freedom of expression

WTF? Has my country become so bereft of objectivity and intelligence that parents cheer the very enabler of their own daughter's demise?

Upon reflection, I see something different. Parents that are so terrified to tell their daughter the truth -- that the values of freedom and expression -- are under such threat that they nearly have ceased to exist. Instead, they play into the vacant platitudes that afflict every poor person that votes Republican and every democrat that thinks there is the possibility to vote for change in a two-party system.

I spend most of my time watching the rise of China and the other 'developing' nations and always remember the adage of a mentor, "if you tell me someone has been empowered, please tell me who has been disempowered, for power itself is a finite quantity."

The United States is on a precipice today, risking losing it's very relevance on the world stage as a superpower. The country is now involved in three regional conflicts against poorly armed opponents and cannot execute a victory in any one theatre. The dollar is about to lose it's reserve currency status and the future price of gasoline is going to make $4 look like a discount.

Yet, rather than come together to solve the problems and create a sober and cohesive plan of action to ensure the very survival of the country, people are turning on each other and consuming each other.

The entire country needs to sit down and accept that the American dream is dead, there is nothing unique about being American, that life is going to get harder because American colonialism is dead, and most importantly, that it is okay to be a normal citizen of the world.

We have an entire population of young people (and old people) screaming for relevance and uniqueness. People that have been raised on the very values that each individual is unique, capable of anything, and there are no boundaries.

But each individual is not unique, nor capable of everything, and there are indeed very rigid and painful boundaries in life. And this is a conversation that needs to happen on a national basis. As if Obama needs to sit everyone down and say, "things have changed, and now we must change to. That was fun. But now things are different."

When I see Kiki, I see a society of people who believe in entitlements to elective surgeries, denial that McDonalds will kill you early, and a belief that America Will Always Prevail.

A society so codependent upon it's own mythology, that even when that mythology perverts into abusive roasts and bullying of raped teenagers, that each party is so happy to have attention and an identity within that myth, that nobody cares if that attention is mean, harmful and destructive.

If this is the news in the popular press and there nary a mention that the coming economic changes will make the credit crisis look like a bad night out, I don't know what to say for America. The enemy truly destroying America is itself -- and that is manifested in the inability of two parents to prevent their daughter from being raped in their own house. And their further inability to man-up and deal with the truth.

And it's not them that's the problem. The problem is us. And until we can be honest with ourselves and our children, it will not be surprising that they can be raped in our own homes and go back for more. For we haven't taught them to value themselves on any higher plane than that of basic attention and functional recognition by other human beings as simple objects.

Perhaps the new slogan should be, "No, actually, we can't."
posted by nickrussell at 5:18 PM on April 21, 2011 [11 favorites]


I disagree.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:29 PM on April 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


By all means allow yourself to retort.
posted by phaedon at 5:35 PM on April 21, 2011


I've MetaTalked this. I was hoping someone else would do it, because I havn't been here very long, but this just isn't funny any more.
posted by 40glocc at 5:40 PM on April 21, 2011


What a remarkable nadir this thread has become.

Don't blame me, I voted for nadir.
posted by staggernation at 5:54 PM on April 21, 2011 [9 favorites]


And there, I watched as a man who purports to run for President of the United States sat amongst a group of people who verbally abused each other.

He was testifying before Congress?
posted by jonmc at 6:18 PM on April 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


The article states that this Chris Stone...person...posted "the first page of Kiki's sexual-assault police report"

Hence, That said, if he did have sex with Ostrenga, that would be lewd or lascivious battery, for which consent is not a defense.

This would not apply as the report as stated by the article is of assult, not battery.
posted by clavdivs at 6:21 PM on April 21, 2011


By all means allow yourself to retort.

Comedy roasts are an honored tradition with a storied past going back at least to the 1920s, we have insufficient evidence to establish that they are a sign of chaos erupting literally in every corner of the society.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:54 PM on April 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


"You know what I blame this on the downfall of? Society."
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 7:07 PM on April 21, 2011 [9 favorites]


MetaFilter: An elaborate fiction designed to play on a particular set of prejudices.
posted by MikeMc at 8:54 PM on April 21, 2011


But spare me the bullshit of not making friends in 'the burbs'. My tween is doing just fine

You realize the flaw in your point here, right?


I don't know if I do. I'm not saying 'just because my child can make friends, anyone can'. I'm saying their whole family is so quick to blame, and they keep no accountability. I suspect she's not as socially stunted or deprived as people want to allow for all of this. If I am way off, let me know.
posted by pink candy floss at 9:05 PM on April 21, 2011


FTFA: Erdeley claims that Kannibal’s parents thought the videos their daughter was posting online were “adorable” — including one of her at age 14, sliding out of her underwear while dancing jerkily along to Mr. Roboto

The very definition of the absence of responsible parenting.

We’ve always had a philosophy of letting the kids express their creativity, as long as they’re not harming themselves,” Kannibal’s dad tells Erdeley. It’s easy to see now, in hindsight, that Kannibal’s increasingly provocative online behavior was leading to trouble for her. Trouble in the form of attacks from websites dedicated to teen gossip, romantic advances from pedophiles, and a pretty terrible Google footprint. But how can parents know when to draw the line?

I think it's pretty fucking obvious that reasonable parents would know to draw the line a ways behind 'letting their pubescent daughter post erotic strip teases online'.
posted by IAmBroom at 9:20 PM on April 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


2a. "When I was younger, I was so naive," she says. "I didn't know people were doing things to themselves while they were watching me." Do I really have to explain the suspension of disbelief required to take a statement like this at face value?

Just as a datapoint, at age 13-14 I would have had no clue either. I knew intellectually that masturbation existed, but it would never in a million years have occurred to me that it would have any connection to my actions.
posted by small_ruminant at 9:26 PM on April 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


A pro-ana Stickam "celeb" notable mainly for having better hair than Jessi Slaughter? Rolling Stone was really hard up for material this month. It's ironic that this came out the same week ED was baleeted. This pool really is closed.
posted by meehawl at 9:26 PM on April 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


1. She's an adult, not a little girl. I question the story she has told the magazine as printed.

It is my understanding that she was younger when events in her past occurred.

2a. "When I was younger, I was so naive," she says. "I didn't know people were doing things to themselves while they were watching me." Do I really have to explain the suspension of disbelief required to take a statement like this at face value?

She was a teenager - presumably 12-14 at the start, when she is referring to. It takes no suspension of disbelief to realize many girls that young don't understand adult male pedophilic behavior.

anigbrowl, some of your points make sense, and the article is certainly playing up the emotional content, but IMO you're trying a little too hard to press responsibility back onto the victim.

She behaved irresponsibly. She was a kid. Her parents behaved irresponsibly. They're bad parents. Like many kids lacking in parental guidance, she sought attention from older, "cooler" kids... and like many young girls, she got in way over her head sexually as a consequence.

This isn't a story of a scheming Delilah. It's a little girl who played "adult" with the big, scary world, and got bitten. Now, with a history of bad decisions and poor upbringing, she's trying to move on... in basically the same damned direction.

Substitute "stripping and streetwalking" for "internet videos", and you've just described more teens than you can possibly imagine. Then they try to correct their mistakes by moving on to selling crack... because they never really had a clue how to move on.

As she's chosen selling jewelry and more modest dress as her followup, I can't say this is the most dismal outcome I've heard of.
posted by IAmBroom at 9:34 PM on April 21, 2011 [6 favorites]


Geez, what a messed up story, from start to finish. No one comes out looking good, not her, not her parents, not the people around her. How much of that is the article's bias, and how much is reflecting the true story, I don't think we can know.
posted by Forktine at 9:46 PM on April 21, 2011


It takes no suspension of disbelief to realize many girls that young don't understand adult male pedophilic behavior.

"...many..." is such a weasel word. You lose.
posted by Ardiril at 9:49 PM on April 21, 2011


rough ashlar: "At least she was saved an entry in Encyclopedia Dramatica."

No, she's got a NSFW one.
posted by meehawl at 9:49 PM on April 21, 2011


i browsed through this at barnes and noble last week and my impression is that she should just step away from that damned keyboard for awhile

she's had her 15 minutes of fame and it sucked - it's time to let it go
posted by pyramid termite at 9:51 PM on April 21, 2011


This is why we can't have nice things.
posted by holgate at 10:41 PM on April 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


IAmBroom: It takes no suspension of disbelief to realize many girls that young don't understand adult male pedophilic behavior.

Ardiril: "...many..." is such a weasel word. You lose.

???

She is only one girl. "Any" would be enough, to disprove anigbrowl assertion.
posted by IAmBroom at 10:54 PM on April 21, 2011


After reading the article and this thread the thing that sticks with me most is that it's sad when a child has truly inept or vile parents.
posted by arse_hat at 11:31 PM on April 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


This would not apply as the report as stated by the article is of assult, not battery.

I really didn't want to go to that guy's site to look up the actual police report in question, and frankly by that point I had given up on the reporter as far as terminology or specifics went. I figured the Florida statutes were the best place to look for the specifics (though LL battery is only one possibility among several, there didn't seem to be a separate offense labelled LL assault - but I'm no expert on this).

IamBroom: It is my understanding that she was younger when events in her past occurred.

Yes. I'm talking about her decision as an adult to be photographed and interviewed about the past events. The essence of my complaint is the exploitation of the story for profit. I went into much more detail (not graphic, philosophical) about this in the MeTa thread, if you want to read that.
posted by anigbrowl at 12:22 AM on April 22, 2011


Initially I thought the parents were mind-blowingly naive and wildly permissive... and that these traits had intersected with teen drama and the worst corners of the internet to create a perfect hell story, but after seeing the mother's remarks in the comments section, it seems that she was actually intimately involved in the whole thing. She is responding to some other commenters on the RS article with instances of specific behavior (at some points, it seems, from as long as three or four years ago) such as in this snippet:
Cathy Tierney: Chelsea Criner AKA "Audio w h o r egasm" is being EXTREMELY dishonest. Kiki did not bully you. YOU bullied Kiki. Kiki had to ban you from her Stickam, and you would continually harass her through your "friends" accounts. I am sure Stickam's records would convey that as well. Kiki actually felt bad for you when Stickydrama users were calling you a fat w h o r e during the SXSW, and when people were making fun of you for dancing on a stripper pole. She also felt bad for you when your underage nudes were posted on Stickydrama. Kiki had nothing to do with any of that. You are transposing what others did to you onto to Kiki to further your bullying of her by spreading lies and soliciting hate.

I remember when you would go into Kiki's Stickam chats (Kiki NEVER went into yours), and one day you would be nice to her and the next day you would be rude. You had even apologized to Kiki for your mean, imbalanced behavior stating to her that you were bi-p0lar. You started being consistently mean to Kiki after Kiki made comments about John Hock and his underage girl habit. You were good internet "friends" with John, and you started attacking Kiki for her opinions. After she banned you from her room, it enraged you enough to continually harass her on and off over the years.
Okay. This is not a wide-eyed-innocent mom who just really had no idea the sort of thing that her kid was involved in. It sounds like she was as wrapped up in the whole scene at least as much as her daughter was. It's sounds like she knew about underage nude pics being posted in these venues and exactly what kind of culture her child was involved in, and she seems to have had very intimate knowledge of all the ugly highways and byways of the MySpace and Stickam, etc. labyrinth of suck rather than just having some vague idea that her young daughter was posting cute videos and making friends online. She knows how to format "whore" to bypass auto-censors... not a great sign.

This doesn't mitigate the horrible behavior of anyone else in this extremely sad tale, but it seem pretty clear that mom was part of the problem, and may have had her own vicarious motivations for not shutting this all down long, long before the whole thing unraveled in such a dreadful way.
posted by taz at 1:59 AM on April 22, 2011 [10 favorites]


Wait, her Mom is commenting on the RS article?
[reads]
...ew.
posted by anigbrowl at 2:19 AM on April 22, 2011


When I clicked through to the photos of her I was a bit nonplussed because they pretty much look like every women's fashion magazine, catalog, CK or American Apparel billboard ad out there.

I don't want to defend her parents, nor do I want to defend the parents who let their tweens sign up with modeling agencies. But I do want to point out that there is definitely a cultural basis for finding photos, and making money from photos, of sexy 15 year olds completely unshocking.

She seems to have cut out the middle man of the modeling agency, but given the abuses in the modeling industry, it's not that obvious that it's a dumb idea, however poorly it worked out in his case.

If only there were a way to make sure that all young teenagers in the modeling world had good supportive parents with good boundaries... Though I tend to think that would not leave much in the way of a sexy teenage modeling industry. Which is fine with me. But I think it is kind of silly to look at this case without the background context of the entire economic sector making money off of 'sexy teens' who don't have supportive parents with good boundaries.
posted by Salamandrous at 6:02 AM on April 22, 2011 [6 favorites]


Oops, his=this
posted by Salamandrous at 6:04 AM on April 22, 2011


Fuck her mother. Lock her up. The fact that she knew this was going on and ... jeez my mind is just blown. I just ... fuck. Fuck her.
posted by desjardins at 6:32 AM on April 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


I was curious about zarq's top comment here about Kiki being a known bully. A little bit of googling brought this up.

Does it justify anything that happened to her? Nah. But the RS article paints her as a sweet, innocent child, victimized by others at her school before she even put herself online. It seems that once she had an audience, at least, she used that to at least once be a pretty terrible person.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:33 AM on April 22, 2011


Also, weird. Apparently her younger sister (11 when Kiki was 14, so about 15ish now?) is also a scene model?

What's wrong with these parents?!
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:43 AM on April 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


It would definitely have been a better article if it had painted a less biased picture.

I was one of the kids that was bullied (part of it was probably that I had no sense of tact, didn't know when to drop a factual argument, didn't understand what my mom meant when she said "would you rather be right or happy?"). I don't remember it much because I'm one of the lucky ones for whom it didn't much matter/bother once it was history. What I do remember is people volunteering unexpected apologies, and of old bullies asking to friend me on Facebook.

Her parents knew she was doing this - I think they even said so in the article. They could have done something about it, but they obviously didn't know how or what. Whether it was ignorance, apathy, or willful misengagement, they really didn't understand their appropriate role as her parents. Hopefully future parents will learn from their mistakes.

Someone said something about this being bigger than her, and they're right. Popularity and bullying used to be local to your school/town/whatnot, but now it isn't. It's on a different scale, and it's a scale with a public memory. The Internet allows us to see more of these intricacies of adolescent popularity/bullying, and such concrete evidence carries weight. Maybe someday she'll move on. A lot of bullies/popular kids do move on and grow out of it.

The pictures on her Stickam page all make her look like she's depressed. Her Twitter page confirmed this. Part of what sometimes makes people depressed is a lack of meaningful social interaction. At this point, it looks like she knows what she's doing as far as sexuality, but she still isn't seeing the bigger picture. She has objectified herself, and from the looks of things, others as well. She doesn't know that this is a substitute kind of attention for the real thing. How could she? This is what she grew up knowing.

I apologize for failing to connect any dots or draw any useful conclusions about her sexuality, the story in its own right about her ex-boyfriend and that can of worms, her parents's parenting, or her being bullied and bullying.

I do wonder, though, what it would be like to live in a world where expressing creativity through sexuality was accepted, respected and safe.
posted by aniola at 9:48 AM on April 22, 2011 [4 favorites]


IamBroom: It is my understanding that she was younger when events in her past occurred.

Yes. I'm talking about her decision as an adult to be photographed and interviewed about the past events. The essence of my complaint is the exploitation of the story for profit. I went into much more detail (not graphic, philosophical) about this in the MeTa thread, if you want to read that.


Thank you for the clarification, anigbrowl. As you might have noticed, your quick responses lended themselves to much misinterpretation...
posted by IAmBroom at 10:55 AM on April 22, 2011


I do wonder, though, what it would be like to live in a world where expressing creativity through sexuality was accepted, respected and safe.

We already do live in such a world, as long as you express your "sexual creativity" in an appropriate context. The only catch - and it's an important one! - is that you are not guaranteed acceptance and respect if you post videos of that expression to the entire internet, especially when you're 14 years old and post these things to a known hive of scum and villainy.

I am interested in the difference in how we treat her self-exposure as a teenager vs. how we would treat a similar self-exposure from a teenage male in similar circumstances. Would we be as supportive of her (publicly) "expressing creativity through sexuality" if she had been a 14 year old male repeatedly exposing himself on camera? I tend to think people here would tend more towards classifying that as an act of sexual aggression, though I could be wrong. I think they would definitely not be so quick to say "why can't the world be a better place so that he can show his dick to strangers without being harassed?"

Also, it seems to me that the rapist-boyfriend actually has very little to do with her internet fame and the ensuing trolling hijinks, and more to do with being a teenager and making really poor decisions. I "dated" similarly inappropriate men (usually much older, ~15 year age difference) at her age, though I got lucky in that none of them raped me. I certainly didn't need to be a camgirl to do that - I actually met one of these men through Metafilter!

As you might have noticed, your quick responses lended themselves to much misinterpretation...

I have really appreciated anigbrowl's contributions to this thread, and I disagree that his responses lend themselves to misinterpretation. I would characterize it differently: people have been very quick to assume the worst about his comments, and very hesitant to give him the benefit of the doubt that he's not actually victim-blaming or defending rape and abuse.
posted by dialetheia at 11:48 AM on April 22, 2011


"I "dated" similarly inappropriate men (usually much older, ~15 year age difference) at her age, though I got lucky in that none of them raped me. I certainly didn't need to be a camgirl to do that - I actually met one of these men through Metafilter!"

Uh, wait, you've been on MeFi since you were 14? Or even 18? Color me a bit skeptical.

"I would characterize it differently: people have been very quick to assume the worst about his comments, and very hesitant to give him the benefit of the doubt that he's not actually victim-blaming or defending rape and abuse."

That's because his first couple comments were inflammatory shitbombs that seemed to pretty much blame Kiki and exculpate the guy who raped her. That his followups (both here and in MeTa) have been thoughtful and nuanced and have drawn much less ire pretty much shows that he should have led with those.
posted by klangklangston at 11:54 AM on April 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Dialethia, I understand that there are practical and logistical hurdles in helping to create a more compassionate world. In response to some of your questions:

I am interested in the difference in how we treat her self-exposure as a teenager vs. how we would treat a similar self-exposure from a teenage male in similar circumstances. Would we be as supportive of her (publicly) "expressing creativity through sexuality" if she had been a 14 year old male repeatedly exposing himself on camera? I tend to think people here would tend more towards classifying that as an act of sexual aggression, though I could be wrong. I think they would definitely not be so quick to say "why can't the world be a better place so that he can show his dick to strangers without being harassed?"

We're supportive of her expressing creativity through sexuality without being harassed? Awesome. Yes, there are different social expectations. I can imagine people having a problem with a teenage boy modeling in a bra/bikini top - ie., less exposed.

We already do live in such a world, as long as you express your "sexual creativity" in an appropriate context. The only catch - and it's an important one! - is that you are not guaranteed acceptance and respect if you post videos of that expression to the entire internet, especially when you're 14 years old and post these things to a known hive of scum and villainy.

Fair enough. I wonder what it would be like to live in a world where expressing creativity through sexuality was accepted, respected and safe without qualifications.



---
For everyone's enjoyment, here is an excellent example of expressions of creativity + sexuality (via xkcd). Female, male, and guitar sexuality are represented. Wetriffs.com. The link is SFW; it explains that further content is merely tasteful.
posted by aniola at 1:28 PM on April 22, 2011


I don't know anything about this person, but I do know that anyone that thinks it's cute to replace the letter c with the letter k is a reprehensible gitmonster who deserves to be reviled mightily for that reason alone.
posted by Decani at 1:56 PM on April 22, 2011


Would we be as supportive of her (publicly) "expressing creativity through sexuality" if she had been a 14 year old male repeatedly exposing himself on camera?

A couple of people in this thread have equated pictures of KK wearing lingerie with a male exposing his genitalia. They are not the same. It's actually a somewhat offensive double standard, like somehow a female wearing underwear is worse (or sluttier or more sexual or whatever) than a male wearing the same thing. KK wasn't masturbating or naked online, so stop comparing her behaviour with some hypothetical guy doing those things.
posted by shelleycat at 2:18 PM on April 22, 2011 [8 favorites]


I just watched the video of Kiki being mean. It's not so bad; it's pretty much what I expect from teen-agers. Not that it isn't, you know, horribly offensive, and unfair, and cruel, but we're people, and people are those things sometimes.

It makes me think about how most of the players in this are really just kids. Kiki, Dan, most of the people bullying her. I don't think it'd be totally unfair to characterize her parents as kids either-- they are, just like many of us, trying to figure it out as we go along, and it goes horribly wrong sometimes.

It's pretty normal for teen-agers to bully and be bullied, in various ways. Depending on who we are, we end up remembering one part of it more than the other, but we've all been mean. It's not a super big deal. I mean, it's tragic, but it's forgiveable.

But something changes when you're no longer just in front of your school and your church and your whatever. You seek out a few friends, and find a few confidants and a few haters; you seek out more contacts to get a little support in the face of the haters, and you end up finding even more haters. Being hated and judged by a hundred people isn't the same as being hated and judged by a thousand.

For one, you end up hitting a lot more of the outliers. Cat-killers, say. Plus, I think there's a sort of critical mass thing that goes on, where the meanest people can get together and egg each other on-- justify their anger and hatred, and exclude or outshout the more moderate haters.

It's tragic, and I expect to see it many more times to come.
posted by nathan v at 4:07 PM on April 22, 2011


I hadn't heard of her - I know who Audrey Kitching is so I know what a 'scene queen' was but that's about it - but then there are whole chunks of the internet that have their own little celebrities. RS could have written an article on unowen, y'know? I used ot read an LJ drama community for a subculture I wasn't part of - the viciousness and bile flying round there for what seemed such minor things was insane. Stickam sounds a bit like that - where all the scene kids gather to slag each other off.

"When I was younger, I was so naive," she says. "I didn't know people were doing things to themselves while they were watching me." Do I really have to explain the suspension of disbelief required to take a statement like this at face value?

Well, even intelligent teenagers can be very, very dumb. Age of consent here is 16; it's pretty common to dress up and pass for 18 in local pubs/clubs from 15 or so. One guy locked my friend in a toilet cubicle - he was 17, she was 15 - and told her she wasn't allowed out until he fingered her. I was gobsmacked when she told me this but she thought it was just funny and cute. I can well believe that even after it clicked there was something she liked about the attention. The girl was bullied and lived in the middle of nowhere, and yet in her mind, people liked her. Teenagers have done this with what power and sexuality they've had for years - whether it's poisoning colleagues, offending at will, or posting lingerie shots online because they don't realise that these things last forever.

I don't understand why people think that being young, naive and with parents who don't appear to be particularly looking out for her makes this anything other than a pretty sad story.
posted by mippy at 4:15 PM on April 22, 2011


A couple of people in this thread have equated pictures of KK wearing lingerie with a male exposing his genitalia. They are not the same. It's actually a somewhat offensive double standard, like somehow a female wearing underwear is worse (or sluttier or more sexual or whatever) than a male wearing the same thing. KK wasn't masturbating or naked online, so stop comparing her behaviour with some hypothetical guy doing those things.

The RS story mentions partial explicit nudity (apparently via a 'wardrobe malfunction'; a male 'exposing his genitalia' is not necessarily the aggressive or confrontational exposure we associate with flashers. To put it bluntly, in the same way that girls have boobs, boobs are considered sexy, and sometimes they fall out or get exposed accidentally (especially when the owners have not had them very long), boys have junk and spontaneous erections, they're obviously sexual, and they're liable to pop out accidentally at times.

If there are two 14 year olds sitting around in their underwear typing 'i heart u lol' at each other with their webcams, that sort of thing can just happen. It's never happened to me because I've never had a webcam and I was long out of my teens before such things became available, but I think pretty much all men would agree that their genitals tend to have a mind of their own, especially during their teenage years. My point is that if that if some guy looks at his daughter's webcam and sees an identically aged boy who has underpants on but whose junk has partially fallen out or is standing to attention inside the pants, well that kid's in for a lot of trouble. It can be detectable without being intended as a display or a provocation, like nipples or a panty line.

I think it's a double standard to assume that if male sexuality is noticeable, it's necessarily a case of bad intentions/behavior. I'm not saying you were, but a lot of people would.
posted by anigbrowl at 4:33 PM on April 22, 2011


Honestly? I've been a teenage girl, a hetero teenage girl, and I never once noticed a boy's erection unless he was before me in his underwear. If I was supposed to go through my teenage years with dicks popping out all over the place, then frankly I feel cheated.
posted by mippy at 4:36 PM on April 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Uh, wait, you've been on MeFi since you were 14? Or even 18? Color me a bit skeptical.

Self-disclosure only because you pointedly asked: yes, under a different username; my previous usernumber was in the early 3000s (I would rather not disclose it publicly, you can memail me if you really need to know). I have fond memories of 9622, arguing with aaron and SDB, and swapping mixes with Miguel Cardoso (he sent me four great Portuguese Fado CDs!). Really, a big part of the reason I changed usernames was to forget about the whole older-dude fiasco. According to my old user profile, I joined when I was 17. The inappropriate shenanigans occurred shortly thereafter.

For everyone's enjoyment, here is an excellent example of expressions of creativity + sexuality (via xkcd). Female, male, and guitar sexuality are represented. Wetriffs.com. The link is SFW; it explains that further content is merely tasteful.

That is cool! I would like to see more positive things like this and fewer exploitative things like StickyNoodz, is all.

KK wasn't masturbating or naked online....like somehow a female wearing underwear is worse (or sluttier or more sexual or whatever) than a male wearing the same thing

That wasn't my impression, the RS article describes her "wiggling out of her underwear" in at least one Stickam video. Even if that's incorrect and she never once flashed anyone or appeared nude, the existence of StickyNoodz (shudder) implies that plenty of other girls on the site did appear at least partially naked (hell, the Gawker StickyDrama writeup mentions at least one very young-looking girl on Stickam who wasn't able to climax if she masturbated without her webcam on), and so I'm guessing it was probably a pretty well-known part of the culture there.

In any event, I'm arguing the converse of what you say I'm arguing; I was responding to the idea that the world would be better if teenagers were free to express themselves sexually in an atmosphere of respect and safety, and I just asked whether or not teenage male sexual expression would be included in that atmosphere. If anything, I'm implying that people would be more threatened and bothered by a 15 year old male doing a sexually aggressive striptease than a 15 year old female doing the same.

I don't understand why people think that being young, naive and with parents who don't appear to be particularly looking out for her makes this anything other than a pretty sad story.

Exactly this - the real story here is how hands-off and negligent her parents were about protecting her at nearly every step of her life (at least as it is told), especially from the creepy rapist boyfriend but also from harassment at school and pervy jerks online.
posted by dialetheia at 4:41 PM on April 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


Well, they weren't hands off. They moved for her, they home-schooled her. The issues, from the outside, look more like incompetence than neglect. They didn't not notice her creepy older boyfriend, they just seemed to have kind of liked him?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 4:52 PM on April 22, 2011


The RS story mentions partial explicit nudity

No, it says this: "In it, 14-year-old Kiki dances like a lunatic to Styx's "Mr. Roboto" dressed in an oversize top and a hoodie with kitty ears. But as the song reaches its climax, Kiki wiggles out of her panties and strips off her shirt, revealing a minidress that, too baggy for her flat chest, droops to expose one pink bra cup."

The RS story mentions Kiki showing her bra at one point, and no mention anywhere of her showing her genitalia or her breasts (she wriggled out of her underwear to be left wearing a dress). Yet you and the other poster jump straight to a young man masturbating on camera.

My swimsuit shows as much skin as most lingerie. So what you both are saying is that when I go swimming I am being sexually aggressive and an exhibitionist in a manner similar to a male showing his penis in public. This comes from some kind of idea where women are dirtier or sexier or something than men, and their behaviour is held to a different standard as a result.

Either that or you read about a young girl playing on camera ("She became a Lolita-ish teenage diarist, whispering to the camera, winking, showing too much skin and lingerie") and just assume she's showing her tits regardless of what the story says. Either option kind of sucks.
posted by shelleycat at 2:48 AM on April 23, 2011 [5 favorites]


Not saying that at all.
posted by anigbrowl at 2:56 AM on April 23, 2011


Yeah, well, if this family has gone through all this nastiness thinking they're going to make a fortune off Kiki's costume jewelry business, they've got bigger problems than anyone's mentioned above. Because, well, just look at this thing.
posted by Scram at 4:36 AM on April 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


shelleycat: " No, it says this: "In it, 14-year-old Kiki dances like a lunatic to Styx's "Mr. Roboto" dressed in an oversize top and a hoodie with kitty ears. But as the song reaches its climax, Kiki wiggles out of her panties and strips off her shirt, revealing a minidress that, too baggy for her flat chest, droops to expose one pink bra cup.""

This is the Mr. Roboto video. I gave up on it before the first minute had passed -- but from the RS description I assume it's probably as safe for work as any other video where a 14-year old removes her panties (but shows no nudity) on camera.
posted by zarq at 11:02 AM on April 23, 2011


That's actually pretty funny, here's one second before she discovers the pink bra poking out... and her reaction is priceless. Or rather, a very normal one.
posted by dabitch at 1:15 PM on April 23, 2011


So what you both are saying is that when I go swimming I am being sexually aggressive and an exhibitionist in a manner similar to a male showing his penis in public.

That is not what I am saying at all, and I feel that you are going out of your way to read bad intentions into my words. I concede that I misread the undie-stripping description, but you completeyl ignored my entire second paragraph about how I'm not talking about Kiki specifically anyway, I'm talking about the explicit masturbation/nudity videos from underage girls that are (apparently) frequently streamed on Stickam as part of the site culture. It was asserted that the world would be a better place if teenagers were safe in that sexual expression, and I asked whether we would include teenage males in that as well. That is all.
posted by dialetheia at 3:42 PM on April 23, 2011


Geez, only a bit of her bra shows in "Mr. Roboto". What, is RS run by a bunch of old ladies now? HST is spinning in his grave.
posted by telstar at 6:28 AM on April 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh yes, Rolling Stone! Those computers are so evil! That internet is so soul-sucking! Yes, I will turn off my internet and go buy a copy of that nice clean Rolling Stone magazine, upon whence reading pages of clean-living advice and crappy beer ads will cleanse my internet-soiled soul!
posted by telstar at 6:41 AM on April 25, 2011


as safe for work as any other video where a 14-year old removes her panties (but shows no nudity) on camera.

Trying hard to think of where that would be SFW, zarq... Perhaps the child predator offices of the FBI...
posted by IAmBroom at 1:45 PM on April 25, 2011


IAmBroom: "Trying hard to think of where that would be SFW, zarq... Perhaps the child predator offices of the FBI..."

I was being sarcastic.
posted by zarq at 2:03 PM on April 25, 2011


klangklangston: "I was also was struck by the similarities between her relationship with her rapist and the poor anonymous girl on AskMe who was staying with the dude she had to wrestle for a gun.

It's always amazing to me how normal insane things seem to the people dealing with them.
"

My cousin was shot in the head by her husband. She survived. She is still with him. He stays far away from the rest of the family. I personally would beat him to a bloody pulp if I ever met him. I have heard the same from others. We have long ago stopped trying to convince her to DTMFA.

Some things are beyond understanding.
posted by Splunge at 6:02 AM on April 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


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