Police Intervene in Case of Anti-Gay YouTube Poster, 12
In the world of Internet blogs and commentary, there's a wide field upon which the left, right, and center can mix it up, argue, and point up and hammer out their differences--sometimes with the use of fairly harsh language.
But recently, both left and right seem to have come to an agreement in the case of a 12-year-old boy identified as Christianu2uber who has, reportedly, variously described himself as gay, ex-gay, and Christian, and who has posted a series of YouTube videos in which he has voiced his opposition to marriage equality.
The consensus: Christianu2uber, also known as Scott, needed some form of intervention on his behalf, given the tone and tenor of his postings and other Internet communications, as well as the often rough-and-tumble comments that his postings have drawn from anonymous users.
In a series of 13 YouTube videos, as well as a number of Facebook entries, Christianu2uber has given voice to a range of opinions and claims about himself, including text that seems to indicate that he used to be gay but is now straight; however, reports say that Christianu2uber has also referred to himself as "Angry Homo Kid," posting a rebuff telling commentators to stop calling him gay.
Moreover, when another boy of similar age pirated and then parodied one of Christianu2uber's videos, the response that Christianu2uber sent was one that, in this post-Columbine age, cannot be ignored or shrugged off: as one report had it, Christianu2uber wrote to the other boy with a threat that he would "go to his house and slit his throat."
Various right-wing religious sites have used the story of Christianu2uber's video postings drawing harsh commentary, some of which seems, from the sheer extremity of its aggression, to be treating the videos with some form of rough jocularity; at least one viewer invited Christianu2uber to shoot himself in the head on camera.
While right-wing religious sites such as WorldNetDaily have used the story as grist for the "liberals versus Christians" mill, other Internet resources such as GLBT sites JoeMygod and Pam's House Blend and, most notably, Focus have sought the intervention of the authorities, with some individuals attempting to contact site administrators to express concern and to encourage them to take down offensive material.
Focus publisher Lyndon Evans appealed to readers for help in identifying and directing authorities to Christianu2uber, or Scott, writing, "How many times have we heard about after the fact the warning signs were there on websites, Facebook, MySpace, where if people had taken the time, perhaps tragedy could have been prevented.
"Now I need your help," Evans added.
"If you know how the information in this posting can be sent to those who can do something, whether police, Facebook, YouTube or whoever, please send it along.
"I'm going to do what I can circulating this posting around where folks can read it," Evans continued.
"Please, contact whoever you feel can help this young man, even if it ends up being there was nothing to worry about and this was just an 'over reactionary middle age boomer with no kids'."
Following a detailed rundown of the story, Evans responded to comments made at that Focus that criticized Evans himself for his article.
Read the response, "Now it's up to law enforcement and computer forensics to sort it all out.
"In the meantime, we still have a child being harassed, you need to contact YouTube/Goggle and Facebook to put an end to it."
In a postscript to the article, Evans expressed concern for young Scott's psychological well-being, and expressed alarm at how the rough comments might affect the boy's state of mind.
"Whether YouTube, Facebook, MySpace or any multitude of websites, we already know what can happen when fragile kids and even adults can get pushed over the edge by comments, videos, photos and even extremest writings that not for being put online anonymously, would never see the light of day," Evans' postscript read.
"And if authorities chose to look into this, it may end up being like trying to find the proverbial needle in a haystack," the text at Focus continued.
"But somewhere, someone knows who Scott is and needs to act to prevent any further emotional harm as has been evidenced in the videos."
Evans went on to express the view that parents need to be vigilant about their children's Internet activities. "Needless to say parents need to be monitoring what their kids are doing on the computer and if not before, common sense should tell any parent not to allow a computer in a child's room," the text read.
At EDGE an April 14 article noted that Scott's video postings had drawn a huge audience. "His videos have approached 1 million hits over four weeks, which means more people then saw him than ever saw all of Shakespeare's plays in his lifetime," the EDGE article read.
EDGE also took note of the slew of unfriendly postings Scott's videos drew. "This peanut gallery is apparently full of equal-opportunity insulters. When someone gay or gay-friendly posts a video, one can expect a welter of 'faggot' and curses thrown at the poster.
"In Scott's case, he was called a 'faggot' and told, among other things, most unprintable, to kill himself.
"Right-wing 'news' site World Net Daily was shocked--shocked!--to find thousands of commenter slamming the boy. The site linked its story about Scott's online virtual travails to 'Foxe's Book of Martyrs,' which lists Protestant martyrs.
"The comments on right-wing blog site Free Republic, perhaps predictably, discussed the hypocritical 'tolerance of the left' and 'Democrats being Democrats,'" the EDGE article added.
An anonymous post derided the EDGE coverage as "demagoguery" and suggested that "left wing" coverage of social issues had led "liberals" in California to "[throw] us under the bus" with the passage of the anti-family ballot initiative Proposition 8, which voters barely approved last November, and which revoked the rights of gay and lesbian families to wed.
But the concern voiced at Internet news resources, blogs, and forums for Scott's well-being seem to have had a result. EDGE received an email from an individual claiming to be Sgt. Chris Meehan of Texas' Collin County, which includes suburban Dallas.
The correspondent claiming to be Sgt. Meehan, who is attached to an Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, told EDGE, "I have been working on several cybertips reports that have been received regarding Christianu2uber.
"Several news publications were referenced on this, including your recent article," the individual who self-identified as Sgt. Meehan added.
"I wanted to update you that we have located this 12 year old, and spoke to him and his parents about this situation," the correspondent wrote.
"I know many readers expressed concern for his well-being and safety. He has decided to delete his youtube [sic] site and videos, and we will provide him counseling and assistance to get through this situation."