I just read about the tragic death of Ashleigh Hall, a case that is being referred to as the “Facebook Murder” due to the fact that a sexual predator used Facebook to meet Ashleigh and lure her to her death.
I cannot imagine what Ashleigh’s mother is going through; I cannot imagine what is like to have to bury your child. But Facebook is not the problem. The problem was that Ashleigh was not adequately protected.
There seems to be an expectation that teenagers are entitled to an expectation of privacy; that they are to be treated as adults and equals. There only one problem – they are not adults – their hormones are raging and their brains don’t work. And sometimes they need to be protected from their own stupidity. And that’s what fathers are for.
I read several renditions of this story, and one thing was missing from all of them. Where was Ashleigh’s father? In all of the reportage of this tragedy, there was no mention of a father or a father-figure. I don’t know why this is, but if there had been a father with the guts to get in Ashleigh’s face, teach her wisdom and stand up with her and for her, chances are she would still be alive.
Picture this: The pervert shows up in his car to pick her up. And there, standing next to her, is Dad. Pervert takes one look at Dad and drives away, fast.
I’m not saying that the presence of a Father will solve all problems; but many of our societal problems would be eliminated or reduced if Fathers would step up and do what they do best; teach their children about responsibility and duty. Teach their sons how to be men. Protect their daughters, and teach them how to spot a bad guy (here’s a free clue: If he wants to get you alone – away from your family and your friends, into an environment that he controls, he’s a bad guy).
Facebook is not the problem, and it is both wrong and impossible to expect them to somehow magically make their site “pervert-proof”. Changing the law will not help either; Peter Chapman broke a dozen laws doing what he did; one more law will not make a difference.
I am truly sorry to say this, Mrs. Hall, but your daughter died because she did something stupid.
And that is the greatest tragedy of all.