Leave Amber Cole Alone: Social Media Is Victimizing Our Young People

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    In this digital age, way too often social media is victimizing our young people. Humiliation is just an enter key and mouse click away.

    Over the last week, a video of 14-year-old Amber Cole performing oral sex on her ex-boyfriend went viral. The event took place outside of their high school while two other boys watched nearby and recorded it.

    It wasn’t long before websites got a hold of the recording and posted it for their subscribers to view.

    Immediately social networking websites such as Twitter and Facebook filled up with controversial comments and opinions on the scandal. The hash tag topic that trended read “Leave Amber Cole Alone.” Derogatory words were thrown Amber’s way, some of them even crossing the line to bullying.

    Yes, Amber Cole performed the act, but should she be ridiculed this way? The answer is no. There are many steps and tools that could’ve prevented this. Not excuses but precautions, she is 14 years old and was obviously mislead.

    Sources say Amber consented to perform this act on school grounds in hopes to win back her ex-boyfriend.

    On and off camera scenarios like this are wrong. At such a young age, although she does know right from wrong, our communities can be to blame.

    Before Amber is any of the names she has been called, she is someone’s daughter first. 

    Where are the men in this child’s life? Judging off her desperation to win back an old boyfriend that she shouldn’t have had in the first place, Amber is completely vulnerable.

    Perhaps there is a male void in her life which lead to her seeking validation from boys. This easily leads back to a popular community slogan, “Protect Our Children.”

    Based off the actions of the two boys that recorded the act, this displayed that they might have not been brought up to honor and respect women.

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    (Jordanmariebaby posted a video “Leave Amber Cole Alone” that has gone viral.)

    The act took place on school grounds; this reveals the lack of surveillance that is on the premises. Where are the teachers and school authorities? Recent studies show that teachers do not care; teachers are leading with less compassion. It’s evident.

    In Atlanta over 100 principals and teachers were accused of irresponsibly helping their students cheat on broad exams. Some even admitted to it.

    What is happening in our communities that teachers are even giving up on our youth? School officials are people we are suppose to trust when we drop our children off, the case of Amber Cole points out the disregard to children’s safety.

    I believe video sharing websites such as YouTube and other outlets should be held accountable for the images that are displayed.

    The founders are allowing these uploads to go viral without setting up a system that carefully screens uploads before they are live.

    There are ways to thoroughly verify that a child is 18 before logging into such websites. There are ways to screen uploads before they are published. There are ways, and people are ignoring the precautions.

    Just like video sharing websites can control what goes on, so can social networking and social media websites.

    Filtering out the explicit content should be a priority for these key companies. Child pornography shouldn’t be something hosted. It is not until legal action is taken before a video is flagged and removed, why should it take that before something ethical is done?

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    We live in an age where bullying has ended in suicide and longtime internal scaring. Although this has not been verified by a credible source, there is talk that Amber is on a suicide watch.

    In the midst of the hoopla other children have been expressing their frustration and how they have been affected by the Amber Cole incident.

    A young girl uploaded footage of herself pleading in tears for everyone to leave Amber Cole alone. The reality of how much cruelty exists in the world starts to set in with kids and some do not take it well.

    Instead of heavily poking fun at Amber for her actions, we can mentor her; perhaps it’s the lack of love that got her in the situation in the first way.

    We are supposed to wrap our arms around her and uplift her to that place that she will never feel obligated to do something like that again. 

    Lathleen is an entertainment reporter and freelance writer based in New York City.

    -Lathleen Ade-Brown


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