The Megan Meier Case: New Developments

Recently, I blogged about the tragic Megan Meier case, where the parent of a classmate of Megan’s created a fake MySpace profile and pretended to be a boy (Josh Evans) interested in Megan. When the fictitious boy suddenly dumped Megan and wrote nasty comments, Megan committed suicide. A local newspaper reported the story, which quickly caught fire in the media. The local reporter declined to identify the woman who created the fake profile, fearing vigilantism, but a woman named Sarah Wells posted the woman’s name — Lori Drew — and her address. Soon, the blogosphere was aflame in rage at Drew. Recently, the local prosecutor considered bringing charges against Drew but ultimately concluded that Drew had not committed any crime.

Now there’s a new twist in the case. On a blog called “Megan Had It Coming” is a post purportedly written by Lori Drew.

lori-drew.jpg

The blogger, who claims to be Drew, writes a lengthy essay explaining her side of the story:

It’s time I dropped the charade. Yes, I made this blog. Yes, I’m Lori Drew.

My daughter had nothing to do with this. Everyone needs to leave her alone. None of you can possibly know her involvement, and none of you can possibly know what she’s gone through. She’s just a kid. She doesn’t deserve these brutal verbal attacks. Please stop.

Now that Mr. Banas has made public the announcement that there will be no charges filed against me or my family, I feel it is time to speak out about this tragic affair. I cannot count on any media organization to fairly represent my story, as they have grossly misrepresented and sensationalized the story so far. So, I must present my case here, on the blog that has been my only outlet. . . .

Then Sarah Wells outed me. Then the hate and harassment and threats poured in. Even against my daughter. First there were dozens of calls, then hundreds, then there was national news, and everyone went crazy.

That’s why I started this blog and posted as “Kirsten.” I was so angry at the world for being so unfair, especially when it came to my daughter whom I had sworn to protect from all of this. I took a low blow at Megan’s memory because I desperately wanted the world to at least get a glimpse of the truth.

But that’s all over now. The final word from authorities has come down that there will be no charges, so I don’t have to remain silent. There’s no point in hiding anymore. The internet has made it clear that mob revenge must prevail, even if there’s no justice in it. So be it.

Here I am, internet. Come get me.

There’s a lot more in the post, which has over 1800 comments. Is this really Lori Drew? The Internet makes it so easy to spread information — in anyone’s name — that it could be Drew or just some imposter.

Hat tip: Prettier than Napoleon, who writes that the “blog is almost certainly a hoax (any competent attorney would have put the kibosh on it), but does it matter? Regardless of authenticity, it acts as a lightning rod for outrage, and the reputation of the purported author is already shredded.”

UPDATE: The blog is indeed a hoax.

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5 Responses

  1. Nate Oman says:

    This story just gets wierder and wierder…

  2. Sarah Wells says:

    One correction for the record, if I may.

    I published only Lori Drew’s common name.

    I did not myself reveal her address, or publish it on any post, or comment authored by me, on my blog, or ever in fact provide it to any other person.

    I also published a screen capture from CNN which named Drew as well but did not contain her address.

    Comments not authored by me did appear in my then unmoderated comments section, containing her publicly available contact information. These were widely distributed on other weblogs and sites, and on a few widely read blogs, before any appeared on my obscure fluff blog. FWIW, I was never asked to remove addresses it by Lori Drew or anyone connected with her, and I would have done so if asked.

  3. Sarah,

    Your role was indeed minimal, in that you only mentioned the name of Lori Drew, and it appears from your post that indeed it was a commenter who posted the address.

    My comments about online shaming are not directed solely toward you, as the problems of online shaming are caused by the aggregation of often small acts by numerous individuals. Rarely is one individual to blame. One person puts up a name. Another adds an address. Yet another puts up other personal information. Many make nasty comments and threats, goading others into doing likewise. We witness the rise of crowd psychology, where people start acting in ways that they otherwise might not act. All of this isn’t the result of one person; it is a phenomenon that happens when many people can quickly gather and vent about a particular issue.

    I don’t think it is fruitful to try to single out particular folks to blame for the eruption of this bout of online shaming. The primary point I’ve been trying to make in speaking about online shaming is that people should recognize that it is problematic. Many people exalt and celebrate online shaming, and I believe this attitude toward it encourages online shaming. Instead, I see it as very dangerous, something to be discouraged. It is our attitude toward online shaming that I am arguing should change.

  4. SarahW says:

    “I don’t think it is fruitful to try to single out particular folks”

    And yet, if Imight point out, you singled out me. By name, in reference to specific actions. Just saying.

  5. SarahW says:

    You seem to share my belief, that had a band of angry squirrels chewed through my cable that weekend, Lori Drew’s identity and personal information would have come out anyway, like Christmas Whos in Whoville.

    It would have been rather easy to refer to “a blogger” or “bloggers” or blogreaders or what have you, if you are not big on that sort of naming thing.

    I personally would take to task the O’Fallon Journal for providing so much specific identifying information, when the story had not yet met their own threshold of public concern sufficient to name Drew. The substance of the story was so awful as to ensure the bad actors identity would be sought, and sought hard.