Last week Kiwi Blog received a lot of attention. We experienced a dramatic spike in readership but it wasn’t over a hot tech trend, the latest iPhone rumor or the fact that our website is newly redesigned. It was over a story about a girl from Kentucky named Jessie.
We first noticed Jessie Walkup after we stumbled upon one of her videos on YouTube. On cam, Jessie lamented over a Facebook hate page that had been put up targeting only her. Please read the full story and interview here.
Then a lot of stuff happened.
Accusations were made, Jessie was vilified by some and strongly defended by others. Had she put the page up herself seeking attention? Was she being targeted by a jealous competitor in the site modelling industry? Why wasn’t Facebook standing by its own policies and taking it down? Many questions were raised but the answers remained unclear. Please read the follow-up story here.Kiwi now presents its final interview with Jessie. We wanted to know how she would react to the news that Facebook had removed the controversial page in question. We wanted to know how Jessie, a sensitive person, was doing with all this attention focused entirely on her.
Like Jessie, we wanted closure.
The ‘Weight Weekly’ hate page on Facebook, which targeted you specifically, has been taken down. How does that make you feel?
It makes me feel very, very, very happy and excited! So now, hopefully, people will actually believe me when I tell them that I would never make that page…because I never did! So now that it got taken down I’m hoping that people will start to change their minds and that they believe me.
Why do you think Facebook took as long as it did to remove the page?
I’m guessing they had got so many reports and just wanted to be slow about it I guess, honestly I don’t know. It’s like, the first time the page was up I didn’t know about it until somebody told me. And then I got my friends to report it and it was taken down in less than 6 hours. Then it was put back up again but it took like almost a week before it was taken down. And I don’t know why that was the case, I honestly don’t know why.
As you know, Shannon Armstrong was the subject of the update to your original interview. She accused you of putting up the Weight Weekly hate page yourself. We’ve since been unable to reach her, despite our efforts. Do you feel Shannon had some kind of agenda by accusing you of lying?
Some girl named Scilla Vonna Narriott was the girl who put that page up. When that Shannon girl accused me of putting it up myself it upset me because I’m tired of people blaming me for stuff that I didn’t do. I don’t understand how it would come from my IP address, how it was linked. Because I checked my profile myself and I saw nowhere where it was linked to my account. So people who accuse me of lying need to get their facts straight before accusing me of something!
We read disturbing posts on your Facebook page after the update to your interview broke. Were you ever in serious danger? How hard did you take being accused of lying?
I didn’t hurt myself, I was just very upset about the accusations. I went to my friend’s for a couple of days to blow off steam, get away from things for a while, get away from the Internet. And I felt better, but last night because it was stressing me out over the hate page..I was depressed last night, I woke my mom up, she took me to the emergency room and they kept me there until I got sober. I’m sober, I didn’t hurt myself or nothing. But they did diagnose me with alcohol abuse, mental health problems, depression and suicidal thoughts.
But since last night I’m better and I feel a lot better about myself. I just suffer from low self-esteem issues, so…
What have you learned from this experience? Has any good come from it?
Yeah it has. It made me realize who my true friends are. You know, when I got accused of putting the page up some believed Facebook, and some believed me. So it made me realize that I got friends who are my true friends and I got friends who are only my friends on Facebook.
Will you use social media differently from now on?
Yes. I changed my profile so that my friends can only view what I put up there. I’m still gonna use Facebook but I’m gonna watch what I post.
Do you think Internet safety sites can help others in similar situations?
I felt Kiwi Commons was helpful because they took the time to help me get that page taken down. I’m just glad that you guys got to help. And sorry for scaring you guys, saying I would kill myself. I would never do that!
Do you have any final words of advice for those who have experienced hate online?
Get local authorities’ help, get your friends’ help, get your parents, get a trusted adult!
Thank you Amy for helping me, thank you Howie for staying in contact with me and helping me get that page taken down and thank you everybody for believing me and not Facebook!