Monday, March 27, 2006

To cyberparents - watch what you say to your children!

Daughter Gets Cyber-Revenge After Family Feud Goes On-line
By Sam Jones, London
The Globe And Mail
March 20, 2006
Page A10

An exasperated father has discovered that cyberspace in not the ideal arena for family feuds. Two weeks ago, Steve Williams became so fed up with his darughter's messy bedroom that he built a website featuring pictures of his slothful offspring's lair in an attempt to shame her ito action.

But the public humiliation proved a short-lived victory. While it did spur his daughter, Claire, into tidying up her room, it also whet her appetite for revenge. With the help of her daughter's friends, the 20-year old business student has now set up a rival website that displays photos of him in a variety of compromising situations.

"All my friends feel sorry for Claire so they're ganging up on me," said Mr. Williams, of Whitehaven, Cumbria, in northern England. They've managed to dig out photos of me drunk and dancing round with a handbag at a party, and also put pictures of my garage on to show it's not just Claire who's untidy.

"The boot's on the other foot now, but I suppose I deserve it."

Despite the embarrassment, Mr. Williams, said he has no regrets.

"It started off as a flippant remark, with me saying to Claire: "If you don't sort your room out I am going to put that pic on the internet," he said.

"It had the desired effect. Her bedroom is not immaculate, but it's a hundred times better. My son has started keeping his tidy too. He's living in fear of being outed!

"Claire is absolutely mortified. She has only just started speaking to me again."

Mr. Williams's site, www.shameit.com has proved popular with disgruntled families from all over the world. Nearly 40,000 people have visited the site in its first fortnight.

"I can't believe it," said Mr. Williams, a computer programmer." I certainly wasn't expecting this kind of response. We've had people from as far as New Zealand, Japan and South Africa. I had to do an interview with a radio station in Brisbane the other day.

"But it obviously works, because we've had lots of shameful pictures going up one day and taken down the next!"

Gardian News Service

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