'Jessi Slaughter' Says Death Threats Won't Stop Her From Posting Videos on the Internet

Jessi Slaughter, 11, says she stands behind profanity-laced video.

July 22, 2010, 7:57 AM

July 22, 2010— -- The Florida seventh grader whose profanity-laced video prompted online death threats said today that she has no intentions of logging off the Internet, a decision that's backed by her parents.

"I'm going to continue making my videos, I'm going to continue updating my Twitter and going on Stickam and stuff -- just going to be a little more careful with who sees what I'm doing," the girl told ABCNews.com. Because of her age she is identified here by her screen name "Jessi Slaughter" rather than her real name.

For more on this story, tune in to "Good Morning America" Friday at 7 a.m. ET for our continuing coverage.

Jessi's rage, violent threats and graphic language that she used against her online tormentors have dropped jaws.

"I'm happy with my life okay? And if you can't, like, realize that and stop hating you know what?" the 11-year-old said in the video. "I'll pop a Glock in your mouth and make a brain slushy."

"Because you hater-b*****s? You're just, like, jealous of me," she said. "Stop hating on me. I'm just a normal girl who's perfect in every way and you're just jealous."

She ended the video by giving the middle finger and blowing a kiss at the camera.

"I stand behind it 100 percent because it cleared up a lot of things that were posted," she told ABCNews.com.

"I just want it to kind of like turn positive," she said. "And I kind of do like the attention but I don't like so much negative attention."

But her mother, Diane Leonhardt, said things will change in their house. While Jessi will not be banned from using the Internet, a detective will come by the house next week to sit with her and explain how use the Internet safely and responsibly.

As for the content of the video, "I don't want to see that going on anymore and I have talked about it. She is going to start getting some counseling," Leonhardt said.

Jessi created an Internet firestorm when she posted a nearly five-minute video raging against online bullies who had called her names and accused a friend of raping her.

But her online rage, posted to Stickam, a video-sharing site, and uploaded on YouTube, only prompted more hatred, this time from more experience and vicious computer junkies.

Once her story hit the message boards of 4chan, an infamous and anonymous network Web savvy users, the threats against Jessi started coming fast and furious. Members of Anonymous, a group linked to 4chan, quickly joined in as did users of the like-minded site Tumblr.

They posted her full name, address and home phone numbers and death threats began rolling in.

Tween Lives in Fear of Being Jumped By Online Attackers

Jessi said she feels safe in her home, but fears what might happen to her out in public.

"I'm afraid that somebody from 4chan or Anonymous is going to try to jump me or something," she said.

Marion County Sheriff's Office spokesman Judge Cochran confirmed today that detectives there were investigating the entire situation to look for evidence of cyberbulling and cyber-stalking.

Authorities got involved he said after a series of phone calls and e-mails were made -- some of them "from some other time zone," Cochran said, warning detectives that a young girl was possibly being exploited online.

At 12:01 on July 16, police went to the Leonhardts' home, but Cochran said, they did not remove Jessi from the home or place her under police protection.

Her video, as well as a follow up video in which her father rages against her bullies, have been seen by millions. There is even a remix that blends her rants with a Justin Beiber song.

In the second video, as Jessi sobs in front of the camera, Gene Leonhardt warns viewers to leave his daughter alone.

"This is from her father. You bunch of lying, no good punks," he said, raging into the webcam. "And I know who it's coming from because I back traced it .And you've been reported to cyber police and the state police."

In an exclusive interview today with "Good Morning America" Gene Leonhardt said he was only trying to protect his little girl.

"As a father, I was just trying to support my daughter and get people to stop hating," Gene Leonhardt said.

Diane Leonhardt, said the entire experience has been frightening.

"When this first started, we were very afraid,' she said.

Cochran said it was unclear whether the phone calls and e-mails made to the Sheriff's Office were out of true concern for Jessi or whether they were made maliciously.

"If we had the evidence that someone has made a threat to a child in Marion County, we'll start pursuing suspects," he said.

Police also investigated and quickly dismissed other claims made to them that Gene Leonhardt was molesting his daughter, an accusation that made him cry.

Detectives, Cochran said, have released little information about such correspondence and what evidence they might have about where it all came from.

Experts Say Jessi Slaughter Video Highlights Dangers of Cyberbullying

Jessi's social life has largely been confined to her computer. She told ABCNews.com that most of her friends are online.

"I don't really get along with people from school that much," she said. "They don't like me because they see me and they think I'm weird."

On Stickam, which has had its share of controversy over a proliferation of child pornography images, Jessi would chat back and forth with her cyber friends. She was also active on the teen gossip site Sticky Drama. It was there, she said, that her nightmare started when another user took a picture of Jessi and a friend at a concert off the photo-sharing site PhotoBucket and posted it along with the rape allegation.

But Jessi, whose account has since been removed at Stickam, insists she's not too young for this kind of activity.

"I think age doesn't really matter," she said. "It's the person -- him or herself ... and how they deal with that."

But she still is only 11. She likes music and can play a little bit of guitar. She dreams of a career styling hair and makeup -- and maybe learning how to do body piercings.

Jessi told "Good Morning America" that she was sent to a mental health facility when authorities believed she might be suicidal. She insisted that she wouldn't kill herself, but said she could understand how someone could be pushed over the edge.

"I think that's completely wrong that people would taunt people to some degree that they would actually kill themselves over it," she said. "And that's actually completely wrong and whoever is doing it should be locked away for a really long time."

Internet security expert Parry Aftab, founder of WiredSafety.org, agreed that this back and forth of online rants and cyberbullying should have been stopped before it ever got to the point where Jessi was receiving death threats.

"At some point we need to have an adult in charge," she told "Good Morning America." "Don't try to take it into your own hands."

At 11, Jessi isn't even old enough to use the social networking sites where the cyberbullying took place and where she posted her videos, Aftab noted.

But family therapist Terry Real said that Jessi's retaliation video deserves attention by itself.

"This is about violence breeding violence," he said.

"It's great that this kid is getting some counseling," Real said. "This is a trauma and it needs to be taken seriously."

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