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Two Florida Teens Charged With Facebook Cyber Bullying

Two Florida Teens Charged With Facebook Cyber Bullying

Two teenage girls in southwest Florida have been charged with felony aggravated stalking after authorities say they created a Facebook account in a classmate’s name and posted a fake nude photograph of her.

Girls Posted Sexually Explicit Photos

From The Miami Herald:

The 15- and 16-year-old high school students were charged Wednesday after a more than eight-month investigation by law enforcement officials into a pair of Facebook accounts created in April.

Sexually explicit photos were posted and doctored to include the head of the victim on a nude female’s body, officials said. The accounts were created to seem as if the victim had posted the images.

The teens have been ordered to serve 21 days of home detention and will be arraigned Feb. 8.

Authorities said the victim was ridiculed by classmates in the days after the pages became active, which is what elevated the offense to a form of cyber bullying. Officials won’t confirm whether the victim is still attending the school.

School officials initially became aware of the first Facebook account on April 29 when a parent alerted the high school’s resource officer, according to the Lee County Sheriff’s Office report.

That triggered a full investigation, in which the resource officer interviewed several students and learned the victim had been teased after the accounts were posted.

Facebook Poses Huge Problems

Facebook has been in the news a lot lately, and not in a good way.

Just yesterday, Care2′s Robin Marty wrote about the recent case of a man in California pleading guilty to getting personal information from women’s Facebook accounts, searching for any sexually explicit photos, and then sending them to the women’s contacts or posting them online.

Last week, I wrote here about the six middle school girls in Carson City, Nevada, arrested in connection with an invitation posted on Facebook to participate in “Attack A Teacher Day.”

Mark Zuckerberg, Are You Listening?

I hope Mark Zuckerberg is paying attention; there are some huge privacy issues here.

At least the victim of the Florida cyberbullying lives in a state where there is a law prohibiting such behavior. Florida has the “Jeffrey Johnston Stand Up for All Students Act,” named after a 15-year-old boy who committed suicide after being the object of bullying, including Internet bullying, for two years.

Chicago Public Schools also recently instituted a code of conduct that makes cyberbullying a crime. But around the country, while most states have anti-bullying laws, these mostly do not include cyberbullying.

That needs to change; it’s clear that cyberbullying is dangerous, and needs to be a focus of attention in schools today.

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151 comments

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6:50PM PST on Dec 19, 2012

whatever those girls did, american so called "law enforcement" is far worse.. their intention is NEVER to rehabilitate even or to segregate the 1% that can't be rehabilitated.. it's to create juvenile offenders out of every kid they can round up for the purpose of creating career criminals for profit. Kids have their lives destroyed across the US by being hooked on meth derived drugs like Ritalin for something like "fidgeting in the classroom". US so called "juvies" are run by profiteering child abusers.. the kids end up being bullied by corrupt judges, lawyers, police thugs, and prison contractors. The US extreme punishment only system is a sickening multi billion dollar racket.. the US has a vast prison system gulag which is larger than China and that's no accident.

11:25AM PDT on Apr 29, 2011

What is surprising is that they were charged!

1:24AM PDT on Apr 17, 2011

You guys didn't even list their names let alone pictures like I did and I think the more people list their bullies online the less they will screw with them http://cyberbullyingreport.com/bully/mckenzie-barker-and-taylor-wynn-targeted-classmate-online-34.aspx

9:47AM PST on Feb 24, 2011

Ed G., this is not a tough call at all. Either you have compassion for others or you do not. I would call these girls, immoral at the least, and perhaps, amoral. What small, petty, mean-spirited minds they have. And nothing else to do with their time, than doctor a nude picture? SHAME ON THEM AND ANY WHO GIVE THEM EASE. There is right and wrong, and they have changed a girl's life forever. SHAME. Perhaps prosecuting them is the only way they will understand that what they did was beyond WRONG.

9:48PM PST on Jan 29, 2011

This is a tough call. The girls were juveniles. I really wonder if they knew what they were doing and understood the consequences. Maybe they should be charged but at a lesser severity than felonies. Only the locals know for shure lets hope they are doing what is right not over reaching.

9:06PM PST on Jan 26, 2011

This went beyond cyberbullying. This borders sex abuse of the victim and they're getting 21 days of detention? Gee, maybe that slap on the wrist will teach them good.

It is so absurd that parents are not teaching their children how to be responsible anymore. My son is going on 11, and I make him accountable for his own actions. If he does good, he gets full credit. If he screws up, he pays for it. He's more responsible than the average kid his age, and enjoys life, loves to joke and laugh, etc.

Thing is, his cousin whose now 18 and a senior in high school, is less than half responsible as my son, she's troubled, and her mom keeps making excuses for her like she doesn't know... Still whines (my son stopped whining, for the most part, sometime in kindergarten), and because she's smart, I used to expect more of her. It backfired on me when she took my being strict with her and now is trying to say I "abused" her with "objects" when the harshest thing I did to her was make her look at me while I talked to her.

I've been a child and victim advocate for decades. And yes, I expect people to do their part to be as responsible as possible.

10:05AM PST on Jan 26, 2011

I agree that cyberbullying should be taken more seriously, but I feel a little uneasy about this going straight to law enforcement rather than making strict federal guidelines for all public schools that would give a clear message that that behavior is unacceptable. Off the top of my head, the mandatory punishment should include suspension with discretion on the number days (ie 1-30 days), taking a daily 1 hour sensitization course for a semester and some kind of community service related to his/her offense to hopefully build some empathy in their behavior.
I agree that facebook should not be held responsible, but I wonder if people that hold this view feel the same about guns not being responsible either.

8:34PM PST on Jan 23, 2011

This is an abomination and needs to be addressed, but why are you blaming Mark Zuckerberg? He created the website but he did not create the bullies or issue instructions on how to go about bullying using the site. Blame the bullies and their parents, NOT Mark Zuckerberg.

1:54PM PST on Jan 23, 2011

Congratulations on taking legal action in this situation. This is no joke to destroy one's reputation. We are responsible for our words and actions through cyberspace and social networking.

6:51PM PST on Jan 22, 2011

El castigo perfecto seria mandarlas a la carcel , cuantos no se han quitado la vida por esa razon ? y siguen en lo mismo , porque no hay quien imponga un castigo cevero

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