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.