Teen Sues Over Facebook Bullying

Fake Facebook page set up for Alex Boston with a profile photo distorted to make her look bloated.

From Wired:

A teenager in Georgia has decided to take things into her own hands after her school and police said they could do nothing about the classmates bullying her on Facebook.

Fourteen-year-old Alex Boston and her parents are filing suit against two classmates and their parents for libel after the two classmates allegedly created a fake Facebook account in her name, using a photo of her that they distorted. The account was also used to post a racist video to YouTube that implied that Boston hated African-Americans, and to leave crude comments on the Facebook pages of other friends, suggesting she was sexually active and smoked marijuana.

“All of these things were not true and they knew them to be not true,” says Boston’s attorney Natalie Woodward.

The activities exposed Boston to “hatred, contempt and ridicule by her classmates and peers,” according to the complaint, which accuses the teens of defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress, and seeks punitive damages. The parents of the defendants are named in the suit because they paid for the internet access that allowed their children to create the account and post the messages, and allegedly failed to supervise their activity.

Boston decided to take this novel route after learning of the Facebook page a year ago and complaining about the behavior to school officials at Palmer Middle School in Kennesaw, Georgia. They told her there was nothing they could do about it because the activity occurred off campus.

Police also said their hands were tied as well because there was no Georgia cyberbullying law they could apply to the situation.

In Georgia, schools can punish students if they bully others at school, but the law governing this does not extend to text messages and social media sites. Georgia does not have a law that covers off-campus harassment, though seven other states do have laws that cover this.

Continue reading the rest of the story on Wired