Prosecutors investigating suing Facebook for not removing posts that drove young girl to suicide


From The Daily Beast:

Could Facebook be held liable for an Italian teen’s suicide? If an Italian prosecutor has his way, the social networking giant could face criminal manslaughter charges.

Carolina Picchio was a 14-year-old girl from Novara, Italy, near Milan, with an enviably pretty face and a bright future. Then, late on the night of January 4, she jumped out of her bedroom window from her family’s fourth-floor apartment. She died instantly when she landed headfirst on the pavement below. Before she jumped, she updated her status on Facebook with a chilling suicide note: “Forgive me if I’m not strong. I cannot take it any longer.”

In her bedroom, police found a note to her ex-boyfriend, whose friends had been circulating a suggestive video of her, taken at a drinking party, in which she appeared tipsy and disheveled. The boys had also been sending her nasty text messages and cyberbullying her on Facebook with insults and threats. On the day she took her life, she had received 2,600 vulgar messages through Whatsapp. “Haven’t you done enough to me already?” she wrote in the letter to her former boyfriend. “How many times do I have to pay?”

Over the weekend, the tables turned when Valentina Sellaroli, an investigating prosecutor in Novara, announced they would press criminal charges against the eight boys who were “making Picchio pay.” The teens, between the ages of 13 and 17, included Picchio’s ex. They are being investigated for instigating suicide and distributing pedopornography on the Internet. Francesco Saluzzo, another investigating prosecutor working on the case, said they were also opening an investigation into whether or not Facebook could be held criminally responsible in the young girl’s tragic death. “Facebook has not been officially named,” Saluzzo told The Daily Beast. “But we are looking into whether employees of the company failed to remove offending messages that could have led to Picchio’s decision to take her life.”

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