Two classmates created a fake Facebook account in 14-year-old Alex Boston’s name, using it to suggest that the Georgia girl is fat, promiscuous, a drug user and a racist. Her middle school principal said the school can’t regulate off-campus activity. So the girl and her parents are suing the cyberbullies for libel.
The page features a distorted photo of Boston.
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.
. . . 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.
Georgia law doesn’t penalize cyberbullying and schools have no authority over students’ off-campus behavior.
According to the lawyer, Facebook did not respond to requests to delete the false account until after the lawsuit was filed and publicized on CNN.