How do you fight back against cyberbullies when even the police are powerless to stop them? One Atlanta middle-schooler thinks suing for libel is worth a shot.
When 14-year-old Alex Boston discovered a demeaning Facebook page that hijacked her picture and stats last year, she immediately alerted her parents who notified school officials and the police. Problem is—Georgia’s anti-bulling law only covers on-campus harassment. If it happens, say, on the Internet, there’s very little authorities can do to intervene. In this case, even though authorities knew the two people behind the phony page, “we were not aware of any cyberbullying law on the books that would take her specific situation and apply it to Georgia law,” Cobb County police spokesman Sgt. Dana Pierce told the AP.
And after numerous failed attempts to contact Facebook for assistance, the Bostons have lawyered up and filed lawsuits against the two unnamed bullies for libel. If successful, this could set precedent and open up a new avenue for bullying victims to defend themselves. Facebook did eventually remove the offending page.