Posts tagged ‘MySpace’

40-year-old Cyberbully Charged with Harassing 17-year-old Girl

Even after the sad case of Megan Meier, who committed suicide after an online hoax perpetrated by a schoolmates’ mother, some people still think that the online world is an anonymous playground where they can vent their frustrations on others with little to no consequences.

Elizabeth Thrasher, a 40-year-old St. Louis woman, was recently charged with felony harassment after authoring an online hoax to embarrass and humiliate a 17-year-old girl. The girl is the daughter of a woman who is dating Thrasher’s ex-husband, with whom—according to reports—Thrasher had a “deteriorating relationship.”

After a recent fight with the woman, the teen sent Thrasher a MySpace message, telling her to grow up. Instead of acting like an adult, however, Thrasher chose to act like a vindictive child. In response to the teen’s comment, Thrasher posted a sexually suggestive ad on Craigslist, along with the girl’s picture, phone number, email address, and place of employment. The girl subsequently received sexually charged emails, text messages, and pornography on her phone.

To say the least, Thrasher’s actions were childish and immature, but they had the potential to be much more dangerous than they turned out to be. What if a man on Craigslist had seen the ad and waited for the girl in the parking lot of her place of employment? What if the girl’s picture and information had been lifted from Craigslist and posted on pornographic websites, forever damaging her reputation?

Although there is little we can do as parents to prevent immature adults and others from posting hurtful, damaging, or dangerous information online about our children. It is important that we report this activity as soon as it happens, and teach our children to do the same. Increased reporting and education will help us all fight this problem and bring about better legislation to fight online bullies, prevent future attacks, and prosecute the offenders.

Source: http://www.stltoday.com/blogzone/st-louis-crime-beat/2009/08/17/st-peters-woman-charged-with-felony-harassment-for-fake-craigslist-post/

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August 18, 2009 at 12:23 pm 1 comment

Moreno Family Problems Highlight Lack of Privacy on Social Networking Sites

Recently, Cynthia Moreno of Coalinga, California, posted a rant on her MySpace blog about how much she hated her hometown. Cynthia was off to college at the time, but her former high school principal saw the post and sent it as a Letter to the Editor to the local newspaper. The rant was published in the paper, and soon Cynthia’s parents, who still lived in Coalinga, started receiving death threats and at least one gunshot was fired outside their home. In addition, the residents of Coalinga organized a boycott of the Moreno’s business that, as a result, when bankrupt.

The Morenos sued the principal for invasion of privacy, but the court ruled against the Morenos, claiming that Cynthia’s communication was posted for public consumption on a social networking site, therefore it is open to the public.

Although Cynthia did not intend for her post to be publicly distributed, it was. And as a result, her family was threatened and their business ruined.

As parents, it is extremely important that you know what your children are posting online. As well, it is important to teach them the consequences of posting information and opinions on their social networking site of choice. Although they, like Cynthia, may think only a handful of people will read it, the audience could be much father reaching and much more damaging than they anticipate.

As a rule, make sure you know what social networking sites your children use, and become their friend on those sites. Know what they are posting and saying, and help them realize the far reaching effects those blogs, comments, and even pictures might have.

Source: http://public.getlegal.com/articles/online-privacy
Source: http://www.sodahead.com/question/422981/moreno-family-booted-from-coalinga-ca-over-myspace-blog-should-myspace-users-have-a-right-to-privacy/

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July 13, 2009 at 10:49 am 3 comments


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