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Parents May Be Responsible for Children’s Facebook Posts

Parents to Be Held Responsible for Children’s Facebook PostsParents may be accused of cyberbullying and held legally liable for their children’s Facebook activity if found offensive, according to a Reuters news story.

This decision, ruled by Presiding Judge John J. Ellington from the Court of Appeals of Georgia, was taken after two seven-grade students posted inappropriate comments about a colleague on a fake Facebook profile. The two created the fake page impersonating their classmate and used an image manipulation mobile app to distort her pictures.

“After Dustin created the account, both Dustin and Melissa added information to the unauthorized profile, which indicated inter alia, racist viewpoints and a homosexual orientation”, the court document reads. “Dustin and Melissa also caused the persona to issue invitations to become ‘Friends’ to many of Alex’s classmates, teachers, and extended family members.”

The court said the content on the false Facebook page is “graphically sexual, racist or otherwise offensive.”

Although the parents of the two children were informed of their children’s actions, the Facebook profile remained active for 11 months and continued to accept new friend requests.

“Given that the false and offensive statements remained on display, and continued to reach readers, for an additional 11 months, we conclude that a jury could find that the [parents’] negligence proximately caused some part of the injury [the girl] sustained from [the boy’s] actions (and inactions),” Judge Ellington said.

The case will go to the lower court for trial.

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Alexandra GHEORGHE

Alexandra started writing about IT at the dawn of the decade - when an iPad was an eye-injury patch, we were minus Google+ and we all had Jobs. She has since wielded her background in PR and marketing communications to translate binary code to colorful stories that have been known to wear out readers' mouse scrolls. Alexandra is also a social media enthusiast who 'likes' only what she likes and LOLs only when she laughs out loud.