Sunday, December 5, 2010

As Bullies Go Digital, Parents Play Catch-Up


Ninth grade was supposed to be a fresh start for Marie’s son: new school, new children. Yet by last October, he had become withdrawn. Marie prodded. And prodded again. Finally, he told her.

The kids say I’m saying all these nasty things about them on Facebook,” he said. “They don’t believe me when I tell them I’m not on Facebook.”

But apparently, he was.

Marie, a medical technologist and single mother who lives in Newburyport, Mass., searched Facebook. There she found what seemed to be her son’s page: his name, a photo of him grinning while running — and, on his public wall, sneering comments about teenagers he scarcely knew.

Someone had forged his identity online and was bullying others in his name. [...]

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