Court rules parents can be held responsible for kid’s Facebook posts

Brittany A. Roston - Oct 16, 2014, 8:56 pm CDT
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Court rules parents can be held responsible for kid’s Facebook posts

Kids are notorious for saying dumb things, and now that communication has shifted towards a digital medium, those dumb things are often posted for everyone to see. If a new court ruling is any indication, parents may be held responsible for any legally dubious thing their child posts in the future, whether it is a fake threat or very real cyber bullying. Such is the case for two individuals in Georgia, where a court as ruled that they could be held responsible for a fake Facebook page operated by their son.

The Georgia Court of Appeals has decided that the parents of a boy who created a fake Facebook profile of a classmate can be held responsible for his actions. The reason revolves around how the entire situation played out: the Facebook page was made back in 2011, where the unnamed boy posed as the classmate to make harassing statuses.

The victim complained to her parents, who escalated it to the boy’s school, which ultimately enacted a mild punishment. The problem, however, is that the Facebook profile was never taken down, and remained public for nearly a year despite the boy’s parents both knowing what he was up to.

A legal case was eventually brought about, where the victim’s lawyer targeted the parents in part, saying they are responsible for their failure to act in the matter. The court ruled that they can’t be held responsible for the original act, but that they do hold some responsibility for the victim’s injury due to their inaction.

SOURCE: Wall Street Journal


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