Friday, July 27, 2012

Teens Poke Classmate in Facebook Ruse; End Up in Pokey

Seal of Hood County, Texas(Photo credit: Wikipedia)The Ft. Worth Star-Telegram reports that two Granbury (Texas) middle-schoolers, ages 12 and 13, who allegedly created a false Facebook page about a 12-year-old classmate, have been charged with online impersonation, a third-degree felony, and face up to 10 years in jail if convicted.

The target of the false page does not participate in Facebook, so the false page flourished for a month and attracted 63 friends before it was shut down, the daily reports. The defendants allegedly featured a celebrity on the fake page who purportedly resembles the victim, and according to the Hood County Sheriff, the page contained profanity and alleged threats against other students that harmed the victim's reputation.

To combat cyberbullying, the Texas legislature passed the online impersonation measure in 2009. Free speech advocates, including the Student Press Law Center, have questioned the constitutionality of the law.
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