Published Online: October 21, 2014
Published in Print: October 22, 2014, as Parents May Be Liable for Fake Facebook Page

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Parents May Be Liable for Fake Facebook Page

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A Georgia appeals court ruled last week that parents of a 7th grader who created a fake Facebook account mocking a classmate are potentially liable for negligence for not forcing him to close the account once they learned of it.

The 7th grader and a friend at Palmer Middle School in Cobb County targeted a female classmate, then created a false Facebook account in her name. They manipulated a photo to make her look heavy, and added information that she was gay, held racist views, took illegal drugs, and was being treated for a mental-health disorder.

The school notified the parents about the page, which remained active for nearly a year until Facebook deactivated it in 2012.

During the 11 months the false profile could be viewed, the court said, the 7th grader's parents made no attempt to view it, and "took no action to determine the content of the false, profane, and ethnically offensive information."

Vol. 34, Issue 09, Page 5

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