Facebook under investigation over video after 14-year-old Italian girl leaps to her death following ‘cyber-bullying campaign’
“Carolina Picchio fell to her death form her third-floor window in January Insulting video and photographs had been circulated over the internet Italian Parent’s Association has filed a criminal complaint against Facebook.
Facebook is being investigated over the death of a 14-year-old Italian girl who leapt from her third-floor bedroom window after bullying posts and a video of her appeared on the social media site.
Carolina Picchio, from Novara in Northern Italy, fell to her death in January this year, after insulting video and photographs of her were circulated over the internet.
Eight teenagers, aged between 15 and 17 years old, are being questioned by magistrates on suspicion of inciting of suicide.
Tragic situation: Carolina Picchio, from Novara in Northern Italy leapt from her third floor bedroom window after insulting videos and photographs of her were circulated over the internet
A video of Miss Picchio looking the worse for wear in a bathroom at a party was uploaded to Facebook and remained on the site for several days.
Antonio Affinita “There is a procedure for asking for the removal of messages that break rules. This is an open investigation without named suspects, as yet. Facebook itself is not under investigation. But we could theoretically investigate employees of Facebook who failed to respond to these requests Telegraph
‘This is the first time a parent’s group has filed such a complaint against Facebook in Europe. Italian law forbids minors under 18 signing contracts, yet Facebook is effectively entering into a contract with minors regarding their privacy, without their parents knowing.’
The video is believed to have been posted shortly after Miss Picchio left her boyfriend. He had apparently used the site to insult her a few days earlier.
A note written to him which was found in her bedroom read: ‘Isn’t what you have done to me enough? You have made me pay too many times.’
Before she took her own life she posted a note on the site which read: ‘Forgive me if I am not strong. I cannot take it any longer.’
Some of the bullies are believed to have continued to post abuse about Miss Picchio even after her death.
The outrage at Picchio’s death has helped stoke the prosecutorial momentum to investigate some of Facebook’s European employees, though it’s still not clear if Saluzzo will move forward with his suggestion. Italian magistrates already have a history challenging social media behemoths, with three Google execs being handed a suspended sentence back in 2010 for allowing a video of a handicapped Italian student being bullied to be posted on Google Video.
Such legal challenges do not address the larger cultural forces that create such situations where young women can be shamed and bullied online for their behavior. However, if social media companies see that they have imminent legal interests in taking down offensive content on-the-double, the dissemination of bully-fodder might be curtailed, enough, at least, to prevent the suicides of beleaguered teenagers getting way more than anyone’s share of Internet abuse. source @
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