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Prosecution considered after Facebook bullying led to suicide

State prosecutors in Novara Italy are considering whether to bring criminal proceedings against Facebook employees after severe bullying led to a girl’s suicide.

Prosecution considered after Facebook bullying led to suicide © ferkelraggae-Fotolia
Prosecution considered after Facebook bullying led to suicide © ferkelraggae-Fotolia

Facebook bullying

Carolina Picchio, 14, had been bullied by her ex-boyfriend’s friends for some time. The gang had sent the girl a barrage of abusive messages via the social network Facebook and over 2,600 vulgar messages via WhatsApp.

Carolina’s family reported the cyber bullying to Facebook and requested that the abusive messages be removed. The social network failed to remove the messages.

The Italian Parents’ Association has filed a criminal complaint against Facebook. CNN notes that Italian prosecutor, Francesco Saluzzo, is considering whether to bring a claim against Facebook employees for failing to remove offensive messages which may have played a key role in Carolina’s decision to commit suicide. Reports also state that he wants to know why the abusive messages remained on the site for days after complaints were received.

Reporting cyber bullying

Responding to the incident a Facebook statement said, “We are deeply saddened by the tragic death of Carolina Picchio and our hearts go out to her family and friends.”

The social network explains that links are placed on the site for reporting cyber bullying and that it removes harassing content when it is reported by users. The network also confirms that it reports bullying to the authorities where it is appropriate to do so.