In my last post I discussed a very upsetting story in my town - South Hadley, Massachusetts. On January 14, fifteen year Phoebe Prince apparently committed suicide after being bullied - in school, after school and online. The cyberbullying has even continued after here death, most notably on Facebook. There's been a lot of traffic on that post - here's an update.
Last night there was a Selectboard meeting in South Hadley and people were given the opportunity to publicly comment as part of the meeting format. I did not attend tot meeting but watched the live feed on the town cable access channel. A number of parents got up and described how their children had been treated. Here's a short video clip from the meeting posted in a Masslive.com article
|South Hadley selectboard meeting becomes a forum bullying discussion|
South Hadley High School principal Daniel T. Smith has his own investigation running parallel to the one by local police working with the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office. So far, Smith has said two students were disciplined before Prince’s death and a third was disciplined stemming from an assault on another student after Prince died. School officials have refused to say what the discipline consisted of, citing legal and privacy rights of the students.
Prior to the start of the meeting, a female classmate of Prince said she is disturbed that the students believed to have bullied Prince are still in school. “I’m concerned about what is going to happen in this,” said the girl who declined to give her name. “I think they should get punished, and it should happen soon. Nothing really happened to them.”
"We've subpoenaed records from Facebook, we've subpoenaed web pages from Facebook, hoping to track down the perpetrators of some of these criminal threatening acts."
Without getting technical - this information is backed up and logged by providers like Facebook, Verizon and Comcast. All postings, text messages, tweets, etc are available and identified with either an Internet Protocol (IP) address or cell phone number of the posting source. With applications like Facebook there is even more - in addition to your IP address your username is also logged. Once you hit that Send/OK/Upload/etc button it's out there.
With the proper subpoenas authorities can access all of it - source identification, text, pictures, who posted what, when it was posted, when and if it got removed, what got removed, comments, etc, etc, etc.