Two parents whose teenager set up a fake Facebook page to ridicule a classmate will face a defamation trial, a Georgia appeals court ruled yesterday. Even though they didn’t create the page, the parents could be liable because they allowed it to remain up for more than a year, the court said.
In 2011, Alexandria (Alex) Boston, a middle school student in Cobb County, Georgia, shared a homeroom class with Dustin Athearn and Melissa Snodgrass. Athearn and Snodgrass created a fake Facebook page under Boston’s name. They posted pictures of her taken using a “fat face” app and wrote posts that suggested she had racist views and was a lesbian, according to a report published today in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“Some of these postings were graphically sexual, racist, or otherwise offensive and some falsely stated that Alex was on a medication regimen for mental health disorders and that she took illegal drugs,” wrote the three-judge appeals panel in their opinion (PDF).
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