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Criminal Complaint Filed Against Facebook After Girl's Death

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the blame-the-medium-for-the-content dept.

Facebook 559

An anonymous reader writes "A prosecutor has opened an investigation into how Facebook allowed the publication of insults and bullying posts aimed at 14-year-old Carolina Picchio, who took her own life after a gang of boys circulated a video on Facebook of her appearing drunk and disheveled in a bathroom at a party. The Italian Parents Association has filed a criminal complaint against Facebook for allegedly having a role in the instigation of Carolina's suicide. 'This is the first time a parents' group has filed such a complaint against Facebook in Europe,' said Antonio Affinita, the director. '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.''

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559 comments

facebook is an american company (-1, Flamebait)

ganjadude (952775) | about a year ago | (#43845793)

Facebook is an american company

freedom of speech, even speech we dont like is legal

i feel bad for the girl being bullied but i dont blame anyone for their death who kills themselves except for them.

Re:facebook is an american company (4, Insightful)

Inf0phreak (627499) | about a year ago | (#43845811)

And facebook does business in Italy? So Italian courts have jurisdiction over facebook. They can argue US 1st amendment all they want, it's just not relevant.

Re:facebook is an american company (4, Insightful)

ganjadude (952775) | about a year ago | (#43845827)

'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.''

how is facebook allowing this? did facebook buy the people internet connections? did facebook force her to sign up? did facebook force her to get hammered and act a fool?

Look, i understand all the facebook hate. and a lot of it is just, no question about that. but you cant blame facebook for any of this

Re:facebook is an american company (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43845923)

did facebook force her to sign up?

Irrelevant, since the crap wasn't posted on her account.

Re:facebook is an american company (-1, Troll)

sexconker (1179573) | about a year ago | (#43845951)

did facebook force her to sign up?

Irrelevant, since the crap wasn't posted on her account.

Completely relevant.
Facebook has no obligation to police content to comply with the laws of any nation except the USA.
Everyone else can fuck right on off. Let the government of Italy (try to) block Facebook if they're actually serious about it.

Re:facebook is an american company (5, Insightful)

Bremic (2703997) | about a year ago | (#43846103)

And yet the US is adamant in it's right to enforce it's laws on internet presences that are not based in the US because they are used by US citizens. You can't have it both ways.

More importantly, just cause Facebook is based in the US doesn't mean that's the only law it has to worry about if it does business in other countries. You aren't going to allow foreign owned companies to ignore US laws while operating in the US.

The only way this comment would make any sense would be if Facebook specifically blocked anyone who wasn't a US citizen from using their service. They not only don't do that, they actively advertise and monetize in other countries.

Re:facebook is an american company (4, Insightful)

tlambert (566799) | about a year ago | (#43846223)

And yet the US is adamant in it's right to enforce it's laws on internet presences that are not based in the US because they are used by US citizens. You can't have it both ways.

I've seen commercial entities based in the US request via the USDOJ and other entities that other countries put pressure on internet presences not in the US in an attempt use US laws as a hammer.

I've seen the USDOJ and other entities become complicit in communicating the requests to other countries.

I've seen the governments and agencies thereof bend over for the US by complying with the request.

I've seen the internet presences bend over for their own government agencies.

But other than invading Nicaragua and kidnapping Manuel Noriega to put him on trial in the US, I haven't really seen the US enforcing US laws abroad. In fact, I've seen them keep GITMO open, despite campaign promises by three presidents, precisely so that they have a place controlled by the US military so they can store prisoners there and specifically NOT have to comply with US law.

The first two observations are the US' fault, at least in the general sense of "Blame the US for the actions of RIAA/MPAA/whoever, which is generally reviled by the average US citizen who cares one way or the other".

The last two observations are the fault of the target country and the internet presences in that target country having no backbones, and that's all on you.

That's stupid (1)

Su27K (652607) | about a year ago | (#43846235)

Your website can be accessed by any country in the world, are you going to study every country's laws and comply with them? The lawyer fee alone would make any web venture unthinkable. To define operating by not blocking is stupid beyond belief, by this definition all US websites are operating in North Korea, Iran and China, what do you do when these government asks for your logs, source code and data according to their "laws"?

Re:facebook is an american company (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43846119)

First, how is it relevant that "she wasn't forced to sign up", since her account wasn't the one used to harass her? The remainder of your post doesn't deal with that at all.

Second, if Facebook wants to do business in Italy, then Italian law is certainly relevant. If they don't want to deal w/ Italian law then they're free to prohibit people in Italy from using Facebook. No scheme for doing that can be perfect, but I'd settle for blocking the appropriate IP ranges. They didn't, hence they have chosen to do business in Italy, and are subject to Italian law w/ their Italian accounts. This is not the same thing as someone in country X just looking at a prohibited website in country Y, for which the website owner should bear no responsibility. Let country X worry about censoring what their citizens can look at.

Re:facebook is an american company (5, Funny)

the_B0fh (208483) | about a year ago | (#43846159)

Seriously? FB doesn't have to comply within other countries' laws when they are operating there?

That's a new one. So, Samsung, Sony, Honda, Earl Grey, and other international companies based outside of US don't have to comply with US laws even when they operate in USA?

Glad to hear that.

You're the Mucking Foron of the day.

Re:facebook is an american company (3, Interesting)

Capsaicin (412918) | about a year ago | (#43846217)

Completely relevant.

Agreed, and moreover for the part of the complaint is that Facebook entered into a contract with the minor, the crap posted on any account would seem to be irrelevant. Really the question is whether agreeing to the ToS constitutes a binding contract in Italy.

Facebook has no obligation to police content to comply with the laws of any nation except the USA.

FB has an obligation to abide by the law of any country in which they do business. However that obligation would be enforceable only in countries in which they have a corporate presence.

Everyone else can fuck right on off.

Comity: look it up!

Re:facebook is an american company (1, Funny)

ganjadude (952775) | about a year ago | (#43845967)

so if i dont have a FB account

but people are talking shit about me on facebook

in your mind I have a case against them for harassment??

Re:facebook is an american company (5, Insightful)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about a year ago | (#43846127)

Yes. If someone publishes abusive remarks about you in a newspaper, it doesn't matter if you subscribe to the newspaper or not. You can still sue them, and depending on the jurisdiction you and the newspaper (or Facebook) are in, you might just even win.

The First Amendment stipulates that Congress may not pass laws that prohibit people from expressing their ideas or opinions. If you think the President is utterly wrong about something, you're free to say so, and you don't need to fear any persecution from the government. However, the First Amendment is not a license to say anything you want about anybody without consequences. If you write something false that defames the President's reputation, he can sue you for libel.

The First Amendment goes beyond words, as well. Actions such as protests or demonstrations can be considered speech, but the limits on actions are even harsher. Your free expression may not infringe on anybody else's rights. That means your protest can't block a business, harass someone, disrupt traffic, or damage property. You'll face legal consequences for all of those. If your "speech" is a threat (and you show sufficient capability and intent to follow through with that threat), the person you're threatening may even be able to legally kill you in self-defense.

The First Amendment is not a weapon that you can use to attack someone. It is a freedom that you can use to ensure your ideas are available to the world.

Re:facebook is an american company (5, Insightful)

tftp (111690) | about a year ago | (#43845957)

did facebook force her to sign up? did facebook force her to get hammered and act a fool?

As far as I understand, the incident has nothing to do with her even having a FB account. The videographers who recorded her being drunk did have an account; but that has nothing to do with *their* privacy (such as of the account owner.)

In essence, FB is being sued for allowing someone else (the people who recorded the video) to post that video for everyone to see. That video was offensive to some other people. How would FB censors, even if FB had them, know what is and what isn't offensive?

In the end, it will be judged by the fact whether FB had a certain duty, and they failed at that duty. I suspect FB has no duty to watch users' videos. With regard to the contract, I am not sure if there was a contract. Most of the Web operates without an explicitly defined contract. It is hard to even establish competence over the Internet; and most services are free in every aspect. Can FB be guilty of giving access to a child? Depends on what that child said about his age. Most likely the EULA says "By clicking "Accept" I verify that I am of certain age and of legal age to form a contract." If the child did that, he misled the service provider and fraudulently obtained access to FB. The FB has no way to verify his age. It could be even impossible with EU's strict privacy laws.

Re:facebook is an american company (2)

ganjadude (952775) | about a year ago | (#43846005)

long story short, its no different then blaming google for copyrighted works being searchable. its just wrong.

the only people to blame for the girls death are sadly the girl. she killed herself, no one else.

Re:facebook is an american company (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43846035)

I don't know about the laws in Italy (and I am not a lawyer anywhere) but that doesn't really matter as far as I know in the US. Look at the story of Traci Lords. She used fake ID to make porn when she was 16 and there was, at least at the time, no way the other people making it could tell it was fake (it wasn't that hard to do back then). They were still at least charged. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Traci_Lords#Porn_career [wikipedia.org]

Re:facebook is an american company (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43846075)

they would've taunted/bullied/whatever her regardless of whether *she* had a facebook account.. the difference would've been that she learned about it from someone else that did have one. damage done either way.

Re:facebook is an american company (1)

Pseudonym (62607) | about a year ago | (#43846137)

I don't know how Italian contract law works, but in many jurisdictions there is a provision for "unconscionable conduct" or words to that effect.

There are many factors which might be taken into account in determining unconscionable conduct. Here are some examples from Australian law:

- the relative bargaining strength of the parties
- whether any conditions were imposed on the weaker party that were not reasonably necessary to protect the legitimate interests of the stronger party
- whether the weaker party could understand the documentation used
- the use of undue influence, pressure or unfair tactics by the stronger party
- the requirements of applicable industry codes
- the willingness of the stronger party to negotiate
- the extent to which the parties acted in good faith

If you look down the list, you can see a few factors which may come in to play when the stronger party is a company worth $15 billion and the weaker party is a 14 year old girl.

If this was about an EULA which a 14 year old "agreed to", most of us would conclude that she couldn't legally do that, so the EULA is not binding. Why is the same not true of a privacy policy? Would it matter if the 14 year old gave her age honestly (remember, the minimum age for using Facebook is 13), but any agreement made by a 14-year-old is still not legally binding?

These are questions, BTW, and I honestly don't know the answers. I don't know if a 14 year old in Italy can legally consent for her private information to be used by Facebook in the way that we all know Facebook uses private information, and what Facebook's responsibilities are if they know she is 14.

Yes, her parents should not have let her share private information on the net. This is not the whole story.

BTW, I'm a nerd too. I also tend to narrow in on one little factoid that, were it different, the whole mess wouldn't have happened. But this ignores the fact that a lot of things need to line up for messes to happen. It is a constant struggle for we nerds to fight that tendency to get too focussed on one detail, and miss the big picture.

Re:facebook is an american company (1)

myowntrueself (607117) | about a year ago | (#43846055)

And facebook does business in Italy? So Italian courts have jurisdiction over facebook. They can argue US 1st amendment all they want, it's just not relevant.

If I were mr Face I'd just shut down all Facebook accounts in Italy.

Re:facebook is an american company (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43845817)

Actually, the 16th amendment repealed the 1st amendment. Just ask the IRS.

Re:facebook is an american company (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43845871)

people should be held accountable for their acctions, especially people who bully other people social media is a power thing, and s i think should be limited to the older crowd my kids want on facebook, and I refused to let them get an account

Re:facebook is an american company (2, Insightful)

ganjadude (952775) | about a year ago | (#43845929)

thank you for making my point. YOU the parent are in charge. if YOU the parent let your child on facebook, or anywhere else, thats on you. no one else.

Re:facebook is an american company (1)

Baton Rogue (1353707) | about a year ago | (#43846085)

thank you for making my point. YOU the parent are in charge. if YOU the parent let your child on facebook, or anywhere else, thats on you. no one else.

If the girl's parents had not allowed her to create a Facebook account, would this not have happened? No, it would still have happened because the video was posted by someone else, not the girl.

Re:facebook is an american company (3, Informative)

ganjadude (952775) | about a year ago | (#43846213)

and I still blame the parents. where were they when their 14 year old daughter was out getting drunk??? Does no one believe in taking responsibility for themselves (or their kids) anymore?

Re:facebook is an american company (1)

macraig (621737) | about a year ago | (#43846113)

It doesn't actually "make your point" at all, but whatever. I see someone else already corrected you... as much as that is possible for someone with a knee he can't control.

Re:facebook is an american company (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43846161)

Couldn't she have made the account and updated it from a friend's smartphone, friend's computer, or school computer?

I mean probably not, but that's one possibility.

Re:facebook is an american company (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43845889)

freedom of speech, even speech we dont like is legal

But harassment is not.

Re:facebook is an american company (1, Troll)

Cyko_01 (1092499) | about a year ago | (#43845917)

Facebook is an american company freedom of speech, even speech we dont like is legal

it is so sad that you actually believe that

Re:facebook is an american company (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about a year ago | (#43845941)

you dont believe in freedom of speech?

Re:facebook is an american company (1)

Pseudonym (62607) | about a year ago | (#43846151)

I think cyko was insinuating that Facebook was a law unto itself.

Re:facebook is an american company (3, Insightful)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#43846231)

you dont believe in freedom of speech?

Not the OP, but I believe in Freedom of Speech. I also know that it doesn't, and shouldn't, mean that you can harass people.

Re:facebook is an american company (1)

jader3rd (2222716) | about a year ago | (#43845997)

Facebook is an american company freedom of speech, even speech we dont like is legal

it is so sad that you actually believe that

Why is it sad?

Re:facebook is an american company (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43845991)

The most told lie in the history of the world " I have read and agree to the EULA" www.prometheus-promotions.com

I take issue with your sig, not your comment. The most told lie in the world is jesus loves you.

Re:facebook is an american company (5, Informative)

fightinfilipino (1449273) | about a year ago | (#43845993)

Facebook is an american company freedom of speech, even speech we dont like is legal i feel bad for the girl being bullied but i dont blame anyone for their death who kills themselves except for them.

not ALL speech is legal in the US. take the "yelling fire in a crowded theatre" example. or cases of defamation.

in some US jurisdictions, there are laws criminalizing severe verbal harassment and there are actionable torts for intentional and/or negligent infliction of emotional distress.

too many folks in the US misunderstand exactly what the First Amendment entails.

in addition, there are arguments for why Facebook should be subject to Italy's laws. if they benefit from any way by doing business in Italy with Italians, those persons would at least have an argument that any harm Facebook does as a company against Italians should have consequences.

Re:facebook is an american company (2)

ganjadude (952775) | about a year ago | (#43846029)

I understand what you are saying. but posting a video of something that happened, whether or not is is unflattering does not fit into the realm of yelling fire in a crowded theater . as for being subject to italy's laws, I just dont see it. italy has the option to block them much like china, It would be wrong but it could be done. italy cannot hold zuck accountable for this (yes i know its public and zuck isnt "in charge" so to speak) the DOJ tries to take out sites like the pirate bay but they cant touch the .sx tdl.

Re:facebook is an american company (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year ago | (#43846193)

italy has the option to block them much like china

And Facebook has the option to block Italian IP ranges if they don't want to deal with Italian law for their Italian accounts. Facebook does business in Italy. This is not the same as saying that a website in country X has a responsibility to block people in country Y who want to read it. You can't make billions, partly from people in Italy, and claim you're not doing business there.

Re:facebook is an american company (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43846141)

It's ok to yell "fire" in a crowded theatre if there really is a fire.

Re:facebook is an american company (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43846155)

Posting as AC since I'm moderating. My only regret is that I can't increase the rating of your post to +6.

Re:facebook is an american company (5, Insightful)

codepigeon (1202896) | about a year ago | (#43846009)

i feel bad for the girl being bullied but i dont blame anyone for their death who kills themselves except for them

Fuck you and your ivory tower. Having been bullied to the point of considering suicide several times when I was a kid, I can tell you without a doubt, the bullies are accessories to the death. A human can only take so much abuse before they crack; juvenille minds even more so.

I have zero tolerence for bullies. They should be treated like criminals.

Re:facebook is an american company (1, Interesting)

ganjadude (952775) | about a year ago | (#43846089)

stop acting like you were the only one, im in the same boat but you know what.. i didnt, and you didnt either. Thinking about it is one thing, doing it is another, and i am sure you know that since you have also been a victim of bullies. I stand by my statement. bullies are not an accessory to the death, if they were you would have killed yourself, but you didnt, because you knew it was wrong.

i have zero tolerance for people who self pity themselves to death and blame others for their misery

Re:facebook is an american company (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43846179)

Oh fuck you, you fucking goddamn worthless pothead. No wonder a greedy dope smoking criminal like yourself can't sympathize with the other poster.

Learn how to use a fucking keyboard, take that fucking joint out of your mouth, and have compassion for others. Stop being such a self-centered and hateful drug addict.

Re:facebook is an american company (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about a year ago | (#43846241)

the sad thing is I am, you just dont see it.

I am thinking of the person who killed themselfs parents. how do you think they feel? or his siblings, do they blame themselves? or what about his friends? maybe they could have stopped it if only they had known...

I am showing compassion, for those who have to live through the death of a family member or friend and have no answers.

sure, blame the pot because my handle is Ganjadude, negating the fact that I made this handle when I was in my teens and in no way has ANYTHING to do with the topic at hand.

Re:facebook is an american company (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43846251)

Maybe that's because no one encouraged you to commit suicide, or maybe because you weren't a fourteen-year old girl, or maybe you weren't bullied on facebook. Unfortunately you're still here and posting dogmatic crap about what's right and wrong on slashdot.

Re:facebook is an american company (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43846093)

Maybe you should have. Nerd.

Re:facebook is an american company (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43846183)

Wow -- "Ivory Tower", eh? Because only you have been bullied and understand it, and anyone who thinks different from you is living in a different world? Yeah, being bullied sucks, and I went through plenty of it. However, I completely agree with the original poster that suicide is a personal responsibility. That doesn't mean that bullying is OK and should be allowed. There's also a range of bullying, from mild to a severity that includes criminal acts. I wouldn't agree with you that all bullying equals criminality.

In fact, I think "bullying" is way too broad a term to be dealt with in a legal context. The specific act in question here is the video that was posted, obviously without consent. That may be something that is or should be illegal. It doesn't need the "bullying" label to fog up the specifics. Absolving the person in question from their own responsibility for having engaged in behavior they apparently found so embarrassing later that they took their own life out of shame when people other than the people who already saw her behavior at the party were able to view it, is also missing the point about personal responsibility in general.

There is no denying that this girl had a primary hand in every action and consequence leading up to her suicide. That does not make anyone else's horrible (and possibly illegal) behavior ok. But to be clear: those boys are responsible for maliciously posting a video of a girl doing stupid and embarrassing things. That is what they are responsible for. The girl herself is responsible for doing those things in the first place, being in a situation where that video could easily be recorded by the assholes who did so, and then taking her own life. Holding other people accountable for those decisions she made is illogical.

By that standard, every person who has watched an embarrassing video of someone online, who has made an insulting or nasty comment to another online, etc. is potentially an accessory to any future suicide of any of the involved victims of those actions. Even though much milder, your statement of "Fuck you and your ivory tower" to the original commenter in response to their mildly stated stated opinion sounds a lot like the aggressive insulting language of bullies I have known. If that person ever feels like they have passed a limit of nasty input from online commenters including yourself and takes their own life, I hope you are prepared to be judged by your own standard.

Re:facebook is an american company (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43846203)

Having been where you were, you find me in complete agreement. You can literally only take so much, after a point it becomes torture and taking your own life does become preferable -- notice I didn't say "seems to become". If your life is just pain and shame then it's just a burden instead of a boon and being forced into that position at a very, very young age...well, you can either try to turn yourself into a robot (oh how I wish I were born a psychopath) and just tough it out or do what that poor girl did.

Lastly, if you're being bullied to the point of taking a life, why take yours? And even then you still lose, but you lose much less.

Re:facebook is an american company (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43846215)

Here comes the pity police to mod some whiney scared man child up.

Re:facebook is an american company (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43846237)

America: land of the victim complex. Poor baby. Want some more pity for your weak ego?

The hypocrisy of the anti-bully movement. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43846247)

The anti-bully movement, of which you are apparently a part of, is by far one of the most absurdly hypocritical movements around.

The whole premise of your ideology is that it is wrong to target a specific person, and to then pick on him or her in some way.

Yet what do you folks do? You target those you have labeled as "bullies", and you direct more wrath, hatred and animosity toward them than they could ever possibly direct at any of their so-called "victims".

A lot of the time these alleged "bullies" are merely pointing out factual attributes about the person in question. Yes, some people are nerds, and it is not incorrect to point this fact out. Yes, some people are obviously weak, and it is not incorrect to point this fact out. Yes, some people are stupid, and it is not incorrect to point this fact out.

But rather than accepting that it's perfectly fine and legitimate to make note of reality, the anti-bully squad comes in with their misguided, pent-up anger and starts up with the "treat them like criminals" nonsense. The abuse directed toward "bullies" from the anti-bullying crowd is just so extremely hypocritical.

Re:facebook is an american company (2)

flayzernax (1060680) | about a year ago | (#43846045)

Would this be an issue if this video was posted up on times square? I think so. The only difference being facebook is a tad more private than a public broadcast. But I'm interested to hear peoples opinions none-the-less.

Re:facebook is an american company (1, Troll)

Seumas (6865) | about a year ago | (#43846053)

That isn't correct, going into the future. We are inching ever closer to making "mean" language a crime: Bullying.

Instead of holding adults -- parents of the teased, the teasers, the teachers, the administrators and so on -- accountable for things and not letting awful behavior slide in schools and alienating and harming the children therein (school can be a hideous place for children and the adults often just look the other way, meaning you are basically sending your kids to Lord of the Flies camp five days a week) . . . we hold "Facebook" accountable for ever letting someone post mean things on there or videos of someone making a fool of themselves. Or we make it an actual crime to tease someone, if that person ultimately does something to themselves.

It is exceedingly easy to drive us to the point where this is going to happen (it already is happening), because we all have sympathy for the little girl who harms or kills herself (over and over again with each story, of course) because she was teased and harassed by other children. Once you have our sympathy, it's easy to say "well, god damn it, something should be done about this!" without paying much sense to the more abstract concept of, you know, people's rights and common sense.

Re:facebook is an american company (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43846185)

An where do they pay their taxes?

Bullshit (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43845797)

If the girl kills herself, she did it herself.

Should face be moderator of all posts? (1)

Adult film producer (866485) | about a year ago | (#43845803)

But since they've IPOed recently I don't think they could turn down my offer of $50/hour to monitor posts!

first. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43845805)

see subject

Stop with the messenger shooting! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43845809)

Sue the fuckwads who kept posting these videos if you're going to sue anyone.

If you're going to sue Facebook, you might as well sue Al Gore for inventing the Internet.

Re:Stop with the messenger shooting! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43845945)

Sue the fuckwads who kept posting these videos if you're going to sue anyone.

If you're going to sue Facebook, you might as well sue Al Gore for inventing the Internet.

Like!

Italians (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43845831)

This from the same country that sued scientists for predicting earthquakes (or not predicting them good enough).

If the parents don't know about the "contract" that their children "sign" and this is a problem, then maybe the parents should be sued?

National ID Requirement For Registration (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43845833)

If that's how Italy wants to play the game, then Facebook should just require that all Italian nationals provide government identification in order to use Facebook. Then they can validate the user's age and ensure that their "contract" is legal.

Stupid and silly, you say? I agree, but how else is Facebook - or any other website - going to ensure that they're able to operate in Italy?

Yes, this may mean that many business simply won't be able to do business in Italy. Oh well. Italy can suffer for its own stupidity I suppose.

Re:National ID Requirement For Registration (4, Informative)

aevan (903814) | about a year ago | (#43846145)

Why is it seeming so farfetched?

If for instance someone ELSE uses your email for facebook, and you want to report that to facebook, they demand government ID and the like faxed to them to prove you're you (though how that's relevant to being the owner of the email I will never guess). Also, some korean mmos I've played required you to use your korean social security number to make an account: even locking your gender to your real gender.

It's been done/required.

too many cams, kids cant be kids (5, Insightful)

anthony_greer (2623521) | about a year ago | (#43845837)

that all the kids didnt have pocket sized HD video cameras when I was in school - the shit that went on would have been embarrassing for anyone reliving it later...but now, kids cant make mistakes and learn from them without being taunted fr life with the stupid mistake...

Of corse binge drinking and other crazy stuff that hapens at partys is wrong - hense the term mistake...Mistakes should be learning experiences, not stains that follow you around for life...

How can kids be kids with cameras everywhere?

Facebook isnt guilty here, just like guns don't kill people, its the kids that posted that shit that are to blame here...

Re:too many cams, kids cant be kids (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43845909)

Don't you know your supposed to be perfect or else you can't work for the rest of your life. It's the rule of our corporate majesty.

Re: too many cams, kids cant be kids (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43845969)

My legal name is anonymous coward and I'm suing slashdot because I can't get a job.

Re:too many cams, kids cant be kids (5, Insightful)

mjtaylor24601 (820998) | about a year ago | (#43845965)

kids didnt have pocket sized HD video cameras when I was in school....but now, kids cant make mistakes and learn from them without being taunted fr life with the stupid mistake...

I don't know about that. In my experience kids have never required video evidence of a mistake being made before they're willing to taunt someone for life for making it. I'm sure that having embarrassing videos floating around doesn't improve the situation at all, but stuff like this happened long before cell phone cameras were prevalent. Blaming cell phones, or Facebook for that matter, is just an excuse to ignore the underlying systemic problem.

Re:too many cams, kids cant be kids (4, Insightful)

memnock (466995) | about a year ago | (#43846017)

I was not puking up drunk when I was 14. Neither were the other kids I hung out with. I don't consider that kind of behavior "kids be[ing] kids". At all.

However, I think this is more the fault of the parents than facebook. Facebook was not the negligent party that let that child get that drunk to begin with. You can yell all you want about kids sneaking around and getting away with stuff, but it's the parents' responsibility to mind the child nonetheless.

Re:too many cams, kids cant be kids (5, Insightful)

Zapotek (1032314) | about a year ago | (#43846131)

Well, I was...or had been, at some singular instance when I was that age. It doesn't take a lot to get a 14 y.o. puking drunk, a few cans of beer are enough to have that effect. And that's in a long list of mischievous adventures I embarked as a kid and I turned out fine. I'm neither a drunk nor junkie nor turning tricks to survive. So, what's your point? "kid behavior" is precisely what that was, immature and unconsidered.

I'm pretty sure others have had similar experiences which turned out to be to their benefit since they enabled them to learn that acting stupid has a nasty price a lot of the time. I've no comments about the second part of your argument though.

Fuck Italy (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43845851)

No money in suing the abusers... go where the money is.
 
Fuck nanny states and fuck the fucks who abuse their power.

Troll! In the dungeon! Thought you'd want to know. (5, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year ago | (#43845855)

The Italian Parents Association has filed a criminal complaint against Facebook for allegedly having a role in the instigation of Carolina's suicide. ... 'Italian law forbids minors under 18 signing contracts...'

The biggest lie on the internet is the answer to the question "Are you 18 or older?"

Big deal. Almost every country is the same way. Only a parent's group would be as naive is to attempt this. And only a parent's group would try to shirk responsibility for parenting -- which is what this is really about. Look, if you can't educate your crotch fruit on how to safely use a computer, don't let them use one. Stop asking the damn government to do your job -- in the 50s, we could buy little Jimmy a chemistry kit that included Arsenic in it, or a glass blowing kit that was identical in every way to the tools used by adults, except they were made for children's hands.

In most societies that haven't yet gone full retard thanks to people propping children up as a shield for their own political gain, children start doing adult work as soon as they are physically and mentally capable. Run around in Africa and you'll see 7 year olds tending crops and making dinner. Meanwhile, in the United States, god help you if you forget to include the fork with your teenager's meal... they'll just stare blankly at it, or even complain.

I guess what I'm saying is: It's your parenting that's at fault, not the internet. No, really, it is, and I don't care what bullshit legal argument you care to make. If you have a crappy kid, it's very like to be a sign that you're a crappy parent. Deal with it, and stop ruining everyone else's lives with goverment regulation because you decided to breed but lacked the mental capacity to do any of the work that comes after your 15 seconds of joy.

Re:Troll! In the dungeon! Thought you'd want to kn (0, Offtopic)

jaskelling (1927116) | about a year ago | (#43845887)

I want to give this response a hug and take it to dinner, it's so beautiful.

Re:Troll! In the dungeon! Thought you'd want to kn (1)

game kid (805301) | about a year ago | (#43845999)

Just make sure you can raise the child you two make after the dinner. :)

The real story here is that "Italian Parents Assocation" is a thing.

Re:Troll! In the dungeon! Thought you'd want to kn (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year ago | (#43846255)

I want to give this response a hug and take it to dinner, it's so beautiful.

And what, I'm mud?

Re:Troll! In the dungeon! Thought you'd want to kn (2)

lexsird (1208192) | about a year ago | (#43846041)

Don't be so coy, tell us how you really feel.

If this was your kid and she got bullied so bad she killed herself what would you do? I know I wouldn't be fucking around with lawyers and a lawsuit. I'd have to have some personal satisfaction of some good old fashion revenge.

Re:Troll! In the dungeon! Thought you'd want to kn (5, Interesting)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year ago | (#43846099)

If this was your kid and she got bullied so bad she killed herself what would you do?

Firstly, I would have had my kid involved in extracurricular activities, had them assisting in chores and other things, and developed in them a sense of self-reliance and independence. A child that can do things for herself is not a child that can readily have their self-esteem destroyed by a bully. Such self-reliance would include self-defense classes; No girl should fear that a boy will assault her. Secondly, I'd track down the parents of the child bullying and explain the situation to them verbally and in person. If the parents didn't step up to the plate, I would explain to them in a non-verbal way my disappointment in their lack of parenting.

But the one thing I wouldn't do is go off whining to the government or some parenting group about how my child was being bullied and, so enmeshed in my own ineptitude as a parent, allow the situation to worsen to the point my child committed suicide. I mean, really, as a parent how can you not see your child is struggling? You do whatever it takes to protect your family; You, not the government, you. It's called taking responsibility for the situation, and I would parent my child by example by showing that same self-reliant quality in my own involvement in the situation.

But I would not engage in 'revenge'. That is the refuge of a coward; If I'm angry enough to fight someone, they're going to be facing me and they're going to be armed. And then they're going to lose.

Re:Troll! In the dungeon! Thought you'd want to kn (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43846249)

People who kill themselves are really sick. Almost as sick as blaming their death on others "bullying."

Re:Troll! In the dungeon! Thought you'd want to kn (2)

phorm (591458) | about a year ago | (#43846095)

Look, if you can't educate your crotch fruit on how to safely use a computer, don't let them use one
I sounds like other people's kids misusing the computer were more of the issue....

Re:Troll! In the dungeon! Thought you'd want to kn (1)

cgimusic (2788705) | about a year ago | (#43846209)

Not to seem cruel but it looks like the original problem was her being drunk in a bathroom at the age of 14. If you don't want a video of you being drunk getting out then don't get drunk in public.

Re:Troll! In the dungeon! Thought you'd want to kn (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43846143)

This isn't the United States, asshole, it's in Italy.

Italian Prosecutor? (3, Insightful)

Nethead (1563) | about a year ago | (#43845899)

Italian Prosecutor. Enough said.

By any chance is this the same Italian prosecutor that went after Amanda Knox?

The Italian legal system is a total joke. Facebook can just sit on this, nothing will happen for years.

Re:Italian Prosecutor? (2)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year ago | (#43846139)

The Italian legal system is a total joke. Facebook can just sit on this, nothing will happen for years.

I won't disagree with your assessment. I will disagree with your attitude, however. Italy's government can and should be watching out for their citizens' wellbeing; It is the main role of any government. You're disrespecting the only recourse many Italian citizens have to injustice, and I do not feel that is appropriate or productive here. I understand what the parents are doing and even agree with the sentiments, but they're engaging the government in the wrong way.

There are better ways to handle this than filing a criminal complaint for the online conduct of a third party because you believe the company has the impossibly high burden of proving every one's identity on the internet to protect your precious little snowflake. The world is a dangerous place, and the best way to protect children is not with government, but with good parenting. Including curriculum in public schools about online etiquette, safety, etc., is a proper response to this issue; To assist in the parenting role, but not to take it over.

uhhhh (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43845919)

Uhhh... stupid girl shouldnt have gotten drunk in public?

stupid girl shouldnt have let the social ramblings of what were obviously shallow people drive her to suicide?

seems like her parents should be blamed for raising her bad if anyone....

im sorry but as someone who was once suicidal myself, suicide is always the fault of the person who does it....

Pot, meet Kettle (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43845933)

Am I the only one that finds it hilarious that Americans - home of the most ludicrous legal system, and outrageous legal pursuits on the face of the earth - is calling this Italian group out for being ridiculous in this claim?

This is a new world we're adapting to here. We have a long way to go in learning the dynamics of this social media-dominated age, but ultimately it will likely come down to governance of ethics (which is a good thing in my mind). In this case, I agree that the worst offenders are those that recorded/circulated the videos, or contributed to the events of that night, but is Facebook completely innocent in all of this? Maybe they are. Is Magnum Research innocent of the deaths of people killed with Desert Eagles? Probably. Is a guy making meth innocent of the deaths of people who OD on the drugs he makes? I don't know the legal answer to any of these questions, but I'm guessing a lot of people will die before we adopt a legal system truly based on ethics (it's supposed to be based on ethics in its current form, but clearly, it is not).

Re:Pot, meet Kettle (5, Insightful)

maccodemonkey (1438585) | about a year ago | (#43846015)

Am I the only one that finds it hilarious that Americans - home of the most ludicrous legal system...

Really? I'd think North Korea would be at the top of the list at least, with at least a few others until we hit the USA... But hey, as long as we're throwing all perspective out the window, this is obviously the most ludicrous comment I've seen on Slashdot. Maybe I should sue you for defaming the US on the internet, hmmmm? After all, this comment could cause many innocent deaths from violent Americans who have been incensed by your comment. Someone needs to be held responsible. That's the ethical thing to do.

Re:Pot, meet Kettle (0)

wvmarle (1070040) | about a year ago | (#43846167)

At least in NK all alleged criminals go through court before being thrown in some prison camp. Can't say that about the US, they do it without even a sham trial.

Parent's should be monitor their kids (2)

Nyder (754090) | about a year ago | (#43845939)

Parents should be monitor their kids. I don't think it's facebooks fault, they really have no way of telling if people are using real names & real ages. Let alone verifying any of the info.

I'd like to see the video, because I'm wondering if it was really bad, or if she was suicidal and it was a good enough excuse. I do remember when I was 14 and it seemed like everything evolved around the world i was in, and everything seems like it mattered and was important. Then again, I guess if my less then memorial moments were captured on video, i don't know.

But I think Italy needs to be talking to the parents, not facebook.

Re:Parent's should be monitor their kids (1)

codepigeon (1202896) | about a year ago | (#43846077)

facebook ... really have no way of telling if people are using real names & real ages

Sure they do. It doesn't seem to be a problem for credit card companies. Even Gmail seems to want an active phone line before setting up a simple email account. The reality is Facebook turns a blind eye to underage users. Those children are Facebook's bread-n-butter. I am still shocked they haven't been hit with fines or sanctions for continually violating the U.S. federal law that states people under 13 (or is it 14?)can't be monitored online.

Parents should be monitor their kids

Easier said, than done. Without paid body guards it is impossible to monitor someone 24/7.

Re:Parent's should be monitor their kids (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | about a year ago | (#43846147)

look at their facebook profile and notice that their daughter is being harassed and bullied for her being totally shitfaced at age 14 requires a body guard and 24/7 monitoring?

wow people are irresponsible today, my parents busted me on many occasions and could tell something was up just by my behaviour ... I did kind of live with them every day for almost 2 decades ...

Re:Parent's should be monitor their kids (1)

Seumas (6865) | about a year ago | (#43846083)

Instead of imposing upon the freedom of speech or putting the burdon on the phone company or the texting service or the social network service when kids are mean to each other, it makes a fuck of a lot more sense to hold the adults accountable. Where were the parents of the harassed child and why didn't they do anything? Why didn't her teachers? Why not other school administrators and staff? Why not the parents of the children doing the harassing? This doesn't all occur in a vacuum. Adults just don't give a shit. They look the other way. Then, when awful stuff happens, they seek to dismiss their own accountability for what happened by saying "there shoulda' been a law, damn it!".

Stupid question here (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43845947)

Granted, I have little experience with the Italian justice system, but have they considered action against, oh I don't know, the people doing the actual bullying?

Compelled to Censor (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43845955)

Nobody should be compelled to censor. The girl did what she did. Others teased her for it. Just as she made the choice to behave in a way that came back to haunt her she amplified her error by deciding to kill herself. She is the one to blame. Other people get embarrassed and teased and do not let themselves get out of control about it. I assume when a person kills themselves that they have confronted their worth.

TubGirl (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43845975)

~280MB MPEG off of exemplified by World's Gay Niiger other members in Long term survival grandstanders, thE From a technical EFNet servers.

Blurred Boundaries (4, Interesting)

TranquilVoid (2444228) | about a year ago | (#43846013)

Once again the internet blurs the boundaries between public/publishing and private. On one hand this is like complaining to the paper company because someone wrote a nasty note using one of their products. On the other hand web sites do control the means of publishing and bear some responsibilities.

Note they are currently simply exploring. From the prosecutor: "This is an open investigation without named suspects, as yet. Facebook itself is not under investigation."

Bullying must stop (3, Insightful)

Vylen (800165) | about a year ago | (#43846027)

This is undoubtedly singing the same tune that will most likely go on for decades to come but bullying must be brought to a end.

Parenting can only go so far - it's ridiculous to assume that telling your adolescent and hormonal child to be strong in the face of adversary will stop them from killing themselves. This poor girl left a note apologising for not being strong enough.

There's also no chance that one parent will lecture or attempt to teach another a child that bullying is wrong - that's, unfortunately, not their place. Of course, one parent could talk to another but that's only if they know.... which if often not the case.

However, there should be some figure of authority that should be able to do something...

If bullying is witnessed in the playground, a teacher would usually bring it to an end, and (hopefully) punish the bully - lecture them, make them sincerely apologise, etc. Although there's been ridiculous cases where teachers end up lecturing the bullied - that just infuriates me.

So, if this would occur in the schools and playgrounds, why not in the digital realm? It shouldn't be Facebook staff, in this case, but it should be the parents at the least. They really need to look after what their children are doing and what's happening to them. Facebook and other social media sites are just giant playgrounds for kids except there's no teachers around and that's always a recipe for disaster.

Of course, this should be all within reason - don't exactly want parents digitally stalking their kids 24/7 but it's not difficult to just check peoples walls every once in a while...

Anyway, that's enough ranting - hopefully that all makes sense.

Bullying is older than facebook. (3, Insightful)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about a year ago | (#43846033)

The bullies are to be blamed for the death, not facebook. May be facebook with its detailed logs can help us find the passive audience who watched the bullying and did nothing to stop. May be we can teach the passive by standers how they could help assuage the hurt feelings of the bully victim behind the scenes etc. I think the by standers are the real key in solving bullying issue. If we could find a way to make them side with the victim without exposing themselves bullying might eventually get solved

Re:Bullying is older than facebook. (1)

iggymanz (596061) | about a year ago | (#43846071)

Facebook is to blame for much invasion of privacy, breaking their own word with their users. I've no problem keeping teens off of it

Re:Bullying is older than facebook. (1)

Intropy (2009018) | about a year ago | (#43846171)

The bullies should not be blamed for the girl's death either. What they did was bad. I don't defend it at all. But suicide is not a reasonably foreseeable outcome of it. I know you could cite several examples that ended in suicide, but consider the millions of instances that have far lesser consequences. Hold people responsible for the things they do and for the immediate and foreseeable consequences of the things they do.

Re:Bullying is older than facebook. (2)

wvmarle (1070040) | about a year ago | (#43846187)

A major difference is that thanks to Facebook the whole world can learn about the alleged misbehaviour of people. Not just a select group of peers. And Facebook nor the Internet forget - so five, ten years from now such information can still be found.

Whatever stupid things I did when I was young were known by my friends/peers, most of whom I have no contact with any more, and pretty much all of it has been forgotten. And certainly can not be dug up by random third parties.

Italian law? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43846065)

As Archer would say : rimshot!

What About Sony & The Architect? (1)

Bob9113 (14996) | about a year ago | (#43846073)

circulated a video on Facebook of her appearing drunk and disheveled in a bathroom at a party. The Italian Parents Association has filed a criminal complaint against Facebook for allegedly having a role in the instigation of Carolina's suicide.

Why just Facebook? Clearly Sony did nothing to prevent the video from being recorded by the handicam they manufactured. For that matter, the architect of the house where the party took place did nothing to prevent the poor girl from being drunk and disheveled in the bathroom he designed.

And if the architect can't be bothered to be responsible in the first place, where was he when she was being harrassed? Where was he when this poor young girl needed someone to talk to, to explain that people can be horrible sometimes, and it doesn't mean she is any less of a person? That she needs to develop the strength in herself to withstand these kinds of attacks, because they are a part of life in a world that is sometimes cruel? Where was the architect when she needed to understand that getting too drunk and making a fool of herself was a dangerous, but ultimately healthy cautionary tale for a young girl, and that she should take it as a learning experience on the risks of underage drinking and those who might take advantage of her? I mean, obviously her parents -- the ones filing the suit -- weren't doing their job, so where was the architect?

Look, parents: If your daughter gets in a situation like this and kills herself, we don't want to have to point out that you are the best chance she had, because that is a horrible reality for you and it does not necessarily mean you caused her death. You may not have done anything wrong -- these horrible tragedies just happen sometimes. But if you are going to pull out the lawyers and start insisting that the blame be placed on someone -- if you are going to corner society, through its legal system, into putting the blame on someone -- you leave us little choice but to point out that the people most responsible for your daughter's ability to cope with the harsh realities of the world are you. If you can't accept that it is not Facebook's fault, how can we not point out that you are vastly more responsible for your daughter's psychological wellbeing than a website?

presumably.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43846079)

what difference does it make if she was allowed to have a facebook account? presumably this video would have been passed around regardless.

Why not go after paper companies? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43846197)

If somebody writes a death threat, why not sue the paper companies and pen manufacturers. Sue the postal service if it was mailed. Phone startles your grandmother and gives her a heart attack? Sue. All of these hypothetical cases have as much legs to stand on as their case against FaceBook. I hate FB and don't use it; but in any sane system they should file a simple motion to dismiss this case with prejudice, and the judge should spend about 10 seconds looking that over before signing off on it. I feel sorry for the loss of these parents; but you can't enshrine grief into law. It would lead to too much insanity.

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