Mom Pushes Twitter To Reveal Identities Of Social Media Bullies
(STMW) –– A west suburban mom has petitioned Twitter to reveal the identities behind two social media accounts that allegedly impersonated and harassed her daughter.
Rose Martorana-Lollino, of Elmwood Park, claims Twitter accounts @dreadfulFATchic and @dreadfullyLARGE published “hurtful and slanderous” statements about her minor daughter, according to a pre-suit discovery filed against California-based Twitter on Thursday in Cook County Circuit Court.
The account managers also committed copyright infringement by posting the daughter’s photograph without her permission and violated the girl’s privacy by posting her private phone number, name and city where she lives, according to the petition.
On several occasions, the account @dreadfulFATchic posed as the girl and published Tweets saying “my passion is being fat,” encouraging other Twitter users to “sext” Nicolette and offering sex acts, according to the petition.
The account @dreadfullyLARGE referred to the girl as having bad hygiene, the petition claims.
CBS 2 legal analyst Irv Miller says the pranksters could be found civilly liable for defamation but laws surrounding cases like this haven’t been firmly set.
He doubts Twitter would willingly reveal the bullies’ identities.
“I think they’re going to dig their heels in because they don’t want a precedent being set that could affect cases all over the country,” Miller says.
Karen Wojcikowski thinks they should. The head of a group called the Bully Police Squad calls cyberbullying an epidemic.
Both accounts have been suspended.
The petition comes only one week after two Florida girls, ages 12 and 14, were arrested for allegedly bullying 12-year-old Rebecca Sedwick on social media until she committed suicide.
In the petition, Martorana-Lollino claims she needs to know who is responsible for the damages because she fears they threaten harm to her daughter. The petition requests Twitter reveal the identities behind the accounts within 28 days.
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2013. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)