Two Texas Pre-Teens Create a Fake Facebook Account, Texas Cops Charge Them With Felonies and Lock Them Up

Two Texas girls--ages 12 and 13--were arrested earlier this month and charged with online impersonation, a third-degree felony, for creating a fake Facebook account under the name of another student at their school. 

According to the Student Press Law Center, which investigated the girls' arrest, officials in Hood County, Texas, are refusing to say whether the girls (who were arrested July 16) are still being detained. The center's reporting suggests that the girls have been behind bars for more than a week for the crime of pranking a fellow student on Facebook: 

Hood County Sheriff Roger Deeds said the victim’s mother alerted authorities June 28 after she discovered the site. The victim, a girl who did not have a real Facebook page, did not know about the site until it had been active for more than a month, he said. The account had 63 friends before it was shut down.

The profile, which was seized by the sheriff’s office, displayed a photo of a celebrity that resembled the 12-year-old girl. Lt. Johnny Rose of the Hood County Sheriff’s Office said the girls made threats to other students while pretending to be the victim and “damaged the victim’s reputation.” Rose did not say what those threats entailed.

After the arrest, the girls were transported to the Granbury Regional Juvenile Justice Center.

On Wednesday, Rose said the girls were still being held at the center and were awaiting a hearing with County Court-at-Law Judge Vincent Messina. On Thursday, 10 days after the arrest, Deeds said he believed the girls had attended a hearing and were released, but he could not confirm that. He said the case is now out of the hands of the sheriff’s office.

But Messina has not held any hearings in the case, a staff member in Messina’s office said Thursday. An official from the district court in Hood County said the case had not been heard in that court.

County Attorney Kelton Conner was out of the office until Monday and could not be reached for comment.

According to the county’s website, “if sufficient evidence exists your child may possibly be placed in detention for a 10-day period, with hearings held every 10 days.”

Texas state law, however, appears to entitle juveniles to a detention hearing no later than the second working day following arrest.

As to the current location of the girls, Deeds said the only person who could confirm whether the girls have been released from the center is Beth Pate, the juvenile probation director. Deeds said Pate was on vacation the week of the arrest, and she remained unavailable for comment Thursday.

An official from the juvenile justice center hung up when asked about the girls on Thursday.

For more on the practice of locking up children and teens for non-crimes things that are illegal but should not be, see A. Barton Hinkle's recent piece on the primary school police state. 

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  • Randian||

    For more on the practice of locking up children and teens for non-crimes

    Non-crimes? How is that relevant to this story?

  • ||

    cant tell if serios

  • Randian||

    There are distinctions to be made.

    In Texas, what was done *is* a crime - a felony, in fact. I do think it *should be* a crime, but to call it a "non-crime" is to deny reality.

  • Randian||

    Correction: I do NOT think it *should be* a crime.

  • SugarFree||

    Yes. That it is a crime doesn't settle the question of whether or not it should be a crime... despite what some around here think.

  • Tim||

    Hence the Bill of Rights with their wierdly quaint notions of unreasonable, cruel and unusual, habeas corpus, right to trial, right to representation.
    Vanishing into some Texas gulag is not OK just because some legislators thought so, or because the fooking bureaucrat is on vacation this week.

  • John||

    The statue says thus

    ONLINE IMPERSONATION. (a) A person commits an offense if the person, without obtaining the other person's consent and with the intent to harm, defraud, intimidate, or threaten any person,

    The term "harm" is defined as

    (14) "Harm" includes partial or total alteration, damage, or erasure of stored data, interruption of computer services, introduction of a computer virus, or any other loss, disadvantage, or injury that might reasonably be suffered as a result of the actor's conduct.

    It is pretty clear that the statute was written to stop computer hackers. And the impersonation section to cover fishing sites. There is no reasonable way to read this statue as being intended to cover 12 year old kids pranking each other.

    yeah, it is a non crime.

  • Randian||

    There's a residual clause in there John that undermines your read.

    "Any other loss, disadvantage, or injury that might reasonably be suffered"

    It's a cogent read of the statute.

  • John||

    Read further and look at the elements.

    (1) without obtaining the other person's consent;

    (2) with the intent to cause a recipient of the communication to reasonably believe that the other person authorized or transmitted the communication; and

    (3) with the intent to harm or defraud any person

    You have to have the intent to defraud or Harm. And Harm is defined as damaging their computer system. The statute just doesn't apply here.

  • Robert S||

    This is like the worst chatroom ever.

  • John||

    Read further and look at the elements.

    (1) without obtaining the other person's consent;

    (2) with the intent to cause a recipient of the communication to reasonably believe that the other person authorized or transmitted the communication; and

    (3) with the intent to harm or defraud any person

    You have to have the intent to defraud or Harm. And Harm is defined as damaging their computer system. The statute just doesn't apply here.

  • Randian||

    Harm is defined as "any other loss, disadvantage, or injury that might reasonably be suffered as a result of the actor's conduct."

  • John||

    any other loss, disadvantage, or injury that might reasonably be suffered as a result of the actor's conduct.

    But that relates to the rest of the sentence which is talking about computer services or data. Any other loss or injury to the subject of the sentence meaning computers and data.

  • John||

    Read further and look at the elements.

    (1) without obtaining the other person's consent;

    (2) with the intent to cause a recipient of the communication to reasonably believe that the other person authorized or transmitted the communication; and

    (3) with the intent to harm or defraud any person

    You have to have the intent to defraud or Harm. And Harm is defined as damaging their computer system. The statute just doesn't apply here.

  • sarcasmic||

    Aren't the three o-clock squirrels awesome?

  • Adam330||

    You have to read "any other loss..." in light of the list of losses that comes before it, which are related to the person's computer. State will lose this one.

  • Randian||

    you don't *have* to read it that way. It is a canon of statutory interpretation that the specific instances inform the general clauses that come after it, but it isn't *required* and a plain textual argument supports the charges.

  • Adam330||

    Which side would you rather be on if you were arguing the case in court?

  • Randian||

    the state's, of course. Judges work for the government too, you know.

  • Paul.||

    Which side would you rather be on if you were arguing the case in court?

    The State's.

  • R C Dean||

    I, for one, am having a hard time with a felony that doesn't have some kind of minimum harm that might have actually ensued.

  • Randian||

    All drug felonies.
    RICO.
    Prostitution rings.

  • Lord Humungus||

    damn lawyers and their shop talk! Burn 'em!

  • Paul.||

    (3) with the intent to harm or defraud any person

    By "Harm", could that mean hurt feelers?

  • Robert||

    Yeah, but ya gotta use context to limit what "loss, disadvantage, or injury" refers to.

  • ||

    "Harm" could definitely include harassment or damage to someone's reputation.

  • Carston||

    Its a non-crime in the sense that no one's person or property were violated.

    Some would just call it victimless, but I guess there is a "victim" here in a way.

  • CE||

    So you'd be okay with someone impersonating you online and using that fake persona to send out threats to other people? The crime here is real. The punishment may already be out of line, locking up 12 year olds for over a week.

  • WTF||

    Because kids pranking each other should be a crime worthy of incarceration in your sick little world?

  • Randian||

    I corrected my statement.

    I do not think it should be a crime. It is, however, a crime, so calling it a non-crime is factually wrong.

  • sarcasmic||

    Some things that are not legislated are crimes, and some things that are legislated are not crimes.

  • Randian||

    If you are using the word "crime" to mean "things I think should/should not be a crime", then yes, but that isn't how people usually use that word.

  • Paul.||

    I do not think it should be a crime. It is, however, a crime, so calling it a non-crime is factually wrong.

    Sometimes, when in the course of describing something you feel shouldn't be a crime, one might, in a moment of glibness, call it a non-crime.

    For instance, when a bunch of douchebag co-workers get into an argument in a meeting about some stupid issue, I will refer to it as a non-issue. Well, it's an issue to them-- but I'll refer to it as a non-issue because of its triviality.

    Why all the concern trolling on this?

  • Copernicus||

    If they hadn't locked these girls up, they would be on the first flight to Venezuela.

  • Killazontherun||

    One reason to infer the existence of your own soul is the behavior of others who do things you could never do like throw the book at preteens pranking on one another so closely resembling that of meat puppets.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

  • John||

    According to the county’s website, “if sufficient evidence exists your child may possibly be placed in detention for a 10-day period, with hearings held every 10 days.”

    During the worst of the Irish troubles, the UK government would lock people up in incommunicado with no hearing for up to seven days. This was considered one of the worst measures taken by the British government to deal with the Irish troubles.

    Good thing they didn't have any really hard problems to tackle like 12 year old kids making fun of each other on Facebook.

    And I go back to a point I make over and over again. We have reached the point that the only way to deal with these petty tyrants is the mob. A mob needs to find the people responsible for this, burn down their homes, tar and feather them and run them out of town. It is the only thing these people will understand.

  • Randian||

    Er, are you incommunicado in Texas juvenile lock-up?

  • John||

    It would appear so since they won't confirm or deny the kids are there.

  • Randian||

    Seems strange. What do their parents have to say?

  • Peter L||

    Has there been any contact with the parents?

  • ||

    That's certainly a good question. If they won't let the parents communicate with them that would be a horrific rights violation.

    But I suspect the case is the parents do have contact, they just want to keep two children from having cameras shoved in their faces. Or bricks thrown through their windows.

  • ||

    That could be for the kids protection. They don't want 100 reporters showing up at whever the kids are being held - which is probably a foster home or a half-way house.

  • sarcasmic||

    A mob needs to find the people responsible for this, burn down their homes, tar and feather them and run them out of town.

    As someone pointed out a while ago, what we've got is soft tyranny.

    A couple incidents like that would be all it takes to turn the corner to hard tyranny, Soviet or East Germany style.

    You know that LEOs on all levels jerk themselves off thinking about being part of such a police state.

    They're just waiting for an excuse.

  • John||

    They are cowards. One instance of that and they would all think twice the next time.

  • sarcasmic||

    One instance of that and they would all think twice the next time.

    Yeah. They'll think twice about letting people assemble without firing live rounds into the crowd.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    I am afraid you are probably correct in that assumption.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    A couple incidents like that would be all it takes to turn the corner to hard tyranny, Soviet or East Germany style.

    You know that LEOs on all levels jerk themselves off thinking about being part of such a police state.

    I think sarcasmic is trying to get in Mary's next "video project".

  • General Butt Naked||

    You're a lawyerly type: say I made a facebook page like these kids did, but I did it at home in PA, would they be able to arrest me for it the second I crossed the Texas border?

    What if I make the page in PA take it down and 5 years later am driving through Texas, could they arrest me?

  • John||

    Good question. My guess is that they would issue a warrent and then try to get PA to enforce it and extradite you back to Texas. Not sure what a court would say if PA said this wasn't a crime since you were not actually in Texas.

  • Spoonman.||

    What if the Facebook server your fake page was stored on was in Austin?

  • Randian||

    Probably not. The actual crime still has to occur in the state of Texas. Your presence is not an essential element of the crime.

  • kinnath||

    No, you'd just get a visit from the FBI now.

  • Paul.||

    Commerce clause, bitch.

  • kinnath||

    I'm pretty sure that Congress made mis-use of computer systems a federal crime in the last year or so.

  • Paul.||

    I'm not sure if you're taking me seriously... or... anyway, my point was that the internet recognizes state lines... so I was kind of agreeing with you that the FBI would get involved because hurting feelings across state lines affects interstate commerce, etc.

    Translation: when it's on the internet, congress can do whatever it wants. Because commerce clause.

  • Paul.||

    recognizes state lines = recognizes NO state lines.

  • kinnath||

    If I recall, Congress already has does whatever it wants regarding spoofing social media.

  • kinnath||

    I'm too lazy to Google it, but setting up a false account is a violation of the terms and conditions of the Facebook user license. And the feds have now made that a felony from what I recall. So even if Texas let's the girls go, Eric Holder still has an interest in the case.

  • mr simple||

    Careful what you say, these comments could end up on youtube next a picture of a funny animal. /obsession

  • sloopyinca||

    **shakes fist**

  • Tim||

    Shit, the booty is next.

  • Lord Humungus||

    that's still better than the alternative: the elephant imitation.

  • General Butt Naked||

    ...and the Reason commentors go thwap, thwap, thwap all the way home...

  • sloopyinca||

    And I go back to a point I make over and over again. We have reached the point that the only way to deal with these petty tyrants is the mob. A mob needs to find the people responsible for this, burn down their homes, tar and feather them and run them out of town. It is the only thing these people will understand.

    Boy, you're bound and determined to make Mary Stack's next video, aren't you?

  • Robert||

    What do you y other commenters think, seriously, would happen these days if there was a mob tarring y feathering people? Does Anaheim look familiar?

    I think that for whatever reason, people these days have so much more trust in formal gov't that they would rather millions (no exaggeration) die than that authority surrender. I think they would literally nuke a city or two in preference to making it look like authority had conceded to a mob on any point.

  • Tim||

    File this under
    'bullying hysteria'

    In old Salem they'd been witches.

  • LTC(ret) John||

    "Burn her anyway!"

  • R C Dean||

    Hood County Sheriff Roger Deeds said the victim’s mother alerted authorities June 28 after she discovered the site.

    Well, I hope she's happy.

    Deeds said the only person who could confirm whether the girls have been released from the center is Beth Pate, the juvenile probation director.

    Don't the two li'l felons have parents who might have some idea where they are, and possibly some views of interest to the press?

    According to the county’s website, “if sufficient evidence exists your child may possibly be placed in detention for a 10-day period, with hearings held every 10 days.”

    Texas state law, however, appears to entitle juveniles to a detention hearing no later than the second working day following arrest.

    If this is accurate, somebody's going to make bank on a civil rights lawsuit, and it might be a lot of somebodies.

  • Tim||

    Hopefully they haven't been DEA'd: locked up without food or water somewhere and forgotten.

  • Adam330||

    It likely that "if sufficient evidence exists" means, "if sufficient evidence exists as determined by the court after the first hearing"

  • R C Dean||

    And yet no hearings have been held in this case. None, according to the court.

    We've got some pipe-hittin' civil liberties lawyers in this state. I hope one of them latches onto this. This is real KGB stuff, people (children, even!) disappearing for thought crimes.

  • Adam330||

    We also don't know if they were released. I'm going to withhold judgment- this has all the makings of a premature story.

  • Almanian 1||

    #FirstWorldProblems

    Also, that'll learn 'em.

  • Schultz||

    What happens when old and irrelevant people try to force their ideal laws on the current culture and market...and technology.

  • Randian||

    Here is the thing though: isn't fraud a libertarian no-no? How is this different?

  • Tim||

    All in all you're just another brick in the Wall.

  • mr simple||

    There are civil recourses for that that do not involve kids being locked up for more than a week (possibly).

  • Randian||

    Even so, then the issue you have is that you do not think that this should rise to the level of a crime, not that it does not rise to the level of a civil wrong.

    If you're advocating that it should be a civil wrong, the force of the State is still the backup for when you win a judgment on that claim, and eventually, men with guns blah blah blah...

  • John||

    Sure it is. But so is a sense of justice and proportion. If you honestly believe what happened here is "fraud" to the degree requiring criminal prosecution, you are not a libertarian, you are a dangerous idiot.

  • Randian||

    Name-calling aside, you have a few individuals claiming this should be a civil matter. What ultimately happens to you if you fail to comply with a civil judgment, John?

  • John||

    They go to the sheriffs and try to cease your property if you have any.

    You don't go to jail for failing to pay civil judgment, unless it is child support.

  • Randian||

    And if you resist the seizure?

    At the end of the day all judgments, be they civil or criminal, rest on the force of the State for enforcement. Saying that it should not be a "crime" but that it should be subject to the sometimes-harsh penalties of the civil court just doesn't fly in this case.

  • John||

    At the end of the day all judgments, be they civil or criminal, rest on the force of the State for enforcement. Saying that it should not be a "crime" but that it should be subject to the sometimes-harsh penalties of the civil court just doesn't fly in this case.

    What if you resist? You are guilty of attacking the sheriff and go to jail for that not failing to pay the fine. They are two separate crimes.

    By your argument there is no difference between civil and criminal law. Just because you can go to court and collect a judgment and use the sheriff to collect that judgment, doesn't make the issue a criminal one. By that standard all contract law is really criminal law. And of course it is not in any meaningful sense other than courts can be involved in both.

  • Randian||

    You think, as a matter of first principles, that this should in some way be punished or rectified, or it shouldn't.

  • John||

    It might be Randian. But regardless, it is a matter that rises to the level of civil not criminal rectification. Not everything that deserves rectification or even punishment rises to the level of a crime.

    If I negligently cause someone's death, that is most certainly a matter that deserves rectification. But it is not likely to be one that deserves criminal punishment or rectification.

  • John||

    What if you resist? You are guilty of attacking the sheriff. Your failure to pay your debt is a totally different issue.

    The first time I wrote that it wasn't clear.

  • H. Reardon||

    Well then the victim should beat the perp to a point where she feels she has been compensated for the civil judgment she has against the perp. And if she feels that a beating to death is warranted, who are we to place such a low value on the perp's life?

    And since any action by the state against such retribution is ultimately enforced by the end of a gun....

    Anarchy!!!!!!!!

    Reducto ad absurdum.

  • R C Dean||

    isn't fraud a libertarian no-no?

    Yes, as a means of theft. Which didn't happen here.

    Also, you can read libel laws as a species of fraud. But they still require actual damage.

    That's one of things that so disturbing about this: there's no indication that any actual damage was done, but these kids vanished into a gulag.

    How is this different?

  • ||

    Yes, damages are an essential element of a civil tort. As a practical matter, we generally draw a line between tangible damages (be they monetary or physical) and butt-hurt. I think most libertarians would agree with the distinction (to the extent that we agree on anything).

  • ||

    Also, damages are pretty essential to criminal cases as well (well, ignoring prostitution, the War on Drugs, etc., but then again those are things that libertarians don't think should be crimes).

  • Randian||

    The actual damage comes in the impersonation itself.

    I mean, are you saying that if they can demonstrate just one untoward comment the teenagers made behind the mask of the false identity, then we would have fraud?

  • R C Dean||

    The actual damage comes in the impersonation itself.

    How so? I can walk up to somebody, say "I'm Randian", and walk away. I have impersonated you. What are the damages?

    are you saying that if they can demonstrate just one untoward comment the teenagers made behind the mask of the false identity, then we would have fraud?

    Not fraud, no. Libel, maybe, if the complainant can show actual damage.

  • Randian||

    You are right that we do not know what the damages were, but there still may be damages nonetheless.

    If I am an excellent voice impersonator and I call Ms. Dean and say "Honey, I love you so much", hey, no damages. If instead I say "I hate you, you fat cow, and I hope you die in a fire", that's a different story.

  • Paul.||

    If instead I say "I hate you, you fat cow, and I hope you die in a fire", that's a different story.

    If it results in a divorce, then you have provided Mr. Dean with great spiritual wealth which should be taxed.

    *ducks*

  • R C Dean||

    So we agree, Randian, that impersonation in and of itself causes no damages, and an essential element of our inquiry should be what damages did the impersonation cause.

    Glad we got that cleared up.

    As they say: "No harm, no foul."

  • R C Dean||

    BTW, you should know that nothing would make Mrs. Dean more suspicious than me calling out of the blue and saying "Honey, I love you so much."

    She would likely assume either (a) I had done something monumentally stupid and was frantically trying get some credit in the marriage bank before she found out or (b) I accidentally hit her speed dial number when I meant to call my mistress.

  • Paul.||

    (b) I accidentally hit her speed dial number when I meant to call my mistress.

    I'll take B for $500, Alex!

  • ||

    Actually the actual damage comes from the relationships that the imposters may have damaged.

    If I call up your wife and claim you are sleeping with me, and she divorces you, shouldn't you be allowed to sue?

  • ||

    Actually the actual damage comes from the relationships that the imposters may have damaged.

    If I call up your wife and claim you are sleeping with me, and she divorces you, shouldn't you be allowed to sue?

  • Carston||

    First, they are children.

    Second, fraud implies harm was done, and with everyone openly knowing this wasn't that girls actual Facebook account, no harm has taken place.

  • Randian||

    It does not matter that they are children.

    Second, I see no proof for that statement.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    It does not matter that they are children.

    Yes, yes it does. And the fact that you don't realize that is proof positive that you are high-functioning autistic.

  • Randian||

    They're 13, not 3.

    Anyone who embraces the state's arbitrary distinction between "child" and "adult" is implicitly endorsing statist terminology.

    What if they were 17 and 364 days? They're still in the age of minority AKA "children".

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    But they're not 17 and 364 days. Arguing the actual facts, that they are 12 and 13 means their pre-frontal cortices have yet to fully develop the proper inhibitory control over the impulses of their limbic systems. Thus it is not just to hold them to the same moral standard as someone who's brain is capable of such control.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    *whose

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    You know what? Fuck this shit; here's a woman with 2 vagainas. (SFW)

  • mr simple||

    (SFW)

    Boo!

  • Invisible Finger||

    That makes them minors.

    Not sure about every state, but in some that makes any contract they sign unenforceable. Perhaps Facebook officers should be the ones in the gulag for allowing such activity.

  • Paul.||

    Second, I see no proof for that statement.

    More importantly, we see no proof that harm was done. Innocence before guilt and all that.

  • ||

    IMO, the fact that they are children makes it worse.

    Everyone here seems to think nothing of taunting and tormenting little kids.

    When someone is 30 you can tell them to grow a thicker skin, not when they are 13.
    At 13, all children are fucking hormonal balls of insecurity. They will grow up eventually, but at that age it is more important than any other that they be taught to be decent human beings, not little cunts and assholes.

  • Paul.||

    Everyone here seems to think nothing of taunting and tormenting little kids.

    No we don't. We believe that kids tormenting and taunting other kids is the exclusive domain of parents and/or teachers. Not men with guns and badges.

    This is exactly the kind of linguistic escalation that gets kids suspected of stealing a playstation 3 killed by cops in a SWAT raid.

    A kid taunting another kid is not a criminal justice matter.

  • Peter L||

    "Second, fraud implies harm was done, and with everyone openly knowing this wasn't that girls actual Facebook account, no harm has taken place.
    "

    The two girls who made the account knew it was not hers, but the other 62 firends? probably not.

    And if the account was used to threaten others, as is claimed in the article, then that does imply harm was done.

  • Fluffy||

    To me, fraud absolutely requires the conveyance of monetary consideration or its equivalent.

    I can go down to the city park and walk around claiming to be Barack Obama as much as I want and it's not fraud.

    It only becomes fraud if you are stupid enough to pay me $50 to give a speech because you believe that I actually am Barack Obama.

  • Fluffy||

    Please note that this distinction is important because it defuses the atrociously stupid and tendentious anti-speech argument, "Well, we already have some restrictions on free speech, in fraud laws!"

    The criminal part of fraud isn't the speech. I can claim to have a cure for cancer all day long. I'm only a fraud if I tell you I have a cure for cancer, take your money, and then fail to deliver a cure for cancer.

    The speech isn't the crime. The failure to deliver is the crime.

  • R C Dean||

    It helps to remember that ye olde term for fraud was "theft by fraud."

    Fraud is a species of theft. The fraudulent speech is just the means of theft.

    No one would argue that a bank robber who goes to jail has had his 1A rights violated because an essential element of his crime was speaking "This is a bank robbery. Give me the money."

  • Paul.||

    Here is the thing though: isn't fraud a libertarian no-no? How is this different?

    Was there any monetary gain by the juveniles?

  • ant1sthenes||

    This sounds more like libel, so it ought to be a civil matter. Though in less blatant cases, fraud should probably be as well.

  • Registration At Last!||

    I see nothing wrong here. They engaged in a form of identity theft, broke the law, and got brought in. Hopefully, this will serve as a warning to others.

  • sarcasmic||

    I sincerely hope you never reproduce.

  • Registration At Last!||

    I would not turn in any child, including my own, for spoofing a Facebook page, but I would warn any child that spoofing another person's identity is a serious no-no, and that they run the risk of a no-nonsense response from the government if they mess around like that.

  • Paul.||

    and that they run the risk of a no-nonsense response from the government if they mess around like that.

    Which is what makes the state of this country so fucking sad. Because it's true.

    There was a time when Parenting handled these issues. Now men with guns and badges handle them.

  • Schultz||

    Yes, and completely forgotten and missing in the prison system. I hope you're being sarcastic by the way. Please tell me you're joking.

  • Registration At Last!||

    The article does not confirm that they are still being held. If they are, that is a problem with respect to any alleged petty juvenile crime, but it does not affect the merits of a criminal law against identity theft.

  • ||

    I wish they'd release the kids and charge the cops with kidnapping.

  • Aresen||

    Police Immunity, RPA, Police Immunity.

    My wish is that the girls someday start dating the cops' sons and, not recognizing the cop, blurt out their story at a family dinner.

  • sloopyinca||

    Sorry, but this is a civil matter. The victim here is entitled to damages if, in fact, her reputation suffered from the ordeal. Crimes with no victims* should not be handled in the criminal court system. This is a perfect example of such.

    *IMO, a victim must suffer some physical damage to their person or property. Had these kids gone to her house and written "whore" on the door, then she or her parents would have suffered actual physical damages, therefore it would have been a matter for the criminal and civil courts. Trespassing may constitute a gray area, but one has a right to be secure in their property and possessions, so in my opinion, once some trespasses and refuses to leave, real damages are suffered by the owner/renter/operator of the property.

    I'd like someone to point out where I might be wrong here, because I haven't put too much thought into what I said and it comes across as a bit of an absolutism. I'd like to see a contrary view so I can think about it in greater detail.

  • Randian||

    "Physical damage" is way too limited. After all, if I impersonate your identity and steal all of your savings, that isn't "physical damage" - all I did was take a bunch of numbers and zero them out.

  • Brett L||

    Wow. You just have to be an argumentative dick even when you have nothing to dispute, don't you?

  • Randian||

    Non-responsive.

    Regardless, "physical damage" is too limited.

  • sloopyinca||

    OK, I guess I need to expand it to include theft of property. In the scenario you posited, you have deprived me of my property, hence I have suffered actual damages.

    Impersonating me did not cause me actual harm. The theft of my money, on the other hand, did.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    What if the bank pays back your money from a pool of money that is filled via mandatory fees fees paid by bank as a part of doing business, and these fees must be paid regardless of whether any such thefts have occurred or not, and the only purpose for which this pool of money may legally be used is to pay back banks in situations like this?

  • sloopyinca||

    I would think it was still criminal. I still suffered a loss. The bank chose to make it whole for my benefit, not the thief's.

    It would be akin to an orphanage replacing a murdered baby with another one. The murderer would still be subject to prosecution.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    Yeah, because the murdered baby was murdered.

    If the bank pool makes you whole, where's your loss?

  • sloopyinca||

    The initial loss is still a loss. Just like the initial baby being killed. Replacement by a third party doesn't negate it, it just shifts the loss to a third party.

  • R C Dean||

    Night Elf, you seem to be arguing that no harm is done so long as the losses are socialized.

    Sure you want to take that road?

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    No, it's more of a question about the nature of what sloopy considers "actual harm."

    If his money is stolen from the bank while he sleeps but the bank catches it and makes him whole before he wakes up and none of his payments bounced because of it, has be suffered "actual harm?" It's really hard to argue that he has, imo.

    Has the "insurance" pool suffered actual harm? The only purpose for which the money can be used is to make people like sloopy whole. It can't be loaned, invested, or anything else. It's pretty non-fungible as far as money goes. If the pool always has a positive balance and can always pay its obligations, in what sense has it suffered actual harm? Potential harm? OK. Actual harm? Not so sure.

  • R C Dean||

    So, you're saying that I can steal a million bucks from sloopy, as long as its from an insured account, and as long as the insurer can cover my theft, then nobody, not sloopy, not the bank, not the insurer, should be heard to complain about it?

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    Not as a general proposition, no. I'm trying to get at a situation in which people see harm even if there isn't actual harm (because, in this instance, the insurer has no other legal use for the pooled money even though in reality an insurer would).

    It also relates to your question, below, "Why should the state be interested in stopping any behavior before it causes demonstrable harm, or at least poses an imminent risk of serious harm?"

    Here's a different example that isn't about socializing losses that might get more at the actual issue I have in mind than tangential ones.

    You own a grocery store with a meat department. Your meat department contains meat that is at an expiration date of your own choosing, beyond which you will not sell it and risk your store's excellent reputation. Your grocery store closes at midnight. After closing, you always throw away all expired meat.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    At 11:55PM your store is empty except for one customer. There's no way another customer could come in to buy anything before you close the store. The one customer runs out with the meat you have set aside to throw away.

    Did he steal from you? Have you suffered actual harm? Haven't you actually been benefited because now you don't even have to go to the trouble of throwing out the meat?

  • R C Dean||

    Did he steal from you?

    Did he take my property without paying and without my consent? If so, then yes, he stole from me.

    Have you suffered actual harm?

    Sure. He took my property without paying me and without my consent. If that's not harm, then no theft is harm.

    Haven't you actually been benefited because now you don't even have to go to the trouble of throwing out the meat?

    See, whether I throw out the meat or not is entirely up to me (as you note, its my policy to do so). Maybe I would change my mind for the meat he stole. Maybe I would take it home and grill it up myself.

    It doesn't matter what I would or wouldn't do with my property. You might as well say that someone who steals a watch from me that I don't ever plan to wear again hasn't really caused me any harm.

  • R C Dean||

    Now, if he waited five minutes and took it out of the dumpster, then that would not be theft, as that would be abandoned property.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    Agreed.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    Sure. He took my property without paying me and without my consent. If that's not harm, then no theft is harm.

    OK, that sounds good.

    Does the property have to be tangible to constitute theft when taken without paying you and without your consent?

    Would someone be taking your property without paying you and without your consent if he, say, made a copy of one of your recordings for himself while leaving you the original?

  • R C Dean||

    Moving over to IP, are we?

    I do believe that theft of "intangible property" is theft, no question. Vaste swathes of property these days are intangible, including your bank account, your brokerage account, etc.

    Should IP be considered intangible property? I tend to say that yes, it should, in principle, at least. Although there's no question that the rent-seekers have done much to discredit it.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Should IP be considered intangible property?

    No, because it's not property at all.

    It's a limited grant of monopoly by government and is no more property than a business license or building permit.

    The phrase intellectual property is a lie, intentionally deceiving the public of its very nature.

  • ||

    Then the bank has a cause of action against the identity thief.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    For what? They have no title to the money in the pool.

  • sloopyinca||

    What about the people that supplied the pool's money? Are they not entitled to keep it if the thief didn't rob me? It's not miracled out of thin air, after all.

  • sloopyinca||

    Unless it came from the Fed. Then it may have been miracled out of thin air, in which case Timmeh Geithner should be put in jail.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    The pool's money can only be used to pay back people like you, who have had their money stolen. If the pool always has enough money to do so, where is the actual harm to the pool?

  • VG Zaytsev||

    The pool's money can only be used to pay back people like you, who have had their money stolen. If the pool always has enough money to do so, where is the actual harm to the pool?

    So by that "logic" there is no such thing as insurance fraud.

    The "pool" is a financial perpetual motion machine.

  • Carston||

    ...but there was no theft in this occurrence.

  • Paul.||

    Physical damage" is way too limited. After all, if I impersonate your identity and steal all of your savings, that isn't "physical damage" - all I did was take a bunch of numbers and zero them out.

    Again, you're describing fraud as though the juveniles made some monetary benefit from the Facebook account under false pretenses. Is there any evidence this has happened?

    I have a fake facebook account. It's name and photo are randomly chosen. By your argument, I'm liable for fraud by the mere fact of having it.

  • Paul.||

    It's name = Its name.

    Damned apostrophe's.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    "Physical damage" is way too limited. After all, if I impersonate your identity and steal all of your savings, that isn't "physical damage"

    Stealing property is physical damage.

  • Tim||

    Bottom line: they messed with Texas.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

  • Tim||

    Not even a facist like Joe Arpaio has thought of that.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    So if I start claiming to be Reason editor Mike Riggs and go around publically advocating for things you don't actually believe in, you don't think you should be able to stop me?

  • Randian||

    ^ there we go. That's what I'm talking about right there.

  • Tim||

    You can be jailed for impersonating Will Smith, Randian.

  • Randian||

    "Welcome to Earth!":

  • $park¥||

    You misspelled "Erf."

  • sloopyinca||

    He should be able to expose the fact that you are doing so and he should be able to sue for damages to his reputation.

    Now, if you went to his bank and tried to withdraw his money or tried to bang some chick by flashing his press credential, you will have committed a crime with an actual victim and would be subject to criminal prosecution.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    If my impersonation damaged him enough to justify him suing me, in what sense has he not been victimized? And is a civil suit really less an exercise of government force than a criminal fine?

  • R C Dean||

    If my impersonation damaged him enough to justify him suing me,

    Filing a lawsuit poses the question of whether damages have been incurred. It does not answer it.

  • sloopyinca||

    If my impersonation damaged him enough to justify him suing me, in what sense has he not been victimized?

    Good question. I'll have to put some thought into that.

    And is a civil suit really less an exercise of government force than a criminal fine?

    Very much so because violence is not exercised by the state as a result of a civil action.

  • sloopyinca||

    I meant as a result of failure to pay in a civil action.

    You don't pay a criminal fine, off to jail you go. Not so for civil awards.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    If you refuse to pay a civil penalty, you can be jailed for attempt of court. Or they'll send the sheriff to rob you at gunpoint.

  • Aresen||

    tried to bang some chick by flashing his press credential

    OK, maybe I shouldn't have lied about that Medal of Honor, but she was soooooo hot!

  • VG Zaytsev||

    He should be able to expose the fact that you are doing so and he should be able to sue for damages to his reputation.

    It seem to me that the concept of reputation is going to become obsolete in the global village. And I'm not expressing an opinion wrt that being a good or bad outcome. It just is reality.

  • R C Dean||

    I don't think you should be arrested and disappeared, no.

    As long as you weren't taking money from people based on your impersonation, I don't see fraud.

    Tell me what damage Riggs has suffered, and I can tell you what recourse he should have to courts and the police to make you stop.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    I don't think you should be arrested and disappeared, no.

    I agree, but Riggs isn't arguing that this was an over the top response given the level of the crime involved; he's arguing that it shouldn't be a crime at all. That is that the state should have been happy to let the impersonation continue.

  • John||

    Why should it be a "crime"? Why can't it just be a civil law suit. Things like tortuous interference with contract and making a defective product that kills someone are not crimes but civil tort. Hard to see how online impersonation that didn't involve identity theft or fraud wouldn't be the same.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    It can be a civil law suit. But there's people acting like there's no state coercion involved in civil trials.

  • John||

    And you are acting like that because a court is involved, a contract dispute is the same thing as a murder case.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    I never said they were the same thing. My point is that it's a difference of degree rather than kind, as they both can result in the state forcing the defendant to do something against their will.

  • R C Dean||

    Why should the state be interested in stopping any behavior before it causes demonstrable harm, or at least poses an imminent risk of serious harm?

  • John||

    Sure you can. But I do not think that you should be thrown in jail for that alone.

    Just because something is wrong or even worthy of recompense doesn't make it a crime. Or even if it is technically a crime, not all crimes are worthy of prosecution.

  • Randian||

    This is all a different discussion from what Riggs originally said, which is that this was a "non-crime". As I said upthread, whether it is a crime is not at issue: it is a crime. Whether it should be is a whole different ball game, but Riggs stole the argument right off the bat.

  • sloopyinca||

    I guess Riggs is the first writer in the world to inject his opinion in an article...that is essentially an opinion piece to begin with.

    If you want just the facts, I suggest you go to the news article he linked to.*

    *Not that you won't get opinion in that piece either.

  • John||

    I disagree with your interpretation of the statute. The statute was never intended to cover this kind of conduct.

    But that debate aside, there can be different definitions of "crime". Riggs was us "crime" in the broader sense of actions which are self evidently "crimes" and ought to be such. We could take the laws prohibiting murder and rape off the books tomorrow. But murder and rape would still be "crimes" because the definition of the word can be more than just what is in the actual statute. The reverse is true as well.

  • $park¥||

    We could take the laws prohibiting murder and rape off the books tomorrow

    Yeah, but the second that happened bands of murderous thugs would start raping their way across the country. I heard it here.

  • John||

    Not the second it happened but in good time yes. If there were no worries of legal punishment, it would be a matter of time before people organized themselves into self protecting clans with blood feuds and the like.

    You can see this in some inner cities where the solve rate for murders is very low and people do not cooperate with the cops. The criminal gangs pretty much rule the places.

  • $park¥||

    But how can that be? Don't these people know there are laws against it?

  • John||

    Sure. But if the law isn't enforced, then it might as well not exist. In areas where murders are actually solved and the perpetrators punished, the murder rates are much lower.

  • $park¥||

    Do you believe that there is some group of people, however small, that would suddenly go on a killing spree if the law against murder was removed? That is, the only reason they aren't murdering people now is because it's against the law?

  • John||

    They wouldn't go on a murder spree Sparky, they would go on a robbery and extortion spree using the threat of murder. And there is already large groups out there willing and able to do that. They are called organized crime. And if the government lost its monopoly of force or refused to use it, that is exactly what they would do.

    Why wouldn't the Russian mafia or whoever show up in your neighborhood and demand protection money? All they would have to do is shoot the first person who refused to pay. Then they would collect their tax and make sure no other groups showed up to collect from you.

    That is what happens when you can't call the cops. If you don't believe me, look no further than what happens in under ground economies right now where people can't call the cops.

  • $park¥||

    Do you believe that such things would still happen if everyone was armed? Do you believe that an armed society is a polite society?

  • John||

    Yes they would Sparky. Because an organized group beats a single person every time. Everyone in the mafia and the under world is armed and willing to kill. Yet, such groups still exist.

  • $park¥||

    And what if neighbors started forming their own groups for protection? Sure everyone in the mafia is armed and willing to kill because they're pushing around people made weak and defenseless by the law. Do you think those mafioso would still be willing to accost people who are armed and willing to kill them?

  • VG Zaytsev||

    And what if neighbors started forming their own groups for protection?

    That's already happening, has been for quite a while actually, and those groups are universally called gangs by outsiders.

    And funny enough, the mere presence of the organized groups does not completely deter violence, so they have to retaliate violently for violent acts committed against one of their members, affiliates or just in their territory.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    More that the only reason they aren't murdering people now is because they don't think they can get away with it.

  • John||

    Put it this way Randian. If the statutes said being a Dallas Cowboy fan was a third degree felony, would that make being one a "crime". In a technical sense, yes. But in a larger moral sense no.

  • Paul.||

    So if I start claiming to be Reason editor Mike Riggs and go around publically advocating for things you don't actually believe in, you don't think you should be able to stop me?

    Define "stop me".

  • Jerry on the road||

    Where is Chuck Norris when you actually need him?!

  • sloopyinca||

    Could I have Mary Stack arrested for attributing "Whenever I open a paper and a cop somewhere has been shot, I cheer inside" to me or "The individual policemen, their wives, children and assorted relatives should be hacked to death" to my wife? No. And I shouldn't be able to.

    On the other hand, if she cannot prove that either of us made those statements and one of our reputations suffer from it, we would have a nice libel case, especially if she said they were my actual words, which she did in this case.

  • SFC B||

    I almost quit a Yahoo Fantasy Football League because of those statements attributed to you and your beloved. I didn't want to associate with people of your reputation. Can you get to suing Mary already? Maybe the time in court will shut her up for a while.

  • sloopyinca||

    But if you quit, then you would have suffered actual damages.

  • CE||

    Depends on how good your team is.

  • Almanian 1||

    Good to know Randian is MuNG's cousin.

  • John||

    No he is making an honest argument, if an annoying and wrong one. So he is not MNG's cousin. He is being Tulpa's cousin in that he is just being an annoying contrary peddling sophistry.

  • Enough About Palin||

    "Hood County Sheriff Roger Deeds said the victim’s mother alerted authorities"

    When will people learn?

  • R C Dean||

    What makes you think she isn't happy as a clam that her daughter's frenemies have disappeared into the gulag?

    This is probably better than she even dreamed of.

  • ||

    Actually, I think the girls do deserve to be punished. Maybe not as much as an adult using a false identity.

    But the girl who was impersonated was certainly "harmed" by the activities of these other girls, if only in terms of the stress being imposed upon her at school.

    I don't think it should be a felony obviously, but that's no reason we should just excuse middle-school kids bullying eachother. The kind of thing these two girls were doing to the other girl was really a particularly horrible thing to do to another 12 year old. Yes, 12 year old girls are horrible in general. Middle-school is horrible.

    What we ought to have is social norms that steer children away from being such complete cunts to one another when they are that age. Part of that is punishing kids who behave like total cunts.

  • R C Dean||

    But the girl who was impersonated was certainly "harmed" by the activities of these other girls, if only in terms of the stress being imposed upon her at school.

    Oh, for fuck's sake. If everything that causes schoolgirls stress is reason to punish someone, then we might as well line up for the shackles and coffle now.

  • Paul.||

    Oh, for fuck's sake. If everything that causes schoolgirls stress is reason to punish someone, then we might as well line up for the shackles and coffle now.

    *gets in line*

  • ||

    He did mention schoolgirls and shackles in the same sentance.

  • ||

    So kids shouldn't be punished for bullying?

  • R C Dean||

    For saying mean things? No.

    For beating another kid? Yes.

  • Paul.||

    And by the principal or their parents. Not men with badges and guns. Or even womyn with badges and guns!

  • ||

    Just out of curiosity, but do you have any children?

    And if you do, do you punish them when they say mean things to eachother ?

  • Paul.||

    I do have a daughter. And if she created a major stir at her school by impersonating another girl on facebook and I found out about it, you can damned well bet I'd punish her.

    Unfortunately, now, instead of punishing her, my first thought would to immediately begin protecting her from possible criminal implications-- establishing plausible deniability, getting stories straight.

    You see how creating a goddamned criminal justice situation out of a social spat teaches kids a really great lesson?

    I'm guessing you may have been teased in school, Hazel and you harbor some deep anger over it. If that's the case, I'm sorry, and I understand your emotional reaction. But throwing kids into JAIL because they're teasing other kids isn't the proper solution.

  • ||

    I haven't been advocating throwing kids in jail.

    I think they should be suspended for six months and the parents subjected to a civil suit for defamation.
    (Parents are responsible for their kids behavior, so they can be held legally liable for the actions of their children).

  • Fluffy||

    Facebook isn't in any way a legitimate or "official" identity marker.

    It's not like they applied for driver's licenses in this other girl's name or applied for credit in her name.

    It's much, MUCH more like me calling myself Fluffy to post here. If I change my name from Fluffy to Barack Obama, and then start posting as an Obama spoof, have I committed a crime?

  • John||

    That is an excellent point.

  • Paul.||

    This is kind of the slam dunk of the thread, right here. I'm just annoyed I didn't think of it.

    When we start thinking of internet handles as official, legal markers for identification... we're doomed.

  • John||

    They get around that Fluffy by claiming the statute requires "harm". The problem is that in this case they are claiming the person's hurt feelings are the harm meaning that your imitation of Obama would really be a crime if he was butt hurt about it.

  • Paul.||

    See my post below... the more I think of this case, the more it looks like a hate-crime being fraudulently passed off as fraud.

  • John||

    They are misapplying the statute. No way does the statute mean to include "hurt feelings" as a "harm".

  • R C Dean||

    And I get the distinct impression Barack's butt hurts All. The. Time.

  • John||

    Yours would too if you were married to Michelle.

  • $park¥||

    Maybe she should buy a smaller strap-on.

  • ||

    If it was just a matter of one or two insults that would be a different story. But impersonating someone and then making public threats against other students in order to get innocent third parties to hate the girl in question is not just a matter of "hurt feelings". It is libelous at the least.

  • Paul.||

    Wouldn't that still be a civil matter?

  • ||

    Yes, and that's what I'd advocate.

  • Aresen||

    If I change my name from Fluffy to Barack Obama, and then start posting as an Obama spoof, have I committed a crime?

    How about you do that while I phone the Secret Service.

    I'm sure they will be understanding.

  • ||

    Facebook isn't in any way a legitimate or "official" identity marker.

    If you are a sixth-grader, that is the closest you come to having an offical online identity.

    Facebook is a large part of children's social lives these days.

    Someone creating a fake profile for another child and then pretending to be them in order to make people hate them in real life is real harm being caused to the child.

  • $park¥||

    Because every child is a special snowflake that should be shielded from any bad word that could be said against them. Think of all that long-term damage to the little cutie's self esteem.

  • R C Dean||

    Yeah, at some point they are going to learn the hard lesson that basing your self-respect on the opinion of others always ends in tears.

  • Paul.||

    basing your self-respect on the opinion of others always ends in tears.

    Or basing it on a wall post.

  • ||

    Children should nto be allowed to verbally abused other children in school. And decent parents would discipline their children for saying mean things about other children too.

  • Fluffy||

    First of all, 13 year old's can't join Facebook.

    So that means that no one should believe a profile posted purporting to be a 13 year old, because it would contain a lie right off the bat (date of birth).

    And no, pretending to be someone to get people to hate them in real life is not an actionable harm.

    A kid in a junior high cafeteria who puts pepperoni on his face and talks in a retard voice while claiming to be an enemy kid is not causing an actionable harm. "My name is Hazel! I am a stupid-head and I have gross acne! Derp derp a derp!" Mean, yes. Probably hysterically funny, if you're there to see it and the kid with the pepperoni on his face has decent comic timing. But illegal? No.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    First of all, 13 year old's can't join Facebook.

    Sure they can.

  • ||

    That isn't what they did. They pretended to be the girl online, where 6th graders could not could tell it was a fake, in order to put words into her mouth directed at other students - so that those other student would hate the girl.

    That's not me making fun of you. That me calling your girlfriend, and telling her that you've been fucking me behind her back.

  • sloopyinca||

    Mary Stack caused me stress by attributing posts to me that I never made.

    Should she be locked up? No

    Should (or could) she be civilly responsible for the libel? Yes

  • ||

    That's what I would prefer. Civil damages upon the other girl's parents, plus a six-month suspension from school would be appropriate.

  • sloopyinca||

    What we ought to have is social norms that steer children away from being such complete cunts to one another when they are that age. Part of that is punishing kids who behave like total cunts.

    We do, it's called exposing and shunning them. It works pretty damn well.

  • R C Dean||

    If anything, the lesson to be drawn from this is that the winning move is being a complete and total cunt who calls the cops on middle schoolers because her daughter's feelings got hurt.

  • ||

    Creating a fake facebook profile and impersonating someone in order to make THE ENTIRE SCHOOL hate them is not just a matter of someone's "feelings getting hurt". It is systematic harassment.

  • R C Dean||

    Point taken, although you are assuming facts not in evidence.

    But even granting your point, I'm not sure it matters. Is this really so much better:

    If anything, the lesson to be drawn from this is that the winning move is being a complete and total cunt who calls the cops on middle schoolers who got the entire school to hate her daughter.

  • ||

    Well, it's better than setting up a fake myspace page and using it to manpulate a 13 year old to the point that she commits suicide.

  • $park¥||

    The world is better off without people who would commit suicide because their feelings were hurt. Sorry, no sympathy there.

  • ||

    Right, because what Lori Drew did - while LEGAL - is in no way morally reprehensible?

  • R C Dean||

    My, we have left the facts far behind, haven't we, Hazel?

  • Paul.||

    Well, it's better than setting up a fake myspace page and using it to manpulate a 13 year old to the point that she commits suicide.

    Again I ask, where are the parents in all of these hypothetical situations with children running amok, causing the suicide of other 13-year-olds?

  • ||

    That's not a hypothetical situation. Google Lori Drew.

  • $park¥||

    It actually points out how fucktarded people are who believe everything they see on Facebook.

  • Peter L||

    Did the other people involved have any reason to suspect that the account was not created by the girl whose name was on it?

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Did they have any reason to believe that it was the girl who's name was on it?

  • Invisible Finger||

    I make the assumption that just about everything on everyone's facebook page is fake.

    I think the real crime is in believing and then acting upon bullshit.

  • $park¥||

    The fact that what used to be settled with bloody knuckles on the playground is now done via a fake Facebook account just shows how low society has sunk.

  • R C Dean||

    Almost there, Sparky.

    What shows how low society has sunk is that what used to be settled with bloody knuckles on the playground is now done via DISAPPEARING TEENAGE GIRLS INTO A PRISON!

    Sorry, didn't mean to shout.

  • $park¥||

    Not sure, but I think you may be mistaking my point.

  • R C Dean||

    I see that I did, but I stand by my mistake.

  • $park¥||

    I completely agree that sending teenagers to jail for this kind of stupidity is one of the dumbest things I've ever heard of.

    Crap like this used to be easily handled with one knock-down scuffle on the playground. Two days later everyone involved was over it.

  • R C Dean||

    So, you stand by my mistake, as well.

    Good to know.

  • Enough About Palin||

    I see it as advancement.

  • Enough About Palin||

    To clarify, I think spoofing is more civilized than fisticuffs.

  • Paul.||

    We got what you meant.

  • R C Dean||

    I'm not so sure. See Hazel Meade's comment below.

  • $park¥||

    Even given that there are now ridiculous laws on the books which make making a person feel bad a crime?

  • Paul.||

    Note: all facebook accounts are "fake". You think that girl's boobs are that big? No, she's pushing them up in the cell phone snap.

  • ||

    The fact that what used to be settled with bloody knuckles on the playground is now done via a fake Facebook account just shows how low society has sunk.

    No, it shows how low middle-school girls have always been.

    Girls don't punch. They spread lies and vilify people with the goal of turning their enemies into social outcasts.

  • Paul.||

    I thought they just teased eachother into an eating disorder?

  • ||

    Well, being a social outcast as a 13 year old girl and being called fat could lead to an eating disorder.

    My point is that we should have some standards for civil behavior among children. Physical violence isn't the only form of behavior deserving of punishment. We should be enforcing a code of conduct that forbids verbal abuse and encourages kids to treat eachother politely.

  • Paul.||

    To everyone (all three of you) claiming that there was Harm: Since there's no evidence that there was any monetary gain, or even attempt for monetary gain by the two juveniles in question, to assume harm had occured, wouldn't it have to be shown that the two girls successfully convinced important people around the impersonated girl that their facebook account was in fact hers, and therefore hurt her reputation as a result?

    If all of the target's friends knew the account was fake, then the "harm" that was done would have to be exclusively within the feelings of the targeted girl, furthermore suggesting that this is not so much "fraud" as it is a "hate crime"?

  • ||

    If all of the target's friends knew the account was fake, then the "harm" that was done would have to be exclusively within the feelings of the targeted girl, furthermore suggesting that this is not so much "fraud" as it is a "hate crime"?

    I don't see much reason to think it was public knowledge that the account was fake. Especially given the discription of "making threats against" other students.

    I'm guessing that the two girls who did it had the goal of breaking up the girls friendships to turn her into a social outcast.

    If you just want to make fun of someone online, there are lots of ways to do it that don't require setting up a facebook account under her name. And I suspect the content would be more comedic.

    Still even if it was just an obvious spoof - that can still constitute harassment.

  • Paul.||

    I'm trying to remember what I was like when I was 13. But I'm thinking that if my friends started acting differently around me, or came to me and said, "I can't believe what you said about me on your Facebook account", that at some reasonable time I could announce to these friends that the account in question was fake.

    This story (albeit very premature) has all the markers of a solution looking for a problem. And a parent who solves their child's most basic social conflicts with police.

    I'm guessing this young girl has a future in politics.

  • Paul.||

    I don't see much reason to think it was public knowledge that the account was fake. Especially given the discription of "making threats against" other students.

    By the way, I wasn't suggesting that as a fact, I was giving more of a hypothetical. Which goes back to my earlier comment: did it not occur to anyone involved in this to just say, "Uhm yeah, that account isn't me, it's a fake.", call up Facebook and have them remove it as a violation of terms and service?

  • ||

    Obviously it was eventually discovered to be fake, but it was apparently up for more than a month. Which is enough time for the girl to have spent at least a couple weeks being shunned by her classmates before one of them said something.

    Also, I'd bet anything this girl is that class nerd and didn't have too many friends to begin with.

  • Paul.||

    Now I really suspect there's something deeply personal going on here.

    You know, I was physically attacked when I was in school (Jr. High-- I went to a very tough Jr. High- and Jr High went through 9th grade where I grew up- so there were some big kids there... kids who had been held back for three years and should have been seniors)

    The thought of police being involved would have been beyond conception.

    I do admit that they were differnent times, Hazel, but until someone is stabbed or seriously injured, it was dealt with through school officials and/or parents. Sometimes you got your ass kicked. Actually, usually you got your ass kicked. Or at least I did.

    Point being, that I just don't see the need for a criminal case to be brought because someone was teased-- even if their reputation was "harmed" to some limited degree. And it's going to be hard to quantify damages to the reputation of a 13-yr old. It's not like they have a professional image to uphold. Admittedly without the clear facts of the case, I'll bet you all the way up to fitty cent that this has more to do with feelings than it has to do with reputation/fraud. I still say it's a hate crime masquerading as fraud.

  • Laura P||

    What about the threats made from that account?

    There's a gain in there and that I do see as harm.

    If someone impersonates me and threatens randome people (or even my friends), it is harm.

    It damages your reputation and puts you in danger of other people wanting to fight with you when you didn't provoke it. That does affect you and it is not about feelings.

    If it's a girl, well, if the mom didn't complained, then the girl would have been left with the reputation among the other kids/teachers at school as a bully that threatens people through facebook.

    Maybe all the friends knew the account was fake but what about the friends of friends? What if the posts or messages were public?

  • A Serious Man||

    I can get behind the target of the prank sueing for libel and defamation, just not sending these kids to jail with geuninely damaged or otherwise dangerous juveniles. How's that going to be safe for them?

  • Peter L||

    Why is there any need for jail in the first place? Couldn't they just be given a notice to appear in court at such and such time?

  • ||

    Speaking of facebook, look what some idiot lefty posted on it: http://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/.....0754_n.jpg

    The irony is that it makes more sense literally than it does sarcastically.

  • Paul.||

    *spits out drink*

    God no shit. You could just replace the header with "Brought to you by Government Regulation"

  • ant1sthenes||

    No dude. Sweatshops in Communist China are an example of unchecked capitalism.

    THIS IS WHAT PROGRESSIVES ACTUALLY BELIEVE

  • Dr. Frankenstein||

    Banky:

    "That's what the internet is for. Slandering others anonymously."

  • Voros McCracken||

    On of the less traveled social media sites folks were opening up pages for "famous" people and someone opened one up and was pretending to be me, but was obviously spoofing.

    Wasn't sure what to do about it, but decided to just let it be.

  • R C Dean||

    Mike, I'm begging you, keep an eye on this for us, please.

    There's lots of facts that ought to be known on this that aren't, yet, like "What do the li'l felons parents have to say", "What harm was claimed by the special snowflake", "Was there really no hearing at all for days and days", and "Were the li'l felons really locked up for two weeks over this."

  • Paul.||

    At this point, to assuage Hazel, I'm hoping that it was first degree murder, and the whole facebook thing was just a big misunderstanding. Because at this point, that would be the only thing that would make sense.

  • Laura P||

    I think they are in juvie because they made threats to other kids. Maybe the parents of the other kids that were threatened complained to the police.

    If it was just the impersonation then the punishment is way off.

    If they made threats of killing other people, then I can see why they are being held.

    The kind of threats thay made is not specified in the note. I think the note is lacking in information.

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