A 12-year-old boy from Rio Rico, Arizona has been the latest victim of vicious online bullying. The trouble started when the child checked his Facebook page and discovered that someone had gotten into his account and dramatically altered his profile. The still-unknown creator of the page had replaced the boy’s last name with a sexual euphemism and portrayed him as homosexual. The boy’s reaction was immediate. “He’s hysterical, he’s crying, he’s shaking, he’s just devastated,” said his mother. “But I promised him we would get to the bottom of this.”
She reported the page to Facebook, but received an e-mail saying that the fake page did not violate the company’s terms of service. So she asked people to block the page. A few days later, the page was shut down, but it is unclear whether Facebook or the creator of the page shut it down. The investigation is still ongoing. Detective Sgt. Jose Cota of the Santa Cruz Sheriff’s Office said that cyber bullying cases often take a long time to clear up because authorities have to subpoena companies such as Facebook to provide the IP addresses and other account information, which takes between 30 and 45 days.
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