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Cyberbullied girl can remain anonymous

Sept. 27, 2012 at 3:20 PM   |   Comments

OTTAWA, Sept. 27 (UPI) -- Canada's Supreme Court ruled Thursday a Nova Scotia teenager who was targeted by cyberbullying can remain anonymous if she pursues prosecution.

The court voted 7-0 to reject two media groups' attempts to publish the Nova Scotia girl's name and ruled she can only be identified as A.B., the Toronto Star's Ottawa bureau reported.

The girl was told in 2010, when she was 15, someone had posted a phony Facebook account with her name only slightly altered. It had explicit references to sexual activity and her appearance, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. said.

The girl's father contacted Facebook and the site was taken down right away. Facebook gave the father the Internet Protocol address of the computer that posted the site through the family's local Internet provider.

The high court allowed the girl to pursue litigation using her initials, but denied the request to ban details of the Facebook page, the CBC said.

Writing for the court, Justice Rosalie Abella noted various studies that show "victims of bullying were almost twice as likely to report that they attempted suicide compared to young people who had not been bullied."

"Recognition of the inherent vulnerability of children has consistent and deep roots in Canadian law and results in the protection of young people's privacy rights based on age, not the sensitivity of the particular child."

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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