Facebook Won't Shut Down Stalker

Here's a worst-case scenario for you.

Last month, someone hacked into an Australian 12-year-old girl's Facebook profile. In the weeks since, she, her mother and her friends have been inundated with requests for information, harassed, and sent a variety of vulgar, threatening and pornographic images and messages. He's also, allegedly, discovered the family's address from chats with unwitting friends.

Lest you think the case is being blown out of proportion by a concerned parent, the messages the stalker has sent the mother include things like this: "f——ng give me your daughters they love me and i love them, you know you cant keep me away from them forever! i am going to be with them they are the mother of my children," and "i will find ur girls." See for yourself.

Facebook Won't Shut Down Stalker

Naturally, the girl is terrified, and given his alleged knowledge of her address, just quitting Facebook is no guarantee of safety. But here's the scary and frustrating part: everyone claims they can't do anything about it. Says the mother (whose name is being withheld) to the Sydney Morning Herald, "We tried reporting [the account] on Facebook...We got all her friends to report it on Facebook. Facebook won't reply. They don't want to contact us. They don't want to know about it, basically. You cannot ring Facebook."

More troubling are the explanations the paper received. The Sydney PR firm that represents Facebook in Australia directed the SMH to its usage policy, which states that users should be 13 years or older and asserts its commitment to user-safety. The police, says the mother, have been similarly unhelpful, claiming they are unable to shut down a Facebook account. As she tells the paper,"They said Facebook won't co-operate with the police." Police, meanwhile, say they have "commenced inquiries."

Of course, much of this story is based on hearsay and it's hard to condemn either party based on one account. However, this would not be the first time Facebook's privacy policy has been called into question - or the Police have invoked red tape when asked to deal with a Facebook-related matter. And given the site's unwillingness to restrict the freedoms of offensive pages and now accused child-harassers, we're left wondering...what exactly do you have to do to get kicked off the site? (Oh, that's right: Breastfeeding pictures.)

Mother's Worst Nightmare: Facebook Won't Shut Down Stalker [Sydney Morning Herald]

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