Fredericton teen bullied with fake online dating profile
Published Thursday, February 7, 2013 6:36PM AST
Last Updated Thursday, February 7, 2013 6:40PM AST
A Fredericton high school student recently kicked out of her private school for dying her hair pink had just started at a new school when she became the subject of a bogus online dating profile.
Keanna Boer learned that a fake profile bearing her pictures and contact information as well as a sexually graphic message had been posted on PlentyofFish.com.
Boer has left the school and police are now involved in the matter.
“Not only is it dangerous, but it is damaging to children, to anyone, to have something like that posted without their knowledge,” says Victoria Boer, the girl’s mother.
Fredericton Police are trying to track down the computer IP address from which the fake profile was posted.
“These kids think it is so funny and we’ll just post this about someone and they’ll get a good laugh, but what they don’t realize is that on these websites there are predators out there looking for people,” says Victoria Boer.
Legal action against such a form of cyberbullying is limited; one of the only recourses available is invasion of privacy laws.
“But it is very underdeveloped in Canada right now and it’s not clear that it would afford some of the remedies to, for example, somebody of a negative Facebook profile or some other dating site profile which paints them in a negative light,” says Robert Danay with the University of New Brunswick’s faculty of law.
Child and youth advocate Christian Whalen says laws need to change with the times.
“We need to adopt Canadian law to the reality of our social context,” says Whalen.
“Who are on social media the most? It’s young people. What are the issues really coming in the form of cyberbullying, very much involving young people and adolescents?”
For now, the Boers are speaking out because they say keeping quiet won’t change anything.
“Our only goal is to help our daughter and hope that at some point in the future it makes a change in something and how we manage Facebook, Plenty of Fish, all our websites.”
With files from CTV Atlantic's Nick Moore