Ethan Cohen tried to laugh off his first experience with bullying on Instagram. Like many kids his age, the Raleigh, N.C., teen eagerly joined the platform in middle school, and one day he discovered fellow students snickering at an account. The feed was dedicated to jeers about what appeared to be a prominent muscle in his neck. One post compared it to the Great Wall of China. Another suggested "systems of equations" could be done on its size. To friends, he dismissed it as a dumb prank, but privately he was distressed. Someone was tailing him and posting mocking pictures for all to see. "The anonymity of it was freaky," says Cohen, now 18. He reported the account multiple times to Instagram.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg looks on during the VivaTech trade fair in Paris, on May 24, 2018. After years of being harassed by'hoaxers,' the parents of a first-grader slain at Sandy Hook are demanding that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg better regulate misleading and hateful content on his platform. In an open letter published this week, the parents of murdered 6-year-old Noah Pozner criticized Facebook and its CEO for not doing enough to prevent the spread of lies on the world's biggest social media platform. Published online by the Guardian, the letter was written by parents Leonard Pozner and Veronique De La Rosa, whose son was one of 25 victims in a fatal December 2012 shooting spree at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut. "Almost immediately after the massacre of 20 little children, all under the age of seven, and six elementary school teachers and staff, the attacks on us began," Pozner and De La Rosa wrote.
Midwest City Police Chief Brandon Clabes says the Carl Albert High School student faces 10 charges, including blackmail and transmitting obscenity and child pornography. Clabes says the teen posted nude and provocative photos of students from a Snapchat account. Clabes says when the school switched off its Wi-Fi, the student threatened to post more photos if it wasn't turned back on. Clabes says investigators were able to identify the student after he sent another batch of photos last week.
YOKOHAMA – A 14-year-old in Osaka Prefecture has become the first person in Japan arrested for allegedly creating ransomware, police said. The third-year junior high school student is suspected of combining free encryption programs to create the malware, which makes computer files inaccessible unless a ransom is paid, the sources said. "The male student apparently learned how to create it on his own," a source said. The student, who lives in Takatsuki, admitted to creating the program on Jan. 6 and uploading it to an overseas website where he lured people into downloading it via social media, the sources said. No financial losses from the malware have been reported yet, the sources said.
It's understandable why governments would want to keep sex offenders away from social networks -- you don't want predators messaging their potential targets. Is an outright ban taking things a step too far, though? The US Supreme Court thinks so. As part of a ruling in a case where a college student preyed on an underage girl, the court has struck down a North Carolina law preventing sex offenders from visiting social internet sites that children might frequent. Simply speaking, the law was so broad that it violated free speech rights, disconnecting offenders from modern life.