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Widener Univ. School of Law

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Monday, November 19, 2007

More MySpace Weirdness

It hasn't (yet?) resulted in litigation, but this story could suggest a new direction -- if a tricky (and almost certainly unsuccessful) one -- for litigation against MySpace and the like.

It's been more than a year since their daughter's suicide, but a St. Charles County family hopes talking about it now could prevent a similar case in the future.

Tina and Ron Meier say their 13-year-old daughter, Megan, was driven to take her own life, because of a cyber bully.

* * *

Megan was especially excited about making a connection on MySpace.com with a boy who called himself Josh Evans, a 16 year old who claimed to live nearby. . . .

Josh showered Megan with compliments online. . . .

Around October 15, 2006, Megan began receiving insulting messages from Josh. "I don't know if I want to be friends with you, you're not a very nice friend and Megan looked at me and said what is that about," Tina Meier said.

The messages got more and more cruel, and the young girl hung herself not long afterwards.

It turns out that "Josh" was not just fictitious, but was in fact created by the mother of one of the girl's former classmates (classy).  The girl's parents are calling for more (unspecified) regulation of the web and say they "will get justice for Megan."

As a student pointed out, the facts certainly could support an IIED claim against the creator of the profile; I cannot imagine how one could connect it to MySpace itself.

--BC

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/tortsprof/2007/11/more-myspace-we.html

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