Teen Sues Facebook Over Cyberbullying

The Internet is a wondrous thing, but it's also made teasing and bullying, formerly restricted to schoolyards, something you can do online for all the world to see. A Long Island teenager is suing her tormentors, their parents, and Facebook over a Facebook group "calculated to hold the plaintiff up to public hatred, ridicule and disgrace."

Denise Finkel, 18 and now a student at the University of Albany, filed suit in Manhattan for $3 million. Finkel alleges that four former Oceanside High School classmates (Michael Dauber, Jeffrey Schwartz, Leah Herz and Melinda Danowitz) created the password-protected Facebook group "90 Cents Short Of A Dollar" to bully her.

In her complaint, Finkel claims that the Facebook comments indicated that she "was a woman of dubious morals, dubious sexual character," that she "engaged in bestiality," was "an IV drug user" and had contracted AIDS.

Finkel is suing for $3 million.

Her attorney, Mark Altschul said:
"She had a very difficult time in high school. They were making sure that she was an unwanted soul there."
Likely Facebook will be immune in this case, but this could be a precedent-setter. You'll probably recall the case of Megan Meier, a Dardenne Prairie, Missouri teenager who committed suicide in 2006 over a MySpace romance gone bad, which actually turned out to be a hoax and cyberbullying. That eventually led to citywide, and later statewide laws against cyberbullying.

Civil cases, on the other hand, are rather uncharted territory. We will be watching this one closely.
Via:  Various
bob_on_the_cob 5 years ago

Some people are really losers. Why waste your time messing with people. Is that fun? That said. I don't think $3 million is reasonable.

peti1212 5 years ago


dorsaii 5 years ago

I hope she wins...sounds like some punks need a smack down.

recoveringknowitall 5 years ago

Shouldn't she sue the individuals for defamation rather than the site itself?

Savage Animal 5 years ago

[quote user="recoveringknowitall"]

Shouldn't she sue the individuals for defamation rather than the site itself?


Well yes, but in the stupid society we live in today, it all comes back to who is accountable, and by accountable we mean who has the money. Facebook has the money; and allowed the page to exist, therfore in some irrational yet perfectly legal train of thought they are accountable. As hard as that may be to believe it is how it is.

dorsaii 5 years ago

And what...you'd say your not liable if someone mounts a sign in plain view of the public on your rooftop that defames someone else ? Good luck with that. The issue is there is no legal precedent for any company to claim they are not liable when they run a business without ensuring laws are not broken. News papers get sued all the time for defaming people in public and Facebook should be no different. A business of any type has an obligation to reasonably protect the public. If she complained to Facebook, and they did not act, then she is perfectly within her rights to react to that with a law suit. Only an anarchist would see it otherwise...

ice_73 5 years ago

suing facebook for cyber bullying is like suing the goverment for getting a roach in your hamburger. your case is very minimal, and you arent really suing the right people

ice91785 5 years ago

I completely disagree with the case here. #1 this girl will now be well-known throughout her college campus because of the lawsuit and in-turn probably suffer some "bullying" by copycats no doubt.

#2 facebook has nothing to do with how she was treated from the other ppl. They simply provide he median for these alleged criminals to spout off "mean things"; facebook didn't add-on to this, condone this, etc so how would they be liable? Realistically they probably had no idea it was going on because the group was so small...

#3 Suing people is just used as a "get-rich-quick" scheme now-a-days for these types of cases. Do you really think this is good for society when there are surely dozens (if not more) similar cases to follow? Honestly what is more important, keeping courts busy over bullying or taking drug-dealers and murderers off the street....

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