Facebook may face prosecution in Italian teen’s suicide

The unfortunate trend of teenage girls succumbing to online bullying has now also taken over Italy.

Like many teenage girls worldwide, Carolina Picchio had her photos on Facebook and often shared status updates on the social media site.

Last winter, someone posted a video on Facebook in which the 14-year-old girl appeared drunk and disoriented at a party. Once the video when viral among her classmates, the torment began.

Picchio’s ex-boyfriend and his friends posted a barrage of abusive messages aimed at Carolina. At first it was online but it later spilled into her school life and among other teens in the northern Italian town of Novara.

When the bullying became too much for the young girl to handle, Picchio jumped from her bedroom window, landing headfirst.

Picchio left a heartbreaking suicide note.

“Are you happy now?” she wrote. “Have you hurt me enough? Have you had enough revenge?”

Members of Picchio’s family claim they reported the abusive messages from Carolina’s peers to Facebook in hopes of having the messages removed. According to the Picchio family and some of Carolina’s friends, Facebook did nothing.

“He was insulting her, mistreating her,” Carolina’s sister Talita told CNN. “We naturally spoke about it with her but she told us not to worry.”

According to CNN, Francesco Saluzzo, the Novara prosecutor, is looking into the possibility of filing a criminal complaint against Facebook for failing to remove offensive content. “In the case of Carolina, it appears some of her friends, some of her relatives, asked for the removal of some of this strong content, and it wasn’t removed – and this played a role in her decision to commit suicide.”

The prosecutor’s documents show that Carolina received 2,600 abusive messages via WhatsApp, a messaging service for smartphones.

Facebook released a statement to CNN addressing the issue.

“We are deeply saddened by the tragic death of Carolina Picchio and our hearts go out to her family and friends. Harassment has no place on Facebook and we actively encourage teens and parents to report incidences of bullying using the links located throughout the site. We remove content reported to us that violates of Statement of Rights and Responsibilities and we escalate reports of harassment and bullying to law enforcement where appropriate.”

Follow Mary Ann Georgantopoulos on Twitter @marygeorgant



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Woman dies when run over by bus at…

A woman at the Burning Man arts and culture festival in the Nevada desert died on Thursday when she was run over by a bus carrying participants.

National

Texas parents sue day care center for duct…

By Marice RichterDALLAS (Reuters) - A Texas couple has filed a lawsuit against the owners of a Fort Worth-area day care center seeking $1 million…

National

Santa Fe city council votes to decriminalize marijuana

By Joseph KolbALBUQUERQUE N.M. (Reuters) - Santa Fe on Wednesday became the latest U.S. city to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana, with lawmakers in the…

International

Egypt queries Mursi over documents "leaked" to Al…

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt is investigating jailed ex-president Mohamed Mursi in connection with documents that judicial investigators say were leaked to the Qatar-based Al Jazeera…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

Movies

Criterion's new Jacques Demy box mixes the light…

Jacques Demy, the most effervescent of French New Wave filmmakers, gets a Criterion box all to himself, with classics like "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg."

Entertainment

Comedian Joan Rivers, 81, rushed to New York…

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Acerbic comedian and fashion critic Joan Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on Thursday after she reportedly…

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…