This story ran in the Huffington Post. It’s about a popular, well-liked 17-year-old girl with a soccer scholarship to college who killed herself. After her death, her friends (or family? It doesn’t specify) set up a Facebook tribute page that had nasty comments posted on it. One example talked about was photos of people with nooses around their necks.
The parents of the girl’s friends are submitting the anonymous comments to law officials because this is causing emotional damage to the dead teen’s friends.
This goes back to our discussion on anonymity online and whether or not there is real harm done. People were posting nasty, hurtful comments under a veil of anonymity. People were harmed. Emotionally, at least. Sources are unsure if the harassment was the cause of the girl’s suicide, but they are taking this into consideration.
What do you think this case says about the ethics behind being anonymous and being online?