Facebook teen sues mom for harrassment

Worrying news arrives for parents out there who may have kids or teens using Facebook, with reports that one teenage son from Arkensas is suing his own mother for hijacking his Facebook account.

The 16-year-old claims that his mom hacked into his Facebook account and then wrote damaging comments regarding him. The mother in question, Denise New, says she has the right to monitor her son’s behaviour online and was just acting as a concerned parent, saying, “If I’m found guilty on this it is going to be open season on parents”.

Meanwhile her son who is now living with his grandmother says that his mom changed his password and then commented on Facebook about his personal life. He clearly feels his privacy has been invaded whereas his mother maintains that after reading some of her son’s posts on Facebook she had concerns for him.

Although the teen involved hasn’t been named because he is a minor, prosecutors have given an indication that the case comprises some harassment on the part of the mother towards her son. This one’s a real toughie in my opinion. I really can see it from both sides but would be interested in hearing what you think.

Do you side with the son and feel his privacy should be paramount, or maybe you sympathize with the mother who feels the law will set a dangerous precedent it they remove the right of parents to monitor their kids? Why not let us know how you feel?

Source: nydailynews.com

  • Alexa

    I feel like it's wrong to Denise New if she is found guilty because it's her son she has the right to check up on him. As long as she didnt hurt him she didn't do anything wrong

    • CLG

      If you read other detailed reports, it isn't a matter of privacy violation that she lost on. After locking him out of his account, she proceeded to pretend to be him, and posted libelous, untrue and provoking statements. That was "Harrassment".

      • alex

        i agree to what you have said it is wrong to pretend to be someone your not

  • herb

    really, the mother owns that house & probably owns the computer & she has a job to do , thats called raising her children (parenting) IF HER SON IS DOING EXACTLY AS HE IS TOLD THEN NONE OF THIS WOULD HAVE HAPPENED ! the boy is just pissed off that he cant get his way & the prosecuters should be ahsmed that they are picking this cASE up with taxpayer money, what freaken town is this happening in !!!so I know to stay away from it!!!

    • alex

      I don't agree to what you just said he is mad at his mother for invading his personal space if you have no secrects thats fine some one might not be like you so don't be saying he is just pissed off i would be mad if my mom did that to. the mother should know to give her kid a bit of freedom .

  • Alex

    I think the mom should be guilty. I understand if she wants to monitor his Facebook, but changing his password and putting personal stuff on there? That's waaay too far.

  • Omar

    You spelled "Arkansas" wrong

  • sandra leonard

    theres a thin line between monitoring and invading. she should never have went into his account and did what she did. she as a mother should have questioned him and let him know that she was monitoring or just dismissed his computer access altogether.after all she is MOM!

  • A 16 year old

    does he pay rent? does he pay for his own food? does he pay the electricity bill? did he pay for the computer?

    no?

    Then sit down and shutup!! Some people dont realise how lucky they are and get annoyed about the littlest things. Who's paying for the lawyer?

    • unknown

      I think u r abosuletly right !

  • Kiwi<3

    I agree that he sues her. My mom one day went into my phone checked my computer and everything just because she felt like it. Literally, I had done nothing wrong. She read my diary journal log thingy and I felt so violated, Then she wanted to talk to me about the problems, as if I wanted to talk to her. If I did I would have told her. Go ahead dude. I hope you win.

    • Trish

      Kiwi<3, your mother only did that because she loves you and felt the need to check up on you. Especially if she came to you after to help you with your problems. Teens shut their parents out so much and turn to their peers for advice. Your peers are never going to give you the love and knowledge your own mom will. And if you got in trouble for something she read then that is part of growing up…getting in trouble, getting caught, and getting punished…We have all been there, even your mom! Let go of some of that resentment towards her and be glad she loves you enough to take the time out her busy schedule to be involved.

  • Jax, and son, Bry

    My 17 year old son and I read this article and just discussed it. Let me preface this by saying that my husband and myself often log into our son’s account, with his permission, to work his farm or serve his Cafe World dishes while he is at school.

    My son said that “It’s ok for a parent to log on to my Facebook (FB) as long as they are not commenting or changing things, without talking to me about it first.”

    I (Mom) said, “As a general rule, I agree and do not think a parent logging into their child’s FB account should be prying through their emails/chats or commenting on their friends posts. UNLESS…the parent has a real cause for concern regarding the child’s actions and behaviors, i.e. reasonable suspicion of a development of alcoholism or criminal behavior, in which case it is perfectly acceptable for a parent to investigate the child’s emails/chats. It is NEVER okay for a parent to post comments as their child, it is fraudulent and unfair to both the child the parent is masquerading as and to those on the child’s friends list. Checking of emails/chats should immediately be followed up with discussion and intervention, along with confession that you violated your child’s privacy and why.”

    After hearing my words, my son agreed this would be an acceptable violation of privacy.

  • Ryl

    I'm sorry, but I do not see both sides of this issue at all. This mom is NOT being sued for monitoring her kid's Facebook page. She is being sued for locking him out of his account AND his email, and then using his account to tell lies about him to all his friends. If another student at his high school did this, would you think that student was just concerned for him? Of course not, you'd think they were a bully! And that's exactly what this woman is — a bully. Another whacked-out mom who views her kid as a piece of property to be used however she pleases, instead of an actual human being.

    Seriously, if your first instinct is to defend this woman, ask yourself this — do you actually know any parents who would do this? I don't. Most parents I know would be straight with their kid — tell him they didn't like what he posted, maybe ground him or keep him off Facebook for a week or two. Because that's a reasonable way to deal with that problem. That's what normal, loving, mentally stable parents would do. Obviously, this woman is none of those things.

    Look, I'm all for parents monitoring their kids' online activities, there's nothing wrong with it as long as your kid knows you're doing it. But this story is NOT about monitoring, this story is about a mother who feels that publicly humiliating her 16-year-old son by violating his privacy and giving out false information about him is a valid way to deal with behavioral issues. That's not discipline, that's harassment.

    • garr

      i agree, and would like to poiint out that his grandmother is the legal guardian. not denise.

  • Jessica

    I think the fact that kids feel like they have the "right" to privacy, almost like they have the "right" to be able to drive. I think privacy is something to be earned. With a teenager that is using the parents resources, that parent is ultimately responsible for any action that teenager does. Some parents to go too far when trying to make a point for their child. I don't know what she did, if she even had the knowledge to be able to change his password. If she was concerned there should have been some communication first, but it really should have only gone so far as to block the sites that she didn't want him to go to. I hope that she refrained from discussing personal things anywhere or such.

  • Leanne

    Something not mentioned in this article is that this youth was living with his grandparents BEFORE his mother pulled that stunt. There's a lot more to this particular issue than parental "monitoring". I don't know for certain, but I suspect that his mother is not currently his legal guardian – if so, this is no longer a case of a legal guardian using inappropriate methods for "safeguarding" a dependent but is a true case of harassment. Just because that woman is his biological parent does not give her the right to tamper with his private account or post libellous comments about him.

  • Larry

    Lawyers are the problem with the US. Why would any respectable lawyer take the case? The mom is correct and her actions are reasonable. Under 18 have no rights to privacy from parents. The brain is not fully developed until 24 years of age and the scum sucking lawyer should be disbarred.

  • Angela Pritchett

    It’s one thing to monitor his facebook account; that’s called parenting. It’s a whole different issue to post comments or edit the material anything on his account. That is an invasion.

  • http://twitter.com/WayneCAlderman @WayneCAlderman

    I agree with that kids should have freedom as long as they are not doing nothing seriously wrong and yes you are right, parents attacking their own kids over the internet that is going way too far since there are millions of people that can read the comments and things written online.

    It really depends what he posted on his account that matters that is to say if he was in the right or he was in the wrong, as it is I'm a member of facebook and I been online for a really long time and seen lots of things posted on different accounts that not even I approve of, parents should have a right to be concerned but they should also chat with their kids before doing anything crazy like denise did, which I agree with the boy no one should be allowed to login to other peoples account without them knowing first. Another thing is why would she let him have a Facebook account in the first place if she wanted to ruin his life of it? so yes there should be legal charges for hacking his account.

  • ichimitch

    See it from both sides?.. I think not. The bitch got what was coming to her and the judge Hills should have brought the hammer down harder to make an example of her.
    Privacy is privacy. Regardless if it is her son, what she did was malicious. She should have been given the same sentence that any caught and convicted hacker would receive.