Mom Convicted Of Harassment For Impersonating Son On Facebook
Most teenagers probably have an embarrassing story to tell related to their parents using Facebook– a site previously open only to college students– but 17-year-old Lane New‘s story probably takes the cake. His mother, Arkadelphia, Arkansas native Denise New, was just convicted of a misdemeanor harassment charge for changing his password and impersonating him on his Facebook wall.
The story plays out like a college prank played after a particularly late night at the library, except instead of the culprit being a bored classmate, it’s New’s mother:
“Denise New hijacked her son Lane’s Facebook account when he left it logged in on a home computer, changing his password and posting as Lane. One post cited by the judge: ‘Check this out — I went to my mom’s and deliberately started an argument and called the police on her. She almost went to jail. How cool is that? Ha, ha, ha.'”
The AP also adds that some of the offending Facebook statuses were not intentionally posted to his account, but were meant for hers, like one stating “the only mistake I ever made was having a kid,” and several of them included vulgar language, which New said she had always been comfortable using with her son, even though their relationship had deteriorated recently, and Lane New had been living with his grandmother for five years. New was convicted of a misdemeanor harassment charged, fined $435 and required to complete anger management and parenting classes. She was also put on probation for one year, and received a 30-day suspended jail sentence in case she did not comply with the aforementioned penalties.
Bad parenting on the internet has been happening and duly punished since the days of MySpace, but while other moms behaving badly have merely denied the claims, New, however, politicized the issue to the AP, telling them that “‘If I’m found guilty on this, it is going to be open season'” for parents everywhere, though chances are “open season” would better describe what will happen when parents like New find out about Facebook’s new privacy settings (or lack thereof).
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