Student bullies through Instagram
Whenever a new technological advance comes on the market or a new app is created, someone will inevitably use it for purposes not intended by the inventor. We’ve seen cases of cyberbullying through Twitter, blogs, and obviously Facebook.
Now Instagram, a photo-sharing app, has been used to bully classmates at a Colorado high school. In January, 2013, a student at Ralston Valley High School, took photos of five students from Facebook and uploaded them to Instagram. Under the user name “anonymous” the student added under each picture a caption with derogatory or sexual comments about the classmate.
The student was charged with five counts of third-degree harassment and will appear in juvenile court. When the posting was reported to the police, they were able to track the person who did it through their IP address.
Regardless of the device used to stalk, threaten, harass or intimidate, law enforcement can quickly identify the source of the message. With a search warrant obtained from a judge, computers and other digital equipment can be taken from your home and bedroom and searched. Just because you delete or trash a comment from your computer or cell phone doesn’t mean it can’t be found on the hard drive or on your friend’s computer. The lesson here is to be careful about your choice of words – once posted, they’re out there forever.