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Teen suspended for fake suicide Facebook page, video

A New York high school student has been suspended after she created a Facebook page and posted a video meant to have been created by a girl who committed suicide.

The teen claims she made the video for a school project about bullying, but school officials didn’t take her excuse and temporarily booted her from classes for five days.

The video and page was about a fake 12-year-old girl. The fictitious character lost her mom at the age of three, has an abusive dad and no friends (the last one moved away).  

According to Today, 15-year-old Jessica Barber said she doesn’t understand why she’s being penalized for the fake material.

Barber says it was meant to fulfil the school assignment, which asked students to complete a project about an important issue.

While she claims there was a disclaimer on the Facebook page, saying it was a fake, the school gave her the boot.

But it’s not the first time that someone in an educational setting got in trouble for fake Facebook activity.

Just a couple of weeks ago, a principal at a different school reportedly quit under accusations that she was spying on students and parents with a fake account on the world’s largest social network.

In the teacher’s case, her fake Facebook page (under a different name than her own) contained a profile picture with some penguins.

That being said, I wouldn’t friend someone on Facebook if I didn’t recognize their picture or name. Sadly, 300 students there were duped into friending the fake account.

But going back to the fake suicidal girl – did the school go too far in suspending the creator? Or is it a serious offence to have a fake account and create a fake situation?

- Maurice Cacho, MSN Tech & Gadgets



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Danny BradburyDanny Bradbury

Danny Bradbury is a technology journalist with 20 years' experience. He writes regularly for publications including the Guardian, the Financial Times, the Financial Post, and Backbone magazine. Danny also writes and directs documentaries.

Maurice CachoMaurice Cacho

Maurice Cacho is a Toronto-based journalist mixing his love for tech with a passion for news. He's also CP24's Web Journalist and appears daily on CP24 Breakfast and weekly on the channel's tech show, Webnation, discussing tech news and trends.