Friday 24 November 2017

Watch: Teen (16) receives death threats after becoming victim of internet hoax on Facebook

Emotional Irish mother makes desperate plea about the dangers of social media

Ian Begley

The parents of a 16-year-old teen who was the victim of an internet hoax have released a video on Facebook clearing their son's name and highlighting the dangers of social media.

The video features Joe and Sue Davis, of Ballivor, Co Meath and their son Daniel, along with the teen who initially started the hoax and his father.

It was wrongly alleged that Daniel was involved in a burglary where he assaulted an elderly woman in Kinnegad, Co. Westmeath on Halloween night.

The post also asked people to report any sightings of the 16-year-old to Trim Garda station.

The post has since gone viral and amassed more than 320,000 views.

Speaking from her home, Ms Davis, who appeared visibly distraught, said she now fears for her son’s safety.

“I just want [to show] how severe it is that a child can be slated in a situation where he didn’t actually do anything wrong and want to let you know how worried I am [as a parent]. I’m afraid something is going to happen to him.

“I just want to get the message out there to people that shows the impact of the silliness of kids who put up things like this. 

The teen who started the hoax apologised in the video for what he done.

 “I want to apologise to Daniel and his family for causing this stress and for making that fake post about him. It’s gotten to the point where threats are being made against him over the post which isn’t true. It was supposed to be a laugh that got out of hand.”

The father of the prankster also expressed his condemnation of his son's actions.

“My son will be totally chastised as a result of this.  I don’t want anyone else putting up anything like this up about anyone. I don’t condone this act or anything done against any child. I’m really sorry to Danny for what happened.

Daniel, who spoke briefly about the hoax said: “I didn’t do anything … I’m not a scumbag, that’s all I have to say.”

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