An Italian prosecutor has opened a probe into how Facebook allowed the publication of insults and bullying posts aimed at a teenager who later leapt to her death.
Carolina Picchio (14), from Novara in Italy, died in January after a gang of boys circulated a video on Facebook of her appearing drunk and dishevelled at a party. The group, aged between 15 and 17, were said to be friends of Ms Picchio's ex-boyfriend. He had allegedly insulted her on Facebook when she left him days earlier.
In a note to the boy found in her room, Ms Picchio wrote: "Isn't what you have done to me enough? You have made me pay too many times." The boy said he apologised to her for the insults, but she then took her own life, writing on Facebook: "Forgive me if I am not strong. I cannot take it any longer." The Italian Parents' Association has filed a criminal complaint in Rome against Facebook for allegedly having a role in the instigation of Ms Picchio's suicide.
Francesco Saluzzo, the Novara prosecutor, said he did not rule out placing Facebook staff under investigation.
Mr Saluzzo said he was investigating how the video had stayed online "for days", even after Ms Picchio's friends requested its removal. "There is a procedure for asking for the removal of messages that break rules," he said. "This is an open investigation without named suspects, as yet. Facebook itself is not under investigation. ."
Eight boys, aged 15 to 17, are being questioned by magistrates, including Ms Picchio's former boyfriend, who has reportedly claimed he was not at the party where she was filmed. (© Daily Telegraph, London)