Facebook updates bullying status

Cyberbullying could soon be more difficult to get away with as Facebook is finally forced to take measures to tackle those who abuse their social media site. A British woman has been able to get information on site users who conducted a vicious campaign against her.

Nicola Brookes was targeted by the virtual bullies after she had posted a comment in support if an X Factor contestant Frankie Cocozza. Anonymous Facebook users called her a drug dealer and a paedophile on a fake profile page on the site.

Brookes had to go to the High Court to obtain an order that forces Facebook to reveal the culprits’ identities, email addresses and IP addresses. Brookes plans to bring private prosecutions against those responsible.

The order has to be served on Facebook in the US, where the site is based. The company issued a statement: "There is no place for harassment on Facebook, but unfortunately a small minority of malicious individuals exist online, just as they do offline. We respect our legal obligations and work with law enforcement to ensure that such people are brought to justice."

Such cooperation has not been conspicuous in the past, with the company reluctant to encourage prosecutions for Facebook abuse. Brookes’s determination may turn out to be a defining moment in the history of cyberbullying. "I want them exposed," she told The Guardian. "They exposed me and they invaded my life. I didn't ask for it. They wanted a reaction from me and now they have got it."

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