Mom on Facebook Arrested For Tracking Her Own Kid


Flickr photo by basykes
Tracking your kids on Facebook may be the mark of a good parent, but could it land you in jail?

That's what's happened to Denise New, a mom in Arkansas -- her 16-year-old son has had New charged with harassment. This all comes because she went into his Facebook page and allegedly posted slanderous statements on his page.

New admitted to channel KATV that she was pawing through her kids' Facebook page -- but she says that's her job as a parent. 

And when she notes his Facebook page featured him stating he drove 95 mph one night because he was upset about a girl, she certainly sounds justified.

But then there's this little fact: the boy doesn't live with his mother. His guardian is actually his grandmother -- who, it would stand to reason, would be the adult responsible for checking up on his Facebook status.

The whole issue makes me pray Facebook will be long gone by the time my daughter is old enough to get online. It is our responsibility to keep track of what our kids are doing, but like the old-fashioned diary hidden under the mattress before it, there is a line that's crossed once you check out a Facebook page your kids have tried to keep private.

Several parents I know are indignant that their kids won't friend them on Facebook. Others are more pragmatic -- they don't want to have to censor their own thoughts on Facebook, and in that vein they can understand their kids wanting their own space.

When Adam and Kristina snuck into their daughter's Facebook page on Parenthood a few weeks back, I was torn.

Requiring kids share their password -- just in case. Checking up on them frequently while they're online. Asking to be their friend and seeing what they say. Those are all cool ways of balancing parenting and allowing them their independence.

But a parent sneaking into a child's Facebook page, then posting as that child, sounds like it may have crossed a line.

Would you do it?

independence, technology, teens


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tejan... tejanita1

My daughter is 8 and has asked me a few times if she can have a Facebook account. So far, I've told her no. There's no reason at her young age to have a FB account. However, I've also warned her that as long as she is living in my house, she may try to keep things private, but I have every right to walk into her room at any point in time and look through whatever I want to. Not that I have any intention of making a habit of snooping through her stuff on a regular basis, but if I feel that there's something I need to know that she's keeping from me, I will go looking through her room or anywhere online that she's been to find out what I need to know. The way I see it is, I'm paying for the roof over her head, the internet she's playing on and 95% of the things going into her room, so I have every right to look through it if I feel it's necessary. She's been told this several times, so later on she can't say that me doing anything like that was a surprise.

madfoot madfoot

if she doesn't have custody of her own child, there's a very good reason. this is just the tip of the iceberg, I'm sure.

nonmember avatar busymama6743

Someone that I know, got into my Facebook account and put horrible comments about me on there. I would love to know how this kid got his mother arrested. I made a police report, and they said there was nothing they could do. Because this person wasnt in any of my bank accounts. And good luck getting ahold of Facebook, I called twice a day for weeks. I really wanted to press charges, myself. Facebook isnt worth it...

nonmember avatar Mrs Ann

How crazy. I can remember living with my parents and i would be furious if my parents harrassed me onmline. even if i did live with them. Good for him for filing charges. And, btw, i'm sure he got his grandmother's help to do that. It takes help from an adult to be taken seriously in the court room. Trust me, i know.

Carey... Carey2006

Are you kidding me?!

I don't think children should be on Facebook......and teens are a gray area but I hope that my son avoids it!!

nonmember avatar Lorraine

If I had serious concerns about my child being on facebook (I have 4 kids 21, 18, 18, 13) they would certainly not have access to a computer or cell phone.  I know they have friends with computers but I wouldn't give them ready access to it at home.  I sure as heck wouldn't be footing the bill for it.  All this said, my children have given me reason to trust them and they do have facebook pages and I'm friends with each of them.  Having kids is all about relationship building.  It's not been easy by any stretch, but they have all accepted me as a "friend" on Facebook. :)

nonmember avatar Mellissa Smith

I have all my kids usernames and passwords, I occasionally  go through and delete people from their friends list who have no relation to them, women who they say are "hot" and ask to be their friend but I know it's fake or spam. I delete any stranger. It's easy to tell because kids will have multiple mutual friends. If they are friends with someone who has no other mutual friends, I know its not right. I have that right as a parent to protect my kids. I don't like everything they post, but I don't change it or say anything if it's not dangerous.

Peajewel Peajewel

FB was not too popular when my son was at home but My Space was.  I did not check in on him but he was a trust worthy kid.  I don't know how I would feel if he was a different kid.  Ya know?

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