Chicago-area police have arrested a 17-year-old boy on Monday for inappropriately ranking female fellow classmates on his Facebook page.
We don’t understand why police took five months to catch up with the young offender, whose Facebook ranking first made headlines in January — unless the cops were waiting to see what Oak Park-River Forest High School was going to do in the way of punitive action.
The school had suspended him in January and appears to have followed that up with an expulsion after a disciplinary review. A month after his criminal highjinks, the suspect was sent to an alternative learning institution.
Like we said when we first covered this teenager in January, it’s hard not to see him as somehow taking inspiration from the movie The Social Network, which depicted Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg’s creation of Facemash, a website encouraging votes on the attractiveness of female classmates. However, there’s a huge difference between doing something like that in college and attempting it in high school.
One difference between the Facemash story and the Chicago-area teen is his youth legally requires officials to withhold his name from the media.
He now stands accused of anking at least 50 female students using salacious language to score, amongst other things, body parts.
The list also included racial slurs, contained derogatory nicknames for each young girl such as “The Designated Drunk,” and “The Amazing Bisexual.” and rated their appearance, desirability and sexual prowess.
Besides his Facebook page, the boy distributed hundreds of copies of the defamatory bulletins all along the school’s campus before administrators got wind.
Police investigators concluded that the youth masterminded and executed the sexual rankings list, charged him with disorderly conduct and referred him to juvenile court.
Dale Jones, the father of one of the female high students, was pleased with the arrest but didn’t think the disorderly conduct charge was serious enough to fit the crime. He told the Chicago Sun-Times that the “very serious offense affected many people. I’m gratified that the investigation continued, and that charges are being filed. I’m hopeful they consider additional charges as they gather more evidence.”
Additional charges could send a strong message to other teens who might also get the same idea about possibly creating their own Facemash-like pages on Facebook. We’ve already seen at least one other incident like the one in Chicago, so clearly there needs to be some form of deterrent in place.
Readers, what do you think about this particular case?
Photo courtesy of CBS