Teen Sues Mom for Hacking His Facebook Account

By Smriti Rao | April 8, 2010 10:54 am

2114874155_b660780928It’s tough work raising teenagers. As if worrying about their studies, drinking, partying, driving, and raging hormones wasn’t all-consuming enough, parents have recently had to fret about their Facebook usage. But one mom in Arkansas may have taken her parental concern too far.

A 16-year-old boy in the town of Arkadelphia is suing his mom, claiming that she hacked into his Facebook account and posted slanderous stuff about him on his page. The teen, Lane New, also alleges that his mom changed his email and Facebook passwords to lock him out of his accounts.

The mom, Denise New, is flabbergasted by the harrassment lawsuit. She says that like any other parent, she was just looking out for her son, and adds that her actions weren’t driven by any malicious intent. She told local TV station KATV:

“I read things on his Facebook about how he had gone to Hot Springs one night and was driving 95 m.p.h. home because he was upset with a girl and it was his friend that called me and told me about all this that prompted me to even actually start really going through his Facebook to see what was going on.”

Denise says she was so upset at what she read on Lane’s profile that she had to post some response on his page–though the specifics of the posts she left haven’t been revealed. Denise New told Associated Press:

“The things he was posting in Facebook would make any decent parent’s eyes pop out and his jaw drop…. He had been warned before about things he had been posting.”

Like any teenager, when Lane found out his mom was snooping around his profile, he wasn’t pleased. But instead of storming off to his bedroom to sulk, Lane slapped mom with a lawsuit. The suit alleges that Denise’s posts contained untrue material, and that they damaged his reputation.

PC World reports that Denise admits to changing the passwords on Lane’s accounts, but denies hacking into his Facebook page; she says the page was left open on her computer.

She also admits to making “maybe three, maybe four actual postings,” but says the rest of it was a “conversation” between her, her son, and his friends.

The teenager has been living with his grandmother over the last five years and Denise says, despite the current suit, she and Lane share a “great relationship.”  Denise also issued a warning to parents worldwide via the Associated Press: “If I’m found guilty on this it is going to be open season on parents.”

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Image:Facebook

  • cgray

    “Open season on parents”–Uh, more like open season on deadbeat parents who don’t take care of their own kids, rationalize their own bad behavior, and violate other people’s rights. Hope the kid wins his case, but this worthless woman still won’t learn anything.

  • http://andeatingit2.com Joanna Cake

    As with all stories reported in the Press, I suspect that there may be more to this than meets the eye.

  • http://cupofjoe.org Josey

    cgray, there’s no evidence that the woman was a deadbeat parent. After all, the kid was using the computer at her house and using her Internet connection … something a teenager likely didn’t pay for. The child is obviously an idiot if they’re posting about their illegal activities where their mom can see it. Hopefully the judge throws it out and the prosecutor is disbarred for wasting taxpayer money.

  • Lauren

    Facebook was the kids outlet to express his feelings and he was expressing about a breakup which is very important to teenagers. If the mom was that concerned about it she should have talked to her kid, like a normal person, about her concerns. Sometimes people get so wrapped up in their own emotions that they forget to rationalize and do the right thing. A parents actions are going to teach their kids how to deal with those situations and freaking out like she did of course made her son feel like he isnt even allowed to have his own thoughts. So dont do stupid things and your kids wont either!

  • Mike G

    Step #1) Make your own Facebook account.
    Step #2) Add your freaking kids under threat of no allowance and get INVOLVED in their lives.
    Step #3) Stop watching Fox News

    Thanks,
    The MANagement

  • Mike G

    Oh and @Josey:
    “there’s no evidence that the woman was a deadbeat parent” Mothers who leave their kids for their own parents to deal with are deadbeats. Yes, she pays for an internet connection he occasionally uses, yet her parents feed, board, and clothe him. This doesn’t account her breech of his CIVIL RIGHTS, its like she tied him up and dressed up as him one day and went to school to find out more about his love live and driving habits. This is most likely be settled without trial, but in either case, the mother will be paying a hefty fine.

  • Lady Kat

    Mike you have no idea why the child is living with her parents. Just because of that doesn’t make her a deadbeat. She could work weird hours or what ever and if she was a single mom who needed a safe place for her child to stay. We have no right to judge them since we only know the story that the Press wants us to know. Without ALL the facts how can you make any decisions. I am a mother of 5 and have been through alot of this as well and if you don’t keep an eye on your kids who will?

  • Milk

    @ Mike, Step 2,,, ha ha Do you use facebook??

    Thanks,
    Parents with NO Power.

  • marlon

    First off, let me start off by saying that I applaude this woman for doing what she was suppose to do!! Be a parent!! This world has become so deprived to the point that we are actually saying that she was wrong to go into her son’s acct, after she was prompted by a friend of his, read some very disturbing things on there, and post some comments as well as change his acct. information. Bottom line is that he is a child and a child needs to stay in a childs place! Furthermore, the audacity of this kid! I wish i would pull some the bull crap that these kids are doing nowadays to they’re parents! I have teens and we have a very open relationship of trust and understanding. I’m not they’re friend and they know that! They know that everything they do is under a microscope so long as they live in my house. Not because i’m mean….not because i’m cruel, but because I love them and it’s my job to make sure that even though they tell what they’re doing……I was once a teenager just like all of you and you know the mess you all got into!
    I think also that with the absence of a father figure, this boy has no guidance at all…..this is sad for parents all around.

  • Jill

    It will take this kid at least another decade to figure out what an idiot he is for suing his mother. Where did anyone get that she was a deadbeat parent? If he was using her computer, her internet service, and her electricity, then she had every right to do what she did. The prosecutor that took this on is a twit. No wonder kids act the way they do now.

  • Crystal

    Oh my gosh! Seriously?!?!?

    If a judge grants this I want to move out of country. How on earth would anyone violate the privacy of a family to take away the parent’s right to parent? Whiny kids…

  • Megan

    I think that the kid was smart. Not for suing but for understanding that there was a breach of privacy, even between a mother and son there are secrets. Everybody in the world has the right to some privacy. This kid used outlets in his friends. If his mother had a problem, she should have talked to him about it. She should have not gone behind his back, changing his page. He is 16, not 5. They should have talked about what he did. Instead she hurt him to his friends. He is in high school and that is a hard time for him. Let him make his own mistakes. “Whiny kids?”- parents need to learn that a kid needs to grow up with a trusting relationship with their parents, this kid was hurt and found a way to say so. A kid doesn’t get up and sue for just anything. I hope he wins, his mother should learn how to be a mother. What she did was something a little kid who is petty, mad, or jealous does. Grow up.

  • Megan

    Oh and @ marlon. He is 16. Sure he is young but not a child. He is delvoped mentally and should be treated as a young adult. Perhaps you forgot what its like to struggle to find who you are and work to grow into the person you want to be. FYI the parent didn’t seem to be a person to trust.

  • Daniel

    If she had legal custody of him then I could understand her feeling that she had the right to do this kind of behavior. However, since his grandmother is the one that actually has custody of him then I feel that she (the mother) was wrong in her actions. Instead, she should have consulted with the grandmother and proceeded with his custodian’s permission.

  • jordan

    all of you parents are clearly idiots he lives with his GRANDMOTHER not his mother which means she signed off her rights and is to no longer be involved with parenting or discipline she did it to be a b**** trust me my mother signed me off to my aunt and never communicates with me but still thought she had the right to do this the only difference is I merely threatened her with a lawsuit and she stopped but had the ill behavior persisted I would’ve taken the same course of action

    congrats lane for doing something to parents who aren’t capable of caring of their kids I hope you take her for all she has

    [Moderator's note: edited the cuss word.]

  • jordan

    oh and marlon you’re an idiot you spelled applaud wrong grow up

  • Kathleen

    Interesting concept. If this were anyone but her son, she’d be quilty of hacking. Parents do need to monitor, take care and make safe their children, that is the one responsibility that has not changed. But she isn’t his caretaker the grandmother is. Therefore her actions went too far. She handled it all wrong. The responsible thing to do would have been to go to him and have a serious sitdown talk and find out if she could help him. Not act irresponsibly like a criminal hacking his account through the computer. Her actions were underhanded and I guess we’ll find out if they were illegal.

  • Dana

    Ridiculous. The kid is in obvious need of help and by help I mean straightening out. 16 year old inexperienced, upset driver doing 95 miles per hour and not enough sense to know not to blab about it on Facebook? Honestly. Lucky he didn’t kill someone. And he’s embarrassed by anything his mom would say about him on Facebook? Really? The whole situation is just pathetic. They should both be embarrassed.

  • Xerox Foxx

    bad mom! sit, roll over, and lie down in a jail cell.

  • Xerox Foxx

    she should get sentanced to 100 hours of cleaning the boys room!

  • Melissa

    Wait a minute…
    She said that he had been warned about this behavior before. Obviously, this was something that she had been working on with him. Also, just because he lives with Grandma does not mean that mom is not involved or abusive. How many dads who are co-parenting would like to hear that they don’t have rights to parent their kids because the kids primarily live at the mom’s house. Some of the stuff these teens put out there is dangerous and offensive. Parents are ultimately responsible for what their kids do- in school, home, neighborhood, online. Who knows- she may have warned him that if he continued to abuse the online privledge that he would have consequences.
    Do you think he paid for the computer (no, it’s mom’s), owns the car that he drove 95 mph (right!), etc. And, unfortunately, now mom will also have to pay for this kid to sue her!
    Jordan, I feel sorry for you and whatever your situation was. Please don’t go through your whole life filtering everyone’s situations through your unfortunate upbringing. Get some help…you don’t have to carry this hatred and regret around for the rest of your life.

  • Minona

    *sigh* Helicopter parents. They need to get lives. I know through experience and watching others that if you treat a kid with the respect and honesty he/she deserves, then the kid will reciprocate the respect. If you snoop behind the kid’s back (like, oh, I don’t know, hacking his facebook), then the kid will treat you with dishonesty and disrespect. The mom was warned about his behavior; she should have sat Lane down then and talked with him openly (not talked AT, talked WITH).

    @Melissa: who knows, he might have paid for the computer. He might own the car. You don’t know. I know I flipped a LOT of burgers to get the FAMILY computer I’m typing on right now. Some parents not only don’t really pay for their kids’ luxuries, they also violate their kids’ privacy.

    That mom got what she deserved. It was Lane’s facebook, not hers. It’s simple, guys. If you want to get on facebook, make an account for yourself. Don’t go rifling through someone else’s account.

  • Jen

    Way to go Mom! I get tired of all the wimpy parents out there that are too concerned with their own lives to actually be a parent. Sure kids need some space but he obviously was out of control and not only facebook should be banned for him but the car, the license etc. etc. kids think that simply being a certain age automatically rewards them certain “rights”. instead of realizing that driving, computers, cell phones etc really are PRIVELEGES. and a privelege is something earned for correct behavior:::))) Hang in there Mom and stay tough.

  • David f.

    im 16 ive been through hell. when i was 10 my parents got devorced my mother signed off all rights to my father without even fighting. i was shocked and my father is now deceased. i live with my cousins and my mother has tried to hack my email, myspace,and facebook while i have had no contact with her in 3 yrs! i hope the boy wins.

  • Mariah

    what if you are in the same situation, but your only 14 years old.
    i ran away but came back and after i got home and moved out i found out that my stepsister and stepmom had been hacking my email address, my facebook, and my myspace! At first they gave me the passworsds that they switched it to but two days later after i had changed my password again it had been hacked… EVERYTHING! Facebook, myspace and email and i dont know how to get in… is that considered still legal? Besides all that she was sending out messages to my friends from my facebook account!!!! ? It upset me very very much and I still dont know what i can do but i think she should serve time or something because that was just wrong.

  • Megan

    @Mariah Do you have a father you can talk to? Why did you run away to begin with? I would start by seeing a counseler or psychologist just to get some outside support. They know how to deal with issues such as your stepmom and stepsister. They also have the job of helping YOUR life, not your parents, so you can trust them to help you. If you have the courage to run away from home, you should have the courage to talk to someone about your life, even though it may be hard. Also, a grandparent, aunt, uncle, older cousin, or even best friends mom/dad could help. Good luck.

  • reb

    “The teenager has been living with his grandmother over the last five years ”
    Obviously something more that what we are told. There has to be some animosity between the parent and kid because it sure doesn’t seem as though , “she and Lane share a “great relationship.”

  • Chris

    I once had my daughter steal my car in the wee hours of the morning and I found out how she drove erractically across three states because she left it on her on-line journal site wide open! Bet your sweet bippy I handled it! She damaged the car and soon owned the car after that! Let HER deal with the damage!

    As far as I can see, if anyone is stupid enough to leave a page open for the next person to see, then it’s on them!

  • Lane New

    For those of you who had an opinion against the child…you all pretty much had the wrong idea…This is the child a year later still standing to represent my perseverance. Honestly, do you people think I wanted the whole world to know what was going on in my life…you want to know who is responsible for that…my mother…I sure as hell didnt…i didnt want to go to court…I wanted what she was doing and saying to stop…She dids get on my facebook, she did change the passwords, she did say very hurtful things in front of hundreds of people that are on my account…one even went as far as to say having a child was the biggest mistake she ever made…I admitt i was not a perfect kid…I made my mistakes and I stood head up to them.

    From what Ive read on other websites, there are people who wanted to kill me, beat me, jail me, even excommunicate me from my church, because I am supposedly the devils son…wtf

  • Supersabregirl

    so glad to here this. amybe i will just send the link to my mom

  • Supersabregirl

    i applaud the son.  i would never have the courage to do that, and my mom is like that all the time.  she pretends she is me and talks to my friends

    • Mother123

      To get things straight, Facebook is a privilege, and you are a minor.  A young one at that.  You do not have the right to unfriend me and keep FB privileges while you are under my roof.  No one hacked your computer.  You left your FB page up.  After finding out you unfriended me when I tried to go to your page to find the date of a friend’s graduation party so I could arrange our travel schedule so you could be there, I realized that you must have unfriended me because you were doing something you shouldn’t be doing. I went in your room and your FB page was open on your computer.  And no, I do not talk to your friends as you.  You have broken our family rules and you are unhappy you got caught.  Your privileges are suspended.

  • http://www.facebook.com/betty.martin.9256 Betty Martin

    that teen needs to know what it feels like to take a trip to the shed an have ole timie butt whopping..then give her number to family an children services

  • http://www.facebook.com/betty.martin.9256 Betty Martin

    this teen needs to be took the shed given a ole timie butt whoppin..an thank her GOD  above for a parnet who cares

  • Unknown

    What if your ‘friends’ hack onto your facebook account and post stuff on your account and friends pictures, and Messages everyone on your friends list ‘your so sexy will you go out with me, I wanna have sex with you I love you your so hot I’m desperate.’ and more and they hack your email so in the end you just have to lock your account. Even if it is Legal which it shouldn’t be when I went to the school about it they did and said nothing told me to drop it and blamed it all on me even though I had both of my ‘friends’ admit to it.

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