To say the internet and social networks have changed all of our lives is something of an understatement.
And in the main it’s for the better, whether it’s the convenience of online shopping or the ever-growing number of social networks, the biggest of which being Facebook. Of course, it’s a great way for friends and acquaintances to stay in touch. But it comes with a dark side. And that’s the side that Katrice Lee’s family saw. Katrice went missing in Germany over 30 years ago. Her family are clinging to a hope that she’s out there somewhere, so when they received a message through Facebook they told the police straight away. But it was soon proven that the woman was a hoaxer and that’s where things took a turn for the worse. The Lee family, already facing a tough time, were bombarded with abusive messages on Facebook. And this just goes to show how easy it is. Call it cyber-bullying – but in this case it was much worse – call it harassment, whatever. It’s inexcusable and is facilitated by the internet. We see it time and time again, particularly on Twitter, where a storm of false accusations can be whipped up in minutes and within hours, it’s gone around the world. The woman in this case was given a police warning and we can only hope the message gets through. But this isn’t the first case of its kind and won’t be the last. We can only hope people begin to learn when it comes to the internet, it’s down to personal responsibility. But they should also remember that what they say and do online can cause real damage to people.