Internet Law

Mom can't learn who created fake Instagram account in daughter's name; police say no crime occurred


After Reve Osheel, Tourette’s syndrome, spoke out against bullying, someone created a fake account in her name that included screenshots of photos from the Arizona 12-year-old’s real Instagram account, her mother says.

Expletive-laden messages posted by the imposter that seemingly came from Osheel have now created trouble for her and upset the friends to whom the messages were directed. But the girl’s mom, Brooke Barr—who shares the Instagram account with her daughter and in fact does the posting herself—suspects someone who knows her daughter is responsible. But she can’t get the police to investigate, ABC News reports.

“It’s a pretty crappy thing to do, but it’s not criminal in nature,” explained Sgt. William Sanger of the Gilbert police, who says he wishes the department could do more. “If they start making threats or something, then that’s different.”

Meanwhile, Instagram said in an email to the family that it doesn’t give out private account information without a warrant or subpoena, and hence Barr can’t get the social media company’s help in identifying the imposter, the article says. However, the fake account in Osheel’s name is no longer active.

“All I want to do is find out who this is,” Barr said. “Why can’t I trace the IP address to see who did this?”

Hat tip: Daily Mail.

Updated at 3:45 p.m. to include more detail from the underlying coverage.

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