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to think it shouldn’t be on my daughter to delete her social media?(182 Posts)
DD (16) had some issues with a boy in her class. He had a crush on her, he asked DD out, she said no (not interested/she already has a boyfriend).
The boy took it badly and seemed to see her as some kind of challenge and subjected her to some wildly inappropriate behaviour, both online and in real life.
DD would block him, and he’d either create new accounts or use someone else’s phone to continue to message her or he would hang around outside our house hiding behind the bushes until she left for school or something.
I warned him off, DH warned him off, all her friends and her boyfriend warned him off, even her big sister and her boyfriend had words (and DD1 is enough to scare anyone) but he was completely obsessed.
Due to some additional needs that DD has, she has a mentor in school so we spoke to the mentor who had words at school, and we reported it to the police.
The police were great, spoke with school and visited him at home with his parents and warned him about his behaviour. He was clearly told that if he contacted her again, either directly or indirectly, he would be arrested.
All good. Her mentors have kept a close eye on it at school and all has been well for the last few weeks
Until this weekend. He sent DD a nasty, abusive message from a different number, and she then started getting some grief from a couple of his friends. DD blocked them all again.
I contacted the police again, gave then the original crime reference number so they had all the history and sent over screen shots of all the messages.
Their response - we can’t do anything, tell DD to change her number and delete all her social media.
We’re in the process of getting a new number, but she doesn’t want to delete her social media accounts, especially while we’re still in lockdown and she’s not allowed friends/her boyfriend over
She doesn’t post photos or anything like that but her friendship group all use Instagram DMs, group Facebook messenger and chats on WhatsApp. Her and her friends use WhatsApp video calls and revise together, she’s in a group video call and group chats for an Xbox game she plays so if she deletes all her social media she’ll end up cut off from all this.
I’ve gone back and asked for the original officers who dealt with it to look at it again - they’re on rest days at the moment so am waiting for them to contact me
Hopefully, once she’s changed her number they won’t be able to contact her via WhatsApp and stuff, but she hasn’t actually done anything wrong here so she shouldn’t have to remove herself from social media
That sounds terrible, is the boys family aware of his behaviour? What have their responses been?
Yes, the boys family are aware. The police visited him at home with both his parents in attendance
I think they think we’re making a mountain out of a molehill, I know they encouraged him to try and “take DD off her boyfriend” back at the beginning.
Completely agree with you OP, your poor daughter shouldnt have to delete her social media. She's a victim of stalking/harassment, why should she change her behaviour 😕
Also what are the school saying about it...
I hope the original officers get involved and deal with it properly. They said he'd be arrested if he contacted her again & he should be.
Parents need to given a stern talking to as well
It’s not that difficult to shut down accounts and open new ones. You then re-establish your messaging links and friend networks.
I had to do it once when my identity was stolen. So I had to do that plus change all my bank accounts and monitor my credit report etc etc.
My DD had to do it once also due to bullying
A friend has just had to do it because a man she turned down started filing complaints against her at work calling her a racist and stalking her.
It isn’t fair, but it’s the smart thing you do when targeted like that.
I'd wanna send the messages to his parents and ask them if this is the kid they wanted to raise.
Probably won't have any effect though.
She could make another account with a different name that she only tells people what she trusts.
That's a terrible response from the police, and doesn't actually prevent his behavior from escalating. Can you put in a complaint? I wonder if the Suzy Lamplugh trust might be able to offer some support or advice.
The police sound completely negligent - this is harassment/stalking and if they think deleting her social media will stop it they’re deluded.
No she shouldn’t have to do that at all. She is not in the wrong.
It's stalking and an offence. The police should be taking it a lot more seriously, and no, she should not have to delete her social media..
Poor girl. I wouldn't drop the police angle but in the meantime, could you help her set up new accounts with a slightly altered name.
Are her SM accounts set to private? DMs from non-friends on Instagram go to a request folder where they can be deleted without reading. I don't know about other SM platforms as Messenger used to do that but seems not to now.
Online status can be changed so she never shows as being online but can still interact with her friends.
I'm not sure about how to block non-saved contacts on WhatsApp but it might be worth a Google to see if it's possible. But again, it's one that you can change online status visibility and if she goes into aeroplane mode before opening any messages I don't think it shows as read to the sender (check that, I could be wrong).
Hope the original officers deal with it effectively. It's stalking and harassment and she deserves to have it dealt with as such.
I've seen police do this quite often, especially in domestic abuse cases. The onus is constantly on women and girls to change their number/ come off social media/ move house/ uproot their lives. It's not ok, and why on earth should they. They should be treating this as a harassment / stalking case (as there are repeat incidents) and acting accordingly
She should be able to set her SM to private so no one but her friends can message her. She can also set it so she has to add friends and so she's not searchable to people outside fb. Id also do a clear out of her friends list to make sure theree no one there she doesn't want messaging her
She shouldn't need to delete her SM. But equally at this point the boy has been approached by the police and is still harassing her. It might be the best solution right now
I would go back to the police and ask for them to put their advice in writing! Victim blaming at its best.....
Could she go on her social media under a nickname? That only her closest friends would know? Just have no profile photo up, or an anonymous photo? If the behaviour from the boy continues, Id see if any of his behaviour comes under stalking laws, or see a solicitor to get an injunction of some sort that he stays away. It's ridiculous you/your daughter are having these problems. Hope any other girls give this guy a wide berth.
I think your 2nd contact with the police was handled by a lazy officer who can't be bothered with an issue they have deemed as unimportant.
Iv had a similar issue and I googled who to complain to at the local police station, I sent an email, received a reply and the officer I had the issue with apologised in person.
In your position I would elevate it to the appropriate person at your local station.
Your DD does not have to put up with this or delete her SM due to inappropriate actions of some little shit, 💐
I think it's less about what's fair and more about what's sensible. She can use WhatsApp with her friends when her new number arrives. With regards to fbook/Instagram she can set up new accounts with a fake name and secure it so there's no way someone who isn't added as a friend can see her stuff. No pics made public etc. But really there's still a chance that he will twig its her based on whose friends list she's on. It's not going to be the end of the world if she stops using fbook etc for a while.
In the meantime continue to take it further within the police. There's no way he should be allowed to get away with this
Hasnt there been a new law brought in to include stalking as an offence? I would speak loudly about that to whoever you deal with in the police and insist that he is arrested.
Persevere with getting back in touch with the police officer you spoke to the first time; sadly police response to this sort of behaviour seems to vary wildly, and speaking to something who is sympathetic to the situation seems to be half the battle. She (or you) should keep copies of every piece of contact from his and his friends, as well as any anonymous harassment; in cases like this it's often the persistent nature of the unwanted contact that seems to enable the police to do something. You should also contact the anti-stalking helpline Paladin, who may be able to offer some useful advice paladinservice.co.uk. Then spend an afternoon going through her privacy settings on social media with a fine tooth comb, from memory if a number contacts you on WhatsApp you you can save the number, then block that contact on WhatsApp, and then delete the contact from your phone if you wish.
She'd have to actually delete her social media and not use it as just creating new accounts will mean he can still contact her through the new ones once he's found them which is easy enough for kids as their networks are huge.
I agree she shouldn't have to and in these times social media is very important for kids to feel connected. Although obviously it has a nastier aside which she's seen it shouldn't be for her to suffer
Aside from the police needing to take this a lot more seriously, and of course your DD shouldn't have to delete anything...
Why not just have all her social media privacy settings locked down? She should have this set anyway really. All the platforms you mention have settings where only your friends can message/call/DM you. So if she sets that, it doesn't matter how many accounts he makes, he and his friends wont be able to get in contact.
We have had similar issues with my dd and a group of 8kids. Police advice was close social media and change phone number. So now she is completely isolated and the group of kids had nothing just a chat with their parents and school. The parents are saying it's not their children but its coming from their phone numbers. Seem noone takes harrassment seriously with teens and the victim has to change everything
Sadly it's an early lesson in how victims of abuse and stalking are treated. Never too young to learn that.
Sorry if I sound jaded, but it's experience talking. It's almost always women who have to change their behaviour - leave the family home, uproot their children, don't antagonise, don't use social media, keep your head down. The list of what is expected of women is endless, while men seem to act with impunity.
Even when you do get a sympathetic person who understands the issue, a higher up will consider it a waste of their time and not worth bothering with. Bitter? Me?