Lionel Gougelot (in Vendin-le-Vieil) / Photo credit: Frederick FLORIN / AFP 10:28 am, June 02, 2023

In mid-May, 13-year-old Lindsay killed herself because of the bullying she was experiencing in middle school. And despite the death of the teenager, the harassment continues on social networks. A complaint has been filed against Facebook.

A "collective failure". These are the words of the Minister of National Education, Pap Ndiaye, after the suicide of the young Lindsay, a 13-year-old schoolgirl bullied at school. The family of the teenager announced Thursday the filing of four complaints against the management of the college, the Academy of Lille and the police officers in charge of the investigation. The social network Facebook is also targeted, as hate messages continued to rain down after the announcement of Lindsay's tragic disappearance.

Responsibility of social networks

A third-year student in Lindsay's middle school, Océane is also regularly the target of mockery and vexation. But when she saw on social media the hate messages still addressed to her comrade after her suicide, she felt nauseous. "There are messages where they say they were waiting for this, for her to commit suicide, there are others who said they were going to piss on her grave. I find it unacceptable that after his death we can still insult him. His memory is being sullied and that is unacceptable."

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Social networks such as Instagram or TikTok are co-responsible for Lindsay's death, according to Pierre de Buisson, the lawyer for the teenager's family. For him, they are unable to moderate or suppress insults and threats. "It's inconceivable that there wouldn't be an implementation of computer bots with extremely simple algorithms that could remove words like 'that whore', 'that bitch,' 'she's finally dead' in seconds," he said.

"We hope for a reaction from justice"

"So there is no control and it is a total violation of the provisions that are imposed on these social networks. Through these complaints, we hope that there will finally be a reaction from the justice system that for the moment has been below everything," adds Pierre de Buisson.

Moreover, Lindsay had foreseen it: "Despite all that has happened, they will always wish me harm," she wrote in a letter announcing her suicide. In this case, four minors are indicted for harassment leading to suicide.