Micheal Winter, USA TODAY
Two Swedish teenage girls were found guilty of aggravated defamation on Tuesday for so-called slut-shaming 38 youths on the photo-sharing service Instagram, which led to rioting at two schools.
The 15-year-old girl whoadmittedopening the anonymous account was sentenced to juvenile detention, and her 16-year-old accomplice was given 45 hours of community service,reportedThe Local, an English-language news site in Sweden. They must also pay their victims a total of roughly $85,400, or about $2,250 each.
The 15-year-old began soliciting tips in December on "which young people are the worst sluts in Gothenburg," Sweden's second-largest city. Within days she had received nearly 1,000 suggestions.
The teen then published photos, mostly of girls, along with derogatory comments about their alleged sexual activities. Students were outraged by the cyberbullying, and riots broke out at two high schools, with crowds calling for revenge. Police arrested more than 30 youths.
The 16-year-old denied involvement, but she was implicated by the 15-year-old's testimony and by text messages that showed she was aware of the Instagram account. In announcing its verdict after a three-week trial, the court said she "had considerable difficulties in answering seemingly simple questions about factual circumstances."
Outside court, the attorney representing the plaintiffs, Arash Raoufi, said some of the victims "sound happy, they think it's wonderful. The damages themselves have been more a question of principal."
"Many think they are anonymous when they are sitting behind a computer and therefore take greater liberties than if that anonymity wasn't there," hesaid, according to Reuters.
"The verdict sends a signal to young people and society that this indignity culture cannot be allowed to exist. I hope it will also result in parents being more alert to what kids do at the computer."
Instagram, which was launched in 2010 and sold to Facebook last year, claims it has 10 million users.