Police probing violent blog possibly linked to suspect in school stabbing rampage
TORONTO — A disturbing blog is being looked at closely by police after a stabbing rampage took place at Dunbarton High School in Pickering Tuesday morning.
The blog appears to be written by a young teenager who refers to wanting to kill herself and harming others.
Language like “hurt and kill as many people as I can”, “knives”, “shaking and freaking” and “get the police to shoot and kill me at the school” are seen in several posts. The latest entry refers to committing a “school stabbing today”. The posts also express a level of depression and the lack of acceptance, saying “Why can’t I just be normal”.
On Tuesday, 14-year-old girl, allegedly armed with two large kitchen knives entered the Pickering school and allegedly began stabbing people. According to latest numbers from Durham police, three staff members and six students were injured in the attack. The teen is facing 15 counts of assault.
“Nobody expected her to come to school with two knives,” one student told Global News. “ So coming to school I’m thinking, ‘what if somebody comes with a knife and gun tomorrow?”
Durham police told Global News they are looking at this specific blog and several other social media sites that may be connected to the suspect. Dave Selby, director of corporate communications says since the incident at Dunbarton High School, several witnesses have come forward with information to help in the police investigation.
But the blog, whether it is connected to the Dunbarton stabbing, or not, raises a number of concerns and questions over policing the internet and how things can be monitored to prevent future acts of violence.
According to police, there are around 300 known social media websites and to monitor each and every account, which could amount in the millions, would be impossible.
“The challenge with that is there are so many social media platforms, there are so many teenagers on those platforms, sharing information, expressing concerns.,” Selby said. “In this particular case that was not flagged to us, nor were we aware of it prior to.”
Authorities tell Global News they have their own internal methods of monitoring things, but it is often tips from individuals, schools, or organizations that sound the alarm bell.
In addition when it comes to checks and balances on the actual site, those social media sites are not legally obligated to report anything.
“Online there is no positive obligation for a website company, a social media company that hosts content, to monitor that content and ensure that no crimes are being threaten”, Internet lawyer Gil Zvulony said.
Similarly, anyone that follows a person’s blog or social media site is also not legally responsible to report anything they think might be concerning – the only obligation is moral one, which is left in the hands of the individual.
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