Parents may be held liable in court for damages for things their children post on Facebook, according to a recent decision from the Georgia Court of Appeals.

A seventh-grader created a fake Facebook page for a classmate. The page used a “fat face” app to make the girl look obese, and included posts suggesting that she used drugs, was racist and promiscuous, and had mental health problems.

The girl’s parents complained to the school, which suspended the seventh-grader for two days and told his parents. The parents punished him, but they neglected to make him take down the site, which remained online for almost a year until the girl’s parents sued them.

The court said that his parents couldn’t be held liable for the fact that he created the site in the first place, because he did it without their knowledge. However, once they knew about the site, they may have had a legal duty to supervise his Internet use, including making him take the site down, the court said.

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