Zann says she was cyberbullied

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THE CANADIAN PRESS

TRURO - A member of the Nova Scotia legislature says she was cyberbullied by a group of people over the past two weeks after someone posted a topless photo of her online.

Truro and area MLA dealing with personal cyberbullying issue

TRURO - A member of the Nova Scotia legislature says she was cyberbullied by a group of people over the past two weeks after someone posted a topless photo of her online.

Lenore Zann said Friday the photo was taken from an episode in the cable TV series "The L Word," in which she played a small part in a prison shower scene in 2008.

When the photo was tweeted to her on Nov. 29, she asked the sender to remove the image, which she said included a message that said, "What happened to the old Lenore?"

But the sender refused, and the online conversation soon included others who retweeted the image and hurled insults at her, Zann said.

"I never signed on for having that image used for another purpose," she said in an interview.

"I signed a contract ... for my image only to be used in 'The L Word' show. It's not just the image of the picture that was disturbing. It was the way that these people ... suddenly targeted me. It increased in velocity and intent. It was constant and it was harassing."

The NDP politician, who represented Truro-Bible Hill-Millbrook and Salmon River, said she later complained to the sender's parents, the local school board, Truro police and Nova Scotia's new cyberbullying investigation unit, known as CyberScan.

Truro Police chief David MacNeil confirmed with the Truro Daily News on Friday morning that a complaint was received by his department on Dec. 1. He did not, however, confirm it was from Zann.

"We don't typically identify (who the claimant is)," MacNeil said.

But MacNeil did confirm the complaint did not result in a criminal harassment charge.

"It didn't meet the criteria of the criminal code" for criminal harassment, MacNeil said. That criteria includes repeated contacts and communication that is threatening in nature.

A spokesman for Nova Scotia's Justice Department said the CyberScan unit does not discuss details of individual cases, but Zann said she was told the five-member unit is still looking into the matter.

The Cyber-safety Act defines cyberbullying as any electronic communication "that is intended or ought reasonably be expected to cause fear, intimidation, humiliation, distress or other damage or harm to another person's health, emotional well-being, self-esteem or reputation."

The CBC reported that Nic Scissons, a 17-year-old high school student from Truro, said he sent the tweet, thought it was nothing more than a joke and the issue was blown out of proportion.

- With Truro Daily News files

 

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  • SusieM
    December 14, 2013 - 11:19

    This situation is one that should never have happened and is very disturbing. My understanding is the young man was bored, googled, found an image of our MLA, was shocked and posted it. The image is there for everyone to see. There are many more that are more crude in nature. Ms. Zann was paid for her work and it is public. Here is the problem: the cyberbullying law was put in place to protect our young people for something that was no fault of their own and to punish those who are callous and uncaring. They target someone by posting nasty remarks and /or pictures taken without consent. NOT a 55 year old women who was paid for her work that has been distributed on TV, video, online, and still images. I am very aware of the serious problem facing young people where alluring pictures are being taken off their personal sites by fraudulent people on social media and being sold for use on porn sites. I am also aware that sometimes these people convince the young person to remove their clothes and allow them to take pics of them for the promise of money. I reported an instance of this to the cyberbullying unit. They were very empathetic and concerned but the chance of them being able to press charges was slim..... this is a REAL problem. So, perhaps Ms Zann can understand why people see her concern as frivolous and abusive of a system that cannot even help our young people.

  • scott
    December 13, 2013 - 09:37

    What a joke this is!