Disabled man cyber bullied on Facebook feels there's nowhere he - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Disabled man cyber bullied on Facebook feels there's nowhere he can go for help

Jason Plants says he has been cyberbullied on Facebook. (Source: WOIO) Jason Plants says he has been cyberbullied on Facebook. (Source: WOIO)

Just like children and teens, adults can also be victims of cyber bullying. Cleveland 19 News spoke to an Akron man who's been a victim himself.

Jason Plants, 29, was born with several disabilities including 7th nerve palsy. He says he's been through more than 100 surgeries.

“I have lung problems and facial problems, I can't smile on my right side,” Plants said.

Plants says the bullying started in high school.

“Teenagers would pick on the way I ate, the way I looked, anything,” he said.

Plants thought he left the days of bullying behind. But late last year, he joined a Facebook group called "Singles Meet and Greet" and the bullying started all over again. Online users picked on his looks and his disabilities, saying things like, "No one's going to date you,” and calling him expletives we can’t print.

The words stung.

“I thought that was ridiculous, and I started blocking them,” Plants said.

Some users even changed their profile pictures to his picture or created accounts in his name just to taunt him.

“He had a pic of me on his profile picture, and he had me like ET,” Plants said, pointing to one of the screen shots he took. Plants contacted Facebook looking for help, but he says they told him the conversations he kept a record of were examples of freedom of speech.

Cleveland 19 News checked Facebook’s bullying and harassment policy and it says they remove content that appears to purposefully target private individuals with the intention of degrading or shaming them. Cleveland 19 also contacted Facebook directly about Jason Plant’s case, but the site could not be reached in time for publication.

“Why can't you close the accounts on them when you know it's wrong?” Plants asked.

When asked if he thought about deleting his account, Plants said if he did that he'd be showing the perpetrators they're the winners.

“My advice to other people is -- don't listen to them. You're a strong person, too," he said.

Akron police say in cases like this, it can be nearly impossible to track down cyber bullies. They may use the dark web with no IP address and false accounts. Those who do get caught cyber bullying someone in Ohio can be charged with "telecommunications harassment" which can mean a $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail.

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