School confession tweets: Fact or fiction?

Posted at 6:17 PM, May 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-20 14:15:13-04

Sometimes all it takes is 140 characters to raise eyebrows, or in this case, questions about what's going on inside Western New York schools.

We’re talking about a specific Twitter account, which 7 Eyewitness News is not naming for privacy reasons. The account posts thousands of tweets detailing purported student “confessions” ranging from school fights, to alleged drug use and even accusations about teacher-student relationships.

We reached out to many of the schools named in the tweets and those who returned our calls said they are aware of the Twitter account in question and investigate the accusations if needed. The schools also said they have no reason to believe any of the tweets are factual.

The Catholic Diocese of Buffalo released a statement that read in part:

"This is why we stress that our students be responsible about what they post on social media and why parents need to stress that as well."

The Diocese referred to the comments made about its schools as "rumors."

“If the statements made are true than they're protected. If the statements, however, are false than they fall within defamation,” said Attorney Florina Altshiler.

Altshiler says whoever is behind the Twitter account might be setting themselves up for legal trouble and the possibility of being sued in civil court.

“If those allegations are false than the person making those posts and whoever is managing that account could be held civilly liable for defamation.”

7 Eyewitness News spoke with parenting experts at EPIC, who offered advice on how to talk to children about internet safety.