Australian Flood Survivor Attacked, Bullied on Facebook

A cruel Facebook page drew attention to the physical beating given to an Australian boy after his family was killed in a flash flood.

Bullies created a Facebook page boasting that they beat an Australian boy after he’d survived the flash flood that had killed his mother and brother.

Ten-year-old Blake Rice was assaulted by up to six other teens at a skate park where he was reportedly bashed with sticks, leaving him with a broken collarbone. But that wasn’t it – later they created a Facebook page called “We bashed Blake Rice.”

Rice’s mother and brother were killed in a flash flood that swamped Toowoomba, Australia in January. Blake’s brother Jordan was called a hero by the media after he told rescuers to save his brother first, according to The Age.

According to the article, Toowoomba is a conservative town, “and something akin to ”tall poppy syndrome” had caused some in the community to react negatively to people who had received ongoing media attention over the loss of loved ones.” We’re guessing this means that people are jealous about the attention other community members are getting.

The mayor of Toowoomba reportedly said the attack on Blake was ”absolutely appalling” and the police would not comment on the investigation.

Blake’s father allegedly plans to move the family away from their home because the threats and attacks, both through social media and otherwise.

When we looked up the page on Facebook, we couldn’t find it; so hopefully that means it’s been taken down.

Do you think in an instance like this Facebook can help spread negative attention to people dealing with hard times? Is this another example of the dangers of cyber bullying?

Photo courtesy The Age

Publish date: April 8, 2011 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT