The parents of a Nova Scotia toddler who went missing this spring have spent the last six months coping with an added torment: thousands of people on social media accusing them of being responsible for their child’s disappearance.
“I get angry,” Jason Ehler, the boy’s father, told The Current’s Matt Galloway about what it’s like seeing the comments online.
“There’s no words for the feelings I get sometimes. You know, on top of trying to find my son and everything else, to deal with that, too? Shame on them.”
Three-year-old Dylan Ehler was playing in his grandmother’s yard in Truro, N.S., when he disappeared on May 6. Search and rescue teams found his boots, but there has been no other trace of him since.
Truro police have said investigators do not believe there was any foul play in the toddler’s disappearance.
Jason Ehler and Ashley Brown turned to the Truro community and social media to gather as many clues as possible about Dylan’s disappearance, plan search parties and simply keep their son’s image in the public consciousness.
But about a week after Dylan went missing, Brown said, people on social media began to turn their attention to herself and Ehler.
Some accused them of negligence leading to Dylan’s disappearance. Others accused them of orchestrating his disappearance, or even killing their own son.
The largest Facebook group dedicated to discussion about Dylan’s appearance has more than 17,000 members. Assuming each account belongs to a single, real person, that’s more than Truro’s entire population of about 12,000 people.
Ehler says he’s had to put security cameras around his home because he feared he and Brown were being stalked.
“People were taking pictures of our backyard and following us, and making up more rumours,” he said.
Brown says she has taken to going to a smaller grocery store because she felt people were glaring daggers at her during her visits to the larger supermarket.
READ FULL STORY AT: https://www.cbc.ca/radio/thecurrent/the-current-for-nov-12-2020-1.5799015/lawyer-for-missing-n-s-toddler-s-family-hopes-cyberbullying-law-can-stop-online-vitriol-against-boy-s-parents-1.5799322?cmp=rss