Sandy Hook Victim's Family Tries to Trademark Her Name

Because of social media trolls
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 11, 2015 11:32 AM CST
Sandy Hook Victim's Family Tries to Trademark Her Name
This undated photo shows Victoria Soto. Soto, 27, was killed Friday, Dec. 14, 2012, when a gunman walked into Sandy Hook Elementary School.   (AP Photo/Eastern Connecticut University)

The family of a teacher killed in the Sandy Hook school massacre has applied to trademark her name in an attempt to stop others from misusing it on social media. Victoria Soto was a 27-year-old first-grade teacher at Sandy Hook Elementary School who authorities have said hid students and tried to shield others from the gunman who killed 20 children and six women. Eleven students in her classroom survived. Jillian Soto says people have set up fake social-media accounts using her sister's name, many of which promote conspiracy theories about the massacre, and some of which are used to harass her and other family members. "Vicki did a heroic thing, there are 11 kids that are alive today because of the actions of my sister," she says. "And we don't need anything negative to be tied to her name any longer."

She says the misuse of her sister's name also makes it harder for people to find links to the Vicki Soto Memorial Fund, which raises money for scholarships for aspiring educators. Ryan Graney, who helps the Soto family run its social media sites, says that every time an abusive or unauthorized Twitter account appears, she has to fill out a form and send it to the company. Twitter then does an investigation and determines whether the account violates the company's policies and should be removed. She says the family applied for the trademark protection on Monday in the hopes of expediting that process. "Now we can say, 'Look, they can't use this name, it has to come down right now,'" she says. (More Sandy Hook Elementary School stories.)

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