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Proposed Legislation Would Outlaw "Cyberbullying" in US

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posted on Jun, 9 2008 @ 12:10 AM
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Proposed Legislation Would Outlaw "Cyberbullying" in US


yro.slashdot.org

"We all remember the recent incident of 13-year-old Megan Meier. Now legislation is set to be passed at least in Missouri that would make cyberbullying illegal. 'Whoever transmits in interstate or foreign commerce any communication, with the intent to coerce, intimidate, harass, or cause substantial emotional distress to a person, using electronic means to support severe, repeated, and hostile behavior, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both'
(visit the link for the full news article)




posted on Jun, 9 2008 @ 12:10 AM
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I think the idea is right, something should be done to stop cyberbullying, but I am not sure how effective this will be. I mean, real life bullying is just as bad if not worse, yet it still happens every day.

I think the law will help prevent adults from online bullying but I don't think it will have much affect on minors.

yro.slashdot.org
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on Jun, 9 2008 @ 12:17 AM
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"Cyberbullying" may not be a good thing, but come on. You can get out of a situation such as this easily. When children are actually being bullied it is a bit different. You may not be able to easily escape the situation.

Getting a fine and imprisonment? This is outrageous.



posted on Jun, 9 2008 @ 12:23 AM
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reply to post by apolluwn
 


True, real life bullying is worse, yet nothing has been done to stop it or even slow it down. I don't think this legislation would even exist if it weren't for the case where the adult posed as a 13 year old and harrassed a little girl to the point where the girl killed herself. My understanding was that the adult wasn't really punished because they had no law to prevent what she did.

So if this legislation can prevent acts like that, then I suppose it will be a good thing... maybe?



posted on Jun, 9 2008 @ 12:32 AM
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reply to post by Karlhungis
 


I have no idea what happened to the adult to be honest with you. I don't like the loose language in this though.




Whoever transmits in interstate or foreign commerce any communication, with the intent to coerce, intimidate, harass, or cause substantial emotional distress to a person, using electronic means to support severe, repeated, and hostile behavior




the term ‘electronic means’ means any equipment dependent on electrical power to access an information service, including email, instant messaging, blogs, websites, telephones, and text messages.


The way this is all worded is WAY too open ended. What is harassment? How is it defined here? They define communication and electronic means, but do not attempt to define what is harassment. They don't even go on to say what is severe. Where is the line drawn?

Anything can be considered some form of harassment with this.


Edit:

Typo killed the quotes...



[edit on 6/9/2008 by apolluwn]



posted on Jun, 9 2008 @ 12:37 AM
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reply to post by apolluwn
 


I agree, the legislation leaves the door open for abuse. I wonder if it will do more harm than good. I can see it being used to stifle free speech or at least to attempt it.

It is a crappy issue though but a good illustration about one of the many things wrong with our society. Common sense and decency doesn't work any longer. We now need a law for everything and when the laws get put in place, they come with loopholes and end up doing more harm than good.



posted on Jun, 9 2008 @ 12:44 AM
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reply to post by apolluwn
 


The adult in this case has recently been indicted on federal fraud and conspiracy charges.

Lori Drew Federal Indictment


MAY 15--A Missouri woman was indicted today on federal fraud and conspiracy charges for her alleged role in orchestrating a cruel MySpace hoax against a teenage girl who later committed suicide. Lori Drew, 49, was named in an indictment handed up today in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles.



posted on Jun, 9 2008 @ 12:51 AM
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reply to post by Karlhungis
 


This doing more harm than good is what I am worried about.

I think what happened to that girl was terrible. Obviously, she was a bit emotionally unstable, but pushing someone to the edge like that was about the most horrible thing that could have been done.

It is sad that we need to make laws for issues like this, but when we do they need to be very concise as to what actually constitutes a crime. This makes so many things illegal it isn't even worth mentioning them all. Just think about all the message boards, online chat rooms, and online games even that are routinely filled with useless drivel that could be considered some sort of "harassment".

Most of this is done with some condition of anonymity. So then how does one prosecute such a case of "online harassment" without obtaining information about their identity? This could potentially lead to a lot of really bad legislation that impedes on peoples rights of privacy just because someone has claimed some sort of "harassment". This is not clearly defined and even the most frivolous of claims could be considered "harassment" whether or not there was seriously any intention behind what had happened. Even if there was no intention this would still have to be proven and the privacy of the individual claimed to have committed this "harassment" would have already been compromised.



[edit on 6/9/2008 by apolluwn]



posted on Jun, 9 2008 @ 01:14 AM
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If you're offended by text on your computer screen, get your ass out of the chair and go spend some quality time elsewhere.

Parents need to monitor their children on the Internet. Their children should not even be allowed to be in a situation where they are communicating with others, especially if the potential exists that the person they are communicating with is actually an adult.

Teenagers are more difficult, but parents still should be monitoring their communications on the Internet and, at the very least, sit down and talk to them about bullying and how to deal with it. You know, that crazy thing called SPENDING TIME WITH YOUR CHILDREN.

Adults - lets just say that if any adult kills themselves over what someone else said on the Internet, there were more issues there than just what the person said, and for that, the person should not be held responsible.

Long story short: this legislation is a waste of tax payer dollars and only further cracks down on the Internet. A lot of people "cyberbully", as defined by this legislation, and it is merely for entertainment. It may not be "nice", it may not be "politically correct", but overall, it is harmless. We need to look at the issues with the people who are allowing themselves to be emotionally distressed by this rather than criminalizing ordinary people just being stupid on the Internet to consume time.

It has gotten to the point in this country where we no longer make laws to prevent crime. We're making laws to prevent any socially unacceptable behavior. Laws should be made for behavior with criminal intent. Making fun of someone on the Internet, unless it is consistently targeted at one person by the same person over a long period of time, and has clear malicious intent, is not criminal behavior.

Immature? Yes. Stupid? Yes. Criminal? No.



posted on Jun, 10 2008 @ 02:37 PM
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This reminds me of the adage, "Sticks and stones my break my bones, but names will never hurt me."

If someone is bullying you on the internet, here is an idea - get off the computer.

The only people who would even be effected by internet bullying in my opinion are ones who are are psychologically unstable. Autistic children do not know how to deal with people in general, let alone bullying, and with 1 out of 10 being born with autism these days I can see a lot of children not able to understand any forms of criticism on the internet. These are the children that cry to mommy whenever someone calls them a bad word on the internet, but thats how they were raised. The second they were diagnosed with any form of autism the parents baby the children to the point of making their social ineptitudes worse. These parents do not allow the children to solve their own problems, build them with a false sense of being more special then other children, and automatically lower their expectations of how the child will perform in life. These are the worst things you could do for any child, autistic or not, and they wonder why these kids grow up with no friends and are bullied.

Anyway, this law I think is overboard and as most people know the internet is very easy to assume a false identity. I often change my MAC address when using wi-fi hot spots to provide a sense of security. It is also much too easy to anonymously slander someone as well, and I do not see how this proposal will change that. The internet is a haven for free speech both good and bad, and a highly critical area at that. People need to learn that it is just the internet and to stop taking things so seriously. When they come to your house and bully you - then you call the cops, but please leave the internet alone.



[edit on 10-6-2008 by deadline527]



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