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Megan Meier Family Picture  (Source: CNN)
Trial lawyers made their closing arguments Monday

The case of Megan Meier, 13, took the nation by storm.  The teenager was the victim of cyber bullying from a 47-year- old neighbor who impersonated an acquaintance of Meier.  The case highlighted the rise of online anger and aggression, in particular how the internet is becoming a new realm for harsh bullying.

The saga of Meier's death began when neighbor Lori Drew created a fake MySpace account, taking on the persona of an attractive 18-year-old boy named "Josh Evans".  Drew concocted the plan to get back at Meier for allegedly saying things about Drew's teenage daughter, Sarah, a former friend of Megan's.  She hoped to gain Megan's trust and then use the information against her. 

Her daughter Sarah and her eighteen-year-old employee were in on the scheme.  For weeks Drew bragged to friends and coworkers about her illegal MySpace page, which she mentioned to them was in violation of federal laws and the MySpace user agreement.

After initially romancing Meier, Drew's alter-ego began sending her nasty messages, culminating in a message where she stated, "The world would be a better place without you." 

Hours later, Meier hanged herself.

Federal agents sidestepped local authorities, due to what they felt were weak local cybercrime laws.  Charging Drew with federal computer charges, their case concluded Monday with closing arguments heard.

Mark Krause, an assistant United States attorney, stated in the closing arguments, "The defendant had a problem.  And that problem's name was Megan Meier.  Even after the tragic death of Megan Meier the defendant couldn't stop talking about her scheme."

The defense countered with Drew's lawyer, H. Dean Steward stating that Drew should not be held liable for violating the MySpace user agreement in a potentially criminal way as, according to him, when it comes to user agreements "nobody reads them."  He went on to claim that the case failed to prove any violations of federal fraud statutes and that, "You'd think this was a homicide case--it's not."

Drew, who lives by St. Louis in the suburbs, is up on four federal charges -- conspiracy and three counts of accessing a computer without authorization via interstate commerce to obtain information to inflict emotional distress.  Lori Drew refused to testify in the case, but her daughter testified emotionally in the closing day of the trial, bemoaning of her memory of key events, "I don't know."

The case now is in the hands of the jury.

In a related story, another teenager recently committed suicide on a video chat site, Justin.tv after being encouraged by users to kill himself.





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She should....
By Cheesew1z69 on 11/25/2008 11:31:21 AM , Rating: 5
Be held responsible, what the fuck is wrong with this woman at 40+ years of age, that she feels the need to screw with a 13 year old!




RE: She should....
By RMSe17 on 11/25/2008 11:40:35 AM , Rating: 2
yea. Screw that, manipulation is wrong, and to use your 40+ years of experience with people to manipulate a 13 year old is way messed up. Prison.


RE: She should....
By Nfarce on 11/25/2008 11:53:09 AM , Rating: 5
You know, we men get bashed by women all the time for being "warmongers" and violence/hate prone, yet when you look at it, women can be just as vindictive if not more so, especially when it comes to saving the face of their precious daughters in the eyes of others. Anyone remember that mother in Texas who killed a rival to her daughter over some stupid cheerleading position?

But back to this issue, both parties share fault. The parents of Megan should have been more proactive in dealing with her depressive behavior which she was apparently prone to before this incident even began to unfold. However, the majority at fault goes to the adult woman who screwed with the mind of a 13 year old easily impressionable girl. She should do many years behind bars IMO.


RE: She should....
By Fanon on 11/25/08, Rating: 0
RE: She should....
By Nfarce on 11/25/2008 12:13:08 PM , Rating: 5
If you do not believe that the parents of a 13 year old daughter who previously showed signs of depressive behavior share at least some blame here for not monitoring her online activities, then I surmise that you'd argue that guns kill people and eating utensils make people fat.


RE: She should....
By Gzus666 on 11/25/2008 12:23:35 PM , Rating: 5
You forgot the ever present bartenders cause drunk driving deaths and accidents. Ridiculous, if your depressed child killed herself, it was because she was depressed.


RE: She should....
By Suntan on 11/25/2008 1:00:59 PM , Rating: 4
Bartenders are not the legal guardians (thereby being legally responsible for their well being) of the people they are serving. Also, bartenders are serving people over the legal age and by definition, are not minors. Lastly, bartenders *are* held responsible for the actions of children that they serve alcohol to. But other than that your analogy sorta fits.

-Suntan


RE: She should....
By F41TH00 on 11/25/2008 1:38:27 PM , Rating: 2
I would agree that she should be responsible to the event. But, in her defense, who doesn't bully? Kids at school bully each other, but the question is, do the victim have to take it that far to commit suicide?

Here's my point of view. Why in the world a 13 yr old kid would trust the word "The world would be a better place without you" from somebody else that is not a family?. How many people got broken heart? These all mental strength. I would agree if someone says that a 13 yr old kid doesn't have the mental strength to deal with 40+. No doubt. But simple teaching will do by the parents. Parents always teach to listen to them and trust no strangers. I would definitely agree that Drew is guilty IF she has physically helped her to commit suicide. Who made the choice to commit suicide? If all kids have Meier's mentality, then most of them already committed suicide. Bully happens every day and every where you go.

I do concern when Meier committed suicide, but we're living in the world that have different influence. Either good or bad. It's up to parents or teacher or others to share their knowledge how to survive in this world. Blaming one person or pointing finger at someone does not solve the issue. Sure the bully will stop because of the court case or a judge said so. Would it be better if the kids have stronger mental strength so whoever try to bully them it will not effect them much? Just like we drink vitamin everyday, to get our body stronger. We do not need to point finger to others.


RE: She should....
By Murloc on 11/25/2008 3:16:29 PM , Rating: 5
this woman is just mad, sociopathic or something.


RE: She should....
By Gzus666 on 11/25/2008 4:46:05 PM , Rating: 3
Is there a law against being mad or a sociopath? If there was we would surely be out many artists and business men respectively.


RE: She should....
By mars777 on 11/25/08, Rating: -1
RE: She should....
By ecktt on 11/26/2008 8:55:21 AM , Rating: 1
WTF!
FFS, if I tell you go drive into a tree would you?


RE: She should....
By TreeDude62 on 11/26/2008 9:42:19 AM , Rating: 4
Last time I checked the bullys at school were not 47. That would be like a teacher bullying a student. It is that fact that makes her guilty of homicide. If she were in the same age group, you could say she really did not understand the effect she was going to have. But she is 47 and knew what she was doing.


RE: She should....
By porkpie on 11/26/2008 5:39:14 PM , Rating: 1
Are you freakin kidding me? Homicide? Because she told a girl "I don't like you any more"? Are you on crack?


RE: She should....
By mindless1 on 11/25/2008 1:11:19 PM , Rating: 4
Uh, monitoring? Is that like being at fault if you watched a drunk driver slam into your child in the front yard while you watched them play? Remember, the parents didn't know this 40 something psycho was up to anything until it was too late. Nor did Megan AFAIK.

While anyone wants to shield their child from the real world, everything can't be censored, every teen has ups and downs while growing through their teenage years. The main thing that needs to happen is for predators like this 40 yo woman to be put where they can't harm children. Remember that Megan was alive even if troubled, before Drew came along, and Drew intended to cause harm even if she was too pathetic to realize the full extent of her actions.

If a gunman says "yeah I intended to shoot the guy but I didn't want him to die (meaning I don't want to get in trouble), just to be harmed", is the gunman any less at fault? Remember that IF Megan was actually emotionally instable enough for it to play a part in this, then Drew would've also recognized that and played upon it. That's the worst kind of scumbag to do such a thing,


RE: She should....
By Samus on 11/25/2008 1:33:23 PM , Rating: 2
I agree with mindless and everyone else who shares that view. Normally I'd lean the majority of blame on the parents in the case of a childs' suicide, BUT, this case is entirely unique in that ANOTHER parent had a direct affect on the death. It's one of the most conceeded things imaginable, and the way she went about it, bragging and laughing, is just totally fucked.

Guns don't kill people. People kill people. Just like in this case.


RE: She should....
By Suntan on 11/25/2008 1:48:56 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Normally I'd lean the majority of blame on the parents in the case of a childs' suicide,


So what would be a "normal" child suicide in your book? And how would the parents in that scnario be any more/less responsible due to their lack of parenting?

Sorry, but manipulation or not, a "normal" kid doesn't just decide to off themselves in the span of an afternoon because a boyfriend (imaginary online type or not) dumps them and says something nasty to them. If that were the case none of us would ever have been born and the human race would have ceased generations ago as it is not all that unusual for a teenagers to break up.

-Suntan


RE: She should....
By Gzus666 on 11/25/2008 2:14:57 PM , Rating: 3
Exactly, the girl had problems, the parents knew it. If your child was a schizophrenic, would you not watch them closer? Same goes for manic depression.


RE: She should....
By Lerianis on 11/25/08, Rating: -1
RE: She should....
By masher2 (blog) on 11/25/2008 1:58:29 PM , Rating: 4
> "Remember, the parents didn't know this 40 something psycho was up to anything..."

Neither did the girl who committed suicide. From her perspective, she met a boy, he initially liked her, then told her to get lost -- in other words, a perfect replica of a situation that happens millions of times a year in teenage America. 99.85% of the time without either party committing suicide. Had "Josh" been a real person, odds are his behavior would have been exactly the same...and the outcome as well.

The parents *did* know their daughter had emotional problems, however, and quarrelled with her own mother shortly before killing herself (funny how that part usually gets left out of the story, eh?)

And now a mindless mob wants to burn this woman at the stake, for saying rude things to a teenage girl who had been, by all accounts, abusive to her own daughter? God forbid that become enshrined into legal custom, for if so, myself and hundreds of thousands of other parents will be rotting in jail far longer than this woman.


RE: She should....
By nycromes on 11/25/2008 2:33:58 PM , Rating: 2
This goes a little beyond just saying some bad things. This was a planned attack on this young girl that amounts to nothing more than child abuse. The scenario you describe is between minors, which is a totally different situation.

The parents are partially responsible, but this girl is dead because of the abuse of another adult and the adult responsible should be charged with a crime. She shouldn't be burnt at the stake, but she should have to answer for her actions.

As to the quarrel, I don't know much about it, was it regarding this situation? I would not be against the parents being tried by a jury either to see if they are responsible for any part of this suicide.


RE: She should....
By masher2 (blog) on 11/25/2008 2:51:29 PM , Rating: 5
> "this girl is dead because of the abuse of another adult "

I disagree. If you unwittingly pick up a bomb-containing package and shake it, are you responsible for the explosion? This girl was a time bomb waiting to go off.

Being dumped by her "boyfriend" certainly shook the package, but I'd argue her tearful argument with her mother -- the last event immediately before her suicide -- was an even more proximate cause.

As for this woman "answering for her actions", we have a legal code for a reason. If she broke a law, let her be tried for that. But talk of life in prison is just plain silliness. Not long ago, I witnessed an attempted murder trial for a man who tried to saw off his ex-girlfriend's head. She survived, luckily...no thanks to him. His sentence? Five years, out in two point five.

Reasonable people don't commit suicide simply because they're insulted by someone they've never met. Reasonable people don't expect others to do so either. Holding this woman responsible for a suicide is unwarranted, especially when the evidence linking the two events is so tenuous.

Again, if a law was broken here, cite it and charge her with it. But most of these posts display nothing but a vigilante mentality, seeking for a scapegoat to assuage their own emotions.


RE: She should....
By nycromes on 11/25/2008 2:59:27 PM , Rating: 2
Okay... Child abuse...lets go with that.

And this woman didn't unwittingly do this to this child. She planned it out, collecting information on this girl and using it against her to cause pain.


RE: She should....
By masher2 (blog) on 11/25/2008 3:07:28 PM , Rating: 5
That's the parent's side of the story. According to Drew, she didn't "romance" Meier, she befriended her, as Meier had been abusing her own daughter, and she wanted to find out what she was up to. After befriending her, Drew then sent a series of messages intended to make her feel guilty for her improper behavior. So what's the actual truth? Somewhere in the middle, I suspect.

Let us not forget that this girl had attempted suicide before. If Drew was responsible for the second one, who was responsible for the first?

The death of a child is never an easy matter. Seeking a scapegoat may sooth our emotions...but is it truly justice?


RE: She should....
By SilthDraeth on 11/25/2008 4:42:34 PM , Rating: 3
I agree with Masher in this, and was going to post something similar.

Unlike real bullying, cyber bullying is only possible with both people's consent.

You are forced to attend school, and if some kid insults you and beats the crud out of you in school, you were forced to be there.

Online, you choose to do this social networking, and you take the full responsibility with dealing with internet and anonymity it provides. If you don't like what is being said, you extract yourself from the area. You are not forced to be there, and if you can't handle the pressure you leave.

Sure the woman was mean spirited, but she didn't cause the suicide, just as Blizzard isn't responsible for idiots dieing from playing World of Warcraft for 48 hours with no food, water or sleep.


RE: She should....
By just4U on 11/26/2008 9:51:25 AM , Rating: 2
I do believe that woman shares some blame for her part in helping to push that girl over the edge. But what should she be charged with?


RE: She should....
By ChickenMcTest on 11/26/2008 2:39:07 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Let us not forget that this girl had attempted suicide before. If Drew was responsible for the second one, who was responsible for the first?


The first suicide attempt has little relevance here. Megan killed herself as a direct result of the actions of Ms. Drew.

MS. Drew is old enough to have recognized the harm her actions were causing to a very young girl. Drew knew that Meier was attracted to her on-line persona. Drew used that attraction to hurt Meier.

I am not saying Drew is wholly responsible for the suicide, however, she certainly bears some responsibility. I think the courts should decide if some form of punishment is warranted for her bad deeds.


RE: She should....
By masher2 (blog) on 11/26/2008 5:43:02 PM , Rating: 2
> "The first suicide attempt has little relevance here. "
On the contrary, it demonstrates a predisposition to do so. In our legal system, we judge the results of actions by how a reasonable and ordinary person would react to them.

Reasonable people do not commit suicide because someone they've never met sends them a rude message. Which means its unreasonable to expect such as a result of such an action.

> "I think the courts should decide if some form of punishment is warranted "

It appears the prosecutors have already decided Drew bears no culpability for the death at all, which is why after two years of investigation, they did nothing but charge her with a minor EULA violation.


RE: She should....
By DASQ on 11/28/2008 3:06:14 PM , Rating: 1
No, this is poor, poor logic.

If I told you to go kill yourself, and you did, would I be charged with murder? God no I wouldn't! That's ridiculous! The choice was made by you. The choice. Drew did not wrap the rope around Meier's neck and kick the chair out from under her. Megan did that all by herself. This is just scapegoating, nothing more.

But apparently words are murder now, if this goes through. Drew bears the responsibility of being a big bitch, that's about it though. 'bad deeds'? Who are you, Santa Claus? We're gonna take away your freedom because you didn't share your fruit snacks at Recess.


RE: She should....
By 91TTZ on 11/26/2008 11:33:40 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
The parents are partially responsible, but this girl is dead because of the abuse of another adult and the adult responsible should be charged with a crime.


False.

This girl is dead because she hung herself over something trivial.

Millions of people have to deal with breakups, and occasionally a mentally unstable person will kill themself over it. It is not anyone else's fault that they have mental issues.

While this woman was pretending to be a young boy, the reality is that she was merely imitating events that often do happen in real life. This girls reaction was completely disproportionate to the action.


RE: She should....
By Solandri on 11/25/2008 2:44:52 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Neither did the girl who committed suicide. From her perspective, she met a boy, he initially liked her, then told her to get lost -- in other words, a perfect replica of a situation that happens millions of times a year in teenage America. 99.85% of the time without either party committing suicide. Had "Josh" been a real person, odds are his behavior would have been exactly the same...and the outcome as well.

I dunno about that. Drew set up the whole situation with the "breakup" as the inevitable conclusion with the intent to create as much emotional distress as possible. It's impossible to say without reading all the messages the two exchanged, but I suspect it wasn't like 99.85% of relationships that end in breakup, it was probably much, much worse. By design.


RE: She should....
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 11/25/2008 3:26:03 PM , Rating: 4
You suspect quite a bit, but in a court of law, you need to prove it. So I want proof that this was the case. Otherwise, she walks. No crime was committed here.


RE: She should....
By Solandri on 11/25/2008 3:38:11 PM , Rating: 2
Right. If the messages were logged or saved, then the truth should come out. I was just challenging the assertion that nothing out of the ordinary happened here. It too lacks proof.


RE: She should....
By masher2 (blog) on 11/25/2008 3:48:59 PM , Rating: 3
The media's account of these messages seems to have grown over time. For instance, early accounts said Meier was told "this place [i.e. MySpace] would be better if you left". Now it's become "the world would be better off without you".

Sadly, the most important facet of the situation wasn't logged at all-- the rather violent argument Meier had with her mother shortly before committing suicide. I'd suspect that as the proximate cause here...but I doubt anyone but her mother will ever know the full details of just what happened there.


RE: She should....
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 11/25/2008 3:49:38 PM , Rating: 3
I would be if all the materials were made public, sympathy would dry up in short order. It's the assumptions and the angry mob syndrome that are drumming up the sympathy for this girl. Frankly I see no crime here based on the evidence available, and would be willing to bet that there wasn't one since they are charging her with an EULA violation. They typically charge you with the worst crime they can, and tack on the other ones as well. In this case no murder, assisted suicide, threats, or any other charges are on the books for this mother. I have to conclude that no laws were broken and they are trying to nail her with a breach of contract. Even then its small fries.


RE: She should....
By Lerianis on 11/25/2008 10:01:37 PM , Rating: 1
Even if the woman's intention was to create 'as much emotional distress as possible'... you have to wonder what the hell her parents were teaching the girl who suicided!
If they would have told her "Hey, there are plenty of fish in the sea, don't get hooked on solely ONE GUY because you are inevitably going to be disappointed!".... I doubt this would have cause as much 'emotional distress' as it did.

That is what I tell ALL children and teenagers: don't get too hooked on one person, they are most likely going to leave you sooner or later, even if you are over 18, so just get used to it and deal with reality.
'True love' is the biggest piece of shite ever to come out of religion. There simply isn't any such thing, and different circumstances can drive people apart. Heck, most people get together, and then find that they are NOT compatible whatsoever because of various things.


RE: She should....
By 91TTZ on 11/26/2008 12:00:02 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I dunno about that. Drew set up the whole situation with the "breakup" as the inevitable conclusion with the intent to create as much emotional distress as possible. It's impossible to say without reading all the messages the two exchanged, but I suspect it wasn't like 99.85% of relationships that end in breakup, it was probably much, much worse. By design.


It doesn't matter how bad the taunting was. The truth is that words cannot physically hurt somebody. This kid did all the physical harm to herself.

You are not responsible for what other people do to themselves.


RE: She should....
By Jypster on 11/25/2008 10:55:32 PM , Rating: 2
Masher, while I generally agree on your views with most things, some of the points you have raised here are a bit misleading and a bit worrying.

What I mean by misleading is your statement “99.85% of the time without either party committing suicide” Where did you get this figure ? Are you talking about suicides after relationship breakups or teenage suicide in general? 0.15% of teenagers commit suicide, that sounds like a very small number and really does take the sting out of it. That is what I mean by misleading. Try saying that around 45,000 teenagers committed suicide in the US last year.

Now here in Australia where I can get the figures as as my partner works for the Department of Child Safety. It is estimated that only 1 in 20 attempts succeed. These are only the ones that are reported.

So take these figures back to your 0.15% and it is looking pretty ugly isn't it? Or did you just make up that 99.85% figure ? If so .. well I have seen how you have responded on these forums to people that make up figures before.

You also state that you say rude things to teenagers ? We are talking 13 year olds here not some smart arse 17 year tosser. So you think that as you and thousands of other parents do it is it ok? Aren't we supposed to be the Adults here and act responsibly. Would you think it is ok for a parent to be saying rude things to your 13 year old child ? For the sake of yours kids I hope you don't think that is OK. You don't teach Children by being rude or abusive to them.

As for this case itself. I do agree we simply do not know enough to come to any sort of conclusion. But surely some some a alarm bells must ring if an Adult feels that this is a correct course of action to take.


RE: She should....
By masher2 (blog) on 11/26/2008 12:11:31 AM , Rating: 2
> "Or did you just make up that 99.85% figure ?"

It was based on my remembrance of a old report. However, from looking up the actual data, it appears I was actually overly pessimistic. The real value in the 15-24 age group (the youngest for which there are statistics) is 10.8 per 100,000. Assuming the rate for 13-year olds is even half that (suicides among people younger than 15 are very rare) and assume optimistically that fully half are due to a failed relationship, and the actual rate is closer to 99.9975%. Source data:

http://www.suicidology.org/associations/1045/files...

> "Try saying that around 45,000 teenagers committed suicide in the US last year."

That figure seems to be wildly incorrect. According to the CDC, for all age groups combined (not just teens), there were only 32,000 suicides total in 2005. For the 15-24 age group, the value is roughly 1/10 this. For teens alone, (excluding ages 20-24) the value is likely closer to 1/20 that, or about 1500 total.

http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/dvp/suicide/suicide_data_...

> "Would you think it is ok for a parent to be saying rude things to your 13 year old child ?"

It all depends on context. If my teenage child gets out of line at school, I most certainly hope some adult will speak rudely to him. And to me also, should the problem recur, and I fail to take corrective action myself.

If some stranger spoke rudely to him without provocation, I'd have a problem with it . . . but I also wouldn't be calling for life in prison for them for doing it.


RE: She should....
By Jypster on 11/26/2008 12:42:34 AM , Rating: 2
Thanks Masher, thought it wasn't like you to make up stats. 45K was based on what you said and I just ran with that <winks>.

Still 1500 dead kids is a horrible thought. The local school here dead each year. Lets take the Aust stats into account with only one successful attempt out of 20. That is still alot of kids calling out for help isn't it ?

I would much rather if my Child needed correction for his behavour that he was spoken to sternly, not rudely. If I am speaking to my 21 year old or my 13 year old twins I am stern, never rude. I expect Adults to be above being rude to people to make a point, isn't that one of the defining things that make us more mature ?

But like you said and I agree we simply don't know enough about this to really say what happened. But she sure needs a clip under the ears for it at least.


RE: She should....
By wvh on 11/26/2008 3:49:29 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
From her perspective, she met a boy, he initially liked her, then told her to get lost -- in other words, a perfect replica of a situation that happens millions of times a year in teenage America. 99.85% of the time without either party committing suicide. Had "Josh" been a real person, odds are his behavior would have been exactly the same...and the outcome as well.


But this is not a 13-year old boy. This is an adult deliberately abusing superior emotional understanding to hurt a child. 13-year olds can be cruel, but don't have full understanding of the consequences of their actions, and on the whole are incapable of such complex deceit. The playing field just isn't fair. If my wife hits me, it might hurt; but if I'd hit her, she might die. This makes me more culpable than her; with greater power comes greater responsibility. I hope you do see the difference between two 13-year olds fighting and a 40-year old adult beating the pulp out of a 13-year old child.

All teenagers have emotional issues. I'd be surprised to find teenagers that have absolutely never thought about suicide.

This woman did a horrible thing, and the fact she bragged about it doesn't exactly make her more likeable, either. She deserves to be punished, even though I don't have a clue how much would be appropriate...


RE: She should....
By masher2 (blog) on 11/26/2008 5:37:31 PM , Rating: 2
> "I hope you do see the difference between two 13-year olds fighting and a 40-year old adult beating the pulp out of a 13-year old child."

But no one got "the pulp beat out of them". They simply received a rude message or two...and, interestingly enough, the truly rude messages which were supposedly sent were ones that magically vanished and never got logged. Doesn't that make you even the slightest bit suspicious?

In any case, you're still skirting the real issue. Any lovelorn 13-year old girl cruising Myspace is going to eventually have dozens of boys say much worse than this to her. If these messages were truly the cause of this suicide, then Megan Meiers was already dead, with or without Drew. It would have been unavoidable.

Worse, the most proximate cause of this suicide doesn't even seem to have been this breakup, but rather Megan's subsequent argument with her mother. Meiers had attempted suicide before-- also just after an argument with her mother. If there's any emotional abuse at all here (and I rather doubt there is), I think it's clear its all from the same house.


RE: She should....
By Fanon on 11/25/2008 1:46:38 PM , Rating: 2
If I were a "guns kill people" type I'd say it was MySpace's fault.

Depressive behavior? I've read four articles on this subject and nothing says anything about depressive behavior.


RE: She should....
By Nfarce on 11/25/2008 2:49:14 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I've read four articles on this subject and nothing says anything about depressive behavior.


Amazing how several other posters have made that accusation too, huh? Think we made that up, or did the four different articles you read just leave that part out?

From Thursday's testimony last week:

Drew, Grills continued, "was kind of quiet for a second and then her husband started yelling at us to get rid of the MySpace" account for "Josh."

Grills said Drew immediately began consoling her daughter, saying, "We could've pushed her overboard because she was depressed and suicidal ."

http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Woman-Testifi...


RE: She should....
By Fanon on 11/25/2008 5:02:48 PM , Rating: 2
Wow! Only the people responsible for her death (not her parents) said she was depressed and suicidal! Yeah, I guess if someone killed themselves over what I said, I'd try to make it not my fault, too.

Got anything else? What you presented means nothing.


RE: She should....
By masher2 (blog) on 11/25/2008 5:16:06 PM , Rating: 4
Direct testimony from the trial:
quote:
A composed Tina Meier [Megan's Mother] told jurors her daughter was taking medication for attention deficit disorder and depression and that she struggled with low self-esteem. Concerned about her daughter’s safety, Meier said she had Megan’s father reverse the lock on her bedroom.

“I was nervous she would do something,” said Meier, adding that Megan previously tried committing suicide ...

[When she arrived home], Megan was crying. “Josh” and two other girls were saying mean things about her, Meier said...

She said she told her daughter that she wasn’t supposed to be online without her being there.

“The last words she said to me were ‘You are supposed to be my mom, you are supposed to be on my side,’ ”

The teen’s mother said she later ran upstairs and found Megan hanging in the closet with a belt around her neck

That's rather definitive, I would say.


RE: She should....
By Fanon on 11/25/2008 5:34:24 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks, Masher2. That's all NFarce had to post to shut me up =/


RE: She should....
By BigPeen on 11/26/2008 3:21:27 AM , Rating: 2
I'd have low self esteem too if I was a teenager and my parents were telling me I was too stupid for school and needed drugs to get through it. (I'm referring to ADD meds FYI)


RE: She should....
By afkrotch on 11/26/2008 8:59:33 AM , Rating: 2
She could have just did like other teens. Start snorting blow and hang out with a bad group of kids. They don't care what you look like and she probably would have gotten laid by the drug dealer too.


RE: She should....
By Nfarce on 11/25/2008 5:18:25 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Wow! Only the people responsible for her death (not her parents) said she was depressed and suicidal!


Hey dude, what I presented was testimony in a court of law. If you have a problem with that, it's not my fault! But, I see you chose to ignore that several other bloggers knew about Megan's unstable background.

quote:
Got anything else?


Glad you asked, dude:

The case is heartbreaking. A beautiful, but psychologically disturbed 13-year-old girl named Megan Meier was a depressed teen who was on medication for depression and Attention Deficit Disorder from the time she was young.

http://www.postchronicle.com/news/original/article...

As John Adams said when defending the British soldiers accused of the Boston Massacre, facts are stubborn things.

Plenty more where that came from too if you want more facts on the case...just let me know. I'm just the messenger.


RE: She should....
By Fanon on 11/25/2008 5:33:22 PM , Rating: 2
Hey dude, you do realize the testimony you quoted came from the people impersonating "Josh", correct? I defer you to my previous statement, as what you provided was meaningless. What Masher2 provided was concrete proof.


RE: She should....
By Nfarce on 11/25/2008 8:59:51 PM , Rating: 2
Hey dude, first of all, I wasn't trying to "shut you up." I was defending a comment made (along with others) that this girl had mental issues. I followed this case and remember that part of the story.

The fact that you spouted off that you read "four articles" that didn't mention that mental illness fact and acted rather defensive speaks volumes about you. Instead of just knee-jerking with a response, why didn't you do a little research? After all, for the THIRD time now to remind you, when several other bloggers make a similar comment (in this case about a girl having mental illness), then chances are it's probably true and you should do your homework. Dude.


RE: She should....
By LivingDedBoy on 11/25/2008 4:55:27 PM , Rating: 2
You forgot, 'And it was that pencils fault for failing your math test.'


RE: She should....
By ImSpartacus on 11/25/2008 10:01:27 PM , Rating: 2
Do you know why it would be difficult to prove this is homicide? Because it's not homicide, it's suicide.

People should be responsible for their actions, but they cannot take responsibility that is not there's.

Everybody is shocked that some woman apparently badgered a girl into suicide. No one is thinking this through logically.


RE: She should....
By just4U on 11/26/2008 10:24:59 AM , Rating: 2
A scenario: Your child comes home from school all bloodied after getting the crap beat out of him/her. You decide to get even by beating the hell out of the bully who did this. What happens? Has the adult committed a crime?

They say that Emotional abuse is in many cases alot worse then Physical and what this woman did was very wrong. While I don't think she should be charged with homicide the fact of the matter is she manipulated a 13 year old with malicious intent that was most likely a contributing factor in the child's eventual suicide. Her intentions were not pure and everyone pretty much agree's on that... but I don't see how anyone can't see where she has done wrong.


RE: She should....
By Lerianis on 11/26/08, Rating: 0
RE: She should....
By BigPeen on 11/26/2008 3:17:18 AM , Rating: 2
I didn't know she broke the law? Could you point out which one she violated? Being a douche and lying to people is not illegal. If it were, LOTS of us would be in jail.


RE: She should....
By biggsjm on 11/25/2008 1:18:11 PM , Rating: 3
The problem I have with this is that, now, they are passing laws to deal with this. Laws that would make it illegal to lie about anything when creating an online account. That's not the way to go.

If this woman is culpable, i think it should be for the fact that she knew this child had issues with depression and that she willingly pushed her towards her end. Charge her with that, and even if she wins and no conviction is made, so be it. A lesson will be learned. A civil case would obviously turn out in the Meier's favor and we wouldn't see ridiculous laws like the ones they are trying to pass now.


RE: She should....
By glitchc on 11/25/2008 8:32:59 PM , Rating: 2
From the outset, I expect this post to be very unpopular on DailyTech, but here goes.

quote:
Laws that would make it illegal to lie about anything when creating an online account. That's not the way to go.


On the contrary, as an increasing number of actions online are affecting your non-virtual life, that is precisely what must happen. As was pointed out much later in this forum, mens rea was clearly present in this case. I do want to point out the fallacy in Masher's argument. His conclusion states that if no laws were broken, then the person should not be punished. I will counter that with the argument that just because the laws for online activities are ill-defined, does not mean the actions by this person should go unpunished. Laws are not statically binding entities, they are evolutionary. Laws must conform to societal standards of good behaviour, which change over time. The Romans killed one another (willfully) in certain sports, a stance acceptable to society of those times, hence not illegal. It is illegal to kill anyone intentionally in any sport today.

It was not too long ago that having slaves was not considered illegal, good business on the contrary. Did that make the concept of slavery any more right back then than it is now?

Somewhere in this entire debacle, the girl's rights, in spirit, have been violated, which is why people are as upset as they seem on this forum. In my opinion, the laws need to be revised to include such circumstances, to ensure future violations of such nature do not occur. The actual language of the law required is beyond my humble brain, but seems akin to the following case: "You're not wanted here" when spoken in terms of real land/property precludes displacement and borders on prejudice and discrimination. If we treat Myspace as a virtual public place (which it is), such as a park in real life, what happened to her is similar to someone coming up to you and asking you to get out of said park. Of course, if you run out and kill yourself, the person telling you to get out is not responsible. But they did commit verbal assault. However, this lady seems to have misrepresented online and twisted the girl's emotions to her gain. Misrepresenting yourself in real life carries repercussions. Why should they not carry repercussions in online activities, esp. when said activities increasingly overlap with your life?

If real identities are part of the requirement to protect people's rights online, so be it. If anything, people will think before they write.

My two cents.


RE: She should....
By masher2 (blog) on 11/26/2008 12:21:54 AM , Rating: 2
> "Laws are not statically binding entities, they are evolutionary. Laws [must] change over time"

Yes, but we don't retroactively punish people for laws which don't yet exist. And we don't pass a new law, then punish people who acted before the law was written. The unjustness of retroactive punishment is one of the basic tenets of modern legal systems. There's even a legal term for such laws -- ex post facto -- "after the fact", for those who skipped that day in Latin.

Society makes the laws; we conform to them as they are written.

> "If real identities are part of the requirement to protect people's rights online, so be it"

Fine, post your real name, address and home number here to get the ball rolling.


RE: She should....
By glitchc on 11/26/2008 1:08:54 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Yes, but we don't retroactively punish people for laws which don't yet exist. And we don't pass a new law, then punish people who acted before the law was written. The unjustness of retroactive punishment is one of the basic tenets of modern legal systems. There's even a legal term for such laws -- ex post facto -- "after the fact", for those who skipped that day in Latin.


I agree with your statement regarding retroactive punishment, and it being one of the basic tenets of modern legal systems; but so is precedent, and it should not be forgotten. If no existing laws can be broadened/expanded to cover the circumstances of this case, then a new law may be necessary, in which case, the defendant should not be retroactively punished. Consequently, if an existing law can be deemed to cover the circumstances of an action/case (that is for the courts to decide), then a precedent can be formed and the defendant tried accordingly. Appropriate language can be added later to the criminal code to make the implicit case explicit and to determine punishment.

quote:
Society makes the laws; we conform to them as they are written.


Agreed in part. Let me strengthen that definition a bit: Society makes laws to protect the vulnerable from the strong. The "strong" do not need protection as, in the absence of law, they would win the race for survival. Since we live in a just society, protection of rights for the weak is paramount. Someone vulnerable to harm was harmed here. Whether this woman is guilty or not is only partially relevant. What is truly important is whether we, as society, take this opportunity to draft laws so that the vulnerable (minor) cannot be taken advantage of in this manner.

To put things into perspective, defrauding this girl in person or over the phone would have required far greater effort on part of the defendant (proximity, physical alteration, voice alteration, timing, etc.). That the ruse was performed on MySpace greatly facilitated the defendant in this case.

quote:
Fine, post your real name, address and home number here to get the ball rolling.


Here's my name, work address and work phone:

Cyrus Minwalla
Vision Sensor (VISOR) Laboratory (part of CVR),
Dept. of Comp. Sci. and Eng.
York University, Toronto, ON.
416-736-2100 extension three-three-three-four-three (to avoid bots)

You can check out our website at: http://www.cse.yorku.ca/~visor/

It's your turn now, Michael.


RE: She should....
By Gzus666 on 11/26/2008 2:05:59 PM , Rating: 2
You do realize he said your address and home phone right? Unless you live at your place of work.


RE: She should....
By glitchc on 11/26/2008 2:33:26 PM , Rating: 2
Being a grad student, I do spend most of my day here.

The point of identification was whether I would stand by my words. And I do, which is why I provided sufficient information to be contacted with and which can be traced back, along with my name, directly to a unique person. If you send snail mail to my name, dept and university, I will receive it. If you call the number with that extension, you will reach me directly.

Providing my home address does not provide further verification, and would be unsafe, as there is no system in place on this forum to protect that information from misuse.


RE: She should....
By masher2 (blog) on 11/26/2008 5:51:51 PM , Rating: 2
> "I agree with your statement regarding retroactive punishment..."

Ok.

> "...If no existing laws can be broadened/expanded to cover the circumstances of this case, then a new law may be necessary"

I defy you to phrase a law that adequately covers this situation, without likewise barring actions that occur countless times a day in otherwise innoculous settings, and thus entirely unenforceable.

> "Society makes laws to protect the vulnerable from the strong."

I'd phrase that as 'society makes laws to protect the few from the many'. No matter how strong you are, when an angry mob turns up at your doorstep (as has apparently already happened to Drew here), you're going to lose the argument.

> "Here's my name, work address and work phone...It's your turn now."

Since I don't accept your premise that full identification should be legally required on the Internet, no reciprocation should therefore be expected. However, you already have my name and email. I withhold my address and phone as my columns generate enough hate mail already. I have no wish for any fanatics to turn up on my doorstep (and yes, a few have threatened just that).


RE: She should....
By Choppedliver on 11/25/2008 11:43:32 AM , Rating: 2
I agree. Thats what wrong with society today. People dont take responsibility for their own actions.


RE: She should....
By Gzus666 on 11/25/2008 11:57:53 AM , Rating: 1
You mean like the mother of a 13 year old child who didn't take responsibility in watching her online? Or how about the fact that clearly she had other things wrong? Responsibility goes both ways.


RE: She should....
By mindless1 on 11/25/08, Rating: 0
RE: She should....
By Tuor on 11/25/2008 1:22:20 PM , Rating: 2
Except that in this case her mother *was* monitoring things and took the girl to task over her use of profanity in some of the responses she made to those who were posting to her on her mySpace page. It was after being berated by her mother that the girl accused her mother of not taking her side and ran off... upstairs to hang herself.


RE: She should....
By Gzus666 on 11/25/2008 2:18:19 PM , Rating: 2
DUN DUN DUN, and the plot thickens...clearly the witch hunters are out to blame someone besides the parents, as usual.


RE: She should....
By Lerianis on 11/25/2008 10:04:29 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, I was sorta expecting something like that to come out, that the mother had gotten on her daughters case over her responses to the idiots online (frankly, I would have used profanity myself IN REAL LIFE if someone said some of the things that woman who is being tried said).
I KNEW there was more here than was coming out.


RE: She should....
By Some1ne on 11/25/2008 2:46:11 PM , Rating: 4
Um, how about the girl who killed herself being responsible for her own actions? Or how about the mother, who was legally entrusted with the care of said girl? People *should* be responsible for their actions, but the girl killing herself WAS NOT an action of the mom who teased her. It was an action of the girl, so she's the one responsible for it, along with her parents/legal guardians.

Are you seriously saying that if I say something mean to someone, and they decide to kill themselves because of it, then I'm accountable for their death? That's just silly. It was their own fault for overreacting to my comments, and they're responsible for their own decision to commit suicide, and for acting upon that decision.

People who kill themselves are just as responsible for their own choices and actions as everyone else is for theirs, and allowing them to blame others as an excuse for their actions is irresponsible. In the end, they're the one who made the decision to commit suicide, and they're the one who put that decision into action, so they should be the only accountable party.

Granted, the mom should have known better than to be wasting her time teasing a teenager online, but that doesn't mean that she should be held responsible for decisions that the teenager made, even if the teenager tried to use her as an excuse for committing suicide.


RE: She should....
By daar on 11/25/2008 3:29:56 PM , Rating: 1
Honestly, did you ever open up all your feelings to your parents? Most teenagers don't, and who's to really comment on how happy she normally was...for all we know, she could have been happy for 90% of the time and come that time of the month, she just gets really moody, culminating to a suicide all in one day.


RE: She should....
By masher2 (blog) on 11/25/2008 3:34:58 PM , Rating: 2
> "for all we know, she could have been happy for 90% of the time and come that time of the month, she just gets really moody..."

Except for the fact she'd previously tried to commit suicide, you mean?


RE: She should....
By Gzus666 on 11/25/2008 4:28:31 PM , Rating: 2
As Masher pointed out, she had tried it before. Lets assume that your scenario was the case, does it really matter then? How many thousands of people die daily and not one of you gives a damn unless you see it in the news or some other medium?

Young white American girl is why this is news, otherwise it would fall through the cracks like every other dumpster baby, war related death or starvation death. Watching people pretend to care blows me away. As a person who really doesn't care about other people, I don't get sympathy for people you have never met at all.


RE: She should....
By Spivonious on 11/25/2008 11:49:58 AM , Rating: 2
Exactly. This mother is twisted and needs to be put away in a mental institution. The fact that she still bragged about it after the girl had hanged herself speaks wonders about this woman's mental state.

As far as her defense that "no one reads those anyway", ignorance of the law is not an excuse. If I didn't know the speed limit was 25 and I get pulled over going 40, I'm still ticketed. If I sign a contract (which is what a user agreement is), I must be held responsible to the terms within that agreement, unless they are unrealistic.


RE: She should....
By BadAcid on 11/25/2008 12:36:00 PM , Rating: 2
"ignorance of the law" I'm sorry since when are user agreements on a social network website legally binding?


RE: She should....
By Suntan on 11/25/2008 1:04:36 PM , Rating: 2
That's what I was thinking. My guess is that they are taking a law that was meant to encompass criminal computer fraud (ala defrauding for monetary gain) and twist it to fit this scenario.

In any case, at most Facebook should be able to use it to go after damages suffered as a result of this debacle, but it shouldn’t hold any water in a criminal setting.

-Suntan


RE: She should....
By Spivonious on 11/25/2008 3:31:34 PM , Rating: 2
Umm, they all are because they're contracts that you accept.

Taken from MySpace's user agreement (emphasis added):

quote:
This Terms of Use Agreement ("Agreement") sets forth the legally binding terms for your use of the MySpace Services.


There are many items in the user agreement that this lady violated, e.g. "harasses or advocates harassment of another person", "promotes information that you know is false or misleading or promotes illegal activities or conduct that is abusive, threatening, obscene, defamatory or libelous", "attempting to impersonate another Member or person"

Finally,
quote:
This Agreement is accepted upon your use of the MySpace Website or any of the MySpace Services and is further affirmed by you becoming a Member.


This lady should be tried as if she did the things in person. I'm not saying she should be tried for murder, but there is definitely harassment and fraud.


RE: She should....
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 11/25/2008 3:51:12 PM , Rating: 2
Minor offenses, usually a small fine, and a termination of account.


RE: She should....
By masher2 (blog) on 11/26/2008 12:24:59 AM , Rating: 2
> "There are many items in the user agreement that this lady violated"

There isn't a teen on Myspace who hasn't violated those terms. The vast majority of all messages are obscene, harrassing, abusive, and/or misleading. If Myspace enforced those terms strictly and evenly, they'd be out of business.


RE: She should....
By BigPeen on 11/26/2008 3:24:00 AM , Rating: 2
Maybe legally binding with civil penalities for violating, but it certainly doesn't make you CRIMINALLY liable. If I make some user agreement that says if you talk about horses on my website it is against the TOS, that doesn't mean you get charged for murder if you talk about horses and then someone kills themselves.


RE: She should....
By Fernando F on 11/25/2008 12:07:03 PM , Rating: 2
The daughter of Lori Drew knew Megan was suicidal.
She denies telling her mother this fact.
I don't believe that. The only reason Lori did all this was to try make Megan kill herself because she knew of her past. Why make all fake character if Megan was not suicidal?
How many people are suicidal?
I think Lori took this as a mental challenge, as a game, and didn't stop until Megan kill herself. She is a monster.


RE: She should....
By Screwballl on 11/25/2008 2:50:08 PM , Rating: 2
agreed... she caused it, she is responsible... let her rot in a maximum security cell with no other people to talk to for a few decades. Let her out when she is 80, if she lives that long. This is indirect homicide and should be treated as any other homicide case.


RE: She should....
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 11/25/2008 3:46:51 PM , Rating: 2
Indirect homicide? For what?

Did the mother provide the method for which this girl killed herself? No.

Did the mother threaten bodily harm to the girl if she did not kill herself? No.

Did the mother tell her the world would be better of without her? Yea.

I'm looking for the crime that was committed here and I just can't find one. There is no laws on the books for "being mean". Tell me how this woman can be held accountable for a suicide. At BEST you can claim assisted suicide, but she didn't assist the girl in any way shape or form, so therefore you can't even prove an assisted suicide.


RE: She should....
By masher2 (blog) on 11/25/2008 3:56:09 PM , Rating: 2
> "Did the mother tell her the world would be better of without her? Yea."

I'm not even sure she did that. Early reports said she told the girl that "this place" (MySpace) would be better off without her. . . a horse of a slightly different color.


RE: She should....
By deadrats on 11/25/2008 6:16:44 PM , Rating: 1
responsible for what exactly? am i the only one that is capable of reading and realizing that this woman IS NOT charged with murder, manslaughter, endangering the welfare of a child, no she's charged with some ridiculous "using a computer to cause emotional distress across state lines" charge, what the fuck is that?!?

if the authorities feel so strongly that what she did was wrong then charge her with causing her death, i could understand a charge of involuntary manslaughter or a reckless endangerment charge, i could buy the argument that her actions contributed to some degree to the kid killing herself, but to find her guilty of the silly charges she's charged with sends the wrong message out and sets a really bad precedent.

in short charge her with what she actually did not some half-assed convoluted made up charge.


RE: She should....
By Lerianis on 11/25/2008 9:54:10 PM , Rating: 2
There is some evidence that this 'innocent little girl who was driven to suicide' wasn't so innocent, and had been causing problems with the woman's daughter, so she felt what was good for the goose was good for the gander.


It is the parents' fault
By the goat on 11/25/2008 11:56:42 AM , Rating: 1
Anybody who lets their thirteen year old use a computer unsupervised is an unfit parent. Please people start acting like parents and pay attention to what your children do. It would have been simple to save this girl's life if her parents had spent any time with her.

Also the woman who pulled this stunt should be charged with felony murder through the felony murder statute (any death that happens because you were committing a felony).




RE: It is the parents' fault
By arazok on 11/25/2008 12:11:31 PM , Rating: 4
Supervision would not have prevented anything. The girl was just talking to a “boy” on the internet. To any parent it would have looked like your typical teenager stuff. Even if the parents had seen the final messages, they would have likely chalked it up as teenage drama, and told her to forget about it. Unless your goose stepping around, dictating your kids every action, there is no way you would have ever been able to forsee this.

My heart goes out to the parents of this poor girl. They were probably great parents. The woman who pulled this stunt would have never predicted this outcome either, but I’d still like to see the book thrown at her for being a total douche.

Be careful when using hindsight to judge people. One day, it might be used against you as well.


RE: It is the parents' fault
By jr82 on 11/25/2008 12:26:24 PM , Rating: 2
Lori Drew is an A$$h0le, a weak minded one at that that preys on those younger than her, a big fish in a small pond. But come on now, its a crime now to speak? Classically if I told you all to jump off a bridge would you do it? Do i need to make you all read and e-sign a disclaimer to read the previous sentence? This is a joke. Individuals are responsible for their own actions, not some stupid woman who had nothing better to do with her life.

In all sincerity I could not say what I would be capable of had my child chose to take the path that Megan Meier did. Such incidents provoke quite a bit of anger to say the least and I'm honestly surprised Lori Drew made it into a court room.

As much as it disgusts me to see and read all of this, and as much as I have my own Ideas of justice in regards to Lori Drew justice is not mine to take, and so far as I know it is not a crime to be an @$$h0le in America.

And if by any chance someone that knows the family of Megan is reading this my condolences go out to them, I cant even imagine what you all must be going through.


RE: It is the parents' fault
By Gzus666 on 11/25/2008 12:29:55 PM , Rating: 1
Exactly, they are twisting the law to try to prosecute, which will set a bad precedent if allowed to go through. Not illegal to be a douche in this country. If I tell 500 people to go kill themselves and 1 does, doesn't mean I broke any laws, just means 1 of those people were weak minded enough to do it.


RE: It is the parents' fault
By the goat on 11/25/2008 12:59:43 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If I tell 500 people to go kill themselves and 1 does, doesn't mean I broke any laws


If you impersonate somebody else while you tell them to kill themselves (somebody who your 500 targets deeply respect/love) then yes you clearly broke the law.


RE: It is the parents' fault
By foolsgambit11 on 11/25/2008 1:31:05 PM , Rating: 2
She wasn't necessarily impersonating somebody else, right? I mean, the person she was pretending to be wasn't a real person?

Then, as long as she didn't proclaim herself to be this person to certain entities (government, employer, bank, &c.) I'm not certain that it is illegal. Somebody can correct me with references if I'm wrong, here. But, for instance, journalists do it occasionally to get a story. People don't always like this kind of 'entrapment' journalism, but it is legitimate and legal.


RE: It is the parents' fault
By masher2 (blog) on 11/25/2008 2:55:48 PM , Rating: 2
> "If you impersonate somebody else while you tell them to kill themselves [then] yes you clearly broke the law. "

Which law?


RE: It is the parents' fault
By Gzus666 on 11/25/2008 3:26:12 PM , Rating: 2
Which law clearly broken? I can pretend to be whatever imaginary person I want. As long as I break no laws like use it to vote, forge documents, etc., then I can pretend to be all kinds of things. Hell, one of my email accounts knows me as Judge Fudge. As stated, it isn't illegal to pretend to be someone and be mean to them, no matter what they end up doing to themselves.


RE: It is the parents' fault
By Some1ne on 11/25/2008 3:34:43 PM , Rating: 2
Mostly true. The one imaginary person you cannot pretend to be is a police officer. Most (if not all) states have laws prohibiting the impersonation of a police officer.

Pretending to be an imaginary 18 year old boy is entirely legal, however. Just so long as he's not a cop.


RE: It is the parents' fault
By Solandri on 11/25/2008 3:43:39 PM , Rating: 2
Identity theft is illegal too, although I think there needs to be (attempted) financial gain for that to stick.


By Master Kenobi (blog) on 11/25/2008 3:52:46 PM , Rating: 2
If they can prove intent of financial gain they can get you as well, but I don't think any of the examples applies in this case.


RE: It is the parents' fault
By mindless1 on 11/25/2008 1:30:01 PM , Rating: 4
If you tell 500 people to go kill themselves and feel it's ok if preying on the weak causes them harm, let's twist the law at least enough to keep you in prison too. Laws are not just about very very specific situations, they cannot possibly cover such things since there are an infinite number of specific situations. It's about the spirit of the law, what it was meant to accomplish. If you want to find a loophole to harm others, expect someone to find a loophole to keep you from doing so.

Remember what the laws meant to do, maintain order, be a justice system, novel things like that which generally don't align well will actively pursuing people and encouraging them to die or kill themselves.

If someone needs to be told whether each and every action falls north or south of the intent of the law, that's one good reason to keep these people behind bars where their inability to distinguish right and wrong don't impact the rest of society.

These are facts of life, and you too, know that you can't just do anything you want around other people without repercussions whether they be legal ones or people taking the laws into their own hands. Please, use a little common sense instead of being weak minded. How ironic.


RE: It is the parents' fault
By BadAcid on 11/25/2008 2:52:46 PM , Rating: 2
Laws are implemented to treat everyone equally, by our elected officials. They are interpreted by judges, selected by another elected official, to ensure they treat everyone equally. There is no room for "twisting the laws." When you say they don't apply to specific situations, that's the whole point of having the judges to interpret them, you know, that 1/3 of our government. Would it be fair to "twist the laws" when this could have ended up being a black girl or a white boy, and the media/feds probably wouldn't have touched it.
This goes back to the boy who commited live suicide on his webcam. Lots of people were egging on the person to do it and he did, are you going to want to prosecute the lot of them for what could amount to the same crime? Better question, would it be fair?


RE: It is the parents' fault
By Some1ne on 11/25/2008 3:10:25 PM , Rating: 3
Yes, a little common sense is just what's called for. How about we start by holding the people who choose to commit suicide responsible for their own choices and actions, instead of allowing them to excuse their actions onto other people? The girl's choice was tragic, but it was still *her* choice, and hers alone.


RE: It is the parents' fault
By Gzus666 on 11/25/2008 3:30:47 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly, responsibility for one's self. If she was not able to do so, it is up to the parents to then take over her decisions, much like you would any other mentally incapacitated person.


RE: It is the parents' fault
By BigPeen on 11/26/2008 3:26:55 AM , Rating: 2
No, laws are about very offenses, for the exact purpose of keeping things like this from happening. If laws are made the be bent, then you can find just about any unpopular activity to be illegal in some way. I certainly dont wanna live in that police state


RE: It is the parents' fault
By BadAcid on 11/25/2008 12:46:24 PM , Rating: 2
They're going through the media circus to pass all the blame for their parenting onto Drew. There's no way around it, they're playing the media to get national sympathy and to create a red herring for the problems many parents have, unfortunately, and that's lack of responsibility.


RE: It is the parents' fault
By Nfarce on 11/25/2008 12:34:16 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The girl was just talking to a “boy” on the internet. To any parent it would have looked like your typical teenager stuff. Even if the parents had seen the final messages, they would have likely chalked it up as teenage drama, and told her to forget about it.


The parents knew their daughter had symptoms of being manically depressive and chose to sit back and let things run their course of a typical teenager. The problem is Megan was not your typical teenager.


RE: It is the parents' fault
By the goat on 11/25/2008 1:05:27 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The girl was just talking to a “boy” on the internet. To any parent it would have looked like your typical teenager stuff.


A thirteen year old hooking up with an eighteen year old is not "typical teenager stuff." The parents should have been involved and could have easily shutdown this unhealthy relationship before it got carried away.


RE: It is the parents' fault
By mindless1 on 11/25/2008 1:32:35 PM , Rating: 2
If exchanging a few messages on the internet is "hooking up", we must all be sluts?


RE: It is the parents' fault
By Nfarce on 11/25/2008 12:18:43 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Also the woman who pulled this stunt should be charged with felony murder through the felony murder statute (any death that happens because you were committing a felony).


Would never happen. Toying with people, even kids, online is not a felony. Online child porn is. At best, this wretched witch would get an involuntary manslaughter sentence.


RE: It is the parents' fault
By walk2k on 11/25/2008 12:47:14 PM , Rating: 2
These people lived next to each other, I don't see how it's a federal case. Why, just because they used the internet?

So the feds took over the case because they didn't think the local laws were "strong enough"?? What kind of precedent is that?

He is right about EULAs though, nobody cares about them. BUT WHO CARES! How is it even relevant... I would think the fact that she harrassed a teenager to the point of suicide would be MUCH more important than if she broke some web site license agreement!


RE: It is the parents' fault
By Suntan on 11/25/2008 1:10:59 PM , Rating: 3
I care.

I can't help what that 13 yr old did to herself, but if a case as off based as this can help to set legal precedent that shows ELUAs to be unenforcable, then that is a good thing.

ELUAs are a pox on modern consumerism and should be curbed.

-Suntan


RE: It is the parents' fault
By Darkefire on 11/25/2008 1:33:49 PM , Rating: 1
They could probably argue that the internet servers used to have the conversations were in several different states, thereby giving the feds jurisdiction. It's shaky, but usually the sight of federal court is enough to make most defendants shit their pants and cut the first deal that comes to them. With something this unprecedented, a deal in federal court is likely to be more punitive than anything you could successfully prosecute.

That being said, this isn't the sort of thing that should go to a jury. This sort of thing should result in the accused being taken out back and shot. What kind of twisted mind drives a child to suicide? I'll lay some blame to the parents for being completely inattentive (depression and "being a teenager" are two completely different things, and the former has a number of red flags that would have popped up), but this woman should have the book thrown at her. Or use it to beat her. Either way, she's going to end up in a world of pain when her new cellmates find out what she's in for.


RE: It is the parents' fault
By Suntan on 11/25/2008 1:06:54 PM , Rating: 4
Sorry, you are going to get rated down for this comment because most of the people here have a lot more in common with an unsupervised 13 yr old, than they do with a responsible parent.

-Suntan


EULAs
By Jacerie on 11/25/2008 11:39:47 AM , Rating: 4
I would have to agree that only a very small percentage of people actually read the EULA for any given piece of software. There are some hilarious EULA stipulations out there though. MS firmly states in their EULA that none of their OSs can legally be used for purposes of automated weapons control or delivery systems. Prolly a good thing too since one poorly timed BSOD could end up equating to the Big Red Button.

This case however has absolutely nothing to do with EULAs and more to do with one pathetic example of our society taking advantage of someone else.
Where does this woman get off driving a teenage girl to suicide over a dispute with her daughter. The stupid whore should be forced to watch as her family is executed in order to cleanse the gene pool then left alone in a sound-proof room with the poor girls family.




RE: EULAs
By Lmilr on 11/25/2008 11:44:55 AM , Rating: 2
Very true. And just because you dont read EULA's doesn't mean they aren't still binding.


RE: EULAs
By AssBall on 11/25/2008 12:00:47 PM , Rating: 3
Agreed, the EULA is irrelevant here, this case is dealing with serious crimes that fall mostly outside of the EULA anyway.

Just because people don't read their cellphone or insurance contracts doesn't mean they deserve a free early cancellation or automatic flood insurance when they are below the plain.


RE: EULAs
By Fanon on 11/25/2008 12:07:05 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed. Most online services state that by using this service, you agree to the EULA or Terms of Service. Regardless of if she read it, she used the service, therefore she agreed to the terms.


RE: EULAs
By walk2k on 11/25/2008 12:49:49 PM , Rating: 2
Sure but what's the punishment for breaking some stupid EULA? A slap on the wrist? That's funny. I would think the fact that an adult bullied a teenager to the point of suicide would carry a harsher penalty but that's just me..

Crazy world.


RE: EULAs
By Fanon on 11/25/2008 1:49:12 PM , Rating: 2
Federal charges, obviously. We'll know exactly what the punishment is, in this situation, when the jury finishes deliberating.


RE: EULAs
By HighWing on 11/25/2008 12:58:57 PM , Rating: 2
Claiming you can't be held to a EULA just because no one reads them is like saying it's not your fault you shot someone with a gun because you didn't read the warnings on the box!!


RE: EULAs
By Suntan on 11/25/2008 1:54:18 PM , Rating: 3
Only if the entity that created the no shooting rules was a company with no indivual right to inforce that law. however, the whole no shooting each other thing comes from the government that we all agree to abide by.

try and come up with a better analogy.

-Suntan


RE: EULAs
By Some1ne on 11/25/2008 3:16:13 PM , Rating: 2
You can't be held to a EULA, even if you actually read the whole thing. EULA's aren't legally binding, and never have been. I suggest you consult precedent before you go asserting things that aren't true.


RE: EULAs
By HighWing on 12/1/2008 1:06:06 PM , Rating: 2
come on. you are missing the point

I was mearly saying that with all EULA's at some point the users is asked if they have "read and agree" to it. Now throw out the EULA and replace it with ANY legal form you have to sign. When you sign that document, you are "agreeing" with the document you signed, otherwise you would not have signed it.

So coming back later saying that you did not "read" the document you signed/agreed to is no excuses for not being held accountable for it. Furthermore that kind of argument would get your case thrown out of court.


RE: EULAs
By Some1ne on 11/25/2008 3:14:12 PM , Rating: 2
EULA's *aren't* binding. At least not if you care about legal precedent.


RE: EULAs
By masher2 (blog) on 11/25/2008 3:33:29 PM , Rating: 3
Not quite true. Some courts have held that shrink-wrap EULA's aren't binding...after all, you can only read and consent to it *after* you purchase and open it. But there is no legal precedent claiming any and all EULAs are nonbinding.


Missing the point....
By Nakira on 11/25/2008 12:55:33 PM , Rating: 3
Everyone seems to be missing the point.....She is NOT being prosecuted for being a douche bag. She is being prosecuted for fraud, breaking the terms of an EULA.

Case in point....Michael Vik was not prosecuted for animal abuse, he was found guilty of perjury. Al Capone was not prosecuted for the hundreds of deaths that he helped instigate, he was wound guilty of tax evasion.

Does this mean that any of the 3 should not have done jail time? Absolutely not.

Drew is a sick individual and needs to be dealt with accordingly. If the only way to make her is is to prosecute for braking an EULA, then by all means do so...




RE: Missing the point....
By jr82 on 11/25/2008 1:05:23 PM , Rating: 1
Nakira I would normally agree but from experience when I broke AOL EULA they cancelled my account, when I broke EULA with AT&T they cancelled my phone. When Lori Drew breaks EULA....well I think you have the point. Although I can't say I've unknowingly killed any small children lately.


RE: Missing the point....
By Some1ne on 11/25/2008 3:19:08 PM , Rating: 2
You're missing the point too. EULA's aren't legally binding. They haven't ever been. So trying to prosecute someone for breaking one is pointless.


RE: Missing the point....
By Nakira on 11/25/2008 4:36:57 PM , Rating: 2
EULA's are not legally binding....What would do you live in? I guess that Microsoft has to legal right to pursue users that pirate software...

Why is Apple sewing for violating an EULA on installing OSX on a PC?

Ignorance of the law is not excuse. She CAN be prosecuted for violating the EULA with MySpace since she falsely represented whom she is on MySpace. End of story....


RE: Missing the point....
By Gzus666 on 11/25/2008 4:40:59 PM , Rating: 4
My question is what is Apple "sewing" and how much thread is needed?


RE: Missing the point....
By Gzus666 on 11/25/2008 4:42:30 PM , Rating: 3
Just thought about it, iQuilt or iSweater maybe? It is around that time of year that you need to keep warm.


Fraud? Murder?
By GeorgeH on 11/25/2008 1:39:44 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think Drew should be found guilty of anything.

Fraud? How many of us haven't misrepresented ourselves in the online world at least once? Our motives were almost certainly much less contemptible, but we are just as guilty of fraud as Drew is.

Murder? Because Drew, in the persona of a random stranger, told Meier that she was worthless? The fact remains that it was Meier who allowed herself to be fooled and it was Meier who decided that ending her life over a boy she had never met was a good idea.

Yes, Meier was a little girl being tormented by a sad, twisted woman, and I feel nothing but compassion for her and loathing for Drew, but the fact remains that Drew is really nothing more than an immature, clueless *****. While contemptible, I don't feel that merits jail time, unless we want to start legislating what makes for an "acceptable" personality.




RE: Fraud? Murder?
By Solandri on 11/25/2008 4:01:24 PM , Rating: 2
You're touching on an issue I've found in trying to police online MMORPGs, which has relevance in the real world.

We want laws to be based on motivation. Someone who breaks into a store to steal stuff is very different from someone who breaks into a store to grab a fire extinguisher to put out a nearby fire.

Unfortunately, motivation is usually very difficult to determine, often being encapsulated completely within the mind of the perpetrator. So laws have to be based on actions.

This case is sticking in people's craws because her motivations were clearly wrong, but her actions, taken individually, were legal. It's similar to when someone gets off on a technicality, or takes advantage of an unforeseen loophole to avoid paying taxes. It's wrong, but there's not much you can do about it, and that really upsets people.


RE: Fraud? Murder?
By masher2 (blog) on 11/25/2008 4:07:36 PM , Rating: 3
> "So laws have to be based on actions".

No. Our criminal code requires mens rea, --the "guilty mind", sometimes simply called criminal intent, for all but so-called liability crimes. For instance, murder requires mens rea, but manslaughter simply requires negliligence.


RE: Fraud? Murder?
By walk2k on 11/25/2008 7:09:21 PM , Rating: 2
How about aggrivated stalking? Harrassment? Verbal, psychological and/or emotional abuse? All all punishable by law, especially when it is an adult abusing a minor.


Scapegoating Still Alive and Well
By Tuor on 11/25/2008 1:18:39 PM , Rating: 2
Last I heard, the FBI wasn't able to find any evidence that the final message reported by the girl's parents was even sent. But even if it was, notice that the girl didn't hang herself until *after* she accused her mother of not taking her side in what had happened to her.

I don't condone using the Net to play with people's feelings, but to say this woman murdered (or as good as murdered) the girl is absurd. It's impossible to even know which messages were sent by Drew and which by others who had access to the computer.

I have no sympathy for suicides. I might make an exception for those with *severe* mental illness, but IMO this girl didn't have that. But I'd say that the failure of her mother to support her was at least as painful to her as anything said to her over the Internet. Now the parents are going after someone else to deflect any responsibility they might've had over what happened.

Finally, misusing a law due to a sense of moral outrage is ALSO wrong. It is worse, in a way, because it undermines the whole legal structure our society is based upon by debasing and twisting definitions to suit some particular agenda rather than the law's intent.




RE: Scapegoating Still Alive and Well
By Tuor on 11/25/2008 1:50:25 PM , Rating: 2
RE: Scapegoating Still Alive and Well
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 11/25/2008 1:52:32 PM , Rating: 2
I agree. Laws are not to enforce sympathy or morals, its to enforce penalties for crimes. I can't find any crime that was committed here. Yes, I'm sure there is plenty of outrage for the result, but quite frankly no laws were broken. The best they can do is attempt to pass a law banning this, but good luck since high schools and colleges across the country are rampant with the same thing.


RE: Scapegoating Still Alive and Well
By walk2k on 11/25/2008 7:00:34 PM , Rating: 2
Harassment and assault are quite illegal.


Be careful
By goku on 11/25/2008 7:02:29 PM , Rating: 2
For all you forum posters, I want to remind you guys that if this woman is convicted, it'll set a very dangerous precedent for forum posters and moderators. Why? Because if anyone who is a minor that posts on a forum commits suicide, 'everybody' involved could be held accountable because of some stupid kid who just wanted an excuse to kill themselves because "Mommy took away my Wii" would make them look stupid..Not like committing suicide on a forum would be an different though..

Oh and pulling a Dennifloss would be a serious crime which IMO is incredibly stupid.




RE: Be careful
By BigPeen on 11/26/2008 3:32:13 AM , Rating: 2
THANK YOU. Finally someone gets it. I want to be able to say ANYTHING online, repreat I SHOULD BE ABLE TO SAY WHATEVER I WANT TO NO MATTER WHAT on the internet. There should be not a single restriction of any kind. I should be able to make death threats, rape threats, terrorist threats. I should be able to talk about making kiddie porn, I should be able to tell people how worthless they are. And with ZERO consequences.


RE: Be careful
By xti on 12/1/2008 2:29:18 PM , Rating: 2
the thing is, you being able to say anything with zero consequences, would be fine.

what this woman did, was harassment. You can walk by the street and call someone a 'tard. Start doing it habitually, and you might have issues in the eyes of a jury.

at the same time, I am a bit torn, as I am not made of stone or anything, but harassment behind a computer to me, its just hard to comprehend. But not everyone has those kind of mental defense mechanisms or however you want to put it, so 'i guess'.


RE: Be careful
By glitchc on 12/1/2008 5:25:02 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I want to be able to say ANYTHING online, repreat I SHOULD BE ABLE TO SAY WHATEVER I WANT TO NO MATTER WHAT on the internet.


Why? You can't do that in real life. Why should the internet be different?


cyberbully
By fellowmom on 11/25/2008 1:05:04 PM , Rating: 2
She bragged about the illegal my space page. She bragged about her intent to harm a child, which she knew had psychological issues. Guilty! Guilty! Guilty!




RE: cyberbully
By stlrenegade on 11/26/2008 11:10:24 AM , Rating: 2
I think that was found out to be some guy in Washington State whow was pretending to be Lori Drew and saying that stuff. I live in the same county that this happened in, so it was on the local news a lot. Some guy in Seattle (or nearby) was pretending to be Lori Drew and just spewing nonsense about the case. This guy is crazy and heartless.

At the time of this suicide, St. Charles County didn't have any laws regarding cybercrime, or the law was very general. Since this happened they've been trying to beef up cybercrime laws in the county. I can't see Lori Drew being convicted of anything besides utter stupidity and no common sense.

If I recall correctly, The Meiers' were in the process of a divorce at the time of the suicide (or they divorced after the incident, can't remember which) If they were going through the divorce at the time, that might have affected Megan as well.


RE: cyberbully
By Lerianis on 11/26/2008 4:15:28 PM , Rating: 2
From what I have seen, Megan's suicide was prompted not by the actions of this woman, but the 'non-support' and berating that her mother gave her for 'using profanity to respond to these comments'. After seeing the comments Megan was responding to.... I would have been using a HELL of a lot harsher and more profanity than Megan was to respond to the jackasses.


prison for guilty one
By hjkjgkkljkshd on 11/25/2008 1:41:37 PM , Rating: 2
Of course, the crazy bitch should get a long term in prison. What the hell is wrong with a 40 year old who is bragging about messing with a child? She's clearly nuts. Do any of you who keep insisting that the parents are responsible have a teenager? Of course, not. There is no way you can monitor everything a teenager does, you can't imprison them. The lunatic should be locked up, period.




RE: prison for guilty one
By Gzus666 on 11/25/2008 4:56:02 PM , Rating: 2
I know, otherwise you might actually have to instill proper values and stuff like that in a child, WHAT! Parents shouldn't have to be parents, they should get to do whatever they want and ignore the child.

The kid attempted suicide once before and had mental issues. Plenty of people get bullied and shake it off, she was mentally weak and apparently killed herself AFTER fighting with her mother. Lunatics should be locked up eh? Would you explain what for? Or would you rather we do witch burnings? What if someone one day accuses you of being a lunatic, do we burn you?


RE: prison for guilty one
By Lerianis on 11/26/2008 4:19:54 PM , Rating: 2
I have to agree. Most people are 'bullied' by people and just shake it off.... IF they have proper support. It seems that this girl's family was not giving her that proper support, and telling her "Just ignore the idiots, and block them!"

Frankly, breakups happen in life. It's a 'period and done with' thing. The problem is that we are teaching a LOT of children that they will have a 'one and only love' in their lives so breakups affect them more than they should. Load of crap, that!


"Nobody Reads [User Agreements]"
By ccmfreak2 on 11/25/2008 7:15:16 PM , Rating: 3
What kind of argument is that? "No one reads the contract they are signing, so it should be null and void." Try that one the next time you speed - "I'm sorry officer, I didn't read the speed limit. I agreed to it by being on the road, but I didn't read it." I bet THAT will get you out of a ticket! Everyone knows that a contract is a contract, whether or not you read the fine print.




By masher2 (blog) on 11/26/2008 9:41:11 AM , Rating: 2
> "Everyone knows that a contract is a contract, whether or not you read the fine print."

Ah, but that's not how our legal system works. A contract is only valid legally if there is a "meeting of the minds", a valid intent by both parties to agree. A signature, or a check box saying "I agree", can usually determine that . . . but there is substantial legal precedent for agreed-upon contracts being nullified, if it can be shown one party didn't read or fully understand the contract.


Rediculous
By AngryMarmot on 11/25/2008 12:54:41 PM , Rating: 2
This is ridiculous. Clearly the 13 year old needed far more active parenting. A tragic case of a borderline child that needed help being pushed over the edge.

But she was pushed over the edge by a worthless waste of a human whom, as far as I am concerned, has just surrendered her right to participate in society. She doesn't need help, she's beyond that. She needs to be executed so that society is not burdened with her childish poison any longer.

Plainly put: Lori Drew should be hanged. No 47 year old adult should be playing mind games like this with children, much less BRAGGING about it to friends and co-workers. What a worthless waste of oxygen and water. The world is far better off without useless so-called-human beings like Lori Drew.

Hanging is probably too good for her. The worst part is that she's going to end up a ward of the state in some prison, wasting our tax dollars supporting her pointless, trite, and useless life.

This is why we need capital punishment in this country because worthless dirt-bags like Lori Drew should just be eradicated from society so that their poison does not infect anyone else.

There are nearly (or possibly over) 7 billion people on this planet; time to start culling the herd and I say we start with Lori Drew.




RE: Rediculous
By BigPeen on 11/26/2008 3:35:15 AM , Rating: 2
I say we start with you. You clearly don't understand the idea of the a "slippery slope" or the first amendment, so we should KILL YOU. Just like you're saying with should KILL LORI DREW. Which is a death threat, and actually illegal, unlike what Lori Drew did.


STFU
By afkrotch on 11/26/2008 8:42:56 AM , Rating: 2
Why is there a story about a stupid retarded girl who committed suicide? If she couldn't even handle something as minor as an online breakup, what's the odds she'd be able to handle an adult life. Might as well have her commit suicide, then waste my tax dollars in the future.




RE: STFU
By Lerianis on 11/26/2008 4:12:47 PM , Rating: 1
I wouldn't go that far to say that 'she would be wasting your tax dollars'. How the fuck is she going to do that, as long as she has a job when she is older?

Yet again, another eugenist posting on here, and exposing his inner idiot.


EULA Cliffs?
By Imaginer on 11/25/2008 12:51:35 PM , Rating: 2
Perhaps people are more inclined to read the EULA if there is the full written out EULA and right on a side column there is simple cliff annotations at each major important section for people to read. That way its general message is still instilled in the user and at the same time the details can be read if one wants to in a MUCH SIMPLER way.

Most of it is clarified lawyer language that has to be stuck in their that IMO is like complaints on the forums more known as WALL OF TEXT.




By reader1 on 11/25/2008 1:12:14 PM , Rating: 2
What's that? Attempted genocide?




what a scumbag loser
By mmiller on 11/25/2008 1:25:39 PM , Rating: 2
Gee, let me guess the 40 year old loser has no job, no friends, no life.... How else would she find the time to viciously taunt a 13 year old online? Maybe she'll learn some hobby in prison that can occupy her idle life when she gets out. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree, I'll bet her daughter is a real B_ _ _ _ too. eehhh, their ruined reputation at this point will be punishment enough.




RE:
By TThor on 12/1/2008 10:55:50 AM , Rating: 2
i think she deserves a more severe punishment than a person who shoots someone in the head. because, she didnt just cause the death of this girl, but she caused this girl herself to not want to live. she took away any reason this girl had to live. to take away a person reason to live, i believe, is much worse than simply taking a person's life.




attourneys are imposters the.
By on 12/1/08, Rating: -1
"The Space Elevator will be built about 50 years after everyone stops laughing" -- Sir Arthur C. Clarke













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