Print 27 comment(s) - last by Master Kenobi.. on Jul 13 at 3:39 AM

The well known case of a Missouri mother who was accused of causing a teenage girl to suicide has led to additional calls for cyberbullying laws

A mother accused of driving a 13-year-old neighborhood girl to suicide was acquitted of three misdemeanor counts during a high-profile case that has attracted international media attention.

Lori Drew is accused of creating a MySpace account and posing as a fictitious teenage boy "Josh Evans," then sending flirtatious MySpace messages to 13-year-old Megan Meier, a neighborhood girl her daughter reportedly had a run-in with earlier.  Still posing as the teenage boy, Drew dumped Megan and left a message saying the world wouldn't miss her.

Lori Drew, who was found guilty in November 2008, faced up to three years in prison stemming from the three misdemeanor charges under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.  The case was closely scrutinized by legal experts who noted it was the first time someone was charged under the act related to crimes committed through social networking web sites.

All of this talk about this specific case has caused an outcry among supporters who think the country should have stricter cyberbullying laws.  The state of Missouri, due to the Drew case, created a cyberbullying law now criminalizing online harassment carried out via PC or other electronic devices.

“This decision is disappointing, but is a direct example of why we need laws to address new crimes like cyberbullying,” Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-Calif) said in a statement regarding the Drew case.  Sanchez was one of the lawmakers who recently proposed the Megan Meier Cyberbullying Prevention Act, which would essentially criminalize online cyberbullying.

Even though I think there should be some type of law to help protect people, especially children and teenagers, from cyberbullying, it's something that would need to be closely watched.  It's possible any legislation related to cyberbullying would be too broad, which could potentially accuse innocent people of being online cyber bullies.

Are you in favor of a law that would aim to reduce cyberbullying?

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RE: Not another law
By FITCamaro on 7/8/2009 10:23:05 AM , Rating: 4
Agreed. The day it becomes illegal to make fun of someone is the day liberty is truly dead. And if its ever illegal to spank your kids I guess I'll be going to jail when I become a parent.

RE: Not another law
By clovell on 7/8/2009 10:56:08 AM , Rating: 2
While I agree with you FIT, I also think what this woman did was reprehensible.

No, we don't need more laws; but, what we do need is for b!tches like this to catch a good old fashioned beatdown.

People have become too reliant on government - go cash a Hamilton in for a roll of quarters and take care of your own problems. Maybe then, c@&%$ like this will think twice before acting like this.

RE: Not another law
By FITCamaro on 7/8/2009 11:10:40 AM , Rating: 4
There's no doubt that what the lady did was deplorable. But it isn't the government's job to make such activity legal or illegal. In my mind, the woman legally did nothing wrong. Morally yes, but not legally.

In my mind you shouldn't kill yourself just because someone picked on your or made you feel bad. And if the girl's parents had been doing their job, she wouldn't have been meeting strangers on MySpace and "dating" them anyway.

RE: Not another law
By clovell on 7/8/2009 11:16:40 AM , Rating: 2
So... you want me to spot you a ten for the parents?

RE: Not another law
By Moishe on 7/8/2009 12:57:26 PM , Rating: 1
If the girl was my sister I think the lady would have some reason to be concerned, or at least be paying for a set of new tires and a paint job.

RE: Not another law
By TheSpaniard on 7/9/2009 12:53:50 PM , Rating: 3
you know... there is probably no place that woman can hide.

there are only two things I fear in life:

1. A scorned woman

2. A dad who thinks you harmed his little girl

RE: Not another law
By GaryJohnson on 7/12/2009 9:12:48 PM , Rating: 2
Morally yes, but not legally.

That's somewhat circular. All laws at some level are derived from someone or some groups sense of morality.

RE: Not another law
By Moishe on 7/8/2009 12:52:15 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not a vigilante at heart, but I think that what you say has some basic merit. There was a time when you didn't pull crap like this because a family member would come beat your a$$. Today that kind of stuff is so highly frowned upon that it rarely happens.

I think that western culture (in general) has been molded into a bunch of limp wristed pansies. Violence is not always the answer, but it (or the threat of it) can really be a good thing sometimes.

RE: Not another law
By Mojo the Monkey on 7/8/2009 1:30:34 PM , Rating: 3
This is what civil suits are for, where the proceedings are between the individuals, and not between the state and the individual.

RE: Not another law
By Moishe on 7/8/2009 2:05:29 PM , Rating: 2
I agree, and I think that it "sorta" works. The more steps there are between a crime and justice (red-tape) the less likely that justice will be pursued, much less served. Mediators remove the 'heat', which can be a great thing, but they also dull the punishment which provides disincentive to commit additional crimes.

Basically, the law is not and never will be perfect, and IMO there will always be a need for person to person dealing.

For instance I'd rather be approached by a regular person about something that I've done to offend than to have the cops immediately called. Western culture is a bit too afraid of conflict (myself included), and we tend to avoid personal contact, which actually provides great things like positive peer pressure and fear of what others may do.

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