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 Boze on 7/8/2009 1:45:40 PM , Rating: 2
We can't even protect our own federal networks from cyberbullying, yet we want to provide protection for the 300 million people who live in America, such that no one hurts their feelings?

I'm sorry, but this Megan girl had severe emotional and mental problems from the start, some or all of which might have been exacerbated by what Lori Drew and her daughter and her daughter's friends did to her. You cannot blame society-at-large for the mental and emotional problems of a 13 year old girl.

Just look at all the physiological and psychological changes going on with a girl that age. Add to it the additional stress of her parents' divorce, the allegations that her parents were constantly fighting, the emotional upheaval of a 'boy' she liked breaking up with her and then being cruel, and what you end up with is a suicide that isn't too hard to imagine.

Young people at that age have no real concept of what true hardship is. They have no life experience by which to judge the events currently unfolding in their life. They aren't able to take their situation and compare it to say, a 13 year old girl in Iraq. To adults, a boy breaking up with you and being mean really isn't more than a temporary concern when compared against the constant threat of deadly violence. Unfortuantely, to a very likely emotionally unstable 13 year old girl who grew up in the safest nation in the world, it is quite literally the end of her world.

In my mind, the real problem here is that her parents were so preoccupied with themselves that they failed to recognize what was going on with their daughter. And unfortunately, she's the one that paid the price. This entire situation could have been avoided by way of better parenting.

RE: Not another law
By Master Kenobi on 7/13/2009 3:39:44 AM , Rating: 2
Hey now, your making too much sense and actively pushing for parents to be *gasp* responsible? No no, we can't have that.

I agree 100%, but lets face it, this girls parents do not want to be responsible for what she did, they want someone to blame.

"I modded down, down, down, and the flames went higher." -- Sven Olsen

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