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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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By SerafinaEva on 7/8/2009 3:09:53 PM , Rating: 2
If they were to have a anti-bullying law on the internet, they would have to have one for real life as well. Bullying does not only exist on the internet.

Who knows what would of happened if this girl was not bullied online, she might of been bullied in real life and have lead to the same conclusion. People who too quick to find a scape goat for the problems of their child these days. "On no, my child is perfect, my child would never do something like that" It's because of the internet!"

Just like video games, those kids from Colombine were already messed up to begin with, they did not need video games to make them go and shoot people. They would have done so either way. Video games did not cause them to become the messed up way they are, they always were that way. But their parents wanted a scape goat, so their child doesn't look like messed up kids, they wanted to blame it on video games, that the games made them that way. I play voilent video games all the time, and the thought of going near a gun, scares me.

People are too quick to blame other things these days. On the forums they're are bullying all the time, and on games like WoW. But those people never go and kill themselves, because they are sane. They know reality from virtual reality. It is clear that the girl in the case was not stable and any kind of bullying, even from reality might have lead her to the same conclusion.

Because if they consider what the older lady did bullying, they might have to consider every case of trolling on forums and other things bullying too, which is too insurmountable to imagine.

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