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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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I feel like I'm taking crazy pills
By smackababy on 7/9/2009 9:06:42 AM , Rating: 2
Am I the only person who thinks this girl obviously had serious mental issues? For someone to take their own life, it isn't just a in the heat of the moment decision. Something else must have been eating away at her for years, and this incident was merely the last straw.

The only people at fault here are the friends and family of this poor girl. She must have had a problem and it was never noticed. She was forced to create an escape from her problems with this relationship.

The woman who did this, in my opinion, did nothing wrong. If I was to date a girl for awhile pretending to be someone I was not, then all of the sudden break if off and state no one would miss her, not legal action would be taken against me if she killed herself.

If any law is passed outlawing things of this sort, I can, with most certainty, say it will turn into another Megan's Law. Prosecutors will make a name for themselves charging 14 year olds with felonies for saying things about people on AOL. What happens when the punishment far outweighs the damage done by the crime?

RE: I feel like I'm taking crazy pills
By clovell on 7/9/2009 11:02:30 AM , Rating: 2
I guess you are. This was a kid - a teenage girl. They typically are more moody and likely to be depressed and committ suicide than most other people.

The person at fault here is primarily the grown woman (adult) who went out of her way to make a kid's life miserable. Even if the girl hadn't committed suicide, I'd still want this b!tch's tires slashed. That's one thing you just don't do - adults don't pick on kids. Now, her parents obviously screwed up, too, but I personally weigh malice as a bigger crime than neglect.

As for escaping a problem via a relationship, how about we take a poll to see who has never done that in their life? I mean, come on.

The concept that we have to pretend the woman did nothing wrong in order to justify our disdain for new legislation is flawed.

RE: I feel like I'm taking crazy pills
By smackababy on 7/9/2009 1:09:44 PM , Rating: 2
The adult did nothing wrong except for deception. Is it a crime now to lie to people? The entire case should have been a civil matter from the start.

As for the escaping, sure many do it everyday, but they don't kill themselves over it ending. Pretending nothing wrong happened isn't what I am suggesting. I am suggesting we lay the blame were it belongs: with the girls mental state. Such problems are usually easily fixed when treated.

But, maybe I am wrong and we should let legislation continue to be the cause of the decline in parenting. What do I know, after all?

RE: I feel like I'm taking crazy pills
By clovell on 7/9/2009 2:39:23 PM , Rating: 2
Have you read any of my other comments? Let's get this out of the way.

#1 - Legislation doesn't a decline in parenting. Laziness does.
#2 - We don't need new laws. We just need crazy b!tches like this to get their ass beat.

And last,

#3 - This woman skirted the law here, but she sure as sh!t did do something wrong. She maliciously manipulated the child's mental state through deception. Adults need to act like adults and quit picking on kids - which is a point of mine you never addressed.

Do you seriously think that's okay for her to do? If so, I'd advise you to stay away from my kids.

By smackababy on 7/9/2009 3:52:34 PM , Rating: 2
I never said she did no wrong. I said she did nothing illegal. Laws are trying to be made and pushed through based purely on the emotion people feel. This woman didn't skirt the law, she did nothing to break it. Adults do need to act like adults, including parents of children. If there is something you don't like or want around your children, excerise your right as a parent and disallow it. Do not go making legislation about it.

Advocating violence against someone is completely ignorant as well. She doesn't "need her ass beat," she needs psychological help. You cannot place the death on her hands. She did nothing to kill this girl. It may have been the "straw that broke the camel's back," but we can't wish violence nor outlaw farmers, can we?

Any legislation made here will be a direct freedom of speech issue. The government has no place saying what I can and cannot say.

"If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion." -- Scientology founder L. Ron. Hubbard

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