Cyber-Bullying Social networking sites provide a virtual space where individuals can communicate wi

  

Cyber-Bullying
Social networking
sites provide a virtual space where individuals can communicate with friends
and meet new people. While intended for these purposes, these sites also can be
harmful by making individuals vulnerable to cyber-bullying. In a virtual world,
individuals can easily hide their true identities. An adult woman can pose as
an adolescent boy in order to bully an adolescent girl. This was the case in
the Megan Meier incident. In October 2006, Megan was a victim of cyber-bullying
that occurred through a social networking site. The offender, Lori Drew, was
the mother of Megans female friend. She cyber-bullied Megan by posing as an
adolescent boy, targeting Megans low self-esteem, ultimately resulting in
Megan committing suicide.
At the time this
incident occurred, there was no legislation related to cyber-bullying. Lori
Drew was charged with conspiracy and unauthorized access of a computer for violating
the social networking sites Terms of Service. Drew was convicted of three
misdemeanor violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. She faced up to 3
years in prison and a $300,000 fine. Drew, however, never served jail time nor
paid any fine. The conviction was overturned by U.S. District Judge George Wu
in July 2009.
For this
Discussion, review the Megan Meier case and current legislation on
cyber-bullying outlined in Guarding Against a Radical Redefinition of
Liability for Internet Misrepresentation: The United States v. Drew Prosecution
and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. Consider how the outcome for the
offender in the case might be different if the crime was to occur today.
Post by Day 2 an explanation
of how the outcome might be different for the offender in the Megan Meier case
if the offense happened today. Support your response with references to current
cyber-bullying legislation and/or rulings on current cyber-bullying cases.
One and a half page with at least two references….
It is important that you cover all the topics identified in the
assignment. Covering the topic does not mean mentioning the topic BUT presenting
an explanation from the readings for this class
To get maximum points you need to follow the requirements listed for
thisassignments 1) look at the page limits 2) review and follow APA rules
3) createsubheadings to identify the key sections you are presenting and
4) Free from typographical and sentence construction errors.
Readings
Course Text:Taylor, R.
W., Fritsch, E. J., & Liederbach, J. (2015). Digital crime and
digital terrorism. (3rd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.
Chapter 8, “Sex
Crimes, Victimization, and Obscenity on the World Wide Web”
Article: Cooley, A. H.
(2011). Guarding against a radical redefinition of liability for Internet
misrepresentation: The United States v. Drew prosecution and the
Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. Journal of Internet Law, 14(8), 1,
1528.

Article: Drogin, E.
Y., & Young, K. (2008). Forensic mental health aspects of adolescent
“cyber bullying”: A jurisprudent science perspective. Journal
of Psychiatry & Law, 36(4), 679690.
Article: Gillespie, A.
A. (2006). Cyber-bullying and harassment of teenagers: The legal response.
Journal of Social Welfare & Family Law, 28(2), 123136.
Article: King, A. V.
(2010). Constitutionality of cyberbullying laws: Keeping the online
playground safe for both teens and free speech. Vanderbilt Law Review,
63(3), 845884.
Article: McCarthy, T.,
& Michels, S. (2009, July 2). Lori Drew MySpace suicide hoax
conviction thrown out. ABC News. Retrieved from http://abcnews.go.com/TheLaw/story?id=7977226&page=1
Article: Meredith, J.
P. (2010). Combating cyberbullying: Emphasizing education over
criminalization. Federal Communications Law Journal, 63(1),
311340.
Article: Belnap, A.
(2011). Tinker at a breaking point: Why the specter of cyberbullying
cannot excuse impermissible public school regulation of off-campus student
speech. Brigham Young University Law Review, 2011(2), 501533.
Article: Ford, A.
(2009). School liability: Holding middle schools liable for cyber-bullying
despite their implementation of Internet usage contracts. Journal of
Law and Education, 38(3), 535543.
Article: Li, Q.
(2010). Cyberbullying in high schools: A study of students’ behaviors and
beliefs about this new phenomenon. Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment
& Trauma, 19(4), 372392.

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Introduction

Social media platforms have completely revolutionized how people communicate and connect with each other, but they have also made individuals increasingly susceptible to cyber-bullying. The anonymity and easy access provided by social media platforms mean that even adults can pose as adolescents to perpetrate cyber-bullying, and this was the case in the Megan Meier incident. Lori Drew, the mother of Megan’s female friend, used a social media platform to cyber-bully Megan by posing as an adolescent boy and targeting her low self-esteem, eventually leading to Megan’s tragic suicide. This incident brought to light the lack of legislation related to cyber-bullying at the time. In this discussion, the changes in legislation surrounding cyber-bullying and how these changes might have affected the Megan Meier case are explored.

Description

The Megan Meier Case, the issues surrounding cyber-bullying, and the need for legislation on the matter have been analyzed over the years. This discussion will delve into how the outcome for Lori Drew, the offender in Megan’s case, would have been different if the crime had happened today. Analysis of current cyber-bullying legislation, such as Guarding Against a Radical Redefinition of Liability for Internet Misrepresentation: The United States v. Drew Prosecution and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, along with recent rulings on cyber-bullying-related cases will provide insights into how things could have been different. The discussion will expand on how these legislative changes could promote better prevention and prosecution of cyber-bullying in the future, making social media platforms safer for users.

Objectives:
– To discuss the case of Megan Meier and the incidence of cyberbullying through social networking sites
– To examine the current legislation surrounding cyberbullying
– To demonstrate an understanding of how the outcome of the Megan Meier case might differ if the crime occurred today

Learning Outcomes:
By the end of this discussion, students will be able to:
– Discuss the prevalence and harmful effects of cyberbullying through social networking sites
– Analyze the Megan Meier case and its impact on cyberbullying legislation
– Identify key aspects of current cyberbullying legislation and how they might apply to the Megan Meier case
– Evaluate the potential outcome for the offender in the Megan Meier case if the offense happened today based on current legislation and rulings on cyberbullying cases

Explanations of how the outcome might be different for the offender in the Megan Meier case if the offense happened today:
1. Evolution of Legislation: Following the Megan Meier case, there has been a significant increase in the legislation surrounding cyberbullying. In many states, cyberbullying is now considered a criminal offense, and the penalties for such offenses have become more severe. For instance, Lori Drew, Megans bully, might face harsher penalties for her actions if the offense occurred today since many states now have strict laws that prohibit and punish cyberbullying.
2. Broadened Legal Interpretation: Since the Meier case, there has been a broadened interpretation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) that can encompass a wide variety of illegal online conduct, including cyberbullying. Drew might face more stringent prosecution under the expanded interpretation of the CFAA since she spied on Megan for the purpose of causing harm through harmful Posts, which could constitute unauthorized access of a computer system.
3. Social media giants such as Facebook and Twitter have recently included provisions for hate speech and cyberbullying in their respective Community Guidelines, and these provisions are scrutinized and enforced by the service providers’ administrations. This means that Drew could face penalties from the providers of the social networking site as well, which now take a more proactive stance on cyberbullying.

References:
Cooley, A. H. (2011). Guarding against a radical redefinition of liability for Internet misrepresentation: The United States v. Drew prosecution and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. Journal of Internet Law, 14(8), 1, 1528.
Drogin, E. Y., & Young, K. (2008). Forensic mental health aspects of adolescent “cyber bullying”: A jurisprudent science perspective. Journal of Psychiatry & Law, 36(4), 679690.
Gillespie, A. A. (2006). Cyber-bullying and harassment of teenagers: The legal response. Journal of Social Welfare.

Solution 1: Implementation of Cyber-Bullying Legislation

The outcome for the offender in the Megan Meier case might be different if the crime were to occur today due to recent cyber-bullying legislation. Since the Megan Meier case, various states and countries have enacted laws against cyber-bullying. For instance, California and New York passed “Bullycide” laws, which impose civil and criminal liability for cyber-bullying (Cooley, 2011). If the case were to occur today, Lori Drew could be charged and sentenced to prison time. The case could also fall under federal jurisdiction as there is currently a bill called the “Protecting Our Students from Digital Harassment Act” that proposes to criminalize cyber-bullying and expand the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act to cover cyber-bullying that causes emotional distress.

Solution 2: Use of Cyber-Bullying Awareness Programs

Another possible solution is the use of cyber-bullying awareness programs. In the Megan Meier case, many people including Megan’s parents and school officials were unaware of cyber-bullying and its effects. Cyber-bullying programs for parents, students, and educators can help build community awareness and bring about change. For instance, The Cyberbullying Research Center provides a comprehensive method of addressing cyber-bullying in schools and has shown to be very successful (Gillespie, 2006).

In conclusion, the Megan Meier case highlights the need for cyber-bullying legislation and awareness programs. These solutions can help prevent future incidents and protect vulnerable individuals from cyber-bullying. Through legislation, the offenders of cyber-bullying can be held accountable for their actions, and through awareness programs, we can work together to create safer online communities.

Suggested Resources/Books:
1. Cyberbullying: Bullying in the Digital Age by Robin M. Kowalski, Susan P. Limber, and Patricia W. Agatston
2. Net Crimes & Misdemeanours: Outmaneuvering Web Spammers, Stalkers and Con Artists by J.A. Hitchcock
3. Bullying Beyond the Schoolyard: Preventing and Responding to Cyberbullying by Sameer Hinduja and Justin W. Patchin

Similar Asked Questions:
1. What is the impact of cyber-bullying on mental health?
2. How can social media platforms prevent cyber-bullying?
3. What are the laws and policies around cyber-bullying?
4. What are the warning signs of cyber-bullying?
5. What are some effective strategies for dealing with cyber-bullying?

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