Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Myspace Abuse Leads to Teen Suicide

Washington Post article about 13 year old Marie who committed suicide as a result of online bullying called "A Deadly Web of Deceit"

this article is so important because the first ordinances about onilne bullying were established in this little girl's hometown as a direct result of this incident. It's a breakthrough in creating real world consequences for online actions!

It's lengthy but such an informative read so, enjoy!


Brian said...

I'm curious as to how these ordinances would work, as cyberspace/the Web/etc. is an ethereal thing. Aside from buildings where the servers are plugged into electric the Web sites, e-mails and messages do not exist anywhere. Or, to look at it another way, they exist everywhere. Cyberspace is literally time and relative dimension in space. If these bullies don't live in the same town, state or country with the victim, how do the laws apply to them? This is the main problem that record companies are finding when going after "pirates." They can't prosecute people for pirating their music on a Web site when it's based in another country. So I just don't see how this legislation would work. And I would be leery of people legislating the Web, because no one country has the authority to legislate a multinational, multicultural system.

Ultimately, this story is a sad commentary on the nature of the Web. It's a shame this happened.

Teri Stolarz said...

You have several ready good points here. Ultimately I think it's an ethical issue. Universal legislation seems to pose too many complications and furthermore there is always the issue of "where" these things are taking place. Despite the difficulties in resolving this issue I believe that it is an important topic of discussion.

Then again, online users seem to tend to stick together and serve a certain degree of justice. Point in case- Dibbel's A Rape in Cyberspace. If I remember correctly after a woman was virtually victimized, the offender was "toaded" from the MUD in which it occurred, after a series of meetings between the online community. In the end embarrassment and shame withdrew him from the community even after he had signed in under a different sn. This is somewhat similar to the family at fault involved in the article. From what I read it seems as though they are now victims of ongoing harassment for their actions in the real community and online. While it is barely justice for a contributing to a teen suicide, at least they are not walking around as if they had not had a hand in it.