default_cyberbullying

We have received numerous requests from high school students and teachers over the last several weeks for information about whether or not there should be a criminal law to cover cyberbullying. It seems that this is a national high school debate topic this year. Since we have discussed this issue quite a bit on this blog, I wanted to point interested readers (and debaters) to information that might help them determine for themselves a position on this question. First, I encourage anyone interested in this topic to review the following blogs posted by us over the last couple of years:

Most Cyberbullying Cases Aren’t Criminal (10-12-2010)

Cyberbullying Laws and School Policy: A Blessing or Curse? (9-28-2010)

The Current State of Cyberbullying Laws (8-3-2010)

Do We Need Cyberbullying Legislation? (9-6-2009)

Cyberbullying Legislation: Clarification of My Position and Invitation to Participate (5-19-2009)

Cyberbullying Legislation (5-7-2009)

 

Second, we also have a few fact sheets that could provide valuable information, including the following:

Cyberbullying Fact Sheet: Identification, Prevention, and Response (a good primer on the issues)

Cyberbullying Fact Sheet: A Brief Review of Relevant Legal and Policy Issues

State Cyberbullying Laws: A Brief Review of State Cyberbullying Laws and Policies

Take some time to explore the many other resources on our site (and others), to develop an informed perspective about cyberbullying and appropriate responses. Research-based legislation is just one prong of a multi-pronged approach. And in our view a criminal sanction should be reserved for only the most serious of cases.  As we point out in the resources above, many states already have existing statutes on the books that would apply to the most egregious forms of electronic harassment. So do we need a new law?  That is the question.

Best of luck with the debate – I am sure a lot of valuable information will come from this important dialog.

70 Comments
  1. Fred

    Yes it should be a criminal offense. When people go online and attack others they have knowingly gone on with the intent to hurt. Let's stop justifying certain behaviors. People know right from wrong and if you decide to try and hurt other people often destroying their lives you deserve to be punished.

  2. Fred

    Yes it should be a criminal offense. When people go online and attack others they have knowingly gone on with the intent to hurt. Let's stop justifying certain behaviors. People know right from wrong and if you decide to try and hurt other people often destroying their lives you deserve to be punished.

  3. Anonymous

    Fred, now what if someone were to walk up to you and bully you to your face, are you going to have them punished for being a jerk? if bullying on cyberspace is to be punishable so should every other form of bullying. (removed) … our prisons would be overcrowded, taxes wasted, people's freedom of speech impended, and so on a whole chain of things. (removed)

  4. Anonymous

    Fred, now what if someone were to walk up to you and bully you to your face, are you going to have them punished for being a jerk? if bullying on cyberspace is to be punishable so should every other form of bullying. (removed) … our prisons would be overcrowded, taxes wasted, people's freedom of speech impended, and so on a whole chain of things. (removed)

  5. Anonymous

    feelings of depression are not just caused by a few hurtful messages, in human nature you can choose to be affected by them or just choose to not read those messages. who cares if some one is trying to make fun of you or hurt you with words, theyre insecure not you.

  6. Anonymous

    Thanks for posting this. I am a high school debater and appreciate the help with our topic:)

  7. Master Debator

    Thank you so much for this plethora of information!

  8. Andy Vail

    Hey thanks for all this help! im a debater and ive been racking my brain trying to think of some contentions!!! TE AMO KIAH!!

  9. BV

    Attacking others is not what the forefathers meant concerning freedom of speech. Libel and defamation is criminal conduct and I am so sick of people using that as a crutch. If you intentionally harm others you should be punished and when you place it on the internet it can stay forever because you have companies such as Topix among others that won't remove very much. It should be a crime period and if you post on the internet there is physical evidence that the bullying occurred. If you don't want to be punished then don't do it.

  10. BV

    Attacking others is not what the forefathers meant concerning freedom of speech. Libel and defamation is criminal conduct and I am so sick of people using that as a crutch. If you intentionally harm others you should be punished and when you place it on the internet it can stay forever because you have companies such as Topix among others that won't remove very much. It should be a crime period and if you post on the internet there is physical evidence that the bullying occurred. If you don't want to be punished then don't do it.

  11. Anonymous

    AWESOME STUFF MAN

  12. CAPTAIN ANONYMOUS

    Bullying teaches u how to deal with the world, notice how after we started clamping down bullying our countries obesity rate increased.

  13. He who Leaves a Comm

    This site, and this argument is doing wonders for my Debate Case, against criminalization!

    dont get me wrong, i know the solution.

    often, kids are offended, or hurt by cyberbullying. the solution: improved self esteem, a willingness to ignore others, education about cyberbullying, the knowledge that the internet is a mask, and that the cases often used are full of other variables (Meier was taking psychotopic drugs, and was facing real life stalking and bullying).

    oh, the bully-ers are insecure, and are trying to build themselves up by tearing others down, and in the end, they will be the losers.

    • Anonymous

      Thanks For The Info We Are Working On This At School And I Needed Help ..

      • Anonymous

        Thanks We Are Working On This In School And You All Had Some Great Info ON Here So TurnUp !!

  14. He who Leaves a Comm

    This site, and this argument is doing wonders for my Debate Case, against criminalization!

    dont get me wrong, i know the solution.

    often, kids are offended, or hurt by cyberbullying. the solution: improved self esteem, a willingness to ignore others, education about cyberbullying, the knowledge that the internet is a mask, and that the cases often used are full of other variables (Meier was taking psychotopic drugs, and was facing real life stalking and bullying).

    oh, the bully-ers are insecure, and are trying to build themselves up by tearing others down, and in the end, they will be the losers.

  15. JB

    There is a lot of evidence about how educational programs are the way to go. They cannot, however, handle extreme/severe cases of cyberbullying–there must be criminal laws to address this.

    How would you respond to that?

  16. Thomas

    I agree with JB on this one. In extreme cases there needs to be criminal laws because it is a crime. Some of you need to remember what it is like to be a child and it has been proven that cyberbullying can have devasting effects on a person. No one has a right to destroy another individual. How would you feel if your child took their life? Some kids are literally afraid to go to school because of bullying and there is no defense for that whatsoever. What goes around usually comes around.

  17. debinny

    ignore it/ it can literally ruin an adults life much less a minor's. get you head out of the sand, it cant be ignored when its post after post after post…no ignoring is not the way to go.

  18. Jennifer

    I agree with all of these. we must realize that molestation, rape, abuse, and threatening someone, is all a form of bullying in a way we don't consider this but it is the truth. we treat rape, molestation, and threatening someone is all a criminal offense. therefore cyber bullying should be a criminal offense.

  19. Jennifer

    I agree with all of these. we must realize that molestation, rape, abuse, and threatening someone, is all a form of bullying in a way we don't consider this but it is the truth. we treat rape, molestation, and threatening someone is all a criminal offense. therefore cyber bullying should be a criminal offense.

  20. Barton

    Exactly and there are companies such as a site called Topix that has forums all over the place but they don't require registration and pretty much don't moderate them which means even if you try "ignoring it" someone can post a lie about you and it destroy your reputation. I read an article when they were confronted about that and Topix response was get on their site and fight back. In other words, add to their hits and comments and make them more money. That is just one example and why there has to be some law changes. As Jennifer said rape, molestation, and threats are criminal offenses so why does that not apply to the internet. The law of the land should apply to the net.

  21. Nick

    i am also a high school debater that did not have a chance to debate this topic in round 🙁

  22. Nick

    one thing that i saw run though is that the cyberbullying laws that are already in place in some states are failing… as i previously stated i did not debate but observe… so i dont know if this could easily be attacked but it seemed well used

  23. richard

    if someone's posting crap about you, that's SLANDER or LIBEL, whichever applies to the internet. you can sue and get money off of them that way. otherwise, they just go to jail for a few days/months/years depending on what they posted. my personal favorite is answering back with a VIRUS. or, just block, or don't read the messages

  24. Cardy

    Yes it should. California has new cyberbullying laws going into affect on Jan.1st where a jail sentence and fine are possible. As far as ignoring them that is the problem with online stuff, you can't. Even if you don't see the messages yourself others well and it is out in public. It is cowardly and criminal. Speaking of the new cyberbullying laws maybe that will send a message to the company Topix in California that allows that stuff to happen every second of the day.

  25. Brendan

    Yes absolutely it should. It is done to hurt people and that's a crime.

  26. Anonymous

    but then what about bullying in the schools? they dont consider that as a crime but it stilll hurts people.

  27. Blake

    Cyber Bullying is freedom of speech. The real thing we need to focus on is physical bullying, yes it is a tragedy that people take their lives from this, but just because a few girls are being bitches we shouldn't make a crime out of it. Its really the same as verbal bullying which as far as I know isn't illegal. Cyber Bullying should be ruled by morals rather than laws.

  28. vm

    Yes, it should be considered this criminal,consider a case involving a battered wife who killers her husband after years of abuse. The defense attorney argument is that the wife psychological mind set was not right, so she should not be responsible for her actions. My point is that although the person might not be directly in involved in the person’s death, because of psychological abuse, that person played a major part on the outcome.

  29. Dexter

    The Civil Rights Act of 1964 is a precedent court ruling pertaining to harassment. Amongst all of the provisions granted in this legislation, segregation in the school system was outlawed in this law. Harassment on the basis of race, ethnicity, or religion was particularly prohibited. This legislation has given way for several other monumental rulings reinforce this concept. Rulings such as Gebsr v Lago Vista Independent School District (1998) and Davis v Monroe County Board of Education both addressed different forms of harassment and bullying. School districts administrators have taken the principles brought out in these rulings and applied them to school policies. In recent years, school policies have been expanded to include cyberbullying and other forms of harassment occurring via technology.

  30. Dexter

    The Civil Rights Act of 1964 is a precedent court ruling pertaining to harassment. Amongst all of the provisions granted in this legislation, segregation in the school system was outlawed in this law. Harassment on the basis of race, ethnicity, or religion was particularly prohibited. This legislation has given way for several other monumental rulings reinforce this concept. Rulings such as Gebsr v Lago Vista Independent School District (1998) and Davis v Monroe County Board of Education both addressed different forms of harassment and bullying. School districts administrators have taken the principles brought out in these rulings and applied them to school policies. In recent years, school policies have been expanded to include cyberbullying and other forms of harassment occurring via technology.

  31. NS

    In addition to adjusting the current school policy to incorporate new material, I think the issue of cyberbullying altogether should be left for law enforcement to deal with. With this type of approach, I think any questionable online activity that takes place on school grounds or during school activities should be dealt with by school authorities. Any other type of questionable online activity or cyberbullying should be dealt with by law enforcement. In this approach, law enforcement would be better suited (than school officials) to request any type of search warrant that might be needed. By doing this, I think the youths who are engaging in these types of activity will realize the severity of their actions, and see the consequences first hand – ultimately (and hopefully) leading to a decline of cyberbullying.

  32. Sara Susterman

    The Cyberbulling is so an extremely important issue that has been promotes an online debate if Cyberbullying should be or not consider a criminal offense. You can find many different opinions but 73% (249 votes) thinks that must be judge as a criminal offense.

    I agree with them.

    Many of the voters thought that the jails are full of prisoners and more inmates will not resolve the problem. I agree too.

    But the law must be equal for everyday. Bullying often is a way of imposing specific social norms or social structures onto a less powerful group of people. I agree that the bullies should face the consequences of their acts. We have seemed how the harassment and the humiliation in the web had negative consequences in many people life. We are taking here about suicide and crime.

  33. Anonymous

    Words hurt more than punches. Cyber Bullying places "false character" on someone who tends to be afraid to leave their home, leading them into something worse.

    An example – the above comment from TYLER SMITH – who sould be removed from this blog. He labeled a person he knows and obviously is trying to make it world wide known on social networks for something another person is not.

    Tyler – you can be traced via IP Address and YES – This cyber bullying IS a criminal Offence and those who do it should face a conviction that remains on their permanent record for life.

  34. Anonymous

    The point of the internet is the ability to troll each other. What happens when our cries for wolf ruin anonymity, and causes the revoking of some of our very basic freedoms.

  35. Anonymous

    The point of the internet is the ability to troll each other. What happens when our cries for wolf ruin anonymity, and causes the revoking of some of our very basic freedoms.

  36. OC

    I'm doing a debate in Speech and I would to thank you all on all your great points and evidence it really helped! I also agree that Cyberbullying SHOULD BE a criminal defense!

    • John

      You mean “offense”, not “defense.”

  37. Totallyinagreement

    I think that this is really helpful. I am also doing this topic in speech so I hope my team wins!!! Thanks

  38. Heather

    We need to place a cyber-bullying law into effect for adults too…unless there is already one in place that I have overlooked. Adults too can be very hurtful, spiteful, vengeful and hateful towards other adults…hence, this may be why and where the younger generation is learning to be a bullyfrom=their parents or other elderly peers.

    • Jason

      aw, so there should be a law against getting your feelings hurt?

      • John

        Jason, that sarcasm offended me. You should spend 2 years in federal a**-r*** prison.

        • Jason

          I don’t give a damn. Get over it. If someone is bothering you cut them off. If they are threatening you go to the cops. Anything can be considered bullying. If I make a joke about you and make fun of you for something it can be considered bullying and that’s BS.

          • mikezzers

            you say that until you’re in their position, then try to say that again. I myself have experienced cyber bullying, I did exactly what you said.. until it followed me to school, then my own house.

  39. Kimmych34

    i think people are being more emotional than rational about whether or not cyberbullying should be considered criminal. for one thing it’s not always as cut and dry as actual crimes and putting too much power into the hands of someone who may just not like what you’re doing even if it’s not wrong can lead to a lot of our internet freedoms being taken away.

    whether or not something is considered a bully is too dependent on the feelings of the one supposedly being bullied. for example listed on either this website or the one i viewed before it as one way kids cyberbully is by excluding someone from instant messenger chat lists or blocking their email for no reason.

    i’m an adult but i say “we” to mean people young and old. does this mean then that we’re not allowed to pick and choose who we want to socialize with? does this mean that we have to welcome everyone into our lives and social circle whether we want to or not because if we ever exclude them from anything they can accuse us of bullying them just because they’re hurt that they were left out?

    think about the implications of basing a crime on someone’s feelings in this way. many kids (and adults) are highly sensitive and believe the world is against them or attacking them whenever things happen that aren’t in their favor. they should not be given a basis for dragging whoever they feel threatened by in life into court even if in the end the court realizes the case is ridiculous.

    will schools ban tryouts for teams because those who aren’t picked to join the team can claim they’re being ostracized by the school and then their parents will sue the school for bullying? will we get rid of raises and promotions at jobs because people who are passed up for them will claim its their company’s way of bullying them and sue?

    and what about the internet? with anonymity linked so much to cyberbullying, many places believe that the best way to end cyberbullying is to end anonymity. to force everyone to provide and use their real life information for ANYTHING they use or join on the internet. the more criminal an offense cyberbullying becomes in the law, the more incentive website providers may have to comply with regulations to avoid being involved in legal disputes.

    i dont know about any of you but i like my anonymity on the internet. with identity and information theft being such a huge problem on the internet and with programmers making it more and more easy for the average person to hack into accounts on things like social networking sites and message boards, i like that i have the option of not using my real information or name when im on the internet.

    i like that i dont have to worry about some creep stalker or, oh yes, BULLY hacking into my twitter account for example because i don’t use my real name and the only thing they’ll find in my account if they hack it is my email address. a free one i use only for that kind of stuff that also has anonymous registration information tied to it if they chose to hack into THAT.

    and of course not everyone spends time on websites they want everyone to know theyve been on. adult websites for example or maybe just websites where someone is asking for advice on embarrassing issues. can you imagine not having the freedom to explore these things anonymously anymore?

    i think bullying is wrong but i think the definition of bullying ESPECIALLY cyberbullying is too muddy to make it criminal. in fact, the only parts of bullying that i think should be considered criminal are criminal ALREADY. like physically assaulting another person or posting someone’s images/video or private information without their consent.

    things like this are already crimes without needing to be tagged with the bullying label. all you have left then for bullying when you take out things that are already punishable offenses is whether or not it should be a crime to be mean to someone else.

    if you really want to make THAT criminal fine but i want everyone to consider the consequences of setting that precedence and how it can go far beyond deterring bullying and into infringing upon EVERYONE’S freedoms and privacy.

    i am all for making it criminal if the law is VERY specific about what is and is not considered a criminal form of bullying. but if it is enacted in a very broad way just to appease emotional pleas of parents whose kids committed suicide because someone said that they didn’t like them, for instance, bullies won’t be the only ones feeling the effect. we’ll ALL be spending the rest of our days on and offline walking on eggshells.

    bullying is not at all what it used to be and thats not just because the internet has given it a new place to roam. the people IN our society are different too. when u look at how many kids and adults are on medications now compared to a few decades ago for instance. meds where depression, suicidal thoughts, paranoia, and the like are common side effects.

    look at documented increased drug and alcohol use at earlier and earlier ages. think of how many youth and adults are in need of therapy but not getting it because they refuse it or can’t afford it and prescriptions are just the quicker way. think of how those prescriptions are increasingly being sold to kids at school or at parties and the chemical imbalances they can cause.

    these things can be tied to an increase in bully behavior AS WELL AS an increase in extreme negative responses to comments and behavior that decades ago would have likely been ignored or shrugged off. there’s just SO much more to consider here then people realize. it’s easy to say YES, BULLYING SHOULD BE CRIMINAL! IT’S MEAN!

    but it’s not a simple decision anyone should take lightly. it’s not simple at all.

    • APV83

      Great points. I agree with most of what you say. IMHO NO crime should be solely based on the victim’s perception/feelings, especially if it involves words that were said or someone being looked at a certain way. I really think that criminalizing cyberbullying is NOT the answer, but if governments are even going to consider it, they MUST provide a clear-cut definition, and make sure it’s limited so that people can’t get each other busted over misunderstandings. High-functioning autism is my valid medical excuse for taking every word I hear/read to the most literal extreme. Sometimes I take certain phrases as harsh commands.

      If cyberbullying should be punished, what should the punishment be? Remember that incarceration subjects people to almost constant verbal, physical, and sexual abuse, ALL 3, EVERYDAY, from other inmates AND sometimes the so-called “guards”. Incarceration is definitely NOT the solution to stopping cyberbullies! The punishent should be something more like probation during which the cyberbully’s home internet connection must be cut off by his/her ISP, the cyberbully is probibited from using the internet in any public establishment that has WiFi, AND the cyberbully must seek mental health counseling.

      • Anonymous

        My Name Is CAsia Grayer And I Am Telling You That You Have Some Very Good Information And I Needed For School … You Are An Awesome Writer .. You Deserve Your Props And I Wanted To Be The On To Give Them To you .. My

      • Raini

        I have found bits off this website and other websites to help me with my essay, and here is so-far what i have formed.
        When it comes down, Cyber bullying should not be allowed and accepted from your right of speech. Speech is no longer protected when posted online, someone could always be on the internet waiting to bully you, and when you think about it hate speech should never be treated like free speech. Free speech is for opinions, not spreading rumors, and harassing others. Its a crime in real life, so why not online?
        According to a article on Cyber Bullying Hotline 42% teenagers with technology access has been bullied over the past year.80% of teens with smartphones, tablets, and laptops have social medias and this open the door for cyber bullying, for stalking, and to find someone and potentially kill them. Whats even scarier is 81% of teens say that cyber-bullying is easier to get away with. Well why is this? Why do have to let this happen? From a pdf on Cyberbullying Org i found this slightly disturbing paragraph.
        “In our recent research involving approximately 2,000
        randomly-selected middle-schoolers from one of the most populous school districts in the United States, 20% off respondents reported seriously thinking about attempting suicide (19.7% of females; 20.9% of males), while 19% reported attempting suicide (17.9% of females; 20.2% of males).”
        Why does this happen? Are we supposed to act like this is okay? This is so serious, this is why free speech cannot be the title to this. It’s like calling a cat a dog, it’s wrong, the total opposite. This is affects of not taking Cyber-Bullying seriously. What surprised me most is that more males are considering suicide or have attempted suicide. Of this sample, 20.9% of the 20% are males that where seriously thinking about attempting suicide and 19.7% females. This is not okay.

  40. Richard Zhu

    Whoa, that is alot of good information. Love it! Thanks! 😀

  41. Richard Zhu

    Whoa, that is alot of good information. Love it! Thanks! 😀

  42. jason

    Next thing you know, they’re going to make a law against sticking your tongue out at someone.

  43. jason

    Next thing you know, they’re going to make a law against sticking your tongue out at someone.

  44. Julio-Debate blog

    I think in some cases can be declared a criminal offense but often there is a tradition or behavior through networks to be monitored through education. This bouquet can also be controlled with discilina.

  45. joe

    just ate a hot pocket

  46. Anonymous

    Cyber bully should be criminalized so that no one will ever opt for it for solution. As in the case of Amanda Todd who committed suicide. The people who do it feel insecure and have a inferiority complex

    • Raini

      When it comes down, Cyber bullying should not be allowed and accepted from your right of speech. Speech is no longer protected when posted online, someone could always be on the internet waiting to bully you, and when you think about it hate speech should never be treated like free speech. Free speech is for opinions, not spreading rumors, and harassing others. Its a crime in real life, so why not online?
      According to a article on Cyber Bullying Hotline 42% teenagers with technology access has been bullied over the past year.80% of teens with smartphones, tablets, and laptops have social medias and this open the door for cyber bullying, for stalking, and to find someone and potentially kill them. Whats even scarier is 81% of teens say that cyberbullying is easier to get away with. Well why is this? Why do have to let this happen? From a pdf on Cyberbullying Org i found this slightly disturbing paragraph.
      “In our recent research involving approximately 2,000
      randomly-selected middle-schoolers from one of the most populous school districts in the United States, 20% off respondents reported seriously thinking about attempting suicide (19.7% of females; 20.9% of males), while 19% reported attempting suicide (17.9% of females; 20.2% of males).”
      Why does this happen? Are we supposed to act like this is okay? This is so serious, this is why free speech cannot be the title to this. It’s like calling a cat a dog, it’s wrong, the total opposite. This is affects of not taking Cyber-Bullying seriously. What surprised me most is that more males are considering suicide or have attempted suicide. Of this sample, 20.9% of the 20% are males that where seriously thinking about attempting suicide and 19.7% females. This is not okay.

  47. Anonymous

    Cyber bully should be criminalized so that no one will ever opt for it for solution. As in the case of Amanda Todd who committed suicide. The people who do it feel insecure and have a inferiority complex

  48. yes yes tes

    stand up for bullying dont be scare of them

  49. Anonymous

    The definition of cyber bullying is REPEATED, HOSTILE, and with the INTENT to embarrass, threaten or harass. It is not just a mean comment. Just to all you uneducated, ignorant folk.

  50. Anonymous

    My Name Is CAsia Grayer And I Am Telling You That You Have Some Very Good Information And I Needed For School … You Are An Awesome Writer .. You Deserve Your Props And I Wanted To Be The On To Give Them To you .. My

  51. Unknown

    I belive that cyber-bullying should only be considered a crime if it gets out of hand, but if not out of hand, it teaches you to deal with the real world and the real world is not fair.

  52. He who shall not be named..

    I believe it shall be a criminal offense and it will be!

  53. Draco Malfoy

    Cyberbullying. When you hear the word you think of bullying on the Internet. What if it was possible to stop the hurt feelings and the school absences by making cyber bullying a criminal offense? Well the answer is, it is possible. If, we made our children of the world today better citizens we can start showing what's right and wrong from the beginning.
    My partner and I stand in affirmation to the statement; Cyberbullying should be a criminal offense. Our first contention is that, cyberbullying can happen 24/7 with the culprit being anonymous due to the fact that they’re “protected behind a screen.” If the bully has access to internet then they have the capability to continue to harass the victim since social media doesn’t go away. Studies from the Pew Internet & American Life Project show that 71% of teens ages 12 to 17 had cell phones in 2008 and that’s expected to continue to rise till 2015 where the Pew Internet and American Life Project’s data showed a massive 91% of teens interact with a cell phone. Also, most people have access to social media today, whether they go to a library or have a device at home says the studies from the Pew Internet and American Life Project. Lastly, cyberbullying can happen 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, reach a kid even when he or she is alone and it can happen any time of the day or night, says StopBullying.gov.
    Our second contention is that bullying is increasing across America among teens and children. Most of the times it is teens and children that are the victims of cyberbullying. The 2013-2014 School Crime Supplement (National Center for Education Statistics and Bureau of Justice Statistics) indicates that 7% of students in grades 6-12 experienced cyberbullying. The 2013 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Survey finds that 15% of high school students (grades 9-12) were electronically bullied in the past year, from the research from StopBullying.gov. Also, the bullying rates in America are 39.5% for 13 year olds and 29.8% for 15 year olds according to stopbullying.gov and these numbers do not seem to be going down. Based on research by Megan Meier Foundation, 87% of teens have been targeted through social media by cyberbullies, which is almost 7 times larger than the amount of victims that aren’t teenagers. But did you know that cyberbullying is something that is very common for teenagers that are on the Internet? Well, The American Academy of Pediatrics calls cyberbullying the most common online risk for all teens.
    The reason why teenagers are the most common victims of this serious problem is because since, teenagers are the ones that are always on mechanical devices. 22% of teenagers log on to their favorite social media site more than 10 times a day, says the American Academy of Pediatrics. Our final contention is bullying prevention programs don’t have any effect on bullying, so bigger will be better. According to a 2011 research paper a school did a study on 884 elementary, 2421 secondary, and 1003 high school students in Japan showed that the programs they provided to stop cyberbullying never really had any effect. Counselors usually come into classrooms to talk about bullying and why you shouldn’t do it, but it doesn’t really make the percentage of cyberbullying problems decline, due to studies. Studies also found that of 195 schools surveyed, students who attended schools with anti-bullying programs were 1.2 times more likely to be targets of peer harassment than those who attended schools without such programs, says the October 2013 issue in Journal of Criminology.
    In conclusion, my partner and I stand affirmation that cyberbullying should be a criminal offense. It should, since cyberbullying can happen 24/7 with the culprit being anonymous due to the fact that they’re “protected behind a screen.” Also, that bullying is increasing across America among teens and children. And, bullying prevention programs don’t have any effect on bullying, so bigger will be better. Cyberbullying can become harmful and without this prevention system, it will only get worse. Thank you.

  54. Rose

    IF you bully someone to suicide, you should be charged with man slaughter. it is basically murder.

  55. Raini

    I have found bits off this website and other websites to help me with my essay, and here is so-far what i have formed.
    When it comes down, Cyber bullying should not be allowed and accepted from your right of speech. Speech is no longer protected when posted online, someone could always be on the internet waiting to bully you, and when you think about it hate speech should never be treated like free speech. Free speech is for opinions, not spreading rumors, and harassing others. Its a crime in real life, so why not online?
    According to a article on Cyber Bullying Hotline 42% teenagers with technology access has been bullied over the past year.80% of teens with smartphones, tablets, and laptops have social medias and this open the door for cyber bullying, for stalking, and to find someone and potentially kill them. Whats even scarier is 81% of teens say that cyber-bullying is easier to get away with. Well why is this? Why do have to let this happen? From a pdf on Cyberbullying Org i found this slightly disturbing paragraph.
    “In our recent research involving approximately 2,000
    randomly-selected middle-schoolers from one of the most populous school districts in the United States, 20% off respondents reported seriously thinking about attempting suicide (19.7% of females; 20.9% of males), while 19% reported attempting suicide (17.9% of females; 20.2% of males).”
    Why does this happen? Are we supposed to act like this is okay? This is so serious, this is why free speech cannot be the title to this. It’s like calling a cat a dog, it’s wrong, the total opposite. This is affects of not taking Cyber-Bullying seriously. What surprised me most is that more males are considering suicide or have attempted suicide. Of this sample, 20.9% of the 20% are males that where seriously thinking about attempting suicide and 19.7% females. This is not okay.

  56. CL

    we all have gotten freedom of speech, opinions, and stuff mixed up. yes we should be able to state our opinion on a situation that we find incredibly wrong, irresponsible, etc. but as said above we were not given freedom of speech, as a way to intentionally hurt others. i myself have faced bullies physically and cyber. i see that it was stated as well above this comment that, we can choose to either listen or ignore. WE. ARE. HUMAN. if we hear hurtful things all the time it really does effect us and our self esteem. One of my closest friends recently committed suicide. it was discovered that one of her ex best friends wanted to play a joke on her, after pretending to be a nice friend out of state, they turned on her and started harassing, saying many hurtful things etc. it wasn't pretty, and i could tell she way depressed. she didn't have many friends. in this generation with all of this new technology; is intentionally hurting people and bullying them going to be something that people get away with? people really do die everyday because of stuff like this, and it just pains me to see that nobody is taking attention to it at all. people feel safer now that they can go online, disguise themselves and take guilty pleasure in making others miserable, lonely and depressed. rumors are a real things and they can really ruin someones reputation. please. someone take notice. this is not what we want for our future. people need to know that hurting someone intentionally is not right and that there should be consequences.

  57. N/A

    I think Cyber-Bullying should be treated like if they said that in real life. If someone threatens your life online, then it should be a crime. If someone insulted your hair color, cyber-bulling should not be a crime, but their account could be suspended based upon the rules of the website.

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