| Sticks & Stones

During class we discussed the severity of Lori Drew’s actions toward Megan Meier. Although I agree that Drew dedicated much time and effort into luring Megan into her crude joke, there is still an issue being largely missed: why did Megan Meier want to take her own life? By attempting to prosecute Drew many people, the media included, are completely bypassing the core of the problem. In this particular case, there should be more of a focus on the reasons for Megan’s depression.

Drew’s actions are ethically and morally wrong but she did not physically coerce Megan into committing suicide so therefore I don’t see why she is being publically hanged when there are millions of people being virtually bullied on a daily basis and we don’t go through these extremities when a child is being bullied by someone older on a playground. People playing in games such as World of Warcraft are constantly baggered about “sucking” and players go as far as ostrasizing them yet most people are capable of understand reality vs. virtuality and by using this case as a way of enforcing the law to charge us with a crime whenever we say something we don’t mean is a major blow to the shared judgement that we are rational beings who understand right from wrong.

In the Trolls article, Fortuny stated, “the willingness of trolling “victims” to be hurt by words makes them complicit, and trolling will end as soon as we all get over it.” Isn’t this the same as ANY form of bullying? Doesn’t the bullying stop as soon as you stop reacting to it? Some are crying out to the government to put a tighter restriction on cyberbullying and prosecute those who are doing it, but don’t people interpret message differently than face-to-face interaction?

My friend sent a text asking me, “What are you doing tonight?” but I was too busy to send a long response as to why I was staying in on a friday night so I simply responded, “Nothing” and she interpreted the message as me being upset, which wasn’t the case at all. We cannot expect to regulate everyone actions on the internet unless they are harmful (i.e child pornography) and by a woman posing as a guy online and luring a girl into a fake relationship out of spite then proceeding to tell her “the world would be a better place without you” thus assisting in the girls suicide, does not happen very often. 

As the infamous saying suggests, “Be careful what you wish for.” Bullying happens very often and most of us agree it is wrong but what causes one person to react negatively does not occur with another. Is there really even a solution to cyberbullying? Will restrictions on cyberbullying open the door to more restrictions on other Internet activity?

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