Conviction on cyberbullying case ... thoughts?

Lynne

Master of Arts
Joined
May 4, 2007
Messages
1,571
Reaction score
30
Location
Northeast, USA
If someone had done that to my daughter, I would be going to prison for a long time...for premeditated homicide. I believe that is how I would react. No way to know for sure of course.
 
OP
shesulsa

shesulsa

Columbia Martial Arts Academy
MT Mentor
Lifetime Supporting Member
MTS Alumni
Joined
May 27, 2004
Messages
27,182
Reaction score
486
Location
Not BC, Not DC
See... I just don't know on this one...

Lemme ask you all somthing:

If that woman had been friends with the girl's family IRL, and then found out the girl was being mean to her daughter, walked next door and confronted her out of anger and said "The world would be a better place without you" and the kid decided to hang herself... would the criminal charges ever have been filed, or are we attacking the "evils of the internet"?

No-it's the craven contrivance of an adult's actions towards a minor that makes it so bad. If it had been one of the girl's peers who set it up-if the woman's daughter had done it on her own, for instance- well, it would be sad, but not necessarily criminal, and we might not even have heard about it. Adults aren't supposed to interact with teens at that level. More importantly, it sounds as though she knew the girl had enough personality problems that she might be setting something like the girl's suicide off, so there's an implied intent, if not proof of actual intent.

agreed

for an adult to go after a child, and PROD them to suicide is criminal

Of course its easy to be angry at what the adult did... But that doesn't answer my question... would charges against the adult have been pursued if the situation had occurred offline?

Trust me, I don't condone the woman's behavior twords the child, but I do question the actions as taken simply because being, wel basically, mean to someone IRL doesn't seem to carry the same type of penalties, and I wonder what makes the net different?

Or perhaps I should rephrase the question:

Should being mean and rude to someone online carry a more significant weight then doing it in real life?

And if it is ok to regulate what amounts to social grace, (i.e being mean or rude becomes a crime) where does regulation end and freedom of thought begin?

If you created a clever disguise for yourself - pretended to be a completely different gender, age with a completely different intention ... and prodded someone into self-destruction WITH THAT BEING YOUR SOLE INTENT FROM THE START ... what would you call yourself?

The adult woman did not go over to that girl's home as herself, she did not represent herself with honorable intentions - she deliberately disguised herself, befriended, seduced and ultimately bullied and destroyed that girl and it was her intention to do so from the very beginning.

There are newer laws on bullying in some states though it appears to be more of a local thing where they do exist and in some of those cases, if the bullying leads to the death of another then it qualifies as manslaughter.

I think the woman should be committed to an asylum for the criminally insane and let some doctor **** with her head. THAT would do justice by her victim.
 

jks9199

Administrator
Staff member
Lifetime Supporting Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2006
Messages
23,563
Reaction score
3,914
Location
Northern VA
Of course its easy to be angry at what the adult did... But that doesn't answer my question... would charges against the adult have been pursued if the situation had occurred offline?

Trust me, I don't condone the woman's behavior twords the child, but I do question the actions as taken simply because being, wel basically, mean to someone IRL doesn't seem to carry the same type of penalties, and I wonder what makes the net different?
That's why I said that this is one of the few times that I think technology has enabled a new sort of crime. This couldn't have happened face-to-face; the girl would have known she wasn't talking to a boy. I don't think it would have had the same effect were it merely passing notes or sending letters, either. There's an immediacy and an intimacy to communicating via text/IM on the internet that's lacking -- while there's still a frightening anonymity, too.

It would still have been wrong even if the girl hadn't killed herself. Let's say that rather than goading her to suicide, the woman had led her on that they were going to go to prom, and she bought a prom dress, etc., spending huge sums of money (as most proms today involve). I don't think anyone would laugh and say it was a good joke; I think most people would be in favor of making the adult pay some sort of fine or restitution.
 

MJS

Administrator
Staff member
Lifetime Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2003
Messages
30,187
Reaction score
430
Location
Cromwell,CT
See... I just don't know on this one...

Lemme ask you all somthing:

If that woman had been friends with the girl's family IRL, and then found out the girl was being mean to her daughter, walked next door and confronted her out of anger and said "The world would be a better place without you" and the kid decided to hang herself... would the criminal charges ever have been filed, or are we attacking the "evils of the internet"?

IMO, its got more to do with the fact that this was a grown woman, who joined in with her child in tormenting another child. What kind of adult does that? I read in todays paper where 2 highschool girls were having issues, so one of the girls mothers goes to the school and with her daughter, tracks down the other girl and helps to beat her up.
 

MJS

Administrator
Staff member
Lifetime Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2003
Messages
30,187
Reaction score
430
Location
Cromwell,CT
Of course its easy to be angry at what the adult did... But that doesn't answer my question... would charges against the adult have been pursued if the situation had occurred offline?

Trust me, I don't condone the woman's behavior twords the child, but I do question the actions as taken simply because being, wel basically, mean to someone IRL doesn't seem to carry the same type of penalties, and I wonder what makes the net different?

Yes, I would say charges of harassment and possible threatening would apply.
 

Gordon Nore

Senior Master
Joined
May 26, 2007
Messages
2,118
Reaction score
77
Location
Toronto
Of course its easy to be angry at what the adult did... But that doesn't answer my question... would charges against the adult have been pursued if the situation had occurred offline?

Helluva question. I have an addendum to it. Would this crime or misdeed have been committed without the Internet? It's much easier for the cowardly and creepy to function from behind a keyboard then out in the open.
 

Cryozombie

Grandmaster
MTS Alumni
Joined
Feb 11, 2003
Messages
9,998
Reaction score
206
Helluva question. I have an addendum to it. Would this crime or misdeed have been committed without the Internet? It's much easier for the cowardly and creepy to function from behind a keyboard then out in the open.

Thats an excellent point.
 

MJS

Administrator
Staff member
Lifetime Supporting Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2003
Messages
30,187
Reaction score
430
Location
Cromwell,CT
Helluva question. I have an addendum to it. Would this crime or misdeed have been committed without the Internet? It's much easier for the cowardly and creepy to function from behind a keyboard then out in the open.

Would this have been committed without the net? Absolutely. Bullying is nothing new, its been happening for years. Like you said, the only difference here, is the accused hides behind the computer vs. face to face.
 
OP
shesulsa

shesulsa

Columbia Martial Arts Academy
MT Mentor
Lifetime Supporting Member
MTS Alumni
Joined
May 27, 2004
Messages
27,182
Reaction score
486
Location
Not BC, Not DC
Helluva question. I have an addendum to it. Would this crime or misdeed have been committed without the Internet? It's much easier for the cowardly and creepy to function from behind a keyboard then out in the open.

That was my point - it likely wouldn't have been done in public because she's a middle-aged woman and it would be difficult for her to disguise herself as a teenage boy and toy with her. But if she did and worked the girl up into such an emotional state that the girl committed suicide, would she not then be charged with aggravated assault leading to death by way of mental anguish?
 

exile

To him unconquered.
Lifetime Supporting Member
MTS Alumni
Joined
Sep 7, 2006
Messages
10,665
Reaction score
251
Location
Columbus, Ohio
That was my point - it likely wouldn't have been done in public because she's a middle-aged woman and it would be difficult for her to disguise herself as a teenage boy and toy with her. But if she did and worked the girl up into such an emotional state that the girl committed suicide, would she not then be charged with aggravated assault leading to death by way of mental anguish?

Exactly. The prosecution here wasn't predicated on the use of a particular technology. But it's a fact that without that technology, the nature of the fraud she perpetrated would have been much harder to duplicate IRL. Either way, it would be a matter of legally indicting mental cruelty and harrassment, with plenty of malice aforethoughtbut we're much more likely to see this in cyberspace than anywhere else, given the nature of what's required to pull something like this off.
 

aedrasteia

Purple Belt
Joined
Oct 30, 2006
Messages
384
Reaction score
133
It would still have been wrong even if the girl hadn't killed herself. "Let's say that rather than goading her to suicide, the woman had led her on that they were going to go to prom, and she bought a prom dress, etc., spending huge sums of money (as most proms today involve). I don't think anyone would laugh and say it was a good joke; I think most people would be in favor of making the adult pay some sort of fine or restitution."[/quote]

i wish that were true. Nope - it would be spread over the net - or videoed and posted to Youtube or staged for an episode of Punked.

Visible, shared 'cruelty-for-fun'. needs an audience. gets an audience.

the better organized, staged, believable and outrageous the con, the more popular and more shared... 'you've got to see _this_'. Can you top it?

its a challenge lots of people can't resist. Having an overblown 'reason' for revenge/payback is the cheap justification - when it results in harm the perp can't dismiss or when the 'audience' recoils/creeps out, the perp gets confused but can't feel sorrow or repentance, after all, she/he says they 'didn't intend' the bad outcome. except thats exactly what they intended, they just wanted envy and applause too.

the law struggles to create a commensurate legal response. people can create a 'social' response. Shunning seems good.

maybe adding a quiet comment upon meeting this woman ' what a horrific act you did', said softly, no drama, no grand-standing. i witnessed that done by a person toward an individual under a similar situation. The responder followed by leaving the social occasion where the perp was present, made no scene whatsoever, no self-righteousness. i was young and floored by the older woman's integrity and backbone. I think even (*or especially) Miss Manners would approve.

we aren't helpless when we refuse to be the compliant audience for cruelty.
 

exile

To him unconquered.
Lifetime Supporting Member
MTS Alumni
Joined
Sep 7, 2006
Messages
10,665
Reaction score
251
Location
Columbus, Ohio
It would still have been wrong even if the girl hadn't killed herself. "Let's say that rather than goading her to suicide, the woman had led her on that they were going to go to prom, and she bought a prom dress, etc., spending huge sums of money (as most proms today involve). I don't think anyone would laugh and say it was a good joke; I think most people would be in favor of making the adult pay some sort of fine or restitution."


i wish that were true. Nope - it would be spread over the net - or videoed and posted to Youtube or staged for an episode of Punked.

Visible, shared 'cruelty-for-fun'. needs an audience. gets an audience.

the better organized, staged, believable and outrageous the con, the more popular and more shared... 'you've got to see _this_'. Can you top it?

its a challenge lots of people can't resist. Having an overblown 'reason' for revenge/payback is the cheap justification - when it results in harm the perp can't dismiss or when the 'audience' recoils/creeps out, the perp gets confused but can't feel sorrow or repentance, after all, she/he says they 'didn't intend' the bad outcome. except thats exactly what they intended, they just wanted envy and applause too.

the law struggles to create a commensurate legal response. people can create a 'social' response. Shunning seems good.

maybe adding a quiet comment upon meeting this woman ' what a horrific act you did', said softly, no drama, no grand-standing. i witnessed that done by a person toward an individual under a similar situation. The responder followed by leaving the social occasion where the perp was present, made no scene whatsoever, no self-righteousness. i was young and floored by the older woman's integrity and backbone. I think even (*or especially) Miss Manners would approve.

we aren't helpless when we refuse to be the compliant audience for cruelty.

Outstanding post.

We've indeed succeeded in creating a cannibalistic popular culture, where people are carved up and served up to the voyeuristic sadism of a lot of bored people stuck in tedious lives. And that tendency, which starts off with relatively harmless airhead fluff like People magazine, winds up on the dark side with the kind of thing you're describing here: anything to get attention, no matter how vicious. There are quite a few people out there who probably envy this monstrous woman's fifteen minutes of sleazy 'fame'...
 

Bodhisattva

Blue Belt
Joined
Jan 2, 2008
Messages
263
Reaction score
16
Location
St. Louis MO
This woman deserves to be put away for a long, long time.



FULL STORY

Thoughts?

I live close to this story.. about 15 minutes away via highway.

I have to say that I think that woman is a despicable, sad example of a human being.

I also have to say that we have all probably done some rather petty things in our time.

I don't think you can lay a person's suicide at the feet of anyone person.

We really like to hand out blame.

I think she did something disgusting. I am not sure she deserves prison.

A person's suicide has many, many factors.

It is a very personal choice.

This one woman was not the cause.

She was just a nasty, disgusting final straw.

Life is hard.

Our culture is cold.
 

arnisador

Sr. Grandmaster
MTS Alumni
Joined
Aug 28, 2001
Messages
44,573
Reaction score
456
Location
Terre Haute, IN
it was a dirty, disgusting thing that she did. however i'm not sure that she broke the law. in any case, she will have to live with what she's done & the social stigma will follow her always. [...]
it will be interesting to see what legal precedents this case sets.

Yup. I'm not sure she committed a crime and I think they've found her guilty of tangential matters...but it was certainly a cruel thing to do.

But outlawing impersonating people on the Internet could have far-reaching consequences that we might not all be happy about.
 

SA_BJJ

Blue Belt
Joined
Nov 24, 2008
Messages
225
Reaction score
3
Location
San Antonio
it was a dirty, disgusting thing that she did. however i'm not sure that she broke the law. in any case, she will have to live with what she's done & the social stigma will follow her always. karm is a *****.

it will be interesting to see what legal precedents this case sets.

jf
I agree, it will be difficult to charge her with anything, but she should be tortured for long painful periods of time.
 

Carol

Crazy like a...
MT Mentor
Lifetime Supporting Member
MTS Alumni
Joined
Jan 16, 2006
Messages
20,311
Reaction score
541
Location
NH
If you created a clever disguise for yourself - pretended to be a completely different gender, age with a completely different intention ... and prodded someone into self-destruction WITH THAT BEING YOUR SOLE INTENT FROM THE START ... what would you call yourself?

The adult woman did not go over to that girl's home as herself, she did not represent herself with honorable intentions - she deliberately disguised herself, befriended, seduced and ultimately bullied and destroyed that girl and it was her intention to do so from the very beginning.

Isn't it illegal for someone over 21 to try and seduce a 13 year old?




That's why I said that this is one of the few times that I think technology has enabled a new sort of crime. This couldn't have happened face-to-face; the girl would have known she wasn't talking to a boy. I don't think it would have had the same effect were it merely passing notes or sending letters, either. There's an immediacy and an intimacy to communicating via text/IM on the internet that's lacking -- while there's still a frightening anonymity, too.

The only way it could have happened face-to-face would be if a 3rd party was involved. What if the woman had instead orchestrated a complex scenario that involved hiring out a young male actor from a local studio and contracting him to pose as the new boy in town and carry out the same actions? I doubt that would be dismissed as "just bullying", yet the woman online is essentially accomplishing the same ends with the fake identity.
 

Latest Discussions

Top