Part I: What I Know, Assume, or Imagine
Cyber bullying has become a crippling issue in the 21st century. Over 5 million teens have been a victim of some sort of bullying online. However, with the internet reaching all over the globe, the victim number could be even bigger. After researching cyberbullying for my Exploratory Essay, I have come to the conclusion that the bullying needs to be regulated. Many children are killing themselves over the negativity posted online. This must stop! In order to do so I believe that the government should put into place some sort of regulation where they could monitor the internet user’s language towards people.
Part II: The Search
The first place I went to look for answers was the world wide web. I found an article about cyber bullying safety which outlined some ideas on how to keep kids safe when on the internet. Instead of the government regulation I was looking for however, it provided a checklist for parents to help supervise their children’s time on the internet. Another thing I found in this article was that there is a filtering/monitoring tool to help provide protection from the negative comments or language of certain sites. Computer databases such as Norton now have Parental Databases to monitor internet data of children. As this provides some “regulation” over the internet I was hoping to look more for something governmental. Subsequently, in my next search I included “internet regulation” and “cyber bullying.” I then came across an article from the library database titled, “NY high court says anti-cyberbullying law won’t pass First Amendment muster.” In this article, the New York Court of Appeals issued one of the first opinions regarding a cyberbullying statute. Albany County, New York struck down the cyberbullying law as “too broad and vague.” The proposed law defined cyberbullying as any act of communicating or causing a communication to be sent by mechanical or electronic means, including posting statements on the Internet or through a computer or email network; disseminating embarrassing or sexually explicit photographs; disseminating private, personal, false or sexual information; or sending hate mail, with no legitimate private, personal or public purpose and with the intent to harass, annoy, threaten, abuse, taunt, intimidate, torment, humiliate or otherwise inflict significant emotional harm on another person (Hudson Jr.). Even though the court denied this proposed law, I believe it is a step in the right direction. Now lawmakers need to get back in the saddle and craft a more defined and tailored cyberbullying law. Finally, in my last source I watched a video titled, “Finding balance between freedom of speech and stopping human right violations online.” In this video the speaker, Thomas Gass, talks about how the internet must develop a balance that better represents the international standards of civil rights. This makes a lot of sense to me as human rights must apply online and offline of the internet. They further go on to argue that freedom of expression on the internet must be balanced with respect and integrity of others. Thus, minimizing the negative and shrewd comments directed at people.
Part III: What I Discovered
After completing my research, it appears that there is more to it than just putting a law into action. As New York’s legislation has “struck down” vague cyberbullying laws I would l like to research what our Virginia state laws say about cyberbullying. Additionally,
Part VI: Conclusion: Now what?
Donna Rice Hughes. “Cyber Bullying: Introduction.” internetsafety101, https://internetsafety101.org/cyberbullying. Accessed 1 April 2018.
NY high court says anti-cyberbullying law won’t pass First Amendment muster. By: Hudson Jr., David L., ABA Journal, 07470088, Nov2014, Vol. 100, Issue 11. Accessed 1 April 2018
Finding balance between freedom of speech and stopping human right violations online – online free speech. Associated Press, 2014. Associated Press Video Collection. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com. Accessed 1 April 2018.
...(download the rest of the essay above)