Cyberbullying should be considered a Crime
The United States of America has no Federal Laws against Cyberbullying. While more than 49 States have Cyberbullying State Laws, each State has its own rules. I believe that Cyberbullying should be considered a Crime and punished by Law across the globe.
To start my discussion, I want to draw your attention that the issue of Cyberbullying in itself comprises two other activities known as Cyberstalking and Cyberharrasment.
Those two new terms are more evident in the Laws of the States as they make a distinction between the two, and they are generally used to indicate the issue between two adults. The term Cyberbullying is more used to indicate that the victim is a minor (teenager). In many cases, people use the three terms interchangeably.
The major difference between Cyberharrasment and Cyberstalking is that the former does not involve a general threat. Cyberstalking is more serious as it comprises a threat to others.
In my opinion, Cyberbullying needs our attention and needs to be treated seriously by the law for the following reasons:
- Cyberbullying is pure evil: If you think about it, Cyberbullying causes more harm than Lying or Stealing. Those two are considered as vices and many theories consider them as wrong. Still in some cases one can find a justification for it. Someone might steal or tell a lie, because he has some motives. He might be stealing to feed his children. Cyberbullying has no motive but pure Evil. For that reason, one should not be excused for such acts.
- Cyberbullying needs awareness: When strict laws are formed, people will take things more seriously, this will also create awareness among teenagers, who think cyberbullying is a joke or a funny prank. They need to learn that some of its consequences include serious harm to the victim.
- Cyberbullying is not a misdemeanor: Many State laws consider that the act of Cyberbullying is a misdemeanor (not a serious crime). Just because the victim did not commit suicide, does not mean he/she was not harmed. Attempted murder is also considered a Crime, even if the victim was not killed.
- Cyberbullying have long lasting effects: Similar to the traditional bullying, cyberbullying can have long-term negative consequences. A recent study conducted by the Department of Health & Human Services in the United State, have concluded that children who get cyberbullied are more likely to have a low self-esteem, under-perform in school, use drugs and alcohol.
- Cyberbullying have sad endings: The bullied victims and their families go through a lot of pain and depression. Many recent stories end with suicide, such as that of Tyler Clementi who killed himself in 2010 by jumping from the George Washington Bridge and drowning in Hudson River.
- Cyberbullying Act is needed: The federal bill of “Megan Meier Cyberbullying Prevention Act” should have been approved by the congress in 2009. It has been nearly six years since that bill was dropped, and many lives have been lost because of Cyberbullying.
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