Tyler Clementi | Teen Ink

Tyler Clementi

January 27, 2011
By charlie rawles BRONZE, Virginia Beach, Virginia
charlie rawles BRONZE, Virginia Beach, Virginia
1 article 0 photos 1 comment

Tyler Clementi

Invasion of privacy is an awful crime that often gets over looked. There are many online social networks, and since they are open for anyone to view, the sites give information about people to strangers without consent. A hate crime, as defined by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, is a crime committed with the intent to harm or deface a religion, race, person of disability, ethnic background, or sexual orientation. The point when privacy invasion becomes a hate crime is up for debate. If the invasion of privacy exposes a stereotype of a group of people to publicly defame them, and the person’s life is in some way damaged, it is a hate crime. For example, in the case of Tyler Clementi, a former Rutgers student, two other students were clearly trying to hurt his reputation by publicizing his homosexuality on the internet. They posted a blog and said negative things about him and this drove him to the point of taking his own life, forever changing the lives of those close to him. Hate crimes such as the case of Clementi can and should be prosecuted. The FBI website says, “The Federal government can and does investigate crimes of bias as civil rights violations, which do fall under its jurisdiction.” A long prison sentence should await those who dare to practice a hate crime through invasion of privacy.

Crimes like the one Tyler Clementi fell victim to are terrible, unfortunately there is little we can do to prevent crimes like this from happening. Spreading the word about the possible consequences and educating people about Tyler Clementi’s experience, the media might make people realize that people’s privacy is no joke. When things that aren’t funny are made into jokes, bad things can happen. Kathleen Parker states in a Virginian Pilot article entitled “A Public Matter of Private Concern,” “How could anyone think that another’s private, most intimate moment was fair game?” It seems that in today’s society, those intimate aspects of life seem to be the most prone to offense. Just as invasion of privacy is considered harmful, smoking is considered detrimental; however, at one point in time most people smoked. It didn’t matter to people because they did not see smoking as harmful. But now people have taken the initiative to speak out against smoking. The media defending non smokers, today there are a dwindling number of smokers. Kathleen Parker also says in the same article, “Few smoke in public places today, in part because laws prohibit it, but also because smokers were made to feel ostracized.” What needs to be done is those who think it is funny to ruin someone’s life by invading their privacy need to be pointed out and punished. We must take action to fix the invasion of privacy and protect innocent people fromone of the most hurtful crimes of all.

"Federal Bureau of Investigation Civil Rights Hate Crime Overview." FBI — Federal Bureau of Investigation Homepage. Web. 08 Oct. 2010.
Parker, Kathleen. "A Public Matter of Private Concern." Virginian Pilot 5 Oct. 2010. <http://www.fbi.gov/hq/cid/civilrights/overview.htm>.

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