Tyler Clementi and Cyber Bullying

January 14, 2011
By Anonymous

One type of hate crime defined by the FBI is a “criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender's bias against sexual orientation.” A hate crime becomes an offense on the internet when it is a crime of bias (in this case against sexual orientation.) I do not think that consequences should be to the extremes of being put in jail or being arrested, but limits should be set to the offender’s computer. It is hard to enforce consequences dealing with hate crimes; however, the FBI website also states that “under guidelines developed in conjunction with the Department of Justice, once a complaint is received, the FBI will determine if the matter warrants a preliminary or full investigation.” The degree of the offense committed, the same degree of the punishment should be determined.
According to Kathleen Parker in her article entitled “A Private Matter of Public Concern,” we as individuals can avoid these pranks because we “have to rally ourselves to stop the insanity of narcissism and exhibitionism that inculcates the broader notion that nothing is off-limits.” To me, this means that we as a society need to set our own limits on what we can and cannot do on a computer. Parker notes, “The emergence of social media, combined with mass access to technology – camera equipped cell phones, pocket-sized video cameras and blogospheric distribution – has enabled an insatiable market for spying and gossip. The result has been a cultural breakdown in decency and a blurring of the boundaries of private and public.” In our current world advancing in technology, cyber bullying has become much easier and accessible. Parker might be hinting at limiting large advancements in technology, but these limits will most likely not happen due to the nature of our world wanting to be “better” and “faster” at everything we do. When technology advances, the bullying will only continue, and the investigators know that more and more hate crimes will occur.

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