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Should Cyberbullies Be Prosecuted?
About 37% of young people between the ages of 12 and 17 have been bullied online. 30% have had it happen more than once” (Patchin). Cyberbullying is a big problem in today’s internet world. Different forms of cyberbullying can be things such as sending threats, unwanted communication, posting false and harmful information online, and encouraging the victim to post false, private, personal, and offensive information online. Cyberbullies maliciously target victims by revealing their personal information or harassing them with the intent to cause embarrassment and pain. My topic is the question if cyberbullies should be prosecuted. The definition of prosecuted means: Institute legal proceedings against (a person or organization.) / Continue with (a course of action) with a view to its completion. Today some people want cyberbullies prosecuted because people think that they should just not suffer through being abused by people online. Other people believe that people should not be prosecuted because they think that students can learn to not do it by teachers and parents teaching.
Today many people agree that cyberbullies should be prosecuted and for good reason. Many schools still haven’t seen this as a big problem today and that’s what concerns most people. Many websites and quotes have been posted on the internet about cyberbullying like this one by Sara Komoto, “Those threatened by your strength will try to tear you down. Make you feel small. Especially if that strength has the power to expose them.” This means that cyberbullies can make you very sad. It also means that some cyberbullies will do anything to make fun of you. Even if someone finds out. Cyberbullying is now becoming a bigger concern today. More people are thinking that students have a fundamental right to not suffer through the abuse and that cyberbullies need to be held responsible for their actions. The story of Megan Meire raised more awareness of cyberbullying after her incident. The story is that after a life-long struggle with weight and self-esteem, she made friends with a boy and thought she could trust him. After a few weeks of friendly conversations, she wanted to strengthen the relationship by meeting in person. Then her online boyfriend started writing spiteful and disturbing messages such as “ the world would be a better place without you.” She then committed suicide by hanging herself 3 weeks before her 14th birthday.
Investigators soon discovered that her online boyfriend, Josh Evans, was a 48-year-old woman named Lori Drew. Her intentions were to tease and embarrass Megan. Lori went to court but was never convicted because there was no law against cyberbullying. This case brought attention to the dire consequences of cyberbullying. Studies have shown that cyberbullying can cause anger, isolation, depression, illness, and humiliation today. When some people are cyberbullied they can often feel like it’s their fault and they can feel hurt and embarrassed. Some people think that cyberbullies should be prosecuted, there are others that disagree on this. While cyberbullying is still big, some people believe it’s not that big of a problem and they also believe that teachers and parents should teach students beforehand so it won’t be too big of a problem later. Cyberbullying is often dealt with by parents and teachers but not by the court. Today the opponents argue that the public should teach young people how to practice civility and tolerance. Some people have said their opinion online such as this quote by Robert Trestan, “Schools must develop strategies to teach children about cyberbullying and its impact, mechanisms for prevention and response need to be established, and everyone in our schools must be trained" (Infobase). This quote means that students should learn that cyberbullying is not a good thing. It also means that parents should be involved along with teachers in helping to stop cyberbullying too.
For many people, it’s hard to agree on which side to take. After reading both sides of the story I agree with the side that says to prosecute cyber bullies. The reason why I believe that cyberbullies should be prosecuted is because I also believe that everyone has a fundamental right to not suffer through the abuse. It’s not really fair that even though some parents and teachers have tried to stop cyberbullying it still continues. Also cyberbullying is a form of harassment and no one should go through being harassed by other people online. Not only have many teens gotten depressed by this but, some have even committed suicide just by being cyberbullied by someone else. In my opinion, cyberbullies should also face consequences and have to learn something from cyberbullying other people. If cyberbullies are never stopped then this process of cyberbullying will just go on forever. The reason why I believe cyberbullies should be prosecuted is because cyberbullying just keeps happening and it might never stop. And in my opinion, the people that say no to prosecuting do not have a lot of good reasoning. Even though some people are trying to stop cyberbullying it will not work all the time which is why I believe that cyberbullies should be prosecuted.
So going back to the beginning of the topic should cyberbullies be prosecuted? Yes or no? There are quotes online to yes like this one by Anna Maria Chavez, "Unless and until our society recognizes cyber bullying for what it is, the suffering of thousands of silent victims will continue” (Anna Maria Chavez)This quote means that people should do something about cyberbullying or else it will continue to spread and no one can or will stop it. Then again there are quotes like the ones mentioned above that say that cyberbullies should not be prosecuted such as: “However, it is my opinion that we must hold not only the children accountable, but the professionals accountable for behavior that is tolerated at their school” (Lisa Ford-Berry). The battle still rages on with teachers and parents trying to stop cyberbullying. Opinions on whether cyberbullies should be prosecuted are a mix but cyberbullying is still out there and needs to be stopped.
Cyberbullying Research Center. cyberbullying.org/the-great-debate-should-cyberbullying-be-a-criminal-offense. Accessed 13 May 2022.
Database. Issues and Controversies, icof.infobase.com/articles/QXJ0aWNsZVRleHQ6MTY0OTI=. Accessed 12 May 2022.
Harassment And Cyberbullying As Crimes. www.criminaldefenselawyer.com/crime-penalties/federal/Harassment.htm. Accessed 13 May 2022.
“Patchin, Ph.D, Justin. "2019 Cyberbullying Data." Accessed 23 May 2022,
icof.infobase.com/articles/QXJ0aWNsZVRleHQ6MTY0OTI=. Accessed 12 May 2022.
Phd Essay. "Phd Essay." Phd Essay, phdessay.com/prosecuting-cyber-bullying/.