Cyberbullying and its effect on a teenage girl.
Megan Meier was a 13 year-old girl that was the victim of cyber bullying. I was aware of cyber bullying after discussing it in a few classes prior to learning of this particular case. According to a website that describes this issue, “Cyber bullying is negative or hurtful behavior using an electronic medium, repeated over time, that involves an intention to hurt the victim and a power differential between the bully and the victim.” After a few exchanges with a made up person named Josh Evans, Meier committed suicide. Josh Evans ended up being a woman named Lori Drew, a mother of Meier’s “ex-friend” who lived four houses away. According to the New York Times
“In a highly unusual move, Thomas P. O’Brien, the United States attorney in Los Angeles, prosecuted the case himself with two subordinates after law enforcement officials in Missouri determined Ms. Drew had broken no local laws.”
After finding charges that could stick using the Federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, “the jury found Ms. Drew guilty of accessing a computer without authorization on three occasions, a reference to the fraudulent postings on MySpace in the name of Josh Evans. (NYTimes)” It is sad that someone who is an adult in our society would conspire against any person, especially someone that she had once had ties to. A cyber bully can come in any form and this case is a prime example of how extensive the damages could be due to it. The Meier family will never get their daughter back and has to live with the knowledge that it was a prank that caused all this pain. Many were and should continue to be outraged about this case, but also about all the other cases of cyber bullying that have affected our online communities. Nobody should ever have to read the words “The world would be a better place without you.” People are so fragile and pour themselves into all these social networking sites, thinking that they are more real online then in the real world—which leads them to take all the things said to them there way too seriously. Cyber bullying needs to be reported to, because it can have side-effects like this case.