A 44 year old woman made a fake myspace account so she could harass a 13 year old. She made up a fake boy's identity to get close to the girl and eventually started saying stuff like the world would be better off without the girl. The girl killed herself.
The 13 year old had "low self-esteem and was on medication at the time of her death".
There is no law on the book to charge the 44 year old woman with anything. It would be tough to do so I suppose but it sucks that some grown person can drive a medicated 13 year old to her death and have no consequences at all.
As the internet gets wider and wider use I wish we would start getting tougher laws on the books.
The reason why we don't have "griefers" in real life constantly insulting EVERYONE and giving everyone shit is because we have laws and police and the right to protect ourselves.
But people harp how the internet is "just on a computer screen" and how it doesn't really matter because everything is anonymous.
A. In this story we know that's not true.
An asshole who swears and uses racist stuff and posts obscene pictures on the internet can generally be waved off since most of this stuff can be ignored or erased. However, with the web becoming more entwined with out daily lives I think this sort of shit will become harder to ignore and closer to our daily offline lives. For example most people don't know that if somone knows your last name and general area you live in they can use many free reference tools online to tract your physical home address and phone number. It's easy to ignore someone sending you a picture of feces. It's harder when people start to actually mail pieces of it to your home (or a letter bomb, because some people are over achievers when it comes to being a dick).
Of course you can take all that information off the books...but this has never been an issue in the past. I am reminded of the scene in "The Jerk" were Steve Martin's character is excited that he got into the phone book. "Things are gonna start to happen for me now!" The next scene is of a insane person choosing the person his is going to kill by randomly picking that name out of a phone book. Guess who's name is picked?
So because of something that "just happens on a screen" we are all going to have to have our address made unlisted in the next ten years.
(Mark my word, this is one of these things that I think, and I wish I wrote down later when it becomes true. In a leser example when I first saw the original Britney Spears video with her dressed up as a Catholic schoolgirl, I said to myself In two years they are going to have a music video where two girls dressed up in Catholic schoolgirl uniforms are kissing. A few years later we have to Tatu video where *gasp* two girls dressed up in Catholic schoolgirl uniforms kissing. With the world as unoriginal as it is I see this kind of shit before it happens all the time. I gotta start writing it all down.)
B. This sort of behavior bleeds into the real world.
I know most people feel that society in general has alot of assholes and we just see them more clearly online. But I think that if a younger person reads obscene stuff all day and watches videos were everyone swears for hours at a time, how can that NOT be reflected when they stop using the computer and wander into the real world? It's not that people are assholes. It's that people will become as ammoral as society lets them be. We have this myth that people are "nice". The reality is that most people simply do what society tells them they can or can't do. If the internet lets them do anything then they will do anything.
If a totally free internet would really provide anything useful (except for those who are on society's fringe of course, I mean look what the internet has done for the furry and japanese snuff porn industry, they are thriving!) I would be for it. But it seems like it just breeds antisocial behavior with no penalities.