There have been two new developments in the tragic cyberbullying case in Missouri that broke last November (see "Extreme cyberbullying"): 1) Federal prosecutors in Los Angeles are looking at charging the adult neighbor who created the imposter profile that led to the Missouri teen's suicide, the Los Angeles Times reports. "Prosecutors in Missouri said they were unable to find a statute under which to pursue a criminal case." The US Attorney's Office in L.A. believes it has jurisdiction because MySpace is based in Beverly Hills, and – creatively, the Times cites a legal experts as saying – the L.A. prosecutors are exploring charges involving federal wire fraud and cyber fraud because the woman "defrauded MySpace" by creating the imposter account, the Times cites anonymous sources as saying. The First Amendment could be a big hurdle for them, but if they're successful, the case could be groundbreaking because of all the fake profiles people create all over the social Web, for both benign and malicious reasons. 2) The other development, online vigilantism, is described in depth in the Washington Post. Wanting to avenge Megan's death, people have "combed public records online to post photos of Lori and Curt Drew along with heated messages demanding they be held accountable. Satellite images of the house were also posted, along with the Drews' address and phone numbers, and details about where each worked…. What lawmakers couldn't or wouldn't do, virtual vigilantes quickly did," the Post reports. Also at the Post, see this online discussion of the Megan Meier case between readers and Daniel J. Solove, associate law professor at George Washington University and author of "The Future of Reputation: Gossip, Rumor and Privacy on the Internet. Its insightful last Q&A is about virtual mobs and online shaming.
NetFamilyNews – by Anne Collier
- A positive, insightful new book for schools on bullying
- Students called heroes in this 6th-grade class
- In the face of school violence, what do we default to?
- Popularity: The other kind of vulnerability
- FB & Oculus VR: The potential of a virtual-reality platform
- What’s (importantly) different about Snapchat
- We ‘like’ faces in social media: Study
- Yik Yak update: How the app came to geo-fence off US schools
Analysis & News – by Larry Magid
- Facebook’s ‘Nearby Friends’ feature: What you need to know
- Identity theft a problem from cradle to grave — Kids most vulnerable
- How to protect your family from Heartbleed security flaw (slideshow)
- Beware of Heartbleed inspired phishing scams
- Are sites you use vulnerable to Heartbleed security flaw?
- Microsoft ends support of Windows XP: Machines highly vulnerable to security risks
- The evolution of online safety: Lessons learned over 20 years
- Safety through mindfulness: Watch ‘The Science of Character’