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.
NEW! Subscribe to our newsletter
Please sign up for our email newsletter. We publish about twice a month (you can easily unsubscribe if you need to).
NetFamilyNews – by Anne Collier
- At the IGF: Youth participation = greater youth e-safety
- Enabling peer protection: Knowledge is empowerment
- Millennials’ changing social media use: Survey
- Heard of Twitch? Amazon has!
- Dealing with the nasties online
- Leadership in bullying prevention and so much more
- Kindness really could be going viral! Just look…
- More clarity on teens’ ‘Am I pretty?’ videos
Analysis & News – by Larry Magid
- UN bringing child rights into the digital age
- IGF attendees complain about censorship in Turkey while some advocate it for youth
- Internet Governance Forum topics include human rights, network neutrality and child protection
- Protecting children online needs to allow for their right to free speech
- It’s time for schools to upgrade both technology and pedagogy
- Why Google (and Facebook) should admit kids under 13
- As Ferguson struggles, Georgia teens create app to rate police departments
- Tech can make driving dangerous, but also safer