Bullying and People

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Hannah Ercolini
Kaufman B Day
December 5th, 2012
Freedom of Speech: Online
One million children were harassed, threatened or subjected to other forms of cyber bullying on Face book during the past year. 81% of youth agree that bullying online is easier to get away with than bullying in person.  80% think it is easier to hide online bullying from parents than in-person bullying. (‘Internet Safety 101’)

Cyber bullying, as a whole, should not be considered a criminal offense because laws that punish online harassment and threats already exist, it is too complicated to look at the details of each case, and it would deteriorate the symbol of freedom of speech. Although the internet allows bullying to occur, it is no different from the bullying that happens at schools or in other public places. It should be given the same consequences as bullying in person and be dealt with in the same ways. Cyber bullying should not become a criminal offense because cyber bullying does not always put someone’s life in danger. Although, when someone faces harassment, threats, or stalking online, they have a justifiable reason to involve the law with the situation.

Online harassment, online threats, and identity theft for the purpose of harm to a person are already illegal actions. California Penal Code section 653.2 subsection (a) states that all forms of harassment online are punishable with a year in jail and/or up to $1,000 in crimes. (‘Criminal Threats Law California Penal Code 653.2 PC.’) California Penal Code Section 422 states that any type of threats that occur in the written language, especially online, have a punishment of jail/prison time for a year depending on the severity. (‘Criminal Threats Law California Penal Code 422 PC.’) These codes address the main danger and harm that can occur from cyber bullying. Everything else that is considered “cyber bullying” is people expressing their opinions online, someone teasing or picking on another person online, or...
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