Why Can't We Be Friends?

Powerful Essays
Geoffrey Eppler
1301-22
Dr. Ann Guess
10 November 2011
Why Can’t We Be Friends?
In the past decade, social media and technological advances have expanded our abilities to communicate with each other and the world. These recent liberations have allowed users to stay connected and reconnect with friends and family with great efficiency, but they have also created a possibility for anonymous harassment, public ridicule, and bullying. Under the cloak of “perceived” anonymity, users and abusers have experienced a sense of freedom to say whatever is on their minds. The improper use of these capabilities has become increasingly troubling among today’s youth and throughout schools. There has been an escalation of “cyberbullying” and its accompanying negative effects. This unregulated domain of technology and these unfiltered publications of speech have also become an alarming issue in recent courtrooms. To this day, many states lack proper legislation to protect their citizens in cyberharassment cases; therefore, the regulation has been hanging unattended. How to classify these cases and deliver appropriate justice to violators has been subject to vague definitions leaving clarification open to interpretation by individual courts. Some courts have used the vague definitions of the law in their favor to convict defendants who probably should have been protected under the First Amendment. State statutes need to be amended in order to delegate the responsibility to teach awareness and prevention techniques to schools and to ensure appropriate justice without infringing on an individual’s protected freedoms.
How dangerous is Cyberbullying? The term cyberbullying has recently been coined to define the use of speech communicated via an electronic device (computers, cell phones, etc…) with the intention of embarrassing, harassing, or threatening another person. The emergent presence of texting and Internet usage has intensified the prevalence of cyberbullying in



Cited: Belnap, Allison. “Tinker at a Breaking Point: Why the Specter of Cyberbullying Cannot Excuse Impermissible Public School Regulation of Off-Campus Student Speech.” Brigham Young University of Law Review 2011.2 (2011): 501-33. Academic Search Complete. Web. 1 Nov. 2011. “Cyberbullying Enacted Legislation: 2006-2010.” Cyberbullying. National Conference of State Legislatures, 2011. Web. 7 Nov. 2011. Feinberg, Ted and Nicole Robey. “Cyberbullying.” Education Digest 74.7 (2009): 26-31. Academic Search Complete. Web. 4 Nov. 2011. Hinduja, Sameer and Justin W. Patchin. “Cyberbullying and Suicide.” Cyberbullying Research Summary. Cyberbullying Research Center, 2010. Web. 4 Nov. 2011. Lane, Darcy K.. “Taking the Lead on Cyberbullying: Why Schools Can and Should Protect Students Online.” Iowa Law Review 96.5 (2011): 1791-1811. Academic Search Complete. Web. 1 Nov. 2011.

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