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MySpace Suicide Spurs New Laws

MySpace Suicide Spurs New Laws

If you're unfamiliar with the case, 13-year old Megan Meier committed suicide almost two years ago because a boy told her online that the world would be better without her. Apparently the two had formed a strictly internet-based relationship, but suddenly the boy turned cruel and called things off.

However, the young individual using this demoting language never actually existed. There was someone typing, that's for sure, but it wasn't a teenage boy. Enter Lori Drew—mother of an ex-friend of Megan's—who allegedly created a fake profile as a means to discover what Megan thought of her daughter.

While Drew pleaded 'not guilty' in court, Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt has signed a new bill that covers cyberbullying. Prior to this incident, the bill only covered communication that was written or over the phone, and lacked provisions for online incidents. However, Blunt has said that social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook have opened new doors to predators who seek to bully people, especially children. While such a bill needed to be updated, it is sad that a young woman had to lose her life in order for it to take place.

Are social networking sites breeding grounds for bullies? Or does the responsibility belong solely to the person online to be careful who they talk to? [USA Today]

Posted: 7/2/08