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Why online harassment is still ruining lives — and how we can stop it

In 2010, ____ ____ threatened his estranged wife by writing rants on his Facebook page such as, “There’s one way to love you but a thousand ways to kill you. I’m not going to rest until your body is a mess, soaked in blood and dying from all the little cuts.”

For making these threats, a federal district court sentenced him to more than three years in prison. Full Article

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  1. Janice Bellucci

    This decision is wrong! A reasonable person would fear the person who wrote and posted the comments in question on Facebook.

    • Wants To Help

      From the perspective of those who face vigilantism and online harassment, yes, this ruling is a step in the wrong direction.

      However, there are thousands, if not tens of thousands of individuals who have had words they never meant used to convict them through online entrapment.

      There are also numerous cases of individuals who have been charged and convicted of making terroristic threats due to sarcastic or out-of-context online postings.

      The online world is a murky place where a person’s words, intent, and actions often differ from real life. Black-and-white as online communication is, it is missing the bulk of what constitutes communication–namely body language, facial expression, and tone.

      This case is drawn from an extreme example–as precedent setting laws and cases so often are–but others have suffered the same fate for words far less extreme, less damaging, and less blatant.

      From the perspective of those who have had words they never intended or meant in the way implied used to convict them, this ruling is a step in the right direction.

  2. Timmr

    “Imagine hundreds of people hurling slurs at you, urging you to kill yourself, and threatening to kill you. Or rape you, along with very specific descriptions of how they would like to do so—and your address. Your life would be disrupted, to say the least.”

    Hey, that is a near enough description of what is is like being listed on the Megan’s Law Website. Now imagine how this harassment feels when it continues for the rest of your life.

  3. Joe

    Whenever I read something like this or yet another article about precious children and ‘bullying’ I remember Mother saying ‘sticks and stones, dear child, sticks and stones…’.

    Inappropriate language ruins lives? ‘Bullying’ is harmful to our children?

    You know what is harmful and ruins lives? Getting a Hellfire Missile dropped on your head from a Predator drone. While you are sleeping in your bed. Or being taken out by a SEAL team that is celebrated in movies stateside. THAT is what ruins lives. Wait…. they are not ‘us’? They are not ‘our’ children? So we will call them ‘Collateral Damage’ instead of ‘Child Victims’! Like every teenager is that is subjected to an inappropriate touch. If it saves one child… as long as it is American. And preferably Caucasian and blond.
    “A 13-year-old boy killed in Yemen last month by a CIA drone strike had told the Guardian just months earlier that he lived in constant fear of the “death machines” in the sky that had already killed his father and brother.”
    “He described how one SEAL sniper killed three unarmed people, including a small girl, in separate episodes in Afghanistan and told his superiors that he felt they had posed a threat. Legally, that was sufficient.”

    There is not a living creature more hypocritical than the American public. I swear.

    • Robert Curtis

      If only people knew how easy it is to build a solar-powered-drone and interfacing it with an internet application with remote command capabilities? Hmmm…well, I’m just a hairdresser with an imagination … head scratch. If my simple mind thought this up who’s to say those real bad guys (define please) haven’t? The bigger the internet gets the smaller the World becomes!

  4. mike r

    Your right Janice but three years. That seems a lil extreme. A lot of times these rants online are simply that rants and not threats that someone will carry out. What ever happened to the ignore button or unfriend button.

  5. mike r

    Proportionality for crimes need to be appropriate. Three years in prison for making threats is disproportionate to the offense. Sure there should be some consequence for making threats but not prison for a first time offense. That’s crazy.

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