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The laws against Online-Bullying by Greta
Online Bullying can be much more severe in its ways than actual bullying because the targets feel they have no escape. Also, because of the wide scope of the Web, there can be many more witnesses to the bullying.
Online bullying can be adressed by civil law and criminal law, based on the situation.
Civil law:This is the type of law that deals with property rights, personal dignity and freedom from injury. Under civil law, there are three categories of online bullying:
1.An online bully may take on in defamation. This is when the bully causes harm to someone’s reputation by spreading false information about that person. In general, defamation that appears temporarily is called backstabbing, and defamation that appears permanently is called lying.
To be aspersive a statement must: do harm to someone’s reputation, have a clear and obvious statement, and be seen by people other than the person making the statement and the target.
In libel cases, the target can lay a case against the person making the statement. If the case is successful, the person making the statement will have to pay damages (money) to the target.
A person involved of lying may defend himself or herself by saying that the statement was true, that it was afair commentor that he or she innocently reproduced the statement without knowing what it was.
2.A criminal may be creating an unsafe environment by making the target feel that she or he cannot go to school without facing violence, teasing or exclusion. Schools and workplaces are required to provide a safe environment for their students or employees, and must take any appropriate action to do so. A school, therefore, might punish a student for online behaviour that is making it hard for other students to learn in a safe environment. In Ontario, the Safe Schools Act has been changed to specifically include online behaviour: students can now be suspended or expelled for cyberbullying, even if it is done outside the school.
3.A person is responsible for any consequences that he or she might thought or guessed it would happen. Therefore, a criminal who suggests that a depressed and sad student should kill herself would be accountable if the student actually did kill herself, as long as the criminal had reason to believe it was a likely decision.
Criminal law: This is the law that determines which actions are crimes against the state. In criminal law, there are two approaches to online bullying:
1.Harassment is a crime under the Criminal Code. Harassment is when something a person says or does makes someone fear for his or her safety, or for the safety of others. Even if the criminal did not attempt to frighten someone, she or he can be charged with harassment if the target feels threatened. Criminal harassment is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
2.Defamatory libel is a crime under the Criminal Code. It is most often treated as a crime if the libellous statement is conduct against a person in authority and could seriously harm his or her reputation. Defamatory libel is punishable by up to 5 years in prison.
Latest page update: made by online-bullying
, Nov 20 2009, 2:05 PM EST
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