+1 (802) 355-0158
  3 min reads

TCP Episode 122 -- Can We Stop Cyberbullying and Electronic Harassment?

Jethro Jones and Frederick Lane discuss efforts to prevent cyberbullying and other types of electronic harassment.

TCP Episode 122 -- Can We Stop Cyberbullying and Electronic Harassment?
Winslow Homer, Detail from "The Veteran in a New Field" (1865) [April 2022]
Table of contents

Listen to this episode on Cybertraps.com, Apple Podcast, or your podcast platform of choice.

Show Notes

  • News Item: Colorado Supreme Court Strikes Down Electronic Harassment Ban
  • Cyberbullying
    ** Using electronic communication tools to bully someone
  • Cyber- or Electronic Harassment
    ** Online harassment (suggests a pattern of behavior more extensive than cyberbullying)
  • Cyberstalking
    ** Harassment using electronic communications that creates fear of physical harm or injury
  • Thanks to social media, these behaviors are increasingly a global problem
  • Growing concern about rise in electronic dating violence among adolescents
  • Electronic harassment includes messaging, calling and sending other items to illicit compliance via intimidation and fear tactics; electronic coercion is pressuring a partner to share sexual or illicit messages, pictures or videos; and electronic monitoring is the viewing, listening or reading of messages, images or videos of one’s partner.
  • “We found that at age 12, youth are at risk of engaging in all three forms of electronic dating violence that we studied, and that between 9th and 10th grade—when youth are 15 to 16 years old—the risk of all three domains increases substantially. But we see that risk becomes somewhat constant or perhaps even declines after age 16,” said Elyse Thulin, a doctoral candidate at U-M’s School of Public Health, noting that more research is needed to understand the undercurrents of this decline.
  • Connected homes and the Internet of Things is increasing the potential for this type of behavior
  • These types of behavior can cause or contribute to serious harm for victims, up to and including suicide
  • Children can be perpetrators as well as victims
Responses and Solutions
  • Statutory
    ** Most states have amended their relevant statutes to include the use of electronic communications to commit these crimes
    Some states have adopted statutes specifically prohibiting cyberbullying, cyberharassment, and cyberstalking
    ** In some states, these behaviors can be either a misdemeanor or a felony
    ** With respect to speech, such statutes are a restriction of First Amendment freedoms and as such, are subject to strict scrutiny by the courts
    ** In some instances, courts have struck down language in these statutes on the grounds that the phrases or terms used are “unconstitutionally vague and overbroad”
    ** Colorado: Supreme Court struck down phrase “intended to harass”
    ** Texas: Appellate court struck down a ban on online speech “intended to and reasonably likely to annoy”
  • Corporate
    ** Terms of Service
  • Site Behaviors
    ** Mute/Block
    ** Limiting Responses
    ** Unmentioning
  • Litigation
    ** Lawsuits seeking damages for intentional infliction of emotion distress, invasion of privacy, etc.
    ** From a 1975 decision by the Colorado Supreme Court:

Indeed, a fundamental purpose of free speech in our system of government is to debate ideas. These debates may be vigorous and high-minded but may at times devolve into vituperative attacks. “Speech is often provocative and challenging. It may strike at prejudices and preconceptions and have profound unsettling effects.” But as the Bolles court aptly observed, if such speech could be restricted, “the protection of the First Amendment would be a mere shadow.”

Press ESC to close.

© 2024 The Cybertraps Newsletter - All Rights Reserved

You've successfully subscribed to The Cybertraps Newsletter
Great! Next, complete checkout for full access to The Cybertraps Newsletter
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in
Success! Your account is fully activated, you now have access to all content.
Success! Your billing info is updated.
Billing info update failed.
Your link has expired.