The current situation with the spread of the coronavirus, which has led to pupils' frequent presence on the Internet and virtual learning, is also harming cyberbullying's increasing prevalence. According to NBC29.com, this negative phenomenon risks becoming a real pandemic. As noted by the program manager at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta's Stephanie V. Blank Center for Safe and Healthy Children Stephanie V. Void, Angie Boy, cyberbullying cannot be avoided because today's technology allows a person to be online anytime, anywhere. Technology such as the phone is with a teenager at all times, allowing them to social media conversations both at school and at home.

According to 7KPLC News, CNN Newsource noted that cyberbullying uses any modern electronic technology to intimidate, harass, threaten or humiliate a person. There are several signs you can see when a teenager is being bullied:

  • they stop using some of their apps frequently;
  • they try to hide their screen image when an adult is standing next to them;
  • they try to avoid social situations when interacting with specific groups of friends.

The risk of cyberbullying in today's world is increasing as a dangerous phenomenon that can lead to fatal consequences. A prime example of this is the Megan Meyer case, which caused a great resonance in American society. In 2008 the U.S. federal court system, for the first time, had to consider an Internet bullying case that resulted in the hanging of a 13-year-old high school student.

Cyberbullying court case

Megan Meyer was an American high school student who committed suicide due to online bullying orchestrated through a virtual fake figure created by Lori Drew. She is the mother of one of Megan's high school friends. Lori Drew created a MySpace account under the name of a nonexistent fictional 16-year-old boy named Josh Evans who lived in a nearby town.

According to the indictment, in September 2006, Drew conspired to create a fake account in Josh Evans' name with her then-13-year-old daughter Sarah and then-18-year-old assistant Ashley Grills to cause psychological harm to Meyer. As a result, the account was used to flirt with 13-year-old Megan Meyer. Josh Evans first professed his love for Megan, then broke off the virtual affair a month later and became rude and abusive.

Finally, he sent Megan a message that the world would be a better place without her. Megan couldn't take it and hanged herself.

Court Verdict

On November 26, 2008, a jury convicted him of unauthorized access to computers. But a California judge postponed sentencing until July 2 to review the testimony of two witnesses. At a retrial on July 2, 2009, Federal Judge George Wu overturned the conviction.

It was the first federal cyberbullying case. Lori Drew was acquitted of the computer hacking charge by a jury Wednesday morning but convicted of three misbehavior. The jury deadlocked on the remaining prosecution of criminal conspiracy. Another day later, after a review of the case by a six-member jury, they acquitted Drew of three charges of violating the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse of Business Act.

An emotionally charged lawsuit characterized the case as a result of a prank on MySpace in 2006. But the trouble is that this "prank" led to the suicide of a 13-year-old schoolgirl.

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