The issue of bullying has become a hot topic all over the U.S in recent years. Tragic events such as victim suicides and violent assaults have turned the spotlight on the debate of exactly when and how bullying becomes a criminal act. At the forefront of this debate is the increasing trend of cyber bullying where often the bullies anonymously attack their victims online through fake profiles and social media accounts.
What is Cyber Bullying?
The Attorney General of the State of Massachusetts classifies Cyber Bullying as “electronically communicated threats and willful and malicious directing electronic communications at a specific person that seriously alarm that person and would cause a reasonable person to suffer emotional distress.”
Children and Adults may be Charged with Cyber Bullying
Many feel that the problem with cyber bullying is that it does not end at the toll of the school bell or end of the work day. It continues every time the victim uses their smartphone, handheld device, or computer. This is why cyber bullying is considered an extreme form of harassment. The Massachusetts legislature has made laws regarding cyber bullying sweepingly severe, this means children to adults can be charged, convicted, and penalized for Cyber bullying crimes.