So, today is a big day in that the Megan Meier cyberbullying case is going to trial. Lori Drew, the neighbor who is accused of creating and using a fake MySpace page to befriend and then break the heart of Megan by posing as a boy who had romantic interest in her. You know the details, so I won’t rehash them here. Drew has been indicted on four counts, and the prosecutor is using the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act as the basis for their case. Generally speaking, the prosecuting team is arguing that Drew “intentionally accessed a computer without authorization or in excess of authorization,” did so via interstate communication, and violated the MySpace Terms of Service which prohibits providing false information while registering, soliciting information from minors, and using the social networking site to harass others. I think everything will center around Drew’s mens rea – her criminal “intent.” This case is fascinating to Justin and I because of the possibility (though unlikely) that a grand precedent is set in terms of how courts view and respond to heinous cases of online aggression. Maybe a jury will empathize with the Meier family and the portrait the prosecuting team will surely paint of Drew as a cold-blooded, duplicitous, vindictive woman who knew exactly what she was doing all along. You can read more here….
...identifying the causes and consequences of cyberbullying