England attempts to hit the ‘Del’ button on Facebook cyberbullyingBy TeamVR on March 2, 2011 4:27 pm@vrzone
Think that you are well protected by a veil of anonymity when you post messages online to various message boards and social networking sites? Well, think again: law enforcement agencies are hard at work in ensuring that users who frequently intimidate other web users online face the consequences of their actions under the legal system. And what better way to ensure a more civil Web by hitting users where it hurts the most: at the popular online social networking service known as Facebook?
This should be a common scenario for certain Facebook users: someone who just has a bone to pick with you will not stop harrassing you and your virtual account for days, or even weeks on end. And more often than not, the victim is often helpless in such situations, as the veil of anonymity offered by humankind's invention known as the Internet all that is needed to bring out some of the more undesirable facets of human behaviour.
Still, it does not mean that other more sensible humans have not been hard at work in attempting to make sure that such situations cease to be common occurrences. And the good news is that law enforcement agencies are starting to clamp down on acts of online bullying, with the latest action being centred around the popular online social networking service known as Facebook.
Details are somewhat sparse, but according to a report posted by The Telegraph, detectives now have the authority to send warning messages to cyber bullies informing them that their actions are running afoul of the law and could face prosecution if they do not desist. In addition, to strike the fear of having that very veil of anonymity stripped away into the aforementioned bullies, the offenders' parents will also be notified by law enforcement agencies via a letter describing the offences committed by the child and what are the possible consequences of not ceasing such activities.
This scheme is the brainchild of a police constable in England known as Dave Thomas, who described it as a move designed to "nip the problem in the bud".
"By alerting their parents to the problem, we are aiming to nip the problem in the bud and prevent it becoming something more serious.," he said, adding that Internet users typically do not think twice about what they write online.
"If we have to investigate Facebook messages as harassment or public order offences and the young person gets charged, it could seriously affect their future. While we want them to realise how serious the matter is, we also want to avoid that and keep young people out of the criminal justice system if possible," he explained.
Source: The Telegraph
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