The Student News Site of Marion High School

The Vox Online

The Student News Site of Marion High School

The Vox Online

The Student News Site of Marion High School

The Vox Online

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Warning: words may cause death

By: Claire Nash [Photo Editor]

 Sticks and stones may break our bones but words can never hurt us. That saying is a total lie. Cyber bullying is getting way out of hand. The people who cyber bully are cowards and probably have low self esteem so they take out their feelings on other’s. It makes me sick.
Within the past three days there have been Twitter accounts made with tweets saying nasty, vulgar, loathsome things. Also there are pictures of the victims on Twitter!  These  twitter accounts that have been made are bashing high school students in the Marion and Cedar Rapids area. The police departments of Marion and Cedar Rapids have been contacted. They are working on this case, however they will find the people who are responsible for hurting and killing the self of esteem of all these girls who are beautiful and strong.
People’s private lives should remain private, it is no ones business and it shouldn’t matter what people do, it’s their life not yours. Also it shouldn’t be spread all over the Internet. Besides not everything a person hears or sees is true. If you are a victim of cyberbullying tell somebody, but if you are the person behind the cyberbullying stop.
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  • C

    Claire Nash [Photo Editor]Oct 5, 2011 at 9:20 pm

    Thank you for your feedback Sam:) Well I think whoever is behind the twitter accounts with the names of TheRoast_ofCR and linn_marhoes should have charges pressed against them! What if someone they tweeted about commits suicide? Couldn’t the accounts be charged with manslaughter? Even if some of the things they tweet are true its not right to tweet about it and tag the people in a tweet, just saying. A lot of the things on there are disgusting and horrible and not even true. The only people who know the truth are the people who are actually tweeted about, others who just say they know something about someone have no right to do that, I don’t care if its freedom of speech. Its not nice. (sorry if this sounds dumb) But this is the type of things that will make people kill themselves.

  • S

    SamOct 5, 2011 at 6:31 pm

    Let’s get serious. There’s an astronomically large difference between blatant cyber bullying (where people consistently tell people to commit suicide and that no one likes them) and exposure of sexual deviancy. The only reason police action is allegedly being allowed to take place is because the anti-bullying laws are unnecessarily strict. The laws states that to be labeled as bullying the actions have to fall within these expansive parameters:
    (1) Places the student in reasonable fear of harm to the student’s person or property.
    (2) Has a substantially detrimental effect on the student’s physical or mental health.
    (3) Has the effect of substantially interfering with a student’s academic performance.
    (4) Has the effect of substantially interfering with the student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities, or privileges provided by a school.

    As we all know from zealous anti-abortion campaigns, “substantial detrimental physical or mental effects” are pathetically subjective. I’ve read the things being said on these Twitter accounts; most of them aren’t even impacting unless you know the person, and even then it’s only funny if you knew of their hobbies (so to speak) prior to the announcement. Ergo, the relevancy of “private lives should remain private” is nil.

    Furthermore, people are trying to say that it is simple to track the owners of these bullying Twitter accounts. Such a notion is extremely ignorant. First off, suggestions from these wishful thinkers include such irrational ideas as “hacking Twitter and getting their IP address.” Most people don’t quite understand what an IP address is — think of it as a family mail box, except the family consists of thousands of members. An IP address can give you two “substantial” pieces of information: the approximate region and the ISP. The approximate region, in this case, is completely useless, seeing as the Twitter accounts’ names themselves give more information than we would gather from an IP address look-up. The ISP, similarly, would give little information, aside that under a court order the ISP will release a name. What you people believe to be known as an IP Address is the “gateway address,” but that’s too complicated for anyone without a computer science degree too understand (this is a diversion from the fact I don’t know much more about this topic than what I just explained). This is all without mention that hacking Twitter is a federal crime (with a much harsher punishment than cyber-bullying).

    Contacting Twitter to get user information would also prove to be difficult. Taken from Twitter’s privacy policy, “Law and Harm: We may preserve or disclose your information if we believe that it is reasonably necessary to comply with a law, regulation or legal request; to protect the safety of any person; to address fraud, security or technical issues; or to protect Twitter’s rights or property.” While one may interpret “to protect the safety of any person,” to be justification of disclosure, let’s not forget that the majority of angsty teenage tweeters have at one point or another insulted or jokingly threatened another person. Unless Twitter wants to set a precedent of being push-overs that don’t respect freedom of speech for their users (which would effectively demolish their current rise in popularity) they won’t comply with the efforts of some unknown school in Iowa.

    My point is simply that this is being blown out of proportion and is certainly not grounds for sympathy. If these people are innocent, why are they being chosen over thousands of others to have the spotlight on them? At best, I can tolerate intra-school consequences, but if legal charges are pressed I’m going to be disgusted with the hypocrisy and misdirected attention.

    Before I submit this I thought I’d like to define some terms for anyone (which is probably not going to be anyone besides the Journo staff…) who is confused:

    Harassment: a feeling of intense annoyance caused by being tormented

    Slander: The action or crime of making a false spoken statement damaging to a person’s reputation.

    I’m not a lawyer, but worst case scenario (in terms of legal action) there could be a civil suit for slander… however, such cases are extremely difficult and therefore cost mountains of cash. Plus, the accusations presented as statements are most likely true and those that are controversial are proposed as a question or they acknowledge that they “heard” it, and don’t “know” it. Trivial word games like this are very important in law.

    Anyway, I’m not a lawyer; I am an observer. If we want to use our anti-cyber bullying momentum to cause change we should redirect it to something substantial (note: high school gossip is not substantial).