Local city leaders need to find new ways to stop cyberbullying in the world. Local city leaders need to stop and work to develop a law that is for once helpful and useful. They can do this by creating a set of laws so that the internet can be safe for children to use. It is important for them to recognize how serious cyberbullying is and to help provide guidelines to help stop this problem. This memo consists of the problem, solution, cause, and effect of cyberbullying, as well as its changes to the cyber world to develop a case that cyberbullying has become an issue that needs to be stopped, and that is not an easy issue to find a solution to. To put this plan into effect it would require them to get with a group of experts that include children, parents, and educators. To make sure cyberbullying is stopped, I propose passing a law to criminalize cyberbullying because it is an international problem, could save the lives of children, and would be a hindrance.
Cyberbullying is an issue that should be stopped in the world today. Cyberbullying is a type of bullying that takes place on the internet. Electronic technology includes cell phones, tablets, and computers, which are basically anything that can access the internet. Cyberbullying is the use of technology to harass, threaten, embarrass, or single out another person. This problem mainly affects children and teenagers. There is nothing yet found to be the cause of cyberbullying, people do it for revenge on other peers, for entertainment purposes, and sometimes to boost their ego. If this problem is not solved cyberbullying would continue and children will continue to commit suicide, remain depressed, and feel worthless. This problem needs to be solved because there are children in the world, killing themselves because they are being bullied so badly that taking their own life feels like the only way out for them. Cyberbullying hasn’t been solved in the past because the current laws that are made are not strict enough. Also, people in the community are being bystanders and not upstanders. There are many negative effects of cyberbullying and some of them are long-term. Cyberbullying has been known to hurt children’s feelings, cause children to become depressed, make them afraid to go to school, feel lonely, and angry, and can even lead to suicide. According to The Cyberbullying Debate, “Bullying leads to more than just low self-esteem, it leads to poor grades or dropping out of school, the use of alcohol and drugs, an increase in health problems, severe depression, and more' (15).
I propose to criminalize cyberbullying by creating a law that could be implemented by the Legislature. This law would include sending the children to a Juvenile Detention Center, which will give them time to think twice about bullying others online. The Cyberbullying Debate stated, “Scaring bullies into thinking they could get in trouble with the law would decrease the probability of bullies going online and putting down other victims” (7). Criminalizing cyberbullying requires children to be locked away for a few months, and no freedom. The Legislature will be the one to implement criminalizing cyberbullying. This solution is going to more likely affect the families of the children who did the cyberbullying and including themselves. Some monetary costs that are necessary to pursue this solution are the costs of making the law and the costs of enforcing the law.
Studies show, “criminalizing cyberbullying would punish kids as well as teach them important lessons in life. Bullies need to learn how to deal with their insecurities and personal problems differently instead of taking it out on someone else. This process would teach them how to be a better person and hopefully stand against bullying after all is said and done” (The Cyberbullying Debate 11). Studies also show, “making cyberbullying into a criminal offense could teach kids. This could teach kids about all aspects of bullying and the severity of it. Kids could also learn about what to do and what not to do when witnessing bullying of any kind. A law will bring a lot of attention to the issue of cyberbullying and raise awareness” (The Cyberbullying Debate 9).
Criminalizing cyberbullying is the best solution because going to a Juvenile Detention Center is a place a child never wants to go because they will be separated from their friends and family and there is no freedom. This is a good punishment for children because when they get out they would know that cyberbullying is wrong and they would then know the consequences of cyberbullying. This solution should be chosen because cyberbullying is a major problem in today’s society. Enacting this proposed solution is better than remaining with the status quo because there would be a huge change for children online, it is possible that the internet will become safer for children to use. The benefits of this solution include a decrease in the number of suicides and related illnesses in children caused by cyberbullying. According to The Cyberbullying Debate, “These bullies have no fear of being penalized by the law. If that fear was enacted, there would be a huge decrease in the amount of cyberbullying” (8).
Cyberbullying should be criminalized because it is an international problem, could save the lives of children, and would be a hindrance. Now that we have discussed some of the reasons why cyberbullying should be criminalized, let’s talk first about it being an international problem.
First, cyberbullying should be criminalized because it is an international problem in today’s society. It has become a major problem all over the world for children and teenagers. Statistics show, “According to the U.S. Justice Department, a startingly 43 percent of teenagers report being victims of cyberbullying by phone or internet” (qtd. in Resolved 4). Back then, in the past, bullying was just a problem that could be left on the playground and the victims would return home safe. Now, it has taken over the internet and has become a public issue where everyone could see it. Resolved indicates, “43 percent of teens have admitted to being cyberbullied: this problem needs to be treated and be treated seriously because it is so widespread” (4). Now that we have talked about cyberbullying being an international problem, let’s talk secondly about it saving the lives of children.
Secondly, cyberbullying should be criminalized because it could save the lives of children. Cyberbullying has been known to link to suicide because children tend to be bullied and hurt badly enough to take their own lives. To some children who are bullied, it seems to them that suicide is the only way out. Studies show, “Bullying can inflict so much harm and pain on someone that it can even drive them to end their lives” (The Cyberbullying Debate 18). The internet, technology, and social media are rapidly changing how children and teenagers bully each other, and it is an outbreak that can turn deadly. For example, “For Megan Meier, who was only 13 years old, committed suicide because she was being cyberbullied. If, however, there had been a law against cyberbullying, this incident may never have occurred, or it may have been stopped before it became such a huge problem. This is exactly why we need laws against cyberbullying: to save the lives of other people just like Megan Meier” (Resolved 6). Imagine how Megan’s family may have felt about her committing suicide. Bullying does not only affect the child that is being bullied, but it affects the family also. Now that we have talked about criminalizing cyberbullying because it can save children’s lives, let’s talk third about how it would be a hindrance.
Third, cyberbullying should be criminalized because it would be a hindrance. If there would be a law passed to criminalize cyberbullying it could help positively impact future generations. Future generations will deviate from cyberbullying each other and come together as one on the internet. Research shows, “A law against cyberbullying can help future generations stray away from this hateful act. Young people can learn from this and educate their friends and family on the issue” (The Cyberbullying Debate 17).
Although, some people may believe criminalizing cyberbullying is not necessary and that teachers and parents should address the bullying issue themselves. However, I would argue that teachers really can’t do anything about the situation because it is happening online and not on school grounds. Many people also believe that it is not the law’s problem and that the law should only be involved when suicides occur. But I would argue that the law should get involved before it even gets to the point of suicides happening.
In conclusion, I propose Legislators and other government policymakers get together and pass a law that criminalizes cyberbullying. This would be the best solution in order to stop children from bullying others online. The first step in implementing this law is to get with a group of experts that include parents, children, and educators. Legislators need to act immediately because cyberbullying is an international problem, children are killing themselves because of it, and there would be a decrease in this issue once the law is implemented. If Legislators do not act promptly the issue would be solved faster. The faster the problem is fixed, the faster the internet becomes safe for children.
- “Resolved: Cyber Bullying Should Be a Criminal Offense.” Debate Topic: Resolved: Cyber Bullying Should Be a Criminal Offense. | Debate.org, https://www.debate.org/debates/Resolved-Cyber-bullying-should-be-a-criminal-offense./1/.
- “The Cyberbullying Debate.” Google Sites, https://sites.google.com/site/thecyberbullyingdebate/.