General Question

kelly's avatar

Why can't cyber bullies be prosecuted for slander or libel?

Asked by kelly (1908points) January 18th, 2008

I believe the outcome of the girl “friend“and her mother putting down another friend on the web and her committing suicide was not punished. isn’t this akin to yelling “fire”, like burning someone, mental injury?

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3 Answers

bpeoples's avatar

The cases are very different things—yelling “fire” in a crowded theater (when there isn’t one) would serve to cause panic, and is generally illegal under something like “inciting a riot” or “reckless endangerment” or something else I heard on Law & Order. Teenagers are really mean to each other. A lot. You hear about it in the news when it has a devastating outcome, like murder and suicide. However, the intent was not to cause the girl to commit suicide (okay, I haven’t been following the case, but that’s my un-informed opinion).

Read up on defamation, here:

sjg102379's avatar

Plus, slander and libel are a matter of civil law, not criminal law. Maybe you could bring a civil suit against someone (although probably not—1st amendment freedom of speech will protect almost all speech) but you couldn’t prosecute them.

donssword's avatar

Looks like states just started passing legislation to address this after the incident in MO.

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