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In this area discuss the following: Consider the incident of cyber-bullying on MySpace which resulted in Megan Meier�s suicide in 2006.  To What extent can social networking sties control cyber-bullying and other forms of harassment that occur in their forums?  In the case of MySpace, would a more explicit policy about the rules required to get a legitimate account on that SNS have prevented Lori Drew, the woman who harassed Meier under the alias Josh Evans, from succeeding in bullying Meier online?  What implications does the Meier incident have for trust in cyberspace, especially for young teenagers who participate in social networking services?


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With the sheer number of users on social sites, I think it is impossible for those in control to micro-manage everything that happens on them.  They can have policies in place to help prevent harassment or abuse, but it is on the end user, or if they are young, their parents, to police what is happening when they are online.  If Megan or her parents reported the abuse to MySpace, then the site absolutely should have blocked and banned the user that was bullying her.  At her young age though, she not have been online without some sort of monitoring by her parents, but I understand there are some shitty parents out there that don’t care what their kids do.  When you combine this with the fact it’s impossible that an online site with millions of users can police every interaction, things like this are bound to happen unfortunately.  The one person that was really at fault that could have prevented this was a grown woman, and it is disheartening to see she got off so light in a legal standpoint for her actions.  We all know instances of adults preying on kids online and in real life, that’s why it is important for adults to keep an eye on what they do, and honestly, it would probably be in the best interest of children to keep them off sites like this anyway.  I can’t think of any good reason a 12 year old needs an online presence anyway.  It's unfair to put too much blame on "cyberspace" as bullying and predation happen to children in the real world as well.




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