Missouri Makes Online Harassment A Felony

from the laws-passed-out-of-emotion dept

Laws passed as an emotional reaction to a tragic situation are almost always bad laws. The state of Missouri has signed into law a bill to make online harassment a felony. This is in response, of course, to the infamous "Lori Drew/Megan Meier" case that has received so much attention. Of course, when you look at the facts of the case, it's not even clear if this law would have mattered. Drew didn't set up the MySpace account to harass Meier, but to find out what she was saying about her daughter. The "harassing" messages were actually sent by another teen, and weren't meant as harassment either, but as an (extremely misguided) attempt to get Meier to stop contacting the "fake" person. It's certainly understandable that people feel that something should be done, since a young girl ended up killing herself, but rushing into laws won't necessarily fix the situation at all. Also, it needs to be asked: if the same set of facts existed, but the boy who made Meier angry was real instead of fake -- would he also have been guilty under this law? If so, a lot of angry messages between kids having silly school spats are going to be court material.

Filed Under: lori drew, megan meier, missouri, online harassment


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  1. identicon
    ehrichweiss, 2 Jul 2008 @ 4:42pm

    huh?

    Ok, I don't get how you can't see that the account was setup specifically to harass, or that the messages, the latter ones anyway, were meant to harass.

    Of course the perpetrators are going to say they weren't meant to harass because they're being charged with felonies and they want to make themselves look like fucking angels. Well I'm here to tell you that an asshole cousin of mine raped and killed a woman and now after being convicted the idiot is claiming he never made a confession(not true) and that the fact that she turned him into the cops beforehand was not in fact motivation to kill her. Yeah, right.

    Lori Drew had something in mind by creating that profile and simple reconnaissance was not at the top of the list I guarantee since there were many other methods to find that out without having to go through the bother of creating all those OTHER accounts(did you forget about that, Mike?) to build her up and then eventually trash her by calling her a whore, etc. She went through a lot of trouble to talk to Megan when she could have just as likely found one of her friends and gotten the info much easier.

    The messages play like a plot from a bad movie about con-men, how can you NOT see that, or that it's likely that is where they got the idea in the first place.

    I've seen the worst side of most people and can safely say that Lori Drew would hang if I were on the jury.

    That said, the law will definitely lead to trouble.

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