Cyberbullying – an epidemic

Greg Price recently submitted an article to the Troy Messenger, Cyberbullying – an epidemic:

In 2006, I received a request that angered and horrified me. Law enforcement often call with requests to review computer evidence, sometimes, they request assistance in collecting the computer evidence. A state law enforcement agency requested assistance with collection of computer evidence from an active crime scene. I traveled to the site.

I was unaware of the nature of the crime, until my arrival. A child, not quite a teenager, committed suicide. Near the child, a laptop glowed eerily. Law enforcement did not want to interact with the laptop due to its changing contents, for fear of damaging possible evidence.

The laptop displayed active contents from a discussion board. I discovered that the child visited the discussion board seeking help. The digital hangout was popular among teenagers. The presence, while not designed with ill intentions, became a conduit for bullying. Young people visited the site, degraded one another, spoke poorly about themselves and others. The power of perceived anonymity was powerful: remain hidden behind a computer and lash out, act in a fashion that most would never contemplate in the physical world.

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