Thanks. I look forward to this round.
PRO Round 1
Observation 1: I agree with my opponent's definitions for "criminal offense" and "ought". However, as his definition of cyberbullying narrows the topic down to children and students only, I will present a separate one to avoid any potential topicalities (cyberbullying and cyberharassment do occur among adults [a]).
cyberbullying: the use of information and communication technologies to support deliberate, repeated, and hostile behaviour by an individual or group, that is intended to harm others [b].
Observation 2: This shall be a policy round, in that rather than only comparing facts or personal values, my opponent and I shall primarily be using good ol' argumentation to establish (or prevent the establishment of) a policy. My burden of proof is simply to demonstrate that the policy that I present holds more benefits to affected citizens than not having this policy.
Observation 3: PLAN: In the state of Florida, any person convicted of cyberbullying shall be sentenced to a $1,000 fine, a year in prison for a misdemeanor, or both, as per court judge's discretion.
This plan, having been established by the PRO, shall now replace the resolution as the topic being debated, as per Parli rules [j]. The plan has been set in the state of Florida due to the fact that penal codes cannot be established by the federal government for misdemeanors and because this, being my opponent's home state, helps keep the round on an even level. If my opponent feels that this plan sets the scope to be too narrow, he can present a topic-relevant counter-plan in the second part of this round. The numbers $1000 and 1 year come from the penalties in the state of California, where I reside [c].
Observation 4: Solvency, warranted by enthymemes.
- Claim: Cyberbullying is a widespread problem [e].
- Claim: Criminalizing cyberbullying would help prevent this problem, because people are afraid of jail. Criminalizing means people caught cyberbullying go to jail. People don’t like jail, so they don’t cyberbully. Nobody likes the timeout corner.
- Warrant: Simple precedence shows that marijuana, which was quite popular in the 60s, has decreased in popularity ever since its illegalization [d]. It's a generally accepted fact that criminalization of an act helps prevent that act.
- Solve: Criminalizing helps solve the problem of cyberbullying.
Observation 5: Advantages
Advantage 1: Criminalizing cyberbullying prevents depression and suicides.
- Claim: Cyberbullying is a major cause of depression, and depression frequently can cause suicides. Also, depression can lead to students dropping out of school.
- Warrant: Cyberbullying is directly linked with an increased rate of depression, according to a study by the National Institutes of Health as reported by Reuters. In fact, cyberbullying is considered even more traumatizing to a victim than being physically beaten by the offender [f].
- Warrant: Untreated depression is the #1 cause of suicide, reports Suicide.org [g].
- Warrant: Feelings of depression contribute significantly to school dropout rates, according to studies by the University of Montreal [h].
- Impact: Cyberbullying causes suicides.
- Sub-impact: In addition to the obvious problems this causes, suicides, in turn, have their negative effects on society, by causing family problems, more depression among friends and peers, etc.
- Impact: Cyberbullying causes people to drop out of school [h].
- Cyberbullying causes depression, and depression causes people to drop out of school, ruining future job prospects.
- IMPACT: Since, as established in the solvency, criminalizing cyberbullying helps solve the problem, criminalizing cyberbullying would help prevent this depression, avoid these suicides and save lives. It would also prevent school dropouts, resulting in a smarter workforce tomorrow.
Advantage 2: Criminalizing cyberbullying encourages positive social networking.
- Claim: Cyberbullying is scaring social networkers, or the people who visit social networking sites, away from social networking sites.
- Warrant: 40% of teens who use social networks report being cyberbullied, compared to 22% who are not on social networks, making it a common medium for cyber bullying [e].
- Impact: Criminalizing cyberbullying will bring back networking visitors because they would be able to share and be social without the fear of being cyberbullied. This in turn, will deter the number of suicides caused by depression that is in turn caused by cyberbullying.
- IMPACT: Not only do networking users benefit, but social network sites would earn more money, thus injecting more money into the recession-plagued economy and generally having a positive impact on the markets.
Advantage 3: Criminalizing cyberbullying creates an inflation of jobs.
Observation 6: Status Quo
- Claim: Criminalizing cyberbullying results in a number of people having to watch the Internet.
- Warrant: Of over 310 million are currently in the United States at the moment, nearly 28 million are jobless. [i]
- Impact: Because of the need for Internet security, networking industries will start hiring jobless people to watch for cyberbullies, causing an inflation in both jobs and revenue. This could potentially turn the economy around.
Currently, in the state of California, as in nearly all other states, cyberbullying is already a criminal offense. CA Penal Code 653.2 prohibits the use of electronic communications technology to cause any mental, emotional, or physical harm to another person [c]. The status quo is in place for a reason: these laws are necessary to protect the people. My opponent’s job is to now prove that a law criminalizing cyberbullying in Florida (currently FL education code says cyberbullying punishments are a school-district by school-district basis), and thus creating a $1,000 fine and a year of imprisonment, is not beneficial to the residents of Florida. I eagerly await his response.
socialpinko forfeited this round.