The Instigator
Cbarber
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
Revolution
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Resolved: Cyber bullying should be a criminal offense

Do you like this debate?NoYes-1
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Vote Here
Pro Tied Con
Who did you agree with before the debate?
Who did you agree with after the debate?
Who had better conduct?
Who had better spelling and grammar?
Who made more convincing arguments?
Who used the most reliable sources?
Reasons for your voting decision
1,000 Characters Remaining
The voting period for this debate does not end.
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/5/2010 Category: Politics
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 8,603 times Debate No: 13920
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (3)
Votes (1)

 

Cbarber

Pro

Hi, this is going to be set up as a public forum debate, thanks for your time.

English writer, G.K Chesterson once said "I do not believe in a fate that falls on men however they act, but I do believe in a fate that falls on men unless they act."

And right now, if we do not create laws to counteract cyber bullying, the situation will only continue to decline. With more than 43% of children being cyber bullied, a decline in the situation is unacceptable

For the following reasons, criminalization of cyber bullying acting as a deterrent, cyber bullying being a widespread problem, victims being given a defense, and the reduction of cyberbullying, my partner and I stand in firm affirmation of the resolved: cyber bullying should be a criminal offense

Contention 1: Criminalizing cyber bullying would act as a deterrent.

If cyber bullying is criminalized, it would decrease the number of people who participate, because they know that there is the possibility of legal action. For example: before the laws against cell phone use whilst driving, many people used their cell phones, even though they knew it was a poor decision. However, after the cell phone laws, less and less people talk or text on their cell phones while driving, because they know there's a consequence. The same idea applies to cyber bullying. If there is a chance you could get in legal trouble for cyber bullying, the temptation to do so is lessened. The risk is enough for some people to just say "no"

Contention 2: Cyber bullying is a widespread problem.

According to the U.S. Justice Department, 43 percent of teenagers report being victims of bullying by phone or Internet. With more than 90 percent of teens using cell phones and social media sites the number of affected adolescents is staggering; and as technology improves, so do the opportunities for bullies to strike. By creating a law against cyber bullying, harassment would be extended into the "cyber realm". Laws against harassment exist, so why wouldn't we have laws against harassment over the Internet, where this crime is committed every day. The place the crime is committed should not affect the justice dealt. Due to the widespread affects of this issue, serious action needs to be taken.

Contention 3: Criminalization would give victims a method to stop the bullying

By allowing bullies to continue bullying without a legal consequence we are choosing to cover ourselves with the veil of ignorance. We see the issue but we don't acknowledge it as a problem deserving of consequence. However, by choosing to criminalize cyber bullying victims will be provided with a way to stop the harassment. This is important, because cyber bullying is hurtful to the victims, and sometimes may even lead to the victim committing suicide; which leads me into my next contention.

Contention 4: Cyber bullying has lead to suicides.

In the month of September alone, nine American teenagers killed themselves. These deaths were the direct result of cyber bullying, according the U.S. Representative Debbie Schultz. Another example of the tragedy created by cyber bullying is a young girl named Meagan Meier. She hung herself after being bullied by a woman named Lori Drew. Drew used a fake MySpace page to torment Meagan to such an extreme that she took her own life. However, according to the County prosecutor, Jack Banas, harassment, stalking, or child endangerment laws could not be filed. Lori Drew walks free. With new laws on cyber bullying, justice can be given and perhaps future tragedies can be avoided.

In conclusion, cyber bullying is a serious problem and it needs to be treated as such. Many people are affected by this every single day. Their lives are torn apart due to a lack of action. This must change. The criminalization of this terrible act will greatly reduce the suffering of so many. Due to these prominent reasons, my partner and respectfully ask for a pro ballot in todays debate.

Thank you.
Revolution

Con

1. I agree completely with all my opponent's contentions except numbers 1 and 3. Cyber bullying is a truly tragic issue, and I completely agree that it must be dealt with. However, this is not the way.

2. Cyber bullying is by definition committed by another child. As defined at the link below, cyber bullying is always between two minors.

http://www.stopcyberbullying.org...

3. A cyber bullying law would be unenforceable. Where do you draw the line? When does jesting become cyber bullying? Is a joke in poor taste prosecutable? Is slander harmless? A cyber bullying law would be an invitation to legal ambiguity.

4. If cyber bullying was made a crime children could be thrown into juvenile hall for a minor offense which may not even have been malicious, and this could ruin their lives. According to the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency prevention, 55% of all child delinquents are arrested again after their first incidence (http://www.ojjdp.gov... p. 234). Illegalizing cyber bullying would merely exchange one wrong for another.

5. There are alternatives. Cyber bullying can be prevented by other measures such as school intervention.
Debate Round No. 1
Cbarber

Pro

By that definition it is always between two minors; but the laws enacted would not be from one definition. They would most likely be a collaboration of all the definitions.

The line would be drawn upon the point of which the victim feels he/she has suffered emotional/mental impacts.

My opponent did not elaborate upon the alternatives, he just said school intervention. How would schools intervene?

My opponent also failed to refute my arguments, so therefore he must agree.

I am now open for cross examination.
Revolution

Con

"By that definition it is always between two minors; but the laws enacted would not be from one definition. They would most likely be a collaboration of all the definitions."

I challenge my opponent to find a definition that says cyber bullying can be between an adult and a child.

"The line would be drawn upon the point of which the victim feels he/she has suffered emotional/mental impacts."

This does nothing to refute my earlier argument. A victim may feel emotionally impacted when the intent was not malicious, and a truly malicious intent may not be prosecuted, because the victim did not feel impacted.

"My opponent did not elaborate upon the alternatives, he just said school intervention. How would schools intervene?"

Schools can and do intervene by emotional counseling and detention.

"My opponent also failed to refute my arguments, so therefore he must agree."

False. I acknowledged contentions 2 and 4, but my entire case is a rebuttal of contentions 1 and 3.
Debate Round No. 2
Cbarber

Pro

Cbarber forfeited this round.
Revolution

Con

Revolution forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
Cbarber

Pro

Cbarber forfeited this round.
Revolution

Con

Revolution forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
Cbarber

Pro

Cbarber forfeited this round.
Revolution

Con

Revolution forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by Revolution 6 years ago
Revolution
How about this: comments about the debate are noted in the debate, and treated as if they were put forth by the debater. A comment refuting the comment may be posted, and the opposite side should mention the counter-argument. Anyone who does not mention an argument from the comment phase is penalized by the voters by having the conduct vote against them. If both forget arguments, the conduct vote is a tie.
Posted by Cbarber 6 years ago
Cbarber
I honestly don't know how this would work online; just post a comment saying how you would do it.
Posted by ZackJarvis 6 years ago
ZackJarvis
I am interested in doing this debate but I was wondering if you could please set forth the guidelines of a public forum debate.

I know the debate style but I don't know if yours differs.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Ragnar 4 years ago
Ragnar
CbarberRevolutionTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:--Vote Checkmark3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:00 
Reasons for voting decision: FAIL DEBATE, as both sides dropped out... (checking the voting period debates, from Least To Most votes. By giving this one, it won't be prioritized in the system anymore.)