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Resolved:cyberbullying should be a criminal offense

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/14/2010 Category: Education
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,447 times Debate No: 14050
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This is to further prepare for my tournament on Thursday! Also, any constructive advice would be appreciated. Speech: states that "over 50% of minors have been cyber bullied online." This significant information proves that cyber bullying is a wide spread problem, so I seek support of today's resolution, cyber bullying should be a criminal offense.
The following definitions are to further elucidate on what cyber bullying is:
1.From The use of electronic means by a minor to torment, threaten, harass, humiliate, embarrass or otherwise target another minor.
2.And from It is the use of an internet service or mobile technologies-such as email, chat room, discussion groups, IM, web pages or SMS with the intention of harming another person.

In order to create a better understanding of the topic, it is important to recognize that over 35 million minors have access to the internet and 90% of teens have a social networking profile/account. Over 50% of minors have been cyber bullied.
Therefore, the idea that cyber bullying should be a criminal offense is an effective way to stop cyber bullying for a number of reasons:

-First, it violates the constitution's famous words: "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."
-Second, cyber bullying causes many suicides. There have been many cases reported.
-Finally, aggressive behavior from cyber bullies and from victims of cyber bullying increase, which can possibly lead to a criminal record and poor social skills. Logically aggression and rational behavior leads to crime.

As you can see, cyber bullying violates the constitution, may lead to suicide, and causes aggression, I ask you to agree with today's resolution and believe that cyber bullying should be criminalized.


I do not want to make this debate about number bashing, but i do feel compelled to do some fact checking for our audience. sites their 50% number to I-Safe
1) I-Safe says: "42% of kids have been bullied while online. 1 in 4 have had it happen more than once."
. "58% of kids admit someone has said mean or hurtful things to them online. More than 4 out of 10 say it has happened more than once."
It is not clear whether the multiple offenders are out of the one time group, or everyone, so giving pro the benefit of the doubt, we are looking at 25% being bullied online multiple times, and 40% having a mean comment said about them multiple times.

An important thing to note is the distinction between a 'mean' comment and bullying. In the analogue (non-computer) world, i would be surprised if a kid can go a day without hearing a 'mean' comment about themselves, we do not call that bullying.

Again, i do not want to debate the numbers and will grant that cyber bulling is a problem.

2) There is however one more fact i do intend on challenging, Cyber bulling is a violation of the constitution.
The argument presented is that the constitution promises "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." These words appear no where in our constitution, i believe you meant to say declaration of independence. However what does appear in the constitution is "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances"
What you are proposing is a necessary violation of the freedom of speech clause, as it will make posting some comments, some external government official deems 'mean', illegal.

3) Pro said "Finally, aggressive behavior from cyber bullies and from victims of cyber bullying increase, which can possibly lead to a criminal record and poor social skills"
provide evidence

4) Pro said "Logically aggression and rational behavior leads to crime."
I will grant that aggression increases the chances of crime, but i fail to see how rational behavior fits in with any of this, please explain.

Pro's conclusion:
5) "Cyber bullying violates the constitution." Declaration of Independence, which has no legal significance. Also, this part is talking about the social contract, saying that "when any form of government becomes destructive to these ends [Life liberty and the pursuit of happiness] it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it"
We see your strict interperatation of this clearly countered by all legal precedent, if you want anything that might make a person feel bad to be illegal, then we could have that debate.

6) "[Cyber Bullying] may lead to suicide, and causes aggression" granted, however, please provide evidence to a significant amount of instances.

My arguments:

7) Implementation
Higher thousands of government officials to 'wiretap' often private profiles?
Better idea? please provide

8) Effect
Assuming it is enforceable, and what ever legal punishment deemed appropriate can be delivered, demonstrate this would prevent cyber bulling from occurring. It has not stopped piracy or porn (where it is illegal).

9) Alternate solution
I propose that we allow the schools handle the problem. When a significant issue arises, the school can proceed to deel with it like an analogue problem, please provide evidence that cyber bullying requires a different approach.

Debate Round No. 1


bmbmelody forfeited this round.


pro has not refuted any of my arguements
Debate Round No. 2


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Debate Round No. 3
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