The Instigator
shadow835
Con (against)
Losing
42 Points
The Contender
devinni01841
Pro (for)
Winning
55 Points

should cyber bullying be a criminal offense?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/15/2010 Category: Education
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 18,411 times Debate No: 13664
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (10)
Votes (16)

 

shadow835

Con

I personally think that cyber bullying should not be a criminal offense. If it is not a criminal offense to bully someone in person I think that it is wrong to prosecute someone for doing it online. I am not saying that cyber bullying is right, what I am saying is that it is wrong to for someone to get charged for a crime if they cant get in trouble for saying it face to face
devinni01841

Pro

Thanks for posting the debate.

Bully - n. a blustering, quarrelsome, overbearing person who habitually badgers and intimidates smaller or weaker people. (1)

In the case of Phoebe Prince (2), bullying, both cyber and in person, led to suicide. While i will agree that minor bullying, such as occasional name-calling, or other insults should not be a criminal offense, bullying someone to the point of suicide should be punishable by law.

Bullying should be considered a hate-crime, and offenders should be persecuted. (3)

(1) http://dictionary.reference.com...
(2)http://articles.cnn.com...
http://dictionary.reference.com...
Debate Round No. 1
shadow835

Con

I thank my opponent for joining my debate.
Many kids are bullied every day across America and they are not put behind bars, are not charged fees and are not considered criminals. Yet some people would like to persecute people that post rude comments, talk bad about others on websites like face book and my pace. I think this is wrong, it is almost hypocritical to allow someone to get bullied in real life but the moment it is online everybody gets upset about it. We see it everywhere in the locker rooms, the hallways, the classrooms themselves and yet nobody says a word about the kids getting bullied there, but the second it goes online everyone gets hurt by it? I don't understand it shouldn't we be more worried about the kids in school get harassed and bullied before we start getting upset about what they are saying online? look forward to my opponents response.

thank you for your time.
devinni01841

Pro

Thanks for a quick response!
I will begin by examining your points.
1) "Many kids are bullied every day across America and they are not put behind bars…"
That's true, but kids are different from the teenagers who bullied Phoebe Prince. Small children usually are punished in other ways.
2) "It is almost hypocritical to allow someone to get bullied in real life but the moment it is online everybody gets upset about it."
Also people are braver online than they are in real life; this is part of why cyber bullying is more serious
3) We see it everywhere […] and yet nobody says a word about the kids getting bullied there
That's not true, teachers and coaches are there for a reason.
4) But the second it goes online everyone gets hurt by it? I don't understand it shouldn't we be more worried about the kids in school get harassed and bullied before we start getting upset about what they are saying online?
The concern should be equal, but cyber-bullies have proven time and again to be much more vicious than school yard bullies, thus more consequences for the former.

Cyber-bullies are braver and thus crueler, for this reason cyber-bullying should be a criminal offense.
Please vote for Pro!
Debate Round No. 2
shadow835

Con

We see it everywhere […] and yet nobody says a word about the kids getting bullied there
That's not true, teachers and coaches are there for a reason.
RESPONSE: true teachers and coaches are there for a reason, to teach kids not to stop bullying or harassment. Even if they are supposed to stop it how many do? I cant think of very many teachers just in my town alone that would stop the harsh treatment or bullying being done to other students.

But the second it goes online everyone gets hurt by it? I don't understand it shouldn't we be more worried about the kids in school get harassed and bullied before we start getting upset about what they are saying online?
The concern should be equal, but cyber bullies have proven time and again to be much more vicious than school yard bullies, thus more consequences for the former.
RESPONSE: there is an easy way to stop cyber bullying, just turn your phone, computer or laptop off. At school you cant do that you cant choose to stop going to school for bullying and they cant be charged as a criminal for it. If they cant stop the bully or turn the bully off then why when someone has a choice to turn off the bullying do they think it is a crime?

My opponent also said that people are more hateful and cruel online, which is not true. Many times it is just the opposite, many kids get beat up or humiliated in front of classes or the entire school sometimes. What happens to people online?? they get rude comments or threats and I think its wrong yes but I don't think it is a criminal offense. I bet you that the kids that are committing suicide aren't just doing it because of things people are saying online, in fact I'm almost positive most of the reason they commite suicide is because they are harassed and bullied in real life.

with all of the wonderful info I have shown you today please vote CON.
devinni01841

Pro

I cant think of very many teachers just in my town alone that would stop the harsh treatment or bullying being done to other students.

That may be true of your area, but not mine. Teachers in my area pay attention and do something about it.

RESPONSE: there is an easy way to stop cyber bullying, just turn your phone, computer or laptop off. At school you cant do that you cant choose to stop going to school for bullying and they cant be charged as a criminal for it. If they cant stop the bully or turn the bully off then why when someone has a choice to turn off the bullying do they think it is a crime?

You're saying that people should change their lifestyle just to not have to have insults hurled at them? Then no one would ever use phones, or computers

My opponent also said that people are more hateful and cruel online, which is not true. Many times it is just the opposite, many kids get beat up or humiliated in front of classes or the entire school sometimes.

My actual point was that people are *braver* online, and will become more cruel

I bet you that the kids that are committing suicide aren't just doing it because of things people are saying online, in fact I'm almost positive most of the reason they commite suicide is because they are harassed and bullied in real life.

Again back to Phoebe Prince, she was bullied in school AND online
see round 1

Thanks! please vote pro!
Debate Round No. 3
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by devinni01841 5 years ago
devinni01841
I guess that's fair enough, ProAlex, but my opponent didn't give me too much to go off of, did they?
Posted by ProAlex 5 years ago
ProAlex
Debates aren't even fair when each person take less than 3 minutes to write a rebuttal or summary whatever. So I'm giving each a tie.
Posted by 16kadams 5 years ago
16kadams
Con got mugged what you saying willis?
Posted by devinni01841 5 years ago
devinni01841
Yes I voted for myself.. only AFTER my opponent did.
Posted by tatm3k 5 years ago
tatm3k
Clearly con won and voting for your self.... really.
Posted by tatm3k 5 years ago
tatm3k
Clearly con won and voting for your self.... really.
Posted by Ebbay 6 years ago
Ebbay
Bullying itself is not a criminal matter unless violence is threatened or issued. Calling someone "fat" is not a criminal offense on or offline. Again the only criminal offense when it comes to bullying is violence and threat. We have the power to reveal what we want to and to exit out of conversations online if they pose as a potential threat or have anything to do with cyber bullying. It is not like in real life where we have to face it, fight, or run away. It is on the screen where we can choose what to believe, what to do, and what to say. It should not become a criminal offense, thank you for allowing me to comment.
Posted by Danielle 6 years ago
Danielle
Yeah v-bombing is annoying.
Posted by Woodycanuck 6 years ago
Woodycanuck
In many cases, "live" bullying is indeed a crime, that is to say it includes actions which are criminal. It is a crime to make a credible threat of violence to another. This probably covers 90% of live bullying. And it is shameful and scandalous that more schools do not file criminal charges for it. A lot of bullying probably includes elements of sexual harrassment (criminal), theft, and so on. So yes, if cyberbullying involves physical threats, it should be prosecuted.

Less clear is the namecalling that goes on. It is not clear to me that calling someone a sl*t or a f*g is by definition a criminal act, no matter how often or in what forum it is repeated. So constant harrassment or bullying of that nature is what really needs defining as criminal or not. And I dont know the answer.
Posted by KatelynnChambers 6 years ago
KatelynnChambers
In short- cyber bullying is the same as any other type of verbal bullying. Verbal bullying has NO power, unless the person it is directed at GIVES the bully power!

If a child is spending so much time in front of the computer, that he values what people on the internet say about him enough to inflict self harm, he needs to get off of facebook/myspace/twitter!

If a child is reading and ruminating over what kids on the internet say about him, he needs to stop focusing on it, and the problem will go away. Cyber bullying is not like bullying in real life. In real life, you can't 'turn off' a bully. But with cyber bullying, believe or not, YOU CAN TURN OFF YOUR PC and do something else. Don't give the computer so much power!

Bottom line: kids need to get off their fat butts, break themselves away from the computer screen, and get a rewarding hobby.

Unless real death threats are involved , I don't think cyber bullying warrants legal action.
People have been far too focused on 'cyber bullying' these days, It's become a political buzzword. Kids aren't the helpless puppets that we like to think they are. They can stop cyber bullying on their own- all it takes is the push of a button.
16 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by 16kadams 5 years ago
16kadams
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