Online or Offline Bullying

… is not acceptable. Ever.

And that is such a sad case about Megan Meier. If the Sydney Morning Herald story is correct, that Lori Drew has a lot to answer for.

Josh was supposed to be 16, and he charmed Megan through her MySpace website. They never spoke, since Josh said his parents did not have a phone. Josh was, however, a fiction, an invention of Drew, a neighbour of the Meiers in Dardenne Plains, Missouri.

Drew created Josh to try to find out what Megan was saying about Drew’s daughter. At one time, Lori and Curt Drew’s daughter and Megan were best friends, but they drifted apart, and when Megan changed schools she ended the friendship.

But here’s a question for you – do you think this would have occurred with out the internet? And without MySpace? Would there have been some other kind of focussed bullying and punishment? Maybe anonymous poison pen letters? Is Lori Drew unbalanced enough that she would’ve stalked Megan anyway or found some other way of threatening and hurting her?

Anyway social networks online are taking revenge – here they list Lori Drew’s business connections and home and work telephone numbers, and so on.

On another note, I haven’t seen any positive press on social networks for a while. Such as MySpace hosting The Burrito Project and Ant4r. Have you?

Laurel Papworth

Named by Forbes™ Magazine in the Top 50 Social Media Influencers globally, named Head of Industry, Social Media (Marketing Magazine™) and in the Power150 Media bloggers (AdAge™). CERT IV Training and Assessment certified trainer (Diplomas and Certificates etc) Adult Education. Laurel has manager Facebook Pages for Junior Masterchef, Idol, Big Brother etc. and have consulted on private online communities for banks Westpac, not for profits UNHCR & governments in SE Asia. Lecturer, social media, University of Sydney for 10 years and Laurel has 11,000 online students. Laurel Papworth personally connects to 6 million followers online and has taught around 100,000 people in the last 10 years how to be social media managers.

3 thoughts on “Online or Offline Bullying

  1. True … the Sydney Morning Herald interviewed me a couple of weeks ago about Facebook & MySpace and non-profits who use them (particularly ANTaR) … the story was filed but it didn’t make it into the paper.

  2. On Wednesday, October 21st, city officials wasted no time enacting an ordinance designed to address the public outcry for justice in the Megan Meier tragedy. The six member Board of Aldermen made Internet harassment a misdemeanor, punishable by up to a $500 fine and 90 days in jail.

    Does this new law provide any justice for Megan? Does this law provide equitable relief for a future victim?

    The Vice rejects the premise of this new law and believes it completely misses the mark. Classifying this case as a harassment issue completely fails to address the most serious aspects of the methods Lori Drew employed to lead this youth to her demise. The Vice disagrees that harassment was even a factor in this case until just a couple of days before Megan’s death.

    Considering this case a harassment issue is incorrect because during the 5 weeks Lori Drew baited and groomed her victim, the attention was NOT unwanted attention. Megan participated in the conversations willingly because she was misled, lured, manipulated and exploited without her knowledge.

    This law willfully sets a precedent that future child exploiters and predators might use to reclassify their cases as harassment cases. In effect, the law enacted to give Megan justice, may make her even more vulnerable. So long as the child victim doesn’t tell the predator to stop, even a harassment charge may not stick with the right circumstances and a good defender.

    Every aspect of this case follows the same procedural requirement used to convict a Child Predator. A child was manipulated by an adult. A child was engaged in sexually explicit conversation (as acknowledged by Lori Drew herself). An adult imposed her will on a child by misleading her, using a profile designed to sexually or intimately attract the 13 year old Megan.

    Lori then utilized the power she had gained over this child to cause significant distress and endangerment to that child. She even stipulated to many of these activities in the police report she filed shortly after Megan’s death.

    City officials who continue to ignore this viable, documented admission and continue to address this issue as harassment are intentionally burying their heads in the sand, when the solution is staring them right in the face. Why?

    There are several other child exploitation laws on the books. To date, none of them have even been considered by City, State and Federal officials in this case. The Vice is outraged that a motion was never even filed, so that the case could at least be argued before a judge or jury.

    Danny Vice

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