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The laws that got the mother that harassed Megan Meier to the point where she committed suicide. That lady was a neighbor, and she posed as a guy that supposedly liked Megan. And when "he" turned on her, Megan hanged herself.

These are the crimes I believe Patrickfan is talking about - this lady is getting only a sentence for unlawful use of a computer and harassment, not the murder charges she should be getting. This lady needs to be in prison for the rest of her life, if not receiving the death penalty. The crime she committed was that bad.

IMHO, I believe everyone should have to identify themselves by their real name when they use a discussion forum, chat, or Facebook or MySpace, or anything else where online communication is used. It should be the law, not just a suggestion. Children and teenagers like Megan need to be protected, as do all children and teenagers. No more hiding behind a screen name. I am very happy this board is moderated as well as it is, and thanks go to them for creating the environment that makes this board fan friendly to everyone. Problem is, not all boards, Facebooks, and MySpaces are this well moderated.

For more, visit this site:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/27/us/27myspace.html

I honestly hope Megan and her mother Tina have finally found justice and peace.

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IMHO, I believe everyone should have to identify themselves by their real name when they use a discussion forum, chat, or Facebook or MySpace, or anything else where online communication is used. It should be the law, not just a suggestion. Children and teenagers like Megan need to be protected, as do all children and teenagers. No more hiding behind a screen name. I am very happy this board is moderated as well as it is, and thanks go to them for creating the environment that makes this board fan friendly to everyone. Problem is, not all boards, Facebooks, and MySpaces are this well moderated.

Uh no, this isn't China, the government should not be policing the internet like that. Beyond privacy and security, the internet should be left alone.

The case you site is a tricky one because it involves a child. Were it another adult, I'd say legally she did nothing wrong (ethically is another matter) and shouldn't be punished.

What she's being charged for is ridiculous and she should be found not guilty of, it also isn't murder (maybe, maybe manslaughter would be reasonable). However, I think the appropriate charge would be something along the lines of abusing / exploiting a child. I'm not a lawyer, but there must be some sort of law to prevent adults from harassing children.

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Graeme:

I'm afraid you and I are going to have to agree to disagree on this one. Children and teenagers use the Internet more than anyone else, and need special protection. As a graphic artist, I have seen it on both sides of the coin. In the US, we have what's called a Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), through the Federal Communications Commission. Unfortunately, it stops at age 13. I actually developed my own privacy policy that is more strict than the COPPA, with the guidance and help of the FCC itself. Now, in the US, one cannot enter into a contract with a minor, so my own privacy policy goes for children and teens up to age 18. This doesn't mean children and teens cannot work with me, but it does mean that their parents have to sign on to it before anything is done, and they can cancel at any time and get their money back.

While the integrity of the Internet should for the most part remain private (this is one area I agree with you), I do believe there should be some laws to protect people from harassment. Nobody should have to put up with what Megan had to deal with, whether they are children or adults. I just get bothered by those who hide behind a screen name and attack anyone they want. I have known people who have been hurt this way, and yes, the perpetrators should be prosecuted. Yes, I do believe that if the harassment leads to a death like Megan's, they should be charged with murder. Preying on children to the point where feel so bad they kill themselves is one of the lowest forms of criminal activity there is. The reason this is not so much an issue here is because of moderators like you who work very hard, and are very deserving of my thanks, to make this a clean forum and a fun place to visit and talk Canadiens hockey. I'm aware of the thankless job you have, since I used to moderate discussion forums for the band Chicago. I finally had to remove it because so many people were abusing the privilege of being on my forum, hassling other people.

And protecting children and teens is one of the best forms of security we can have, whether it is online or not.

I do not favor total government control of the Internet, either. However, there are some laws that make sense, and requiring everyone to post their real name and not hide behind a screen name is something that should be required. There are other Megans out there who may be next if something is not done to really toughen up the laws. I fully support Tina Meier in her quest to help other children and teens keep from becoming victims.

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These are the crimes I believe Patrickfan is talking about - this lady is getting only a sentence for unlawful use of a computer and harassment, not the murder charges she should be getting. This lady needs to be in prison for the rest of her life, if not receiving the death penalty. The crime she committed was that bad.

Death Penalty? Are you out of your mind? Megan killed herself because she thought some guy didn't like her, read that first part again, she killed herself, that's not the definition of murder.

IMHO, I believe everyone should have to identify themselves by their real name when they use a discussion forum, chat, or Facebook or MySpace, or anything else where online communication is used. It should be the law, not just a suggestion. Children and teenagers like Megan need to be protected, as do all children and teenagers. No more hiding behind a screen name. I am very happy this board is moderated as well as it is, and thanks go to them for creating the environment that makes this board fan friendly to everyone. Problem is, not all boards, Facebooks, and MySpaces are this well moderated.

You are correct, children need to be protected, so keep them off the internet. In fact, lock them in the basement, they'll be safe from the real world there.

They managed to raise a kid that kills herself because of what somebody says to her over myspace. Her parents should be prosecuted and charged with the death penalty for raising a human being so poorly.

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While the integrity of the Internet should for the most part remain private (this is one area I agree with you), I do believe there should be some laws to protect people from harassment. Nobody should have to put up with what Megan had to deal with, whether they are children or adults. I just get bothered by those who hide behind a screen name and attack anyone they want. I have known people who have been hurt this way, and yes, the perpetrators should be prosecuted.

In general the internet is one place it's pretty easy to get away from harrassment, by avoiding a site or blocking people or whatever. Sure, there are odd cases where maybe you can't stop it. But in general, people need to take some responsibility, in particular the parents.

Yes, I do believe that if the harassment leads to a death like Megan's, they should be charged with murder.

I'm pretty sure any judge would throw out a murder charge before you can blink, this simply isn't the definition of murder. Unless you could prove that the parent was trying to get the girl to kill herself, the worst you could go for would be manslaughter.

Preying on children to the point where feel so bad they kill themselves is one of the lowest forms of criminal activity there is. The reason this is not so much an issue here is because of moderators like you who work very hard, and are very deserving of my thanks, to make this a clean forum and a fun place to visit and talk Canadiens hockey. I'm aware of the thankless job you have, since I used to moderate discussion forums for the band Chicago. I finally had to remove it because so many people were abusing the privilege of being on my forum, hassling other people

Thanks for the praise, but using here as an example, we don't force users to post their real names, and in fact I'd think it would be a violation of privacy to do so. To make it a law that people give their personal information when signing up for personal forums hosted who knows where and who knows by who seems like a huge privacy issue to me, especially when they may be hosted in a foreign country.

And also the forum here is clean because we choose to keep it that way, not because the government forces us to, which is the way it should be in my opinion.

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