If Megan Meier had merely lost sleep, or suffered from panic attacks, or cut herself as a result of the harassment she endured from Lori Drew, would Drew have been convicted? Or even arrested?
Quiz: How long can you go without sleep, before going clinically, permanently insane? Sleep is an absolutely necessary biological function, and one can die from its lack, as sure as one can die without food, hydration or adequate ambient temperature. People also die from cuts, and the fact that some people survive them or perform them so frequently under distress that to you the activity appears "recreational" does not excuse or mitigate the intentional inflicting of suffering on another: torture.
These perverse incentives -- "rewarding" Megan Meier for her suicide by vicariously exacting her revenge on Lori Drew...
What an utterly despicable, fatuous excuse for ethical reasoning! If Megan Meier considered "These perverse incentives" even comparable to the incentive of life as a direct result of Lori Drew's actions, which is indisputable and Lori Drew's self-stated intent, Lori Drew had at that time deprived Megan Meier of the unalienable, Constitutional right to pursuit of her own happiness, and Lori Drew is from that moment forward guilty of a felony. Her accomplices are her ISP and the social networking site, who were unwitting and, until proven guilty, presumed unwilling, thus they are not prosecutable but still an indispensable accessory to the conspiracy, satisfying the condition "two or more persons" in the Civil Rights Statutes, without putting the ISP or social networking site in moral or legal jeopardy.
Perhaps the story should not have been covered at all, or anywhere near as much as it was. (I realize I may be contributing to the problem here, but my penance is that I'm calling for less coverage in the future, and I would never be writing about this if the mainstream media hadn't covered it so extensively.) What about all the other people who committed suicide during the same year, also as a result of vicious harassment, but with the only difference being that their suicides did not involve the Internet?
That is your only remotely interesting point, and it so closely mimics the Slashdot meme about patents, "add 'with a computer' to a pompous description of any obvious and non-novel device, idea, or process, and you have yourself a shiny new patent!" as to render even that interest nearly imperceptible. Yes, Internet-related stories obviously get disproportionate coverage. You noticed, want a cookie? More importantly, which you completely missed or ignored, crimes committed using the Internet are seen as necessitating their own statutes rather than prosecution under existing ones, which are generally written in platform-independent language. Lori Drew misrepresented herself. She forged her identity, and initiated romantic relations with a minor under that false identity, and prosecutors had trouble finding an applicable statute to successfully prosecute her. That's the real "WTF" story here, not your macabre question of whether people so viciously harassed that the prospect of revenge rivals or exceeds their will to live, have a bit more or less legal standing, posthumously.