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Comment Re:What's the solution? (Score 1) 502

Huh? Who is arguing against publicizing the case? Please leave your strawman arguments home.

Sorry, I certainly did not intend to use any strawman arguments. I was only referring to this line in the article which suggests a possible solution:

Perhaps the story should not have been covered at all, or anywhere near as much as it was.

I didn't mean to suggest that you thought it was a good idea. I was just tossing it out there as an example of a solution, because I don't really see any viable solution. I can see how this looks like a strawman argument. I guess not publishing the names would be a good idea, but I wonder how long that would last with blogs, facebook, etc.

What I'm saying is: I don't think the verdict is dangerous to depressed kids, but assuming that you're correct that it is, I'm not sure that that should have any significant impact on our future decision making anyway.

Comment What's the solution? (Score 1) 502

Well, either that or the bullied kid would have to be ignorant of the details of the case, and just know that the person who screwed with [Megan's] head went to jail, and got her name dragged through the mud in the national press.

Okay, so let's assume the bullied kid misunderstands the case. Are we then going to say: "Don't publicize far-reaching cases that might influence an unstable person who misunderstands the facts to act in a way that harms themselves?"

That seems like a fairly big trade-off to me. There's been a legal precedent set that could affect countless Americans, but we shouldn't warn them about this because someone might misunderstand the facts and act irrationally?

Comment You assume Megan knew 'Kyle' was an alias (Score 4, Insightful) 502

The thrust of the argument here seems to be that the MySpace Verdict creates incentive for bullied kids to "get back" at bullies by harming themselves, thus subjecting the bullies to the force of the law. But, as I understand it, the MySpace Verdict only says that you can't break a website's Terms of Service in order to harass someone. In other words, had the 'Kyle' alias been real, there wouldn't have been a case. Now, for your argument to work the bullied kid would have to know that the bully wasn't real because otherwise there would have been no case.

I'd like to suggest that:
  1. Such cases are far less plausible than people being bullied by real people, at least insofar as it escalates up to the point of, "Well I'll show them, I'll just kill myself!"
  2. It would be difficult to prove the case against the bully, because presumably if the bullied kid knew they weren't real, it would be more difficult to argue that the bully was the cause of death. The bullied kid would have to hide their knowledge, which would take a pretty devious kid.

I'm not saying it's a good verdict; it's not. I'm just saying your particular concern about creating incentive for bullied kids to harm themselves seems a little exaggerated when you consider that they would have to know the bully was violating the terms of service before harming themselves in order to bring punishment on the bully.

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