Last week, the Maryland General Assembly passed House Bill 396, which seeks to stem “cyberbullying” by criminalizing certain behavior and annoyances. The bill, Grace’s Law, honors the tragic death of Grace McComas, a 15-year-old girl who committed suicide after being harassed by a neighbor via social media. The passage of this bill is a victory for politicians who are seizing on the omnipresent topic of cyberbullying.
Bullying isn’t new. People have bullied others since time immemorial. It happens in all the usual places: school, college, work, at the coffee shop and everywhere else. What’s changed is that now some are able to use computers to bully others without ever revealing themselves. When one comes across a bully and meets them face-to-face, they know who is instigating said bullying. This isn’t always so online.
Unfortunately, the Internet has provided many the opportunities to bully without understanding the effects of their actions.
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