Old laws are insufficient to punish modern day cyber bullies, says Senator Jeffrey Klein
New York has introduced a new bill to crack down on cyber bullies.
According to Reuters, New York State Senator Jeffrey Klein introduced a new "cyber-bullying" bill.
Klein said that outdated pre-digital harassment laws are insufficient to punish cyber bullies who use the Internet and smartphones to harrass others.
The new bill comes after activists have taken up the isuuse of cases of teen suicides in the aftermath of some form of online bullying.
"If people know there is a tough law on the books and they’re going to be punished, they are going to act accordingly," Klein said.
Earlier, a research by Anglia Ruskin University had found that around one-in-five UK kids are victims of cyber-bullying. The study also found that more number of girls are subject to cyber-bullying than boys.
A significant large number (66%) of the young respondents said they either knew a victim or had witnessed cyber-bullying. The main impact of cyber-bullying is emotional, the study suggests.
Researcher Steven Walker said while most online interactions are neutral or positive the Internet provides a new means through which children and young people are bullied.’
He added, ”Many of the respondents in our study thought that cyber-bullies do not actually think they are bullying. In the main they thought that cyber-bullying was seen by bullies as merely a form of ‘harmless fun’, a joke and therefore not an issue.
”Others thought cyber-bullies are motivated by a lack of confidence and a desire for control, perhaps because they are too cowardly to bully face-to-face.
”As the use of social media among young people continues to grow, unless properly addressed by host sites and Government agencies the problem of cyber-bullying is only likely to get worse.”