Wondering whether “the Internet has become our means of tapping into our inner sociopath“, Diane Dimond wonders whether “we are quickly becoming a people who have forgotten how to empathize with others.” And so she gets at the larger social issue behind what she calls, “cyber-bulling” and the recent rash of suicides of sensitive young people, most of them gay:
Five young people have committed suicide in the last few weeks after constant cyber-bulling made them feel life wasn’t worth living. Each of them was trying to sort out sexual feelings and did not yet have the adult ability to shrug off the ugly Internet attacks.
Maybe we do need new laws — or at least to adapt old ones to new technology.
Our laws and legal system must catch up to our technological ability to harass, defame and torture others through our computers. I propose prosecutors pursue the maximum penalty in the Rutgers suicide case (where two young people stand charged) as a signal to other hate-filled people that their behavior is just not acceptable. If we can teach people the proper etiquette for a bowling alley, we can certainly try for the same on the Internet, right?
Sounds like a step in the right direction.
Read the whole thing. And I mean that, read the whole thing.