We negate the resolution; Resolved: Cyberbullying should be a criminal offense. We offer the following definitions.
Cyberbullying: happens when teens use the Internet, cell phones, or other devices to send or post text or images intended to hurt or embarrass another person
Harassment: engag(ing) in intentional conduct which the actor [harasser] knows or has reason to know would cause the victim, under the circumstances, to feel frightened, threatened, oppressed, persecuted, or intimidated; and causes this reaction on the part of the victim
Contention One: Criminalizing cyberbullying is ineffective.
There is no clear defining point of what indicates cyberbullying and what does not indicate cyberbullying. Since perception comes into play here, the way one person perceives an incident will be different from another person’s perspective, creating the problem of figuring out what really happened. According to research done by The Pew Internet & American Life Project, “One fifteen-year-old boy in a focus group admitted, “I played a prank on someone but it wasn’t serious …I told them I was going to come take them from their house and kill them and throw them in the woods. It’s the best prank ...’ She got so scared though.” In this case, the incident may appear as cyberbullying, though it actually had tamer intentions. It basically comes down to how the person perceives it.
It would also not be viable to prosecute every case which resembled so called “cyberbullying” due to how widespread the situation is. According to The Pew Internet & American Life Project, almost one in three online teens has been the victim of online bullying, which leads to a large amount of bullies. In this situation, would it be possible to say that all these people are criminal, or that they have even all committed cyberbullying? Putting them all under the category of criminal activity would not lead to a decrease in cyberbullying.
Last of all, there would be a high cost for...