• 64 results
  • 1
  • 2
#1 Edited by crusader8463 (14308 posts) -

So while I was hunting around various news sites I came across a little bit of info that makes me rather sad and has left me kind of in shock. In response to a terrible tragedy where a young girl was gang raped by a group of bullies and then had a good portion of her school bully her into suicide after photos of the act were circulated amongst her peers, Nova Scotia has created the craziest bit of law I have seen in a long time. Here is the long version for those that want to read it, and here is the cliff notes version for the rest of us:

If someone feels that you said something to them online that was mean and meant to hurt you they simply call the courts and request a protection order against you and a judge decides if their claim meets the law’s definition. The definition of cyberbullying, in this particular bill, includes “any electronic communication” that ”ought reasonably be expected” to “humiliate” another person, or harm their “emotional well-being, self-esteem or reputation.”

The issuing of a protection order is an ex parte process- meaning the judge gets to decide what happens without you ever getting a chance to defend yourself- between your accuser and the court. If a judge issues one against you, here’s what might happen:

    • The police can seize your computers and phone.
    • Your Internet connection can be shut off.
    • You can be ordered to stop using electronic devices entirely.
    • Your Internet Service Provider or Internet companies, such as Facebook, can be compelled to fork over all your data to the police.
    • You can be gagged by the court and prohibited from mentioning your accuser online.
    • If you violate any of these orders, you’ll face stiff fines and up to two years of jail time. At this point, your accuser can sue you in civil court.

And if there were not enough reasons to never have a kid, if you are a parent whose child is accused of this you get deemed a Cyber bully for not stopping them and suffer the same penalties. Unless you can prove that you tried really hard to stop them but they just couldn't be stopped.

I just don't know what to say. I went to a couple news sites "reporting" on this and all I saw was them boasting about how the rest of the country needs to copy these laws at a federal level but never took the time to explain what the laws actually do. Am I missing something here or is this as crazy as it sounds to others?

#2 Posted by TheHumanDove (2396 posts) -

cyber police is now a real thing

#3 Posted by Ley_Lines (247 posts) -

You weren't kidding about it being draconian, jeez...

#4 Posted by Pr1mus (3513 posts) -

Reminds me of that one time where i had a mild ants problem in my kitchen. I approached said problem in a reasonable way by setting the whole house on fire and moved to Antarctica. Problem solved.

#5 Posted by Zella (621 posts) -

I'm willing to bet it's only written that way to ensure they can cover the vast majority of "cyber bullying" cases, they aren't gonna charge for petty stuff in most cases. What is and isn't bullying varies depending on the situation so they have to cover all their bases to make sure people can't slip through. Also most of those penalties make total sense, well the banning of electronic devices entirely is harsh but the rest are totally reasonable.

#6 Posted by MikkaQ (10224 posts) -

So as a North American dual-citizen I have to choose between living in some kind of internet-police-state where I can be arrested for basically anything I write, or getting spied on by an actual police state. Sweet.

#7 Posted by jakob187 (21503 posts) -

It's funny that something like cyber-bullying can be prevented by teaching your children to not be fuckstains and instead learn tolerance, kindness and generosity.

Wait. It's the internet. You could teach someone ALL of that and it's still not going to stop.

Instead, you should teach your child how to have iron skin, follow the creed of "sticks and stones...," and just maybe NOT BE A FUCKING RAPIST.

It doesn't matter whether this law or anything of the sort exists or not. We're all fucked. It's a downward spiral that we cannot escape.

#8 Posted by Tarsier (1052 posts) -

@pr1mus said:

Reminds me of that one time where i had a mild ants problem in my kitchen. I approached said problem in a reasonable way by setting the whole house on fire and moved to Antarctica. Problem solved.

we need to get off this planet. lol

#9 Posted by crusader8463 (14308 posts) -

@zella said:

I'm willing to bet it's only written that way to ensure they can cover the vast majority of "cyber bullying" cases, they aren't gonna charge for petty stuff in most cases. What is and isn't bullying varies depending on the situation so they have to cover all their bases to make sure people can't slip through. Also most of those penalties make total sense, well the banning of electronic devices entirely is harsh but the rest are totally reasonable.

I really hope so, but I'm worried that its loose interpretations can be used for some really bad stuff if in the wrong hands. That's what has me so worried about it. I can see a ton of situations like the one a few weeks back about that kid in texas getting jail time for saying something dumb online happening more and more frequently when the wrong uptight ass hat reads something they don't agree with. Giving people like that more power always scares me.

#10 Posted by erhard (347 posts) -

Thank Jefferson for the first amendment.

#11 Posted by Marcsman (2876 posts) -

This next generation of kids are flat out pussies.

#12 Posted by c0l0nelp0c0rn1 (1782 posts) -

Yes, because the rape was the lesser crime and it was totally stopped by all the common laws about rape. It always amazes me that society thinks that laws are foolproof protection from stuff like this happening.

#13 Edited by KentonClay (176 posts) -

Harassment is harassment and should be treated as harassment. The internet is so crucial to people's daily lives that they can't really be expected to just "turn it off."

Not saying the law is good, just that "grow a thicker skin" as a catch-all solution is pretty fucking myopic.

#14 Edited by Akyho (1549 posts) -

Can we just read this part again?

" In response to a terrible tragedy where a young girl was gang raped by a group of bullies and then had a good portion of her school bully her into suicide after photos of the act were circulated amongst her peers."

I agree the law is pretty draconian...BUT SO IT THIS FUCKING ACT!

If this would help stop such a thing sure go ahead, that guarantee cannot be made. What do you do in response of a such a fucked thing? I imagine everything since there is seriously a problem that needs solved.

I am not saying its right...what is in this situation!?

#15 Posted by audioBusting (1299 posts) -

Wow, that sounds rather excessive. I'm all for anti-cyber-bullying laws (especially against that specific fucked up case), but I don't know about giving judges the rights to internet-execute and breach someone's privacy over something as ambiguous as somebody's self-esteem. Not all such electronic communication is that bad.

#16 Edited by Jeust (10339 posts) -

@audiobusting said:

Wow, that sounds rather excessive. I'm all for anti-cyber-bullying laws (especially against that specific fucked up case), but I don't know about giving judges the rights to internet-execute and breach someone's privacy over something as ambiguous as somebody's self-esteem. Not all such electronic communication is that bad.

That's why we can't have good things. There are some fucks who just fuck it up for everybody! Now bully your mothers.

#17 Posted by Kazona (3055 posts) -

I am all for this law. You have no idea the kind of hurtful things kids can say and do on the internet. It's about time that someone did something to put a stop to it. The only thing I think needs changing is to give the defendant a chance to explain their self. We all say things in anger sometimes, so that shouldn't immediately be cause for severe penalties. Other than that I am glad about this.

#18 Posted by Quarters (1547 posts) -

Holy crap. I mean, cyber bullying is absolutely awful, but this isn't any way to solve things.

#19 Posted by JasonR86 (9375 posts) -

Something needed to be done and, in theory, this law seems fine. Except for the part where the accused has no chance to defend themselves. That part is fucking awful.

#20 Posted by alternate (2655 posts) -

Seems to be a very broad law. On the other hand - fuck bullies.

#21 Posted by Demoskinos (13853 posts) -

So I'm guessing by the link that this is Canadian Law?

#22 Posted by killacam (1282 posts) -

I live in Halifax, right by where this happened. The victim's name is pretty much a household word around here, and the tragedy instigated a lot of discussion. I'm glad something is being done in response to this, but that law seems way too vague. The sad thing is that many people were actually worried about the offenders.. How they are so young and their lives are now ruined. Fuck them.

#23 Edited by Hailinel (22708 posts) -

Seems to be a very broad law. On the other hand - fuck bullies.

Yeah, the assholes really deserve what they get. And if this somehow also results in the prosecution of twelve-year-old racist Call of Duty-playing shitheads, that'll be a hilarious bonus.

#24 Posted by Digiwth (148 posts) -
#25 Posted by Carlos1408 (1462 posts) -

Holy moly! Man this is fraked up.

#26 Posted by JasonR86 (9375 posts) -

@hailinel:

The actual bullies deserve to be punished. But without the accused being able to defend themselves, Canada has made it so 'accused=guilty' so literally anyone can be punished guilty of the crime or not.

#27 Posted by oraknabo (1426 posts) -

This law is going to be abused in so many terrible ways.

#28 Posted by EXTomar (4125 posts) -

I think this is a bad law but this is also a case of "this is why we can't have nice things".

#29 Posted by Hailinel (22708 posts) -

@jasonr86 said:

@hailinel:

The actual bullies deserve to be punished. But without the accused being able to defend themselves, Canada has made it so 'accused=guilty' so literally anyone can be punished guilty of the crime or not.

Yeah. There obviously needs to be better protections against false accusations.

#30 Posted by ch3burashka (4902 posts) -

So, old white geezers are still trying to pretend they know what an internet is? Cool, cool.

@akyho said:

Can we just read this part again?

" In response to a terrible tragedy where a young girl was gang raped by a group of bullies and then had a good portion of her school bully her into suicide after photos of the act were circulated amongst her peers."

I agree the law is pretty draconian...BUT SO IT THIS FUCKING ACT!

If this would help stop such a thing sure go ahead, that guarantee cannot be made. What do you do in response of a such a fucked thing? I imagine everything since there is seriously a problem that needs solved.

I am not saying its right...what is in this situation!?

As shitty as the initial event was, the extremes should not dictate what becomes law. As for "what do you do in response"? You do actual police work, which the police failed to do, in this case and others (most publicly, the Stuebenville case) and prosecute rapists and protect victims, which, again, is not what happened. Not only that, the sex-negative culture that blames the rape victim had much to do with the decision to commit suicide, so this problem has deeper roots than a single act of rape - the whole culture is permeated with this attitude, and this overly-broad piece of legislature may serve as a cyber deterrent (if enforced), but rape victims would still get slut shamed in public spaces. This is a much bigger issue than can be dissected in a comment here, so I'll just return to my initial point - it's old white folks trying to pretend they're doing something, whilst trampling over your rights in the process (I do not know what Nova Scotia's constitution is like, but I imagine it attempts to protect the public from such abuse of authority).

#31 Posted by MideonNViscera (2257 posts) -

Well I live in Nova Scotia so I've been vaguely aware of this as it went on. That law is pretty stupid though, because the real problem started with a girl being gang raped in the first place. I'm not worried about it though, because I don't think it's going to apply to cases like me being an asshole on Giant Bomb haha

#32 Posted by crusader8463 (14308 posts) -

@mideonnviscera: That's the thing though. It could be. You have a bad day and come home to some dick wad on GB saying the wrong thing and you tell them to go fuck themselves in a little more graphic detail and they have all the right in the world under this law to go get the above mentioned done to you. That's what has this so scary. There is no such thing as common sense when it comes to government decisions.

#33 Edited by htr10 (320 posts) -

@mideonnviscera: That's the thing though. It could be. You have a bad day and come home to some dick wad on GB saying the wrong thing and you tell them to go fuck themselves in a little more graphic detail and they have all the right in the world under this law to go get the above mentioned done to you. That's what has this so scary. There is no such thing as common sense when it comes to government decisions.

For the sake of our Nova Scotian brothers (and sisters), let's all agree to not be a dick wad to them lest we incite them to tell us to go fuck ourselves in graphic detail.

#34 Edited by EveretteScott (1326 posts) -

Harassment is harassment and should be treated as harassment. The internet is so crucial to people's daily lives that they can't really be expected to just "turn it off."

Not saying the law is good, just that "grow a thicker skin" as a catch-all solution is pretty fucking myopic.

While everyone is different in how they react to things. Look at all the people that survived physical bullying for years and years before the internet was even invented. Sometimes 'grow a thicker skin' is what these people need to do instead of whining about every time they get called names on the internet.
No, I'm not ignoring the fact that there are extreme examples.

#35 Posted by joshwent (1778 posts) -

If this expands in Canada Phil Fish could have a whole prison wing named after him.

#36 Posted by Zeik (2111 posts) -

@everettescott: People whining every time they get called a name on the internet is already an extreme example. Most people do have thicker skin than that, but considering this is directly in response to a much much more serious situation than that it's pretty callous to compare them.

#37 Posted by development (1587 posts) -

What the fuck...

Canada is making me really sad with their internet biz. This is equal in stupidity to America's response to 9/11 being the TSA and DHS.

"We are so appalled by this act that we feel it is only right for us to shirk the rights of the entire country."

#38 Posted by Mike76x (555 posts) -

@joshwent said:

If this expands in Canada Phil Fish could have a whole prison wing named after him.

The Hipster-Tosspot Wing?

#39 Posted by TheRealMoot (282 posts) -

First: All of the bullies / rapists in this incident deserve a one way express trip to death row regardless of age and should be publicly shamed, humiliated and destroyed live on the internet so they can all get a taste of what they did to that girl before they get the chair.

Second: Yes, this new law is hell of scary. But if it will break down on stupid s*** like this from happening again I fully endorse it.

Third: The parents being liable for there children bullying someone? AWESOME. Take it to the parents too! If your kids a piece of s*** it's your job to fix them before they turn into a psycho and ruin everyone else's lives.

Good on you Nova Scotia! I like this new law. I want to see where it goes and if it cracks down on internet s*** heads and bullying in general.

I had a terrible middle / high school life and was bullied, beaten, abused, stolen from, humiliated etc, for nearly 5 years in person and on the internet. I was half way into grade 10 when my bullies decided to ramp things up and dragged me aside and beat me senseless one day on the second floor of the school. I was in really bad shape, but I managed to drag myself away and get back on my feet. When they caught up to me I grabbed one of them and slammed his head against a metal railing and proceeded to strangle him and push him over the railing. He lived, but they never f****ed with me again. If a law like that existed back then I doubt I would have ever ended up in that situation or things would never have escalated that far.

#40 Posted by SpaceInsomniac (3325 posts) -

Second: Yes, this new law is hell of scary. But if it will break down on stupid s*** like this from happening again I fully endorse it.

Well, you know if we just cut off the penis of every man, and sew shut every woman's vagina, we could completely eliminate rape. Yes, that would be hell of scary, but if it would stop rape from happening again, I fully endorse it.

...

On that note, here's another modest propostal that you might enjoy: http://www.gutenberg.org/files/1080/1080-h/1080-h.htm

#41 Edited by crusader8463 (14308 posts) -

@therealmoot: No amount of laws are going to stop bullies though. They always adapt and will find new ways to torture their victims and not get targeted by these laws while at the same time limiting what the rest of us can and can't do or say. All this will do is make them not use naughty words and make them disguise everything they say as subtle insults and backhanded statements that are kept vague and un pointed. The bullied still know what it means and that it was directed towards them but the bully gets away free because they worded it differently. English teachers will love it as it will force bullies to expand their vocabulary and writing skills, but that's about it.

#42 Posted by TheRealMoot (282 posts) -

@therealmoot said:

Second: Yes, this new law is hell of scary. But if it will break down on stupid s*** like this from happening again I fully endorse it.

Well, you know if we just cut off the penis of every man, and sew shut every woman's vagina, we could completely eliminate rape. Yes, that would be hell of scary, but if it would stop rape from happening again, I fully endorse it.

...

On that note, here's another modest propostal that you might enjoy: http://www.gutenberg.org/files/1080/1080-h/1080-h.htm

Well that's a little extreme. And the second part? Way to extreme / insane. There's no correct answer to any of this, bullying is a constant. It will always be.

@therealmoot: No amount of laws are going to stop bullies though. They always adapt and will find new ways to torture their victims and not get targeted by these laws while at the same time limiting what the rest of us can and can't do or say. All this will do is make them not use naughty words and make them disguise everything they say as subtle insults and backhanded statements that are kept vague and un pointed. The bullied still know what it means and that it was directed towards them but the bully gets away free because they worded it differently. English teachers will love it as it will force bullies to expand their vocabulary and writing skills, but that's about it.

Dead on. There's no way to have a squeaky clean world without bullying. I'm just hopeful my kids and nephews/nieces will never have to go through the hell I had too.

#43 Posted by themangalist (1675 posts) -

A lot of you guys are right. As fucked up as the case is, I feel like the government is using the sympathy towards her as a justification for this fucked up law.

#44 Posted by ninnanuam (212 posts) -

The problem with broad laws like this one is their selective enforcement When laws are so broad that virtually everyone you have ever met can be found guilty of them, they will generally be used to keep predetermined targets in check

#45 Edited by Aegon (5117 posts) -

So real life bullies who not only "say something mean", but might also physically harm you, will rarely if ever receive penalties, but those judged as cyber bullies can be arrested? How has this come to pass?

#46 Edited by SpaceInsomniac (3325 posts) -

@therealmoot said:

@spaceinsomniac said:

@therealmoot said:

Second: Yes, this new law is hell of scary. But if it will break down on stupid s*** like this from happening again I fully endorse it.

Well, you know if we just cut off the penis of every man, and sew shut every woman's vagina, we could completely eliminate rape. Yes, that would be hell of scary, but if it would stop rape from happening again, I fully endorse it.

...

On that note, here's another modest propostal that you might enjoy: http://www.gutenberg.org/files/1080/1080-h/1080-h.htm

Well that's a little extreme. And the second part? Way to extreme / insane. There's no correct answer to any of this, bullying is a constant. It will always be.

All of this is extreme, and that is my point. Just because there is a solution to a problem, that doesn't mean that the benefits of that solution will outweigh the harm it causes.

And by the way, in some awful parts of the world, women really do have their vaginas temporarily sewn shut to prevent pre-marital sex and ensure a virgin bride. But that's not an even remotely acceptable solution to teen pregnancy, just like this is not an acceptable solution to online bullying.

#47 Posted by groverat (122 posts) -

Sounds good.

People under 21 should not be allowed to use the Internet anonymously.

#48 Posted by TheHumanDove (2396 posts) -

Time to switch to real life bullying, which has less severe punishments.

#49 Posted by Video_Game_King (34603 posts) -

@jakob187 said:

Instead, you should teach your child how to have iron skin, follow the creed of "sticks and stones...," and just maybe NOT BE A FUCKING RAPIST.

IE telling kids with emotional pain to "suck it up, bitch". Would that strategy work with physical pain?

#50 Posted by Brodehouse (9370 posts) -

@jakob187 said:

Instead, you should teach your child how to have iron skin, follow the creed of "sticks and stones...," and just maybe NOT BE A FUCKING RAPIST.

IE telling kids with emotional pain to "suck it up, bitch". Would that strategy work with physical pain?

Inflicting physical pain is already illegal. Assault is completely different from having someone say something you find hurtful, do not construe them in any way.