Posts Tagged ‘cyberbullying’

Cyberbullying Law Enacted Jan. 1st in CA

January 6, 2011

One of the big stories last year was the rash of teen suicides – many of them gay youth – that appeared to be triggered by cyberbullying. An new California law – SB 1411 makes it illegal to impersonate someone in order to harm, intimidate or defraud someone.  Left unaddressed by this law are situations where people aren’t impersonating someone but are engaged in this activity.

First Amendment & Satire

Because of free speech concerns, the law carves out an exception for parody and satire.  This pretty much gives defendants an automatic defense but it is probably necessary for purposes of passing constitutional scrutiny.


I know that its great for legislators to get their names attached to laws that address hot topics but beyond that – is this law really necessary?  Are the existing legal remedies for this situation inadequate because the behavior occurs online?  I’m not convinced.

CVS pharmacist charged with cyberbullying

May 16, 2009

This sounds like the cyber equivalent of waiters spitting in the food of  annoying patrons.

“According to the victim, she went to CVS on Aug. 11 at approximately 9:15 p.m. to pick up several prescriptions. When she arrived, Medina allegedly told her there were no refills remaining on two of the medications she takes daily.

The victim said she asked Medina why he hadn’t called her doctor to have the prescriptions refilled as many pharmacists will do or advised her earlier in the day when she called that there was a problem.

Medina became rude and then grudgingly agreed to her request for a day’s supply of medication until her doctor could be contacted, according to the victim.

But the victim said she was so taken aback by her treatment, she asked for the name and number of Medina’s supervisor. She said the pharmacist scrawled the information on a piece of paper and shoved it across the counter at her. That’s when she decided to leave.

“There was something about his eyes and the way he looked at me; I just didn’t feel comfortable,” she said. “I said to myself ‘forget the medication’ and I just left.”

At 6:30 a.m. the next morning, the victim said she was awakened by a disturbing phone call from an unknown man asking her about the kinky, sexual promises she made in her ad.

Confused, the victim, who is married, at first thought it was a prank until the caller provided personal details that convinced her there was an ad posted on Craigslist.

The victim discovered the headlines for the ad read “Kinky (victim’s name) looking for a good time” and “Busty (victim’s name) looking for a good time in Norwalk” The ad copy exaggerated certain parts of her body, included offers of nontraditional sex and insinuated the victim was full of sexual stamina by assuring potential men that “twice is nice, if you can.”

The ad also told potential partners she would be available “24/7” for them and included her street address and telephone number, which led one man who answered the ad to her door where he was greeted by the victim’s angry husband.

According to an e-mail from officials at Craigslist, the ads ran in its “erotic services” section in the cities of New Haven, Hartford and New York. Craigslist removed the ad Aug. 14 and turned the information over to the Norwalk Police Department”


Collection agency sued for cyberbully tactics

May 1, 2009

“Plaintiffs in three states have recently filed privacy lawsuits over what may be a new form of cyber-bullying -– using the Internet to harass debtors, in one case even creating a website in the debtor’s name…

Jennifer Dicks’s troubles began when she missed payments on a Chevrolet Cavalier she had bought from AFN. According to a complaint filed April 24, the lender used a hidden GPS device to locate the car and repossess it in January.

Dicks then made a payment to regain possession but after she again missed a payment, AFN allegedly created a website with the domain name “” The site’s content is identical to that of AFN’s website ( except for the heading, which states, “Jennifer Dicks isn’t paying for her Cavalier!””

“In one of the MySpace cases, a Michigan auto lender hired Assets Recovered to collect overdue payments on a 2005 Chevrolet Impala from Paula Newland of Edwardsburg, Mich. The collection agency’s methods allegedly included “Posting information regarding Plaintiff’s indebtedness on Plaintiff’s ‘MySpace’ page” and “Using or threatening to use a ‘shame automobile’ and ‘camp out all weekend’ in front of Plaintiff’s house.”