The new legislation was passed 130 to 11 on Friday. Known as “David’s Law,” the bill honors the memory of David Molak, a San Antonio 16-year-old who killed himself in January 2016 following relentless online harassment.
David’s law makes it compulsory for schools to fully enforce anti cyber-bullying policy. Schools must also make means for students to safely pass information to law enforcement. The law will give law enforcement the online tools it needs to unmask and prosecute nasty bullies.
Although the Accredited Times would have liked to see cyber-bullying carry felony charges the law delivers the next best thing, making hateful words on the internet a class A misdemeanor with six months jail for a first time offender and twelve months if a hateful bully dare post even more awful words online.
There is expected to be a statewide crackdown on all forms of cyber-bulling. The criminalizing of trolls will bring much relief to the many thousands who have been traumatized by words that they don’t like on the internet. Offenders who are caught operating sock-puppets, zombies, zombie sock-puppets, and catfish will face real hard-time – as will flamers, outers, and tricksters.
It’s great news that finally state government is starting to take cyber-bullying seriously but because cyber-bullying is international in scope the legislation needs to be implemented at the higher government level of the UN. Enforcement must in no ways be restricted by either state or national boarders if the scourge of hateful, criminal, words is to be arrested – this is only possible if the legislation is globally inclusive.
Texas must be commended for legislating to make speech safe and free of hate but it also highlights the urgent need to get global agreement on regulating the internet to stop offensive online words causing even more deaths.
Cyber-bullying is a sensitive topic and the Accredited Times urges any of our readers who may have experienced hateful words hurting them to take screenshots and contact the appropriate authorities.
8 Types of Cyber-bullying
- Flaming: Online fights usually through emails, instant messaging or chat rooms where angry and rude comments are exchanged.
- Denigration: Putting mean online messages through email, instant messaging, chat rooms, or websites set up to make fun of someone.
- Exclusion: Intentionally leaving someone out of a group such as instant messaging, friend sites, or other online group activities.
- Outing: Sharing secrets about someone online.
- Trickery: Tricking someone.
- Impersonation: (sock-puppeteering) Pretending to be someone else when sending or posting.
- Harassment: Repeatedly sending messages to someone online.
- Cyberstalking: Felony harassment and denigration.