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In Wisconsin, for example, it is a misdemeanor if someone uses computerized communication systems to “frighten, intimidate, threaten, abuse, or harass another person.” It is also against the law to “harass annoy, or offend another person.” See what the laws in your state are to determine if the police should get involved.
And while I don’t know the actual amount, I am sure their legal bills were in the tens of thousands of dollars.Another problem associated with pursuing a bully through civil action is that, even if you are successful and a judge or jury rules in your favor, it can be difficult to determine an appropriate damage amount.I served as an expert witness in a cyberbullying case in the summer of 2008.You should also take the time to check your state laws.We have discussed some of these laws on this blog and have a summary of many applicable laws here.To be sure, some web site administrators are better and quicker at this than others.
Also, please be careful not to retaliate – or do anything that might be perceived by an outsider to have contributed to the problem.
It’s no wonder that many teens are wrestling with this problem—they see the adults in their lives saying mean and nasty things to others on a regular basis.
Do your part to model appropriate behavior and address any hurtful language when it comes up.
That said, I thought I would take some time here to give the adults who have been victimized out there some general advice.
First, it is important to keep all evidence of the bullying: messages, posts, comments, etc.
We get a lot of emails, phone calls, and comments on this blog from adults who are being bullied though technology. We know that cyberbullying negatively affects adults too.