MySpace Suicide Case Results in New Law - HotHardware
MySpace Suicide Case Results in New Law

MySpace Suicide Case Results in New Law

The Megan Meier MySpace case, in which Megan committed suicide after a MySpace hoax committed by no less than an adult, has caused a Missouri community to craft a law to prevent something from this from happening again, at least without some punishment for the perpetrators.

The goal of the ordinance, said Assistant City Attorney John Young, is to punish people who use threatening or obscene language or images through electronic communication to inflict emotional distress on another person. Young said he researched similar legislation in other cities and states in drafting the ordinance.

Megan Meier hanged herself with a cloth belt from a support beam in a closet in her Dardenne Prairie home Oct. 16, 2006, shortly after receiving cruel messages on MySpace, a popular social networking website. Megan had been exchanging messages with a 16-year-old named Josh Evans for about six weeks before her death.

Megan's parents, Ron and Tina Meier, discovered six weeks after Megan's death that Josh Evans never existed. The Meiers have accused neighbor Lori Drew, her 13-year-old daughter and Drew's employee, Ashley Grills, 18, of creating the fictitious Myspace profile to send messages to Megan using a photograph and the name Josh Evans.

Some have said, it's just MySpace and teens should expect this sort of behavior.  Even if one were to accept that, in this case the fact than adult committed the heinous act, makes all the difference.  MySpace calls itself "a place for friends."  In this case it was "a place for fiends."

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That's sick. Tongue Tied

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i think the problem is these kids no longer have real social lives, for whatever reason they can't make friends at school, i can understand that, but then they turn to a place like myspace?!?!

that is like high school on steroids, you thought your 4000 student school was bad? try 40 million or whatever the count is now, that just doesn't make sense to me, it used to be outcasts would hide and make friends with other outcasts in small groups, now they just want a bigger pool to fish from to find friends

not sure who to blame on this one, don't think there is ONE person to blame, but this whole electronic teenage society is getting out of hand, kids don't even talk anymore, if it's not in SMS format, you don't get a word......i feel sorry for the future if this doesn't change somehow

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I live in the moment cause the future looks bleak... internet=pandora's box!!!

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We need more laws. The government should raise children. 

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 Hi All,

 

I think the problem lies in our society. Thirty or forty years ago, Children were raised in most cases with both a Mother & Father. More times than not the Father went to work while the Mother stayed home took care of the house & kids. In todays society if the child is fortunate to have both parents, they both work. In addition, with downsizing they are doing 2 & in some cases 3 other peoples job. When they come home they are exhausted. So what do they do? They buy their kids whatever they want, give their kids large sums of money & leave them to their own devices. This isn't a indictment against the Parents they're just overwhelmed. If its a single parent home you can see how much more it'll impact the child. I'm a EMS Tech & I've seen first hand what to much money & no parental supervision can do. Car wrecks fueled by drugs & alcohol, young lives snuffed out before they've even lived. Remember, kids can be very cruel especially if it's in the interest of having some fun at someone else's expense. I guess now they've found another way.

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I couldn't have said it better myself, jtm. I'm a father of two kids, ages 9 and 7. My wife is a School Teacher and I work essentially what is equivalent to two full time jobs (ok ok, HH is a passion, not a job but you get the idea :)).

We're fortunate enough to have the perspective that the kids absolutely come first. There is no substitute for this. I coach my son's Baseball and Football teams, my wife does Dance, Soccer and Piano with my daughter and we both participate in anything we can for the kids, from school to their personal interests and sports.

The bottom line is if parents aren't involved, a young mind has a ton of imagination, creativity and power. Left alone and without guidance, a kid not only becomes bored and spiteful but also dejected and they end up screaming for attention. That's not to say that we're perfect parents but we do our best and our kids are happy, because they know we're there for them, however much or little they need us.

It sickens me to hear stories like this one, as I'm sure it does many. It's so easily avoidable and so shamefully indicative of a kid left alone too long. Granted, supposedly this girl had some physocological issues. But that's even more reason to stay with her and support her. I saw an interview with the girl's parents. How very sad. Her father said it best and it was obviously a sad, rude awakening for them. He said never take your kids for granted that they're "OK", be watchful and aware of what they're doing.

Common sense is unfortunately not as common as it should be. That said, I'd never judge anyone without walking a mile in their shoes first. I'm not familiar with intimate details of this family and their lives. But their are many kids every year that suffer the same needless fate because Mom or Dad were "too busy". If only their parents just cared a bit more to take care of them.

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This girl obviously had very low self esteem, and probably would have done the same thing if the information was conveyed in a non technical way. That doesn't diminish the fact that what happened was a tragedy, but, the media (and this town) is pointing the finger in the wrong direction.

The real problem is that we, as a society, spend too much effort so shield children from the real world. Then, when faced with a real world situation, they don't know how to deal with it.

This law will not deal with the real problem.

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