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E. Don Harpe
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E. Don Harpe

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PostSubject: Could the passing of new bill spell the end of message board   Could the passing of new bill spell the end of message board EmptyTue May 12, 2009 11:45 am

Could the passing of new bill spell the end of message boards, My Space, Facebook, etc? Any on line place that allows the posting of messages between people?

Here's a cut and paste from CNN, together with the author's name and a link in case you want to take a look.

__________________________________________

Bill could mean jail for Internet flamers

Posted: 11:32 AM ET

A cyberbullying bill introduced last month has the potential to put half the Internet behind bars.

The Megan Meier Cyberbullying Prevention Act is Congress’ response to the 2006 suicide of a 13-year-old girl who was harassed on MySpace. The bill makes electronic communication a felony if “the intent is to coerce, intimidate, harass, or cause substantial emotional distress to a person.”

Congressmen probably aren’t the most Web-savvy bunch, but anyone familiar with trolling, flaming, and various other forms of online bullying could see a problem with this bill.

Network World examines the bill and explains this new breed of Internet criminal:

Given the freewheeling exchanges that characterize everything from SMS text messages and instant messaging to blogs and Web site comments, the broadly written bill potentially could turn a lot of flamers and bloggers into felons.

Amid growing online criticism, bill sponsor Rep. Linda Sanchez defended the Cyberbullying Prevention Act in a Huffington Post article this month:

Congress has no interest in censoring speech and it will not do so if it passes this bill. Put simply, this legislation would be used as a tool for a judge and jury to determine whether there is significant evidence to prove that a person “cyberbullied” another… So — bloggers, emailers, texters, spiteful exes, and those who have blogged against this bill have no fear — your words are still protected under the same American values.

While Rep. Sanchez’s assurances may be comforting, judges tend to follow the wording of a law rather than its sponsor’s intent. So before you text your cheating ex, slam those Apple forum fanboys, or call me a ‘moron’ in the comments, consider the possible consequences of this new bill, or at least put your lawyer’s number on speed dial.

Posted by: Wes Finley-Price -- CNN.com Webmaster
Filed under: InternetPolitics


http://scitech.blogs.cnn.com/

The red highlights are mine, as I think they pertain, or could pertain, to message boards such as this one. If the bill passes and if it is tested in court on some minor issue such as the use of the word stupid or moron, then no message board is safe.
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Dick Stodghill
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PostSubject: Re: Could the passing of new bill spell the end of message board   Could the passing of new bill spell the end of message board EmptyTue May 12, 2009 11:52 am

Interesting. Time will tell, as usual. The case that brought it on was a despicable act by an adult aimed at a teenager. Senseless.
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E. Don Harpe
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E. Don Harpe

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PostSubject: Re: Could the passing of new bill spell the end of message board   Could the passing of new bill spell the end of message board EmptyTue May 12, 2009 12:02 pm

Dick, that's true and it resulted in a suicide. The problem comes, I think, when he law gets involved in every aspect of what once were personal things that were handled on a personal level.

In the old cowboy movies when someone said "Them's fighting words, pardner," that is exactly what it was. But now everyone complains about "getting their feelings hurt" and wants to stop what has been a part of human nature as long as there have been humans, and nature.

We certainly don't want to see kids committing suicide, but when is enough control enough?
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Domenic Pappalardo
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PostSubject: Re: Could the passing of new bill spell the end of message board   Could the passing of new bill spell the end of message board EmptyTue May 12, 2009 12:14 pm

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Last edited by domenic Pappalardo on Tue May 12, 2009 8:40 pm; edited 1 time in total
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thehairymob
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PostSubject: Re: Could the passing of new bill spell the end of message board   Could the passing of new bill spell the end of message board EmptyTue May 12, 2009 12:15 pm

How are they proposing to police it? The internet seems to get the blame for so much and everyone seems to want to curtail it in some way or other but no-one seems to have the answer to how without it impacting on the freedom of speech that it offers the masses.
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Domenic Pappalardo
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PostSubject: Re: Could the passing of new bill spell the end of message board   Could the passing of new bill spell the end of message board EmptyTue May 12, 2009 12:31 pm

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thehairymob
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PostSubject: Re: Could the passing of new bill spell the end of message board   Could the passing of new bill spell the end of message board EmptyTue May 12, 2009 12:56 pm

But the Jews didn't kill Jesus, it was the Romans', hehehe Laughing
Seriously though freedom of speech is worth fighting for and as Dick can tell you to many good people have given their blood for it. Even when we don't agree with what someone has to say we have no right to silence them. If we do then are we any better than the many dictators that have crushed the hopes of the many.
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Shelagh
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PostSubject: Re: Could the passing of new bill spell the end of message board   Could the passing of new bill spell the end of message board EmptyTue May 12, 2009 12:57 pm

Children should not be allowed to spend time on the 'net unsupervised. Parents should make regular checks on everything a child is viewing. If a child receives hate mail on a social network, the account should be closed and a new one set up with a different email address and username. Parents have to take more responsibility and not expect the nanny state to protect them (from themselves). JMO.

_________________
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E. Don Harpe
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PostSubject: Re: Could the passing of new bill spell the end of message board   Could the passing of new bill spell the end of message board EmptyTue May 12, 2009 1:59 pm

The problem, Shelagh, is that "should" doesn't work. In an ideal world parents would always monitor their children, not just on the internet but with homework, movies, television, etc. However, they don't do it. And the fact that they don't do it causes the rest of us to have to live with the consequences of their actions. Or inaction, as the case may be.

It's not just about freedom of speech, either, although that is a part of it. I believe we've reached this point after a lot of years of people looking for an excuse to sue someone else, and now they have reached the point where they don't think anyone should say anything to them, regardless of what they say or do.

I think that if someone posts something that to me sounds completely stupid, then I should be able to tell them it sounds stupid. If they then post that they really believe whatever it is, then I think I should be able to call them stupid. (Substitute whatever word you wish to for stupid, the end result will be the same.)

There was a time when everyone knew that some people were stupid (not as smart as some other people) and while most didn't intentionally try to hurt their feelings, they didn't see anything wrong with the idea. It's a fact that some people are not as smart as others, and it's also a fact that some people are stupid. If someone wishes to put that facet of themselves on a message board, then I see nothing wrong with telling them what we really think.

If people's feelings are really that fragile, then a public message board where there are many different opinions about things might not be a good place to hang around.
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Domenic Pappalardo
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PostSubject: Re: Could the passing of new bill spell the end of message board   Could the passing of new bill spell the end of message board EmptyTue May 12, 2009 2:24 pm

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Shelagh
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PostSubject: Re: Could the passing of new bill spell the end of message board   Could the passing of new bill spell the end of message board EmptyTue May 12, 2009 2:36 pm

The problem with taking offense at single words (I personally object to "bitch" but not all women do) is that replacing the word does not solve the problem. Take the example I have given. If "dame" became a replacement for "bitch" then, within a matter of time, "dame" would be seen as insulting.

A better example might be the Australian "Sheila" which is seen as an insult when it is simply a girl's name. Australian women eventually began to object to being called "sheilas" because it was perceived to be derogatory. In fact, the Celtic meaning of "Sheila" is smart and wise. The way the word was used changed the meaning.

The first time I visited Australia, I was seen as a bit of a novelty because Australians had stopped naming their children Sheila a long time ago, which I thought was quite sad because the name had been virtually lost.

How much sadder would it be if many more words were treated the same way and fell into disuse? Freedom of speech is not just about the right to say what you think; it is also about the right to keep words and not ban them.

_________________
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E. Don Harpe
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PostSubject: Re: Could the passing of new bill spell the end of message board   Could the passing of new bill spell the end of message board EmptyTue May 12, 2009 3:00 pm

There are far too many people that want to protect us from ourselves. Any word can be used as an insult, if when you say it you have in mind the worst thing you can think of.

I''ve posted this story before, but please bear with me, as it brings what Shelagh said into great clarity.

My eldest daughter, who is now 43, had a great dislike of horses when she was 3 or 4 years old. She hated them. Absolutely.

My father, whom Shelly called Pappy, loved to tease her about most anything, as she would get mad and was apt to say whatever came to mind. One afternoon he began to tease her about something she had said or done, and in no time at all she was seething mad. Not just a little mind you, but very, very mad.

My dad was sitting on the couch, Shelly was standing in front of him in the living room, and it was obvious she was going to say something. And did she ever.

"Pappy," she said, stomping her tiny foot twice for emphasis, and her voice grating as much as a four old voice can grate; "Pappy, you''re just...you''re just...Pappy, you''re just a goddam horse."

She then went into the other room, and my dad went out into the yard and leaned against a tree so she wouldn't see how hard he was laughing.

That was the worst thing she could think of, and folks, when someone calls you the very worst thing that is in their mind, then you can say you have had a cussing. Back home, this might have been referred to as a "horse cussing."

Now think about what might have happened had Shelly grown up and gained the power to somehow influence how we talk. The word "horse" might be one of the worst things you could call a person, and by now it might even have been elimintated from our language.

We have to be careful in what we allow others to take away from us, and in my opinion we should be especially careful in what words we allow anyone to tell us we can''t use.


Last edited by E. Don Harpe on Tue May 12, 2009 3:06 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Phil
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PostSubject: Re: Could the passing of new bill spell the end of message board   Could the passing of new bill spell the end of message board EmptyTue May 12, 2009 3:03 pm

I'm all for the bill if it will keep Harpe from calling me an ass wipe.
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E. Don Harpe
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PostSubject: Re: Could the passing of new bill spell the end of message board   Could the passing of new bill spell the end of message board EmptyTue May 12, 2009 3:05 pm

Not much that can be done about that Phil. Course the fact is that I've never actually said that.

And I did try to patch things up in my PM, which you refused to read.
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E. Don Harpe
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PostSubject: Re: Could the passing of new bill spell the end of message board   Could the passing of new bill spell the end of message board EmptyTue May 12, 2009 3:11 pm

One more fast observation, Phil. Are you an ass wipe? If you are, then the name shouldn't be offensive. If you're not, then it doesn't apply anyway.

I think you're a scholar and a gentleman, an educated man of great renown, and a prince of a human being. Not to mention being very good looking and an exceptional author. A man who is kind to his wife, a wonderful father, and a pillar of the community.

Hope that applies better than what you accused me of calling you.
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zadaconnaway
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PostSubject: Re: Could the passing of new bill spell the end of message board   Could the passing of new bill spell the end of message board EmptyTue May 12, 2009 8:25 pm

What we really need is a Nanny to protect us from ourselves. NOT!!
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A Ahad
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PostSubject: Re: Could the passing of new bill spell the end of message board   Could the passing of new bill spell the end of message board EmptyWed May 13, 2009 1:44 am

thehairymob wrote:
But the Jews didn't kill Jesus, it was the Romans', hehehe Laughing

There was a science forum where some guys were convinced that such a person as Jesus never even existed. They said Jesus was a fictitious character.

How can that be? Why are some people so hell bent on doing away with other peoples faiths by making them appear to be founded on falsehoods?
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mjgoodnow
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PostSubject: Re: Could the passing of new bill spell the end of message board   Could the passing of new bill spell the end of message board EmptyWed May 13, 2009 3:20 am

I dislike cyberbullying. I dislike people who, infact, think there stuff doesn't stink because they may have expierence or whatever. Doesn't give someone the right to downgrade another.
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Dick Stodghill
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PostSubject: Re: Could the passing of new bill spell the end of message board   Could the passing of new bill spell the end of message board EmptyWed May 13, 2009 9:12 am

Zada, I'm glad you pretty picture is back.

Ahad, some people just enjoying being mean.

MJ, are you speaking of critical comments such as those of a teacher or reviewer, or just plain bullying?
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zadaconnaway
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PostSubject: Re: Could the passing of new bill spell the end of message board   Could the passing of new bill spell the end of message board EmptyWed May 13, 2009 9:31 am

Thank you Dick. I was doing some rearranging!

I think bullies are just mean by nature. Isn't that why we have delete buttons on our comments? I know children need to be protected, but they also must learn responsibility. Agreed, parents need to be watchful and teach them to be responsible. That is part of growing up.
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E. Don Harpe
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PostSubject: Re: Could the passing of new bill spell the end of message board   Could the passing of new bill spell the end of message board EmptyWed May 13, 2009 2:04 pm

There have always been bullies, there always will be, and the way to handle them hasn't changed since the days of my childhood.

You confront them, and if you have to, you slap a little respect into their brain. This is best done with a couple of good hard punches somewhere in the vacinity of their eyes or nose. A good black eye will almost always change a bully into a more friendly sort of person.

I don't know about cyberbullies. I suspect this is a term made up by someone who has very tender feelings and should not be allowed on the internet anyway.
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mjgoodnow
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PostSubject: Re: Could the passing of new bill spell the end of message board   Could the passing of new bill spell the end of message board EmptyWed May 13, 2009 2:39 pm

Dick Stodghill wrote:
Zada, I'm glad you pretty picture is back.

Ahad, some people just enjoying being mean.

MJ, are you speaking of critical comments such as those of a teacher or reviewer, or just plain bullying?

I am speaking as in plain bullying. There is no need for it.
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E. Don Harpe
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PostSubject: Re: Could the passing of new bill spell the end of message board   Could the passing of new bill spell the end of message board EmptyWed May 13, 2009 3:11 pm

There was never any need for it, MJ, it was just the nature of some people. There are people who for one reason or another want to run over other people. It's always been that way. Once again, the only way to stop it is to not let them do it.

I think people have to be strong enough to stand up for themselves, but it's a bit harder over the internet. There's no direct contact, and without the possibility of physical force used against them, bullies will continue to say whatever they want to. My best advice is to develop a thick skin and not let them get under it. Then learn a bit about how to respond in kind, and don't be afraid to do so.
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Phil
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PostSubject: Re: Could the passing of new bill spell the end of message board   Could the passing of new bill spell the end of message board EmptyWed May 13, 2009 4:37 pm

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alice
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PostSubject: Re: Could the passing of new bill spell the end of message board   Could the passing of new bill spell the end of message board EmptyWed May 13, 2009 6:11 pm

Phil wrote:
Quote :
You confront them, and if you have to, you slap a little respect into their brain. This is best done with a couple of good hard punches somewhere in the vacinity of their eyes or nose. A good black eye will almost always change a bully into a more friendly sort of person.
Spoken like a true bully. Or how to bully a bully. Violence rules! If they don't agree with you, beat them to pulp.

Phil,

I don't see it that way. E.Don wrote a decent pm to you, you wouldn't even read it.

Simply not agreeing with you is hardly bullyng. Things are taken to such extremes today.

I much prefer a factual account to all the hyperbole.

You have deleted your posts, but the one that stays with me is the one where you told Dick you wished he would not read or respond on your thread.

Sounds like attempted bullying to me.
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