A Facebook group was created to ridicule a high school student
Student sued Facebook and some of it’s user for a collective 3 million dollar lawsuit.
The lawsuit states that “four of the students’ former classmates created a closed, or password-protected page, where they said she used intravenous drugs, had "inappropriate conduct with animals," and had AIDS, as well as other sexually transmitted diseases.” (Jones InformationWeek.com)
Facebook was not held accountable due to the Communication Decency Act.
Communication Decency Act: as the first notable attempt by the United States Congress to regulate pornographic material on the Internet. It attempted to regulate both indecency (when available to children) and obscenity in cyberspace. Second, Section 230 of the Act has been interpreted to say that operators of Internet services are not to be construed as publishers (and thus not legally liable for the words of third parties who use their services
Don’t respond to the bully. Victims often want to befriend the bully to solve the problem or even worse they want to retaliate. Responding to the cyber-bully only escalates the problem, and in turn, the victim becomes part of the problem.
Block the cyber-bully or limit all communications to those you can trust. This is especially effective with bullying in chat rooms, instant messaging, and email. Most electronic communication programs allow users to block specific screen names or email addresses. With social networking sites it may be necessary to delete the child's current account and open a new one that limits access to trusted friends. In some cases, it may be necessary for the victim to stay off the computer for a short period of time to remove themselves as the target of the attack.
Tell a trusted adult. The messages posted by the cyber-bully are often vulgar or embarrassing. Victims often keep the bullying a secret for this reason. Also, kids are afraid that the adult will overreact and remove the source of the problem - the computer or cell phone -- or react in an irrational manner. Encourage children to tell someone if they are harassed or threatened online or if someone they know is bullied. Reassure the child that you will not overreact if they discuss a cyber-bullying experience with you.
The perception of invisibility and the lacking of feedback can result in people distancing themselves from their actions. They believe that because it’s “just a game”, no one can get hurt.
It is well known that this is not so. Bullying in any form can result in long-term psychological harm such as low self-esteem, depression, anger, poor academic performance, truancy, and, in some cases, violence against self or others.
The effects of cyber-bullying are not limited to hurt feelings. Research suggests that victims of cyber-bullying respond much like traditional bullying victims in terms of negative emotions, such as feeling sad, anxious, and having lower self-esteem.