Cyber bullying, Freedom of Expression, Defamation, and Facebook

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Since a provider of an interactive computer service should be kept responsible for delivering speech online, Facebook is immune from responsibility for the content shared by third parties. Allowing users to leave comments on a page or publish something does not open a business to the risk of being held liable for third-party defamation. The defense extends to blogs, images, and forums, among other things shared on websites like social media platforms. No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be considered the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider, according to section 230 of the Federal law (Pike, 2014). Facebook is a provider of an interactive computer service and cannot be treated as the publisher of the content posted by its subscribers. Consequently, no case of action can be brought against it if it does not edit the user content to alter the meaning of the posted material. For instance, the case by Oceanic High School graduate Denise Finkel on defamatory statements could not go through since Facebook is protected by Section 230 and cannot take liability for the content posted by its subscribers. Facebook users are also entitled to their freedom of speech and the company cannot prevent them from sharing content in h social media. Although cyber bullying is a crime in many countries, a company providing a content-sharing platform cannot be blamed if users decide to post inappropriate information about others. The company may edit the content posted but it is not allowed to alter the meaning as this will interfere with the freedom of speech for the users. Facebook and other social service providers should be protected to ensure continuity of service and prevent disruption, which may lead to great losses (Bedi, 2013). If the companies are not protected users, may take advantage and sue them for malicious content posted intentionally with the aim of destroying the image of the providers or making profit.
2. Freedom of speech for students in the United States has been limited to provide a safe environment for learning. According to recent research many teenagers go online exposing them to content that may not be censored (National Constitution Center, 2017). Some of them bully others by posting nasty comments, lewd photos, and videos on social media sites offending their targets. Such activities lead to disruption of learning and school routines as teachers and other stakeholders spend a lot of time handling such case. Learners also waste time discussing the content instead of concentrating on learning. The aim is to censure students’ disruptive behavior and ensure that they do never misuse their freedom of speech to hurt others (National Constitution Center, 2017). Defamed students suffer psychological stress, which can lead to suicide, depression, and poor performance. The victims become the subject of discussion affecting their performance and can lead to dropout. For instance, the two Florida teenagers that set a false Facebook account for their classmate causing pain and anguishes for the minor. Cyber bullying can result to students committing suicide as in the case of the 14-yeqr-old Kameron who could not bear the pain of taunting on Facebook. Freedom of speech can be restricted if it violates the rights of other students and make their lives in school difficult. Although he US Constitution guarantees freedom of speech, people should not use the provision to cause pain or harm their colleagues.
3. Taylor Wynn and McKenzie Barker should have been prosecuted since they violated the law by engaging in cyber bullying, which tormented the victim. Although the victim had positive attitude that the teasing would pass, the experience was demoralizing and the culprits should have faced the consequences of their actions. Schools should educate learners and staff about cyber bullying or online safety to ensure that everyone is well informed about the vice. Dealing with cyberbullying can be challenging yet it is very common especially among the young generation and students. Cyber bullying laws should be implemented at state and federal level to reduce cases harassment especially on children (Hinduja & Patchin, 2015). The problem can be addressed in a single or multiple laws depending on the established anti-bullying laws and policies in different states. If cyber bullying is based on face, sex, disability, or religion it overlaps with harassments and schools need to have laws that protect the needs of every student and ensure each has quality life. Cyber bullying can also be addressed depending on the situation through the guidance of the already established laws (Hinduja & Patchin, 2015). Defamation can cause harm to an individual’s reputation through the spread of false information about the person. Although people are entitled to freedom, of speech cyberbullying laws should be applied and if one is found guilty he/she should face the law. Students found to cause harm to their colleagues must face the law to prevent others from engaging in similar behaviors that ruin the lives of other students.
Bedi, M. (2013). Facebook and Interpersonal Privacy: Why the Third Party Doctrine should not apply. BCL Rev., 54, 1.
Cartwright, Barry E. “Cyberbullying and Cyber Law.” Cybercrime and Computer Forensic (ICCCF), IEEE International Conference on. IEEE, 2016.
National Constitution Center (2017). Does The First Amendment Protect Students’ Cyberspeech? – National Constitution Center”. National Constitution Center- Constitutioncenter.Org. From
Hinduja, S., & Patchin, J. W. (2015). Cyberbullying Legislation and Case Law: Implications for School Policy and Practice. Cyberbullying Research Center.

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