Internet Law

Missouri Cracks Down on Cyberbullying, Detains Teen for Creating Website

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The detention of a Missouri high school student accused of creating a website to bully another student, is the latest in an aggressive crackdown on cyberbullying.

The student, reportedly a ninth grade girl, had already been disciplined, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Police became involved, however, after school authorities reported the activity to police.

“The website had very troublesome things posted on it by an individual who obviously had a dislike for the other female in the school,” Lt. Andy Binder, a Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department spokesman told the Wired blog Threat Level.

The site, which included the target girl’s name, photographs, disparaging remarks and potential threats, has since been removed.

Threat Level notes that Missouri schools developed a zero-tolerance policy with regard to bullying following the Lori Drew case, in which a Missouri mom was involved in creating a MySpace account in 2006 used to bully 13-year-old Megan Meier, who committed suicide.

The ninth grader in this case has reportedly confessed to her involvement and been remanded to a juvenile detention center while prosecutors decide whether to file charges.

Since Missouri updated its harassment statute to include digital communications in 2008, prosecutors have filed charges against seven individuals, Threat Level reports.

Those charged include two St. Louis men accused of sending harassing text messages to ex-girlfriends and a protester accused of sending threatening e-mail to a city hall staffer.

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