New York State may soon make “cyberbullying” a crime analogous to stalking and — in some extreme cases — manslaughter, if a proposed law is adopted by Albany lawmakers, according to Newsday
The legislation would expand the definition of third-degree stalking to include cyberbullying, which it defines as “causing fear of harm or emotional distress using electronic communications to a person under 21.”
It would further define “Bullycide” as cyberbullying that pushes someone to commit suicide and then include the crime in the definition of second-degree manslaughter.
The proposal was presented by State Sen. Jeffrey Klein in a Monday news conference, and came just one day after a 14-year-old boy in Buffalo apparently committed suicide as a result of being cyberbullied.
“Unfortunately the bully of yesteryear has gotten to become a cyberbully,” said Klein, “where you can hide behind the Internet, and Facebook, and Twitter and really torment a person."
The second-degree manslaughter charge means a cyberbully convicted of Bullycide could receive up to 15 years in prison.
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