Law moves to catch up with social media bullies
MAURICE Blackburn Lawyers is calling for the Federal Government to allow cyberbullying victims to claim damages from both their abusers and the social media platforms like Facebook that allow their bullying behaviour.
It it high time - and we as a society owe it to our kids and ourselves to make it happen - that cyberbullying was criminalised with (one idea) a new kind of apprehended violence order.
There are many good things about social media, but it's time to redress failure of its administrators and our lawmakers to control the bad things.
Love it or hate it, this is a brave new world where social media is a part of all our lives, and if the very smart people running these multi-billion dollar businesses, and our courts, can't or won't keep up, the very fabric of society could be impacted.
At the moment the cyber bullies feel emboldened and entitled to carry on with their so-called "free speech”, haranguing individuals publicly, privately and persistently until some are driven to suicide.
I am all for free speech, but with freedom comes responsibility - to act like a decent human being. If free speech is nothing but being destructive, malicious and toxic, it has no place in our community.
When these thugs are called out on their behaviour, criticised, or confronted face-to-face, stripped of their anonymity and their keyboard, they cry "victim”.
That's because bullies are cowards. Social media is the new wild west, and these cowards have a comfortable, convenient space to get together, egg each other on and destroy lives.