Monday, June 2, 2014

Online Bullying Leads to Suicide

This story is nearly half a year old already, but I wanted to share it before I lost the page. A high school girl who had visited a shop was later labeled a thief by the shop-owner who posted surveillance photos online of the girl in her store and urged the online public to "hunt for her." However, the article does make it clear whether or not the allegations were true. Soon, web users found her identity and posted her personal information, address, and school details on the Internet. Online abuse followed and the girl committed suicide by jumping into a river.

The story greatly mirrors the trials and hardships faced by many western teens who experience cyber-bullying, a phenomenon that is becoming commonplace. Laws and regulations are slow to catch up the quick pace of technology. In the case of this Chinese girl, the Internet was used as a platform for judgement and targeting someone deemed beneath the norms of society. As with many of these Human Flesh cases where identity is searched and verified through the Internet, the consequences can be extremely dire.

The girl's family has brought a lawsuit against the shop-owner - I will have to dig up some news on this story and see whether or not there was/or will be any success on this front.