Hat Tip: Haywood
The fallout over the Megan Meier's MySpace incident continues:
DARDENNE PRAIRIE • City officials declared online harassment a crime Wednesday, fewer than two weeks after they learned of a 13-year-old girl who killed herself after receiving hurtful messages on a popular social networking website.
The Board of Aldermen unanimously passed an ordinance making online harassment a misdemeanor in this city of about 5,500.
"It is our hope that by supporting one of our own in Dardenne Prairie, we can do our part to ensure this type of harassing behavior never happens again, anywhere," said Mayor Pam Fogarty. "After all, harassment is harassment regardless of the mechanism or tool."
The ordinance basically covers all forms of electronic communication, i.e. the internet, email, text messaging and paging. A maximum fine of $500.00 and up to 90 days in jail.
The St. Charles Journal article went on to name the persons Megan's parents believe are responsible for the online hoax, neighbors of the Meier's, Lori Drew, her daughter, an ex-friend of Megan's, and Ashley Grill, an 18-year-old employee of Drew's.
No one has been charged with a crime. The county prosecutor is still reviewing the case.
It was over a year ago that Megan took her life. Six weeks after her death her parents were shocked to find out that the "boy" that Megan had an online relationship with on the popular social network site, MySpace, was actually their neighbor, Lori Drew.
It wasn't until two weeks ago when the St. Charles Journal wrote about what happened to Megan that her story spread like wildfire. People were outraged when they read that Megan had met a "boy" named Josh on MySpace.com. How the boy turned out to be fake and the person behind the fraud perpetrated on Megan was her ex-girlfriend's mother. How it was alleged that Lori Drew as "Josh" had pretended to "like" Megan for a period of six weeks and then "turned" on Megan, sending her nasty messages.
Megan hanged herself in her closet. Lori Drew's name, address, and phone numbers have been posted on blogs across the country. Megan's parents vow to bring some sort of "justice" for Megan.
The new ordinance is a start. We here at DBTP believe an ordinance will not necessarily stop someone from being cruel, vicious, or out for revenge, as this is what seems to have been the motive. Megan decided to end a friendship. The girl's mother of the friend may have decided to "teach" Megan a lesson.
In the end, Megan is dead and the woman involved is lucky that villages no longer resort to tar and feathering.
Source - Stltoday.com - Net Harassment Now A Crime
Source - Megan Meier MySpace Cruel Hoax: No Justice For Megan
DBKP.com - Bigger, Better!.
Death by 1000 Papercuts Front Page.