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Tragedy Spurs Much-Needed Debate

Tragedy Spurs Much-Needed Debate

The recent tragedy involving the Rutgers University student, Tyler Clementi, who committed suicide after his roommate put a video of him engaged in a sex act with another man on the internet has raised many questions about privacy.  Many are saying that there are existing issues involving internet safety and privacy that have not been dealt with yet because the technology is coming out too fast.  

As of now there are no clear cut laws stopping people from doing what Tyler Clementi’s roommate, Duran Ravi and his friend Molly Wei did.  Though more charges may be added in the future, Ravi and Wei are facing “invasion of privacy” charges for putting a webcam in the dorm room and streaming the video of Clementi’s ineteraction with another man on the internet.  This charge comes with a maximum penalty of 5 years in jail.

It is being reported that Ravi sent messages through his Twitter feed encouraging friends to watch the video his roommate, Clementi, on iChat.  A day later Clementi jumped off the George Washington Bridge and died.  Prosecutors involved with the case will have to somehow prove that Clementi jumped because of what Ravi and Wei did.  

A recent report from CNN discusses the debate brought on by the suicide and the statement released by the Clementi family.  The statement says, “We understand that our family’s personal tragedy presents important legal issues for the country as well as for us.  Regardless of legal outcomes, our hope is that our family’s personal tragedy will serve as a call for compassion, empathy, and human dignity.”  

What do you think of the debate about internet privacy that was brought on from Clementi’s suicide?

Do you think there should be more laws discouraging internet users from instantly disseminating information about people?

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  • msfriendly By msfriendly
    10.02.10  

    I don't know how people can be so cruel. Technology can be a wonderful thing, but is used for such terrible purposes. I don't know of a good solution for something like this. I hope these kids are held accountable in some way and they have to live with themselves the rest of their life knowing they did something so horrible.

  • yayazapata By yayazapata
    10.02.10  

    Such a sad situation for the family. I don't necessarily blame technology, I blame the people who did this. They knew they were being malicious. I hope they receive the maximum penalty. My thoughts are with the family.

  • lorisann By lorisann
    10.03.10  

    The laws in effect are pretty good now. Where there is an expectation of privacy, there should be privacy. However, with the many tv shows and internet videos that try to portray embarrassing situations as funny, today's kids don't know what is "private" or "funny" or that the internet is instant. Read Facebook pages of young people and you will see other things that show the lack of decorum. Until we as a society start to say these types of behavior (violating others privacy and posting things for all to see) is not acceptable on tv and online, we will continue to confront these problems. Parents need to do a better job of teaching their kids about the internet

  • Brindamorr By Brindamorr
    10.03.10  

    I am so upset by this case. Bullying of all types breaks my heart. I thought this was especially cruel. I don't know why children are allowed to be so cruel. I have seen it even with very young ones. It's sad that people are so cruel and it's also very sad that anyone ever has to feel so hopeless. Imagine if the energy spent into putting people down was diverted into making the world a better place... wow!

  • MadHatter By MadHatter
    10.04.10  

    laws will always have loop holes no matter what. the justice system has failed a lot of people because of these loop holes. this is an extremely sad case that cost a young gifted man his life. Most people don't see this as such a serious issue because for all they know the young man wasn't murdered. to me, he was driven to that point. being gay and living in a word where there is still so many closed minded people is damaging to someone who isn't ready to confront the world with that part of themselves yet. no one will understand that sadness and pain he had gone through before he finally decided to kill himself. there should be TOUGHER laws on privacy. the internet is the new bully, the new way to pick on people and share with thier friends. whether this be from peer pressure or from extremely poor parenting, its wrong. my heart goes out to Tyler and his family.

  • mncar54 By mncar54
    10.04.10  

    We Need Stronger Laws for Bullying On the Internet & Off! Our children are killing themselves out of desperation! It's so sad! Putting that video out there on the Internet was a Big Big Invasion of Privacy! I hope these 2 are punished accordingly! I'm sure they have lots of other victims! Plus get them some counseling Make them see what they have done wrong!!

  • SavdByGrace By SavdByGrace
    10.04.10  

    Better than for this to occur even one more time, I think it should be illegal to post any video of any person who has not given their written consent. I don't see a good way to police this until it is violated unfortunately, but this might deter offenders. What a sad loss that this young man is gone from this earth. I saw a photo of him playing the violin. His music has been silenced, never again to bring joy to the ear. My heart goes out to his family on many levels. May God comfort them in their grieving.

  • rockhound24 By rockhound24
    10.04.10  

    I think this is horrible. I feel so sorry for Tyler's family. I can't imagine how anyone could think that this was an ok thing to do to another person. What ever happened to the Golden Rule? I wish more people would stop to think of how they would feel if someone did to them what they are thinking of doing to others.

  • elenacala By elenacala
    10.04.10  

    I think there shouldn't just be privacy laws but laws that deal with the intent behind the crime. It is obvious these two individuals were trying to be deliberatly cruel. I mean couldn't this be considered a hate crime? It truely is a sad and sick world we live in, and I hope these two college students live with this over thier heads for the rest of thier lives, the life tyler also should have had. But I do thik there is one thing we can do and that is to teach from very young ages our children, that acts such as these are not OK and help them ot make better choices.

  • girl17 By girl17
    10.04.10  

    This is so sad. There needs to be new laws in place for internet security and bullying.

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