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Tragedy Spurs Much-Needed Debate

SS Member Image By drodriguez 10.01.10
Tragedy Spurs Much-Needed Debate
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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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  • shelly_noble24 By shelly_noble24

    im sorry but those guys should be charged with is wrong to do that.there should be laws out that if you are posting things like videos and stuff of people without there permission or knowledge that is harmful to them you should get say of corse the courts would have to decide exactly what would be harfum and probably have to see the thing to do anything.i mean there are people whod have a cow over someone saying oh i dont like so and so and try to get them arrested.there still should be some more laws on this

  • sharman421 By sharman421

    Ravi and Wei are immature bullies of the worst kind. How dare they invade this young man's privacy. Did it make them feel better about themselves to destroy him? and now, are they feeling remorse? or are they just feeling badly because of prosecution? They had no right. How sad that someone wasn't there to tell this bright young man that it would soon all be forgotten and that he had every right to live his life as he saw fit.

  • mpom66 By mpom66

    The internet can be a great tool but also a tool of every horrendous crime out there including murder and provoked suicide. In this paticular case the students should have known the invasion of privacy and distribution of information would have negative implications - I don't buy for one minute that it was all "innocent". Stronger laws are needed - but face the never ending battles of how much control is required over our tright to privacy, enforcement of these laws and education of the public. I am ver afraid that unless there is judicial and legislative action soon - things are going to get a lot worse!

  • MadHatter By MadHatter

    cardreader - i would want them to spend time in prison. Jail is less then a year. prison is one year and above.

  • cardreader By cardreader

    the Internet makes it easier to hurt more people. Ravi and Wei knew what they were doing!!!!! They just didn't care. They wanted to have some fun, and who would punish them? It is a hate crime. They need to spend time in jail . They are college students ,not grade school students. Their age is considered as an adult. They should be punished as an adult.

  • MadHatter By MadHatter

    MyEmptyCanvas - Reading the news, I don't think that Ravi and Wei meant for this to go that far. basically, they didn't think Tyler would kill himself over this. Tyler didn't struggle with being gay, he was open to his close family and friends (again i am getting this from reading the news, unsure if someone confirmed it or not). No one would go and tell their roommate that they are gay right off the back, the awkwardness that will hang in the air, and I understand why. he didn't want to make his roommate unconfortable too while they stay with each other for a year. that is something you tell to someone you trust, not some stranger you hardly know. Tyler did report it to the RA, but i don't think anything was really done to make him feel safe again. unfortunate.

  • ashleya By ashleya

    The internet is such a major part of today's society, especially in the lives of young people. There should be laws governing privacy/bullying on the internet so that stuff like this doesn't happen again.

  • MyEmptyCanvas By MyEmptyCanvas

    Such a sad case that Ravi & Wei would go through all that to embarrass Clementi. They should definitely be punished, but I also think that Clementi should have gotten some type of counseling beforehand too if he had been struggling with being gay and had not come out to his family yet. R.I.P.

  • eirammiller By eirammiller

    This is all so sad.

  • mardel By mardel

    MadHatter has made some great points regarding our Legal system! How can our government prevent bullying from happening on the internet when they themselves are being unfair when celebrity's are getting away what seems like murder! They drive drunk, carry drugs, and violet parole and all they get is a trip to rehab! It's sad that our kids can't be free to express themselves without being prosecuted by others. Our government is failing to protect our children. laws and penalty's should have been passed already so this type of tragedy wouldn't happen to another innocent family. Parent's need to do their part as well. Educate your kids and teach them that our society is different and that's ok and to never be ashamed of who they are!

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