SHESPEAKS Your Power to Influence

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?

Make a Comment

Comment  *
 
 
  • mickeythescorpion By mickeythescorpion
    10.04.10  

    it would be hard to set up any laws against things like this on the internet. i think that todays youth needs to be re-taught about respect for peers, acceptance of peoples differences, and a persons right to their privacy. things like this need to be taught at home and at school. things like this are meant to be private, gay, lesbian, or straight.

  • mardel By mardel
    10.05.10  

    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!

  • eirammiller By eirammiller
    10.06.10  

    This is all so sad.

  • MyEmptyCanvas By MyEmptyCanvas
    10.06.10  

    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.

  • ashleya By ashleya
    10.07.10  

    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.

  • MadHatter By MadHatter
    10.07.10  

    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.

  • cardreader By cardreader
    10.08.10  

    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
    10.09.10  

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

  • mpom66 By mpom66
    10.26.10  

    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!

  • sharman421 By sharman421
    11.07.10  

    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.

More stories like this