Tragedy Spurs Much-Needed Debate

SS Member Image By drodriguez 10.01.10
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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  • mncar54 By mncar54

    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!!

  • MadHatter By MadHatter

    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.

  • Brindamorr By Brindamorr

    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!

  • lorisann By lorisann

    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

  • yayazapata By yayazapata

    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.

  • msfriendly By msfriendly

    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.

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