Cyberbullying is a very serious issue and one which is legislated by most governments. Cyberbullying applies to any comment a person makes to another person. If you are confused about how freedom of speech applies to a person's right to verbally assault another person, please start out by reading what Freedom of Speech Means. You never have the right to verbally assault another person.
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued reports on cyberbullying, including "teasing, telling lies, making fun of someone, making rude or mean comments, spreading rumors, or making threatening or aggressive comments." The reports discuss how this type of "electronic aggression" leads to serious harm in the attacked person's life, including depression, alcohol abuse, and drug abuse. We have all read the reports on CNN of people who have even committed suicide directly due to cyberbullying.
On these forums we take the strongest stance possible against cyberbullying. These forums are absolutely 100% against cyberbullying and will take the very strictest stand possible against any person involved in this behavior, including instant bans for egregious violations. Any person deliberately violating the ban in order to continue posting will be reported to local authorities for further action.
Cyberbullying includes but is not limited to:
* Degradation - for example, calling a person "stupid"
* Disrespect - for example, snidely dismissing another person's posts as meaningless because they are "condescending" or "smug"
* Threats of Illegal Activity - for example, threatening to steal a person's pets or possessions
* Threats of Harm - for example, threatening to hit the person
Cyberbullying and cyberharassment are not minor issues. In Missouri, for example, cyberbullying is a Class D Felony. Other states' penalties range from jail time to $500+ penalties per incident.
If any member of our forum system ever feels any instance of cyberbullying, cyberharassment or inappropriate contact - either in an open post or in a private message - please contact me immediately. I take these issues extremely seriously and will take very strong action against the instigator.
To ensure that issues of cyberbullying are caught promptly, scripts are run on schedule against the entire LisaShea database system including all tables. Because we have had several bullying situations including PM messages, that does include the internal messaging system.
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