Dear Mr. President
Congratulations on making it to presidency! I trust that you will make the best decisions you feel can be made. I can’t imagine how many problems, both international and domestic, that you must be facing. But I want to bring to your attention a problem that I feel needs to be addressed in the four to eight years you are a president, and that problem is cyberbullying.
Cyberbullying: (n) the use of electronic communication to bully a person, typically by sending messages of an intimidating or threatening nature.
Cyberbullying is a deeply rooted problem that both the internet and the telephone services experience on a global scale. I feel that it must be addressed as soon as possible because of the explosive popularity of both cell phones and social media. The reason I find this problem so potent to me, is that I was bullied in grade school; called names, pushed around and made fun of. But I can’t even begin imagine how much pain cyberbullying has caused most people. Cyber Bullying leads to suicide, depression and drug abuse, but the worst part is that cyberbullies can do this without negative consequences falling on them. This is because people don’t need to be brave to be a bully now, they can just type up a terrible comment and have no consequences come back to them. Cyberbullies have a mask, and it is high time that they lose it and deal with the consequences.
Let’s start with one of the most infamous cases of both cyberbullying and social media, the Amanda Todd case. It was a tragedy of when a young girl named Amanda Todd killed herself due to cyberbullying over facebook. She had met a man over facebook, and after a year of talking, he convinced her to flash him over the camera. He then posted it and was heavily bullied by all of the kids in the several schools she attended. I italicized several because she had to move to different schools in order to give herself a chance, but they even bullied her at the schools she ran away to. They would insult her, beat her and would sexually harass her. This happened so much, that at the age fifteen, she took her own life.
This case began the movement to end cyberbullying, because cyberbullying killed a 15 year old girl. One of the biggest places that cyberbullying occurs is social media. This is because people on social media have no restrictions to what they can share and what they can type. This makes cyberbullying child’s play because bullies don’t have to reveal themselves, they can send messages easily at any time and share embarrassing information to anyone they want, including the person’s peers. This is why the man who killed Amanda got away with his crime, at least for 2 years. He continued to do this with other girls until in 2014, when he was caught in the Netherlands on the charges of cyberbullying, child pornagraphy, and internet luring. It took them 2 years to catch him, but most cyberbullies don’t get caught at all. This is why I feel that we need to make a national effort to prevent cyberbullying and punish those who commit it. Hence, my call to action is to increase the efficiency of our tracking software and make cyberbullying a federal offense.
Bolstering our tracking systems would take quite a bit of money, but if it means saving lives and helping people, it’s a price that I, and hopefully you, are willing to pay. Bolstered tracking systems would allow us to see where the message was sent from, when it was sent, and, most importantly, who sent it. This would allow us to catch offenders of cyberbullying and stop them much quicker than 2 years. However, we can’t dispense justice until cyberbullying is made a federal offense. This would allow us to punish bullies in the real world and it would allow us to do more than just ban someone’s account. We could make them do community service, or even send them to custody for their crimes. Making it a federal offense would scare many more bullies into not bullying people and it would allow us to punish those who would dare to hurt others using the internet.
With this evidence in mind, I hope I have convinced you that cyberbullying is a threat and it is one that we can fight by bolstering our tracing software and making cyberbullying a federal offense. I feel that America is a great country, but it can be greater if we also make it a safer country. If America can make it to the moon, prevent nuclear war and sign peace with Cuba, then we can sure as heck make the internet a safe place for all.
"Video: The Unforgettable Amanda Todd Story." NoBullying Bullying CyberBullying Resources. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Oct. 2016.