Pennsylvania Legislators Considering Cyberbullying Legislation

Online bullies headquartered in Pennsylvania, take note: your days of web tyranny are drawing to an end. So, you know, get your last shots in while you still can.

State lawmakers are currently looking at a bill that would criminalize the dreaded act of cyberbullying, otherwise known as online communication that intimidates or disparages children anonymously through the web. For the past year or so, the media’s been focusing on the action as a hot topic, pushing it to the forefront of the American psyche.

The House voted to pass the measure unanimously out of a House committee last spring at the height of the cyberbully fervor. Now, as the House returns for their fall session, they’ll give the official word. Not everyone, though, can get behind the cyberbully crusade:

The state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union opposes the legislation, saying it isn’t constitutional to censor free speech online just because it is mean-spirited and directed at a child.

Sponsor Rep. Ron Marisco, however, disagrees:

“The consequences can be … very devastating to a child. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has characterized cyber bullying as an emergency public health problem,” said Marsico, R-Dauphin.

Well, then, shouldn’t we just invent a vaccine? [Newsworks]