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http://ssrn.com/abstract=1537873
 
 

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'Kiddie Crime?' The Utility of Criminal Law in Controlling Cyberbullying


Megan Rehberg


University of Dayton

Susan W. Brenner


University of Dayton - School of Law

January 17, 2010

First Amendment Law Review, Forthcoming

Abstract:     
Cyberbullying – the use of email, websites, Instant Messages, Twitter, Facebook and other online resources to torment, harass and/or embarrass other children – has become an increasingly common phenomenon in American schools. The emotional injuries – and the occasional suicides – attributed to cyberbullying have led some to call for making cyberbullying a crime in and of itself.

This article analyzes the arguments for and against creating a new, “cyberbullying” offense. It argues that existing criminal law can adequately address cyberbullying when the “harm” it inflicts rises to the level that warrants the use of criminal sanctions; it also argues that the residual instances of cyberbullying which do not qualify for the use of criminal liability are better addressed by other, non-criminal means.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 56

Keywords: criminal law, bullying, cyberbullying, stalking, harassment, emotional distress

JEL Classification: K14, K42

working papers series


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Date posted: January 18, 2010  

Suggested Citation

Rehberg, Megan and Brenner, Susan W., 'Kiddie Crime?' The Utility of Criminal Law in Controlling Cyberbullying (January 17, 2010). First Amendment Law Review, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1537873 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1537873

Contact Information

Megan Rehberg
University of Dayton ( email )
300 College Park
Dayton, OH 45469
United States
937-229-2919 (Phone)
Susan W. Brenner (Contact Author)
University of Dayton - School of Law ( email )
300 College Park
Dayton, OH 45469
United States
937-229-2929 (Phone)
937-229-2469 (Fax)
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