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Cyberbullying is not something to take lightly. This is a very serious crime, that needs to be handled with the utmost care. The victims of a crime like this are left with years of heartache, and self esteem issues. Some people who have been bullied online have been depressed to the point of committing suicide. So you can see why this topic is an important one.

teenage cyberbullying laws ontario canadaThey say words hurt almost as much as actions sometimes, this is especially true of cruel words that are meant to damage the person’s very being. When you think of cyberbullying, you mainly think of teenagers ganging up on each other on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, but it can happen to adults as well. It’s not as exclusive to young people as you might think.

The technical definition of cyberbullying is using any electronic technology, including cell phones, to harass someone. This means using social media to publicly bother someone in a way that is offensive and hurtful. It can be done with a computer, tablet, or smartphone as any communication tool qualifies.

The worst part is that these inappropriate messages can occur anytime, day or night. It’s a 24 hour a day chance to put damaging language out there about someone with mal intent. It can be considered a form of libel (written) or slander (videos) if that person is attacking someone’s character. Defamation is a serious issue.

Another form of cyberbullying that is getting some press lately is “revenge porn.” That’s where a person posts inappropriate photos of someone online without their consent. They are usually sexually explicit in nature, and weren’t meant for public eyes. This usually happens between ex-boyfriends and girlfriends, who want to get back at their ex for whatever reason once the relationship has ended.

It might have been a bad breakup, or some other form of retribution. Since this is a relatively new crime, Canada is just catching up with using existing laws to combat this problem. In the United States already 26 states have laws against this form of hostile retaliation, and many more are joining in the fight.

In Ontario, a new law has come into play that amends their B-C13, which is the “Cyberbullying Law.” Under the new amendment it says that it’s meant to protect all Canadians from Online Crimes In General. This Act will cover the umbrella of all cyberbullying and harassment that takes place on the web. It includes, but is not limited to, unauthorized distribution of photos, removal of the computer device from the defendant, and helps civilly reimburse the victims for harm caused.

These new laws apply to children, as well as to adults. Serious offenses dealing with this new act, can results in anything from 1-5 years in prison, 6-months in jail for less serious offenses, and up to $5,000 in fines. So you can see that the legal system is taking cyberbullying very seriously indeed.

If you have any further inquiries related to cyberbullying, or about youth crimes and the legal system feel free to contact us at [email protected]

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