I WAS disturbed by this news story on CNN about a 13-year old girl who committed suicide in Dardenne, Prairie, Missouri because of a special friendship she had with a fictitious boy on MySpace that had gone awry when he suddenly ended it, telling her she’s cruel to her friends. The teenage girl who was suffering from depression and attention deficit disorder killed herself the next day. http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/11/17/internet.suicide.ap/index.html
Her parents later found out that the boy she had befriended was fictitious, and their neighbor was responsible for creating his profile on MySpace so they could spy on what she was telling people around about their own daughter who was her former friend.
The parents of Megan Meier’s tried to bring the case to the police in Missouri but they were told it does not fit any current web law even if it involved manipulation and harassment — child endangerment.
Again, the question is: “How safe are kids/teenagers when they’re allowed so much time on the Internet without their parents’ guidance?”
More sad is the fact that the advent of the global computer network all these years has not really given enough birth to stringent laws that should protect vulnerable children from its dangerous contents or misguided use.
How can children/teenagers be protected from fraudulent online profiles of people they meet and their bad influences? If you have a computer with an Internet at home, and your children are old enough to know how to use it, they’re very open to danger.
There should be a law that’s capable of protecting their welfare so that Megan’s sad story doesn’t happen again.