MOSCOW, July 2 (RAPSI, Maria Zuyeva) – The New York State Court of Appeals on Tuesday ruled that cyberbullying is not a crime and does not infringe on constitutional rights, The New York Post writes.
Albany County (New York) earlier made it a crime to engage in cyberbullying against “any minor or person.” The law was adopted after an Albany-area teenager created a Facebook page in 2010 to harass classmates.
The New York Health Department held a survey in 2011, which showed that 18% of high school students were bullied on school property and 16% were victims of cyberbullying. Under the Albany County law, which became effective in 2012, municipal schools were to report bullying episodes. However, 80% of schools said there were no such incidents to report in 2012-2013.
The New York court said in its ruling that “the text of Albany County’s law envelops far more than acts of cyberbullying against children by criminalizing a variety of constitutionally protected modes of expression.” The court ruled that the local law was “overbroad” and trampled free-speech rights of online tormentors, The New York Post writes.
A City Councilman said he was “not happy with the court’s decision,” whereas free-speech advocates said that making cyberbullying a crime wouldn’t stop thuggish kids from picking on their victims.