Tina Meier holds two pictures of her
daughter, Megan, who committed
suicide last October.

Woman Charged in MySpace Suicide Case

May 16, 2008 05:03 PM
by findingDulcinea Staff
Missouri resident Lori Drew was indicted on Thursday for her role in using a fake MySpace profile to bully a 13-year-old girl who later committed suicide.

30-Second Summary

The fake profile was used to convince Megan Meier that she was exchanging messages with a 16-year-old boy named Josh Evans. Drew, 49, is the mother of a classmate who had had a falling-out with Meier.

After receiving cruel messages from “Josh,” the clinically depressed teenager hanged herself in her bedroom.

Salvador Hernandez, the assistant agent in charge of the Los Angeles FBI office, told the Associated Press that Drew is responsible for her actions, even if she could not have known the consequences.

“The Internet is a world unto itself. People must know how far they can go before they must stop. They exploited a young girl’s weaknesses,” said Hernandez.

Authorities are charging Drew with violating MySpace’s terms of service, but some experts say that the indictment sets a “scary” legal precedent.

“In their eagerness to visit justice on a 49-year-old woman involved in the Megan Meier MySpace suicide tragedy, federal prosecutors in Los Angeles are resorting to a novel and dangerous interpretation of a decades-old computer crime law—potentially making a felon out of anybody who violates the terms of service of any Web site,” writes Wired magazine.

Cyberbullying is on the rise, according to parents and educators. In response to concerns about cybersafety, MySpace and Facebook recently established new safety policies to aid parents in monitoring their kids’ online activities.

Headline Link: Woman indicted in Missouri MySpace suicide case

Opinion & Analysis: Legal implications

Related Topics: Cyberbullying, cybersecurity, and sexual predators online

Reference: Social networking advice for parents


Most Recent Beyond The Headlines