Note: death threats online always leaves a virtual paper trail.
Is freedom of speech becoming a luxury of the past? That may be the case, especially when used in a "cyber-bullying" verbal attack online. As seen with the suicide of Megan Meier stemming from comments made on MySpace, Internet harassment can be lethal, and now many countries are taking action against individuals harassing others online.
The latest cyber-bullying incident has now made 18-year-old Keeley Houghton the first person to be jailed in Britain due to bullying on a social networking site. According this article, Houghton actually posted a death threat in regards to Emily Moore on Facebook; Houghton had bullied Moore for four years at school prior to the virtual threat.
"Keeley is going to murder the bitch," Houghton wrote on her Facebook page. "She is an actress. What a ------- liberty. Emily ----head Moore."
According to Prosecutor Sara Stock, there was an altercation between the two teens before the Facebook posting. Apparently, Houghton approached Moore at a pub and asked for a "huggle" despite two previous convictions relating to her vendetta against Moore.
"I'll give you something to ring the police about," Houghton threatened when Moore refused the hug and threatened to call the police if Houghton didn't leave her alone.
Houghton pleaded guilty to harassment charges and now serves three months in a young offenders' institution. She was also banned from contacting Moore for five years.