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Court finds cyberbullying law unconstitutional

When someone is accused of cyberbullying, their whole life can change in a flash. For some, the accusations may cause them to lose friends or suffer from a social stigma. For others, the allegations could lead to legal problems and turn their life upside down. Unfortunately, some people have been falsely accused of cyberbullying in Minneapolis, and other cities in Minnesota. Sometimes, the details were blown out of proportion, while other cases involve allegations of bullying that were entirely untrue and designed to harm an individual's reputation.

In a recent ruling, the North Carolina Supreme Court found that a cyberbullying law in North Carolina was unconstitutional. The court found that the law, which was supposedly designed to protect children from bullying on the internet, did not require the victims of bullying prove they were injured and also prohibited people from practicing their right to free speech.

The North Carolina law, which was passed in 2009, made it a misdemeanor to intimidate a minor, intimidate the parent of the minor or encourage any such intimidation on the internet. There are no less than 18 states which also have criminal penalties for cyberbullying.

Addressing cyberbullying charges can be difficult, but it is important to remember that each case is unique and approach the situation on an individualized basis. Understanding cyberbullying laws can be tricky, but many people have benefited from reaching out to a legal professional who thoroughly understands the ins and outs of internet crime laws. For those who are facing cyberbullying charges, figuring out the smartest course of action is paramount.

Source: The Washington Post, "N.C. court strikes down ban on posting ‘personal or sexual information’ about minors ‘with the intent to torment’," Eugene Volokh, June 11, 2016

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Joseph S. Friedberg Chartered

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