Facebook making prosecution prohibitive

first_imgLinkedin WhatsApp Report by Andrew CareySign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up A THREAT to kill or cause serious harm to a Limerick person made on facebook is under investigation by Gardaí who say they are finding it very difficult obtaining the relevant evidence from the social networking site.Speaking at the quarterly meeting of the Limerick city and county Joint Policing Committee recently, Chief Superintendent Dave Sheahan said that it was only a matter of time before there was an explosion in the number of similar incidents which were on the increase at an alarming rate.Reporting that most crime statistics had shown signs of improvement, the Garda chief said that the period since last August were a “very difficult three months”.The number of murder threats increased to 12 from three over the same period last year.Chief Superintendednt Sheahan said the 12 incidents were not gang or feud related and that nine had been solved.“Of the outstanding three incidents, two are solvable and one was on facebook, but getting the information back from facebook is proving difficult and prohibitive”.He added that this would not deter the investigation involving two 16 year olds, but warned that incidents of cyber-bullying were on the increase and getting more serious.“The biggest problem is that the majority of these companies operate outside the jurisdiction in America or Canada and obtaining the relevant evidence is very difficult – in some cases, almost impossible”.Cllr James Collins (FF) said that a proposal was being put to the Government in the Dáil to consider the criminalisation of cyber-bullying. He hoped that it would be welcomed and approved by all parties.Under the new legislation, it will be an offence to engage in cyber-bullying and it will also be an offence to assist it or encourage it.This would be the first time the offence of cyber-bullying would be defined in Irish law.In a statement, Deputy Willie O’Dea commented: “So far cyber-bullying has only had consequences for the victims, but now is the time to make sure there are consequences for the perpetrators too.“A report by the Special Rapporteur on Child Protection, Geoffrey Shannon concluded that the growth of cyber-bullying has “almost overnight created a readily accessible forum for bullies to target children with little or no regulation or sanction.”A recent survey found that incidences of cyber-bullying among Irish teenagers were among the highest in among 26 European countries surveyed.Cyber-bullying is carried out by text, picture or video-clip, phone calls, emails, on social media, in chat rooms and through instant messaging.“Our Bill makes cyber-bullying a specific offence for the first time in Irish law. It makes provision for parents to attend mandatory parenting courses and only provides for criminal prosecution when a parent continuously and knowingly permits cyber-bullying by their child,” added Deputy O’Dea.Stating that a balance had to be struck in how cyber bullying is dealt with, Deputy O’Dea added, that “awareness campaigns and better education are an essential part of that but I believe strong sanctions are needed as well to act as a deterrent.“Failing to tackle this issue head-on will only result in more distress for the people who are targeted by bullies”, he said. Previous articleGangland roll call shows Garda successNext articleAfter Dark – Fundraiser for Knockainey National School admin NewsBreaking newsFacebook making prosecution prohibitiveBy admin – November 13, 2013 661 Advertisementcenter_img Print Email Twitter Facebooklast_img

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