Two Erie County legislators have proposed making cyberbullying a misdemeanor after expressing frustration over waiting for lawmakers to strengthen their state’s anti-bullying laws. If the proposal is passed, cyberbullies could face a spend a year in jail and be fined up to a 1000 dollars.
Similar legislation has already been passed in other New York counties, including Albany. The suicide of a 14-year-old Williamsville, NY native in September has been the catalyst to this latest call to action. Jamey Rodenmeyer (a highschool freshman) committed suicide after being bullied and cyberbullied for years because he was gay. Rodenmeyer was especially cyberbullied on a site known as Formspring.
Formspring is a social network that encourages users to post anonymous questions and comments in order to foster online “authentic conversations”.  In other words,  an unfavorable recipient might receive 100 negative comments not knowing if those comments come from 1 person or 100 different people.
Formspring has 26 million users and continues to grow rapidly.
Formspring officials say that they have tightened monitoring measures on their site but if victims like Rodenmeyer continue to be the target of such anonymous assaults, is Formspring  really necessary?