Oct. 1, 2010 The recent suicide of a NJ student and his roommates use of the internet to expose his sexual preferences is a glaring example of people using the internet as a weapon of personal harm.
Even if Tyler Clementi was straight his suicide illustrates how “some” young people are using the internet to expose, humiliate, publicize a person’s life which is an invasion of privacy. The cruelty of this act is a matter for the courts to decide in this new modern age of the internet, uploading a video or photograph with the intent to humiliate opens a whole new world of laws required to stop the malicious use of the internet for harmful purposes.
Tyler was only 18 years old and in his freshman year at Rudgers and was an accomplished violinist but most of the trust he had in his roommate was misplaced. Tyler was unaware that Dharun Ravi a fellow student with whom he shared a student’s room and Molly Wei who occupied the room next to them, had a secret video camera set up in Tyler’s room.
On September 19, 2010 Dharum Ravi took it upon himself to set up a sting operation of video taping his room mate Tyler Clementi with another man in a sex act.
The recorded text messages of Dharun seemed to be bragging that he had this camera set up to catch Tyler having sex with another man. The whole scene was a premeditated plan to out Tyler and broadcast the sex act on the internet.
Ravi also posted on Twitter that he had this plan and was turning on the camera when Tyler asked to have the room to himself until midnight seemingly proud of himself.
Ravi’s Post on Twitter:
” Roommate asked for the room till midnight. I went into molly’s room and turned on my web cam. I saw him making out with a dude. Yay.”
This statement itself shows Ravi had a problem with gay people and his plan to video tape the scene was not only an invasion of privacy but a direct attempt to intentionally ridicule and publicly humiliate his roommate.
The Governor of New Jersey statement:
“As the father of a 17-year-old, I can’t imagine what those parents are feeling today,” he said. “Those people who led him to that bridge are going to have to bear that responsibility for the rest of their lives.”
What possessed Ravi and his accomplice in this crime is difficult to understand psychologically did it make them feel more adequate to ridicule another student in the dorm? Did the fact that Tyler was gay disturb Ravi the main instigator of the plan to act out in a hateful manner to make himself more accepted?
Some critics analyze cyber bullies as people who use the internet to expose, humiliate and damage the personal freedoms and personal lives of others. The fact that they can do this almost anonymously is also an attraction rather than contact face to face. In this respect the cyber bully is less courageous than a normal person who would make their statements of disapproval in person.
Ravi did not stop at one attempt to capture Tyler on video -he tried again after a few days later from the initial attempt. This shows a deliberate attempt to humiliate and perhaps in Ravi’s deep demented mind he purposefully did this to show his hatred towards gays and especially Tyler.
This death should not go unpunished for it sets a precedent to others that if you use the internet to intimidate, coerce, harm, humiliate others you will go to jail for a long time. The laws on the cyber bully have to be created in this new modern technology people have found a way to do harm with it. It is a shame that a few demented degenerates have ruined it for many millions of people who use the web as an educational tool of great learning and promises to help mankind instead of using it for ill will.
The internet is being blamed for people like Ravi and others who are using profile pages on Twitter, Facebook and other social forums to make hurtful or hate filled remarks about others.
The other example is Andrew Shirvell who is using his Blogger Site on Google to spread hate against a gay student President Chris Armstrong at the University of Michigan. These two abuses of the internet are responsible for the deaths and harm to others and seem to be targeting gay men.
In the case of Tyler Clementi’s death by the harm caused by Ravi and Wei, the world has lost a brilliant violin player and the parents of Tyler have lost their son. The school itself will now have to regulate the privacy of its students with a ban on people video taping their room mates and setting up traps to use against them.
These two students should be expelled from Rudger’s and in future other students will think twice about sharing a room with them. Their credibility and responsibility in this suicide are culpable and they should be going to jail for the gross invasion of Tyler’s privacy that led to his death. Tyler was described as a shy young man who was quite and did not seem to be bothering anyone in his time at Rudger’s. But he is dead now. The results of a stupid and cynical prank and one that cost a life.
Tags: cyber bully, Dharum Ravi and Molly Wei charged, Tyler Clementi Student at Rudgers’, Rudgers school policy, Using the internet as a weapon, Humiliation on the internet, Internet laws, cyber space, Rudgers, Andrew Shrivell, school room mates, video taping your room mate, invasion of privacy at university, invasion of privacy at Rudgers, school student conduct, new laws on internet.