The Internet is both a wonderful and a terrible invention.
It allows us to be connected to one another like never before, and gives us access in seconds to huge quantities of information.
But it is also being used as a tool by some to maliciously cause harm to others.
We were surprised and dismayed to learn from the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP that children only nine and 10 years old have taken to cyber bullying like a duck to water.
We suppose we shouldn’t be shocked when we consider that this young generation has been exposed to smart phones, iPads, laptops and all manner of other technologies their whole lives.
But the age at which they have learned to use it to torment their peers is just depressing.
Then again, there are certainly far too many adults who aren’t providing a good example for them to follow.
Though his actions more closely resemble those of an abusive partner than an elementary school bully, the term cyber bullying immediately brought to mind the case of B.C. man Patrick Fox, who has created a website he explicitly states is aimed at destroying his ex-wife.
This horrible individual has made any number of claims on the site, and perhaps most reprehensibly, has stuck the couple’s teenage son squarely in the middle by including him in every hate-filled exchange he has with the boy’s mother.
So far, the legal system has not worked to stop him. The technology has run far ahead of the law.
But that doesn’t mean he hasn’t done anything wrong and there won’t be consequences for his repugnant behaviour.
He certainly has, and there certainly will. And that’s what we hope our youths of today can learn from this case.
So far, his victim hasn’t been able to afford an attorney to take him to civil court, but we imagine all the publicity may dig one out who’s willing to take the case on pro bono.
He may find it tough to find a partner after this, given how he’s treating his previous one.
Anyone who employs this individual likely isn’t thrilled about it right now. And we can only imagine his friends are uneasy about the acquaintance.
So we can only surmise that this man will eventually find himself alone, with only his hatred for company.
Our laws are only now starting to catch up with our tech, but they are catching up.
In many places now, for example, it’s illegal to post explicit photos of somebody without their consent.
This has been a key component of previous notable cyber bullying cases like those of Rehtaeh Parsons and Amanda Todd .
The change is a step forward at least in the fight.