More than one in ten 11-16 year-olds in the EU say they have been bullied online. A majority of those affected by bullying (55%) said that it caused them to become depressed, and more than one in three said they self-harmed – and even considered suicide – as a result.

Bullying has always existed in one form or another, but anonymous bullying online is becoming increasingly common. It’s not just celebrities experiencing harassing messages and the threat of having their private photos and details published.

As part of our Debating Europe Schools series, we’ve been taking questions from students from across Europe to policy-makers and experts for them to answer. For today’s debate, we had two questions sent in from students from the Lycée Montchapet in Dijon, France.

Curious to know more about the problem of cyberbullying in Europe? We’ve put together some facts and figures about online bullying and European young people in the infographic below (click for a bigger version).


The first student question was very straightforward: Should cyber bullying be considered a criminal offence and punished as such?

To get a reaction, we took this question to Seán Kelly, an Irish Fine Gael MEP who sits with the centre-right European People’s Party in the European Parliament. How would he respond?

kellyI think it is certainly a major offence, and if it is not dealt with sufficiently strongly then there is a danger the perpetrators will continue their bullying. I think that if the punishment is strong enough then people will think twice about doing something. Whereas if there is no penalty at all, or a very weak penalty, then people won’t stop to think.

Cyberbullying is something that has obviously developed massively over recent times, particularly because of the growth of social media, and it is doing huge damage, especially to young people. It has lead to people suffering severe depression and in some cases even suicide. That certainly is strong enough a reason for me to say that extreme forms of cyberbullying, and particularly sustained and continuous cyberbullying over a period of time, should be criminalised and a penalty should be laid down for it.

We also spoke to Dan Raisbeck, co-founder of the Cybersmile Foundation, an international charity that provides support to the victims of cyberbullying. He argued that such an approach may be in danger of criminalising children who have behavioral problems, and that bullies can often themselves be the victims of abuse at home or elsewhere.

The second question asked what happens when it is children (and potentially young children) carrying out the bullying. Rather than criminal sanctions, wouldn’t it be more appropriate to for parents to ban their children from using the internet?

kellyWell, that is obviously a point worth considering. The age of the person must be taken into consideration before you would penalise them. Also, the gravity of the offence and, above all, whether it was persistent and continuous. So, yes, there could be a system whereby you would have a clear warning first, with the parents and others might talk to the individual involved, but if the bullying continued then it could ultimately result in criminal sanctions.

So, yes, sensitivity regarding age would obviously have to come into it because young people would not be as mature as young adults or older people, and secondly their life experiences wouldn’t be the same, so possibly they might not be sensitive to the damage they are doing. So, clearer education about what cyberbullying entails and why it is wrong is obviously a key way of dealing with this issue.

We put the same question to Dan Raisbeck. He agreed that this might be a better option than the threat of criminal sanctions.

Should cyberbullying be a criminal offence in the EU? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below, and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!

IMAGE CREDITS: CC / Flickr – Fixer Sophie Thorne

257 comments Post a commentcomment

  1. avatar
    Christopher Kwadwo Svanefalk

    All forms of harassment should be an offence. However, the spillover in this case may be a stricter policing of the Internet, which in the end might not be good for anyone. Teach kids how to deal with trolls (it’s really not that hard), rather than trying to legislate the problem away.

    • avatar

      Are u ok mate

  2. avatar
    Konstantinos Michas

    yeap, it’s another issue if someone stands for his opinion and another to blackmail (if that’s a correct definition). This has to apply on media and governments as well

  3. avatar
    Dorothea Karaburjidou

    No…. I think the ‘real life bulling’ ( teachers, public officers, goverment politicians that they bulling people real face to face …etc etc ) should…..11-16 in that age they doing that anyway all the time!!! On internet at least it is safer and can be controled or watched out by family and friends etc etc Awarness is the best way to fight this issue and those that comming to them that first come across technologies …good luck everyone!! ;)

  4. avatar
    Manfred Kulemann

    I don t think we need any more laws.It’s already getting complicated as it is
    More Laws=More Ministers and Politicians=More Salaries to pay.

  5. avatar
    Ÿänn Hidalgō

    Don’t need to explain that only the will to destruct a person, in anyway, it’s already a crime.

  6. avatar
    Akpans Intel

    Ya.As a matter of fact every form of bullying is a moral crime.Who on earth wants to be bullied?So,just as we try to fight the yet to come cyber war and terrorism,we should put CYBERBULLYING as one of those on the list.Fact remains that in the nearest future,many things we do today on our daily lives will be done on the PC.

  7. avatar
    Paul X

    It’s not bullying, at worst it should be called harassment or in most cases it is just the usual bitching which has been going on for centuries. In the old days it was calling people names behind their back, the difference now is it done to a global audience from behind the safety of a computer screen

    Stop demeaning those who are really being bullied, to bully someone you need to have some power over them, either be stronger or be their employer, on the internet, as long as you can type you can be strong as those doing the bullying

  8. avatar
    Vinko Rajic

    Some people love is :
    The Tyrannical Sadist

    The tyrannical sadist and the malevolent antisocial are perhaps the most frightening
    and cruel of the personality disorder subtypes. Some are physically assaultive, whereas
    others overwhelm their victims by unrelenting criticism, forceful anger, and vulgar and
    bitter tirades. Tyrannical sadists seem to relish the act of menacing and brutalizing oth-
    ers in the most unmerciful and inhumane ways. More than any other personality, they
    derive a deep satisfaction from creating suffering, observing its effects, and reflecting
    on their actions. Violence may be employed intentionally to inspire terror and intimi-
    dation. Resistance only seems to stimulate them more. Often calculating and cool,
    tyrannical sadists are selective in their choice of victims, identifying scapegoats who
    are easily intimidated and unlikely to react with violence in return. Frequently, their
    goal is not only to inflict terror but also to impress the audience with their total, unre-
    strained power. Most intentionally dramatize their surly behavior. Although these indi-
    viduals are in many respects the purest form of the psychopathic sadist, they also
    exhibit characteristics of the negativistic or paranoid personalities.

  9. avatar
    Diogo Guerreiro [Portugal]

    An offense it’s always an offense. I doesn’t matter if committed in the street, by mail or by computer. But, create a criminal charge over this is to extreme, because many people will have criminal registration before their 18 years old. Nevertheless we can create something different. Something like a penalty but not criminal, just an administrative penalty. For example, I agree with social service. It’s ok. If an offense can lead to a criminal offense in court, no, I absolutely disagree with that.
    We are on 21 century, I know, better than ever, that verbal abuse, can cause trauma in people, especially over young people. Isn’t just words. Words can hurt as much as physical damages, although, where the risk over physical integrity doesn’t exists. It’s different in just this aspect, not in all other aspects.

  10. avatar
    Eugenia Serban

    Nooooo. There s a lame reason for the authorities to watch the internet. No BIG BROTHER law. Let people be free !

  11. avatar
    Aleksandros Ho Megas

    Of course NOT, You fascist control freaks!!!
    Internet is the last bastion of FREEDOM, and we should (and will) fight to keep it as free as possible!

  12. avatar
    Mathew Sandoval

    Free to do what? Of course, children should be protected as well as all citizens, from invasive protocols.

  13. avatar
    João Martins

    With a legal act there should also be an educational action. Kids have make contact with social media really early and they are not taught how to protect themselvs and, worse, the parents know even less than their own children. There is a need to educate children, and also parents, about cyberbullying.

  14. avatar
    catherine benning

    What a ridiculous nonsense this question is. There is no such thing as cyber bullying. If an idiot stays on line to read the belittling thoughts of another person they are colluding in their own distress. Give as good as you get, ignore, or, get off line and go to another site. Sorted.

    I suppose if you want to say there ‘is’ cyber bullying you could include Elton John and his Mr Furnish in being cyber bullies by trying to cause the downfall of the business of Dolce and Gabbana and using the internet to do it. The first two being unable to handle the second pair having minds of their own on four parent babies being bought like slaves by an odd couple of men in their old age.

    Apparently, D&G think these babies are chemical and unnatural, and because of their voiced thoughts, along with millions of others, they want the public to boycott their produce. Talk about loving freedom of speech for the self, whilst making moves to deny it to others.

    Read all about it…. Now that’s calling to put someone out of business by vexatious slander, the same way as the forcing of another company of cake makers, who refuse to celebrate gay marriage is defenitely cyber bullying. Anyone ready to put John and Furnish in the can for it? Along with those demanding others stay away from their human right of free speech and right of association, by openly looking for support to ruin them through the internet?

    Here is the baker who won’t bake a gay marriage celebration cake being taken to court by the prospective customer. As he feels the baker must bow to his way of thinking. Whether the baker is Chrisitna or not has nothing to do with it. It is the human right of us all to adhere to our freedoms of speech and thought.

    The internet is being used by these tyrants to bully perpetraters of angst out of a way to make a living. And what gets my goat is, they want to threaten and frighten people against having an alternative view to their own, simply because they fear it will be the’ majority’ of the population who rise up against them once questioned on it.

    • avatar

      “What a ridiculous nonsense this question is. There is no such thing as cyber bullying. If an idiot stays on line to read the belittling thoughts of another person they are colluding in their own distress. Give as good as you get, ignore, or, get off line and go to another site. Sorted.”

      No you are wrong. If I were to go in the internet everyday and say something mean about you or lie and spread rumours about you what would you say that was??

  15. avatar
    eusebio manuel vestias pecurto

    yes more on the network and eliminate cyberbullying nay of the thighs you do in life today will be done on the PC

  16. avatar

    No it would be an excuse for further violation of free speech. There should be a clear line between verbal and actually practice of all kinds of conducts.

  17. avatar
    Dionìs Koçi

    Yes for a good part of the cases. Cyber Bullying is a too broad term for being answered with YES/NO, but it contains many cases which should take a YES.

  18. avatar
    Ferenc Lázár

    This issue is not so simple though- anyone can switch off his internet and who would judge what us bullying or intimidation. This is very much an individual matter..

  19. avatar
    Tarquin Farquhar


    What a silly question!

  20. avatar

    Yes! All kinds of bullying. We are supposed to be promoting respect and mutual understanding in this European Union. Better late than never though, and again yes, something should be done abou it.

  21. avatar
    Pedro Redondeiro

    This should not even be a matter of “if”, by now the EU should have had already made it a crime punishable by law, having in mind the recent events of the last few years, that had TRAGIC consequences in the majority of cases, world wide especially in the US. But is should not only be criminalized online, it sohould be criminalized evry single type of bullying behaviour. Period! There should be a ZERO TOLERANCE for bullying behavior.

  22. avatar
    Jake Simmonds

    Obviously free speech must be free, but cyberbullying is doing so much harm to people. If the government cannot impose a law against online abuse, then the support must be there for victims to cope – charities or organisations need the funding to launch and maintain constant campaigns on social networks (Tumblr being one of the primary targets, closely followed by Twitter & Facebook).

    Victims need the help they deserve.

  23. avatar
    Darcy Brás da Silva

    Cyber Bullying becoming a crime is nonsense. And here is why

    1) Impossible to have decent ways of detecting this behavior and enforcing it without abuse of _regular_ citizens rights.

    2) The biggest attacking group tends to grow out of that behavior naturally as this tend to be teenagers that instead of going to that rock concert and smashing that guitar or having that car accident now ‘internet troll’ their way.

    What do we do to improve the situation ?
    1) Better education about using online systems. This will not only reduce the number of bullies but also give social skills for the victims which by the way will be useful through out their lives.

    Cyber bullying has the great advantage of being switchable. You can turn of the computer not think about it for a while.

    I would also like to mention that there are already laws for ‘stalking and identity theft’ and those should not be confused with Cyber Bullying as they grade very differently.

  24. avatar
    Tgame Bond

    If they got nothing to do or study the book or play some game …then they should continue they lazy Ass bone to concentrate of some ignorance bullying. .

  25. avatar
    Imane Majid

    No. Parents shouldn’t forbid them from using the Internet because that doesn’t solve the problem from its roots. Instead, the parents should enroll their kids in some activity that’ll keep them busy from being online all day long.

  26. avatar
    Buj Alex

    yes … :) i’m guessing it is a matter of educating children, not legislation … and yes kids should be more restricted, people should start to loose intrest in the internet, because it is not creating value anymore !! as long as you can’t pass data around, and nothing is free … then why bother ? these days kids haven’t the slightest ideea of what a computer is …

  27. avatar
    Vinko Rajic

    EU should have a big news agency similar to BBC , search engine and mail service similar to Google . All EU citizens should have EU internet ID card . It should be possible to access internet without ID but all users should understand when you are using your right identity .

  28. avatar
    Ioanna Geor

    I do not think that they should ban the Internet completely, they can deactivate pages ( if they use a family filter antivirus, they can choose to block the page from appearing). Or the can take their computers for a time, for example until they apologize. But f they ban the internet altogether, these children may react bad. I read an article about a girl trying to kill her mum TWICE with poison, just because her mom took her iphone away from her. Now, we want to protect our family, not push it to kill us or harm us

  29. avatar
    Tony Kunnari

    Those who haven’t yet been introduced the term ‘bully’ should be educated to cherish others. Those who already have been introduced the aforementioned term, need to unlearn it because the whole concept is beyond necessity and takes too much space in our mind which reflects to our behaviour. Afterwards they also need to learn how to cherish others.

    “Like an old software, bullying needs to be replaced by more practical and simple application. There is no need to keep the old one in your hard drive if you no longer use it.”

  30. avatar
    Nando Aidos

    If a child / young adult under my care is being cyber-bullied it is my duty to protect and to help this young person defend herself from such attacks. If so, then what is the right course of action for the specific case? What is the tight course of action of us as a society? Forbidding may or may not be the solution because there is no such thing as a “generic solution” to aggression.

  31. avatar

    If a child / young adult under my care is being cyber-bullied it is my duty to protect her and to help this young person defend herself from such attacks. If so, then
    – what is the right course of action for the specific case? Each case is a case.
    – what is the tight course of action for us as a society? Penalize the perpetrators. Cyber-bullying is a serious offense and should be subject to punishment!
    Forbidding access to the internet may or may not be the solution because there is no such thing as a “generic solution” to aggression. But forbidding the victim leaves the criminal at large doing more of the same!

  32. avatar
    Dobromir Panchev

    EU can have its own social network managed by the European Commission with better child protection. Social networks today have many issues, they are run by private companies outside EU, private data leak to advertisers and we have no control over them. If the network is designed, implemented and managed in EU without profit in mind, it can make the communication between EU citizens better and prevent bullying by using enhanced algorithms. If all participants in that social network are reliably identified, any criminal behaviour over the network will be prosecuted.

  33. avatar
    Ed Cocks

    Generally, children should be restricted on the Internet until age 16 (depending on their parents’ judgement of their maturity) with allowances for school research, reading and guided exploration. If they abuse the privilege then they should be disciplined.

  34. avatar
    Eugenia Serban

    Parents can do nothing about the internet. Lets not fool ourselves.
    They can only teach children human values…like always.

  35. avatar
    Jim Young

    When we were kids there was no internet, there were no computers, the only bullying occasionally was in the playground and if the bully was caught it was corporal punishment and or the slipper. Those were the good old days when we made model boats, model planes, played with plastercine, made kites, got out into the fresh air; went into the woods, went fishing, read books, those things with paper pages and covers, played football, cricket, hockey, basket ball and much more, we were a poor society; no on had anything, everyone worked just to pay the rent and most people were decent and honest… here we are discussing online bullying; my advice is simple….Switch it OFF, we used to sing, Sticks and stones may break my bones but words never hurt me.

  36. avatar

    Not at all. Silly question to be honest.

  37. avatar

    it is clearly define for old concept people .

  38. avatar
    Tony Kunnari

    Bullying is a product of discrimination given space through ignorance, negligence and desperation. Disarm people of discrimination and you won’t see bullying after awhile.

  39. avatar
    Bita Nahal Peace

    Absolutely!!! How could you even contemplate this and ask public opinions!! Any bullies should be criminalised, whether they come from family members or friends or strangers!! START FROM UK!!!

  40. avatar
    Carlos Em Lisboa

    Sorry , its kind of a stupid question ! Of course , Mobbing is in some country allready punished , and i guess Bullying is to put in the same category . So , it makes all sense to punish it by criminal & civil law ! And if the harresment would lead to the death of a person , i even would say that ” bullies ” did it with intent to destabilize a person in that way , that she killed her self and it would be indirect murder ( new law ) !

  41. avatar
    Toni Muñiz

    Yes. There should be no difference between real life and online situations. And more should be done against bullying overall. I don’t believe it is taken as serious as it should. I know in my childs school they blow it off once too many times as “they are just children”.

  42. avatar
    Harris Manteniotes

    ofcourse!! there is no doubt, cyber bullying also has an effect in some people, and these people must be protected at all costs

  43. avatar
    Ciobîcă Ovidiu

    It definetely should, and the legal punishment must me severe enough to discourage such a sick behaviour! My answer to all the bullshits I met online was to bully them much harder, so they would be defeated with their own weapons :)

  44. avatar
    Rui Duarte

    Internet is just another extension of man. Every criminal behavior must be treated as such, whether ON or OFF the internet.

  45. avatar

    ANY type of bullying should be a criminal offense!

  46. avatar
    Omid Danesh Khorak

    Not criminal, but civil offence ! And at the same time as the “civil offence,” it should be elevated as an important tort.

  47. avatar
    Victoria Deniran

    YES…many lives has been taken because of cyberbullying, is time to take action, it’s like a virus and getting worse every…it has to be stopped!

  48. avatar
    Richard Osborne

    No, bullying is part of life. It sucks but it’s how we’re made. It teaches us to be strong and stand up for ourselves

  49. avatar
    Eugenia Serban

    Nobody will be able to control the internet.
    Never. No authority or state or union.

  50. avatar
    Tuija Mustonen

    Yes of course. And we should arrange some great place, cyber-police, from where to get advice and support, if one notices bullying. Bullying is wrong, and we must not tolerate it, no matter how strong individuals. We must take care of the not-so strong people also, you never know when you will be the weakest one.

  51. avatar
    Banu Demirtas

    Yes! Each form of it, is experienced by each person in a different subjective way..its very hard to set degrees on it.

  52. avatar
    Dogaru Adrian

    lol…cyberbully…Jesus folks..just ignore them…or close the bloody laptop…is not like someone is going to punch you through the screen

    • avatar
      Leon Rickert

      I wouldn’t go that far!

  53. avatar
    Karishma Pattni

    Yes, cyberbullying is not just a matter of people being rude to each other online. Yes you could jus ‘ignore them’… but the true fact is many people commit suicide over cyberbullying. This should be stopped! children deserve to have a future. Making cyberbullying a criminal offense would make a HUGE difference to the next generation, children will not be as afraid to stand up to bullies!

  54. avatar
    Lara Huppert

    Since we’ve already seen worst case scenarios, where teenagers took their lives because of cyber bullying, we should all recognize that it won’t get better without a reaction. Europe should be a lot more aware of this and make this topic a lot more important!

  55. avatar
    Leon Rickert

    Well, there actually were teenagers who took their life because of cyber bullying. PEOPLE DIED. So somebody really has to react against this. And I also think that the Offenders should be punished. And if the victim lost his or her life the offender should be punished hard!

  56. avatar
    James Boyd

    I am an American who works with children who have been bullied online, and I also am a moderator on a European support forum for a game company (sorry, no names), and I see people being bullied online every day on that forum. I say absolutely yes, that cyberbullying should be a criminal offense in the EU. I believe it should be a criminal offense everywhere.

  57. avatar
    Vytautas Vėžys

    Should bad grades at school considered as criminal offense in EU cause it hurts children feelings?

    • avatar
      Hidalgo Yann

      Wrond doing is a criminal offense

    • avatar
      Vytautas Vėžys

      Hidalgo Yann So giving bad grades for children and making them sad cause their dreams were crushed is “good doing”?

  58. avatar
    Marko Martinović

    There is no such thing. There are already criminal acts conected with internet. Offense is subjective and it should not be legislated. All programs can block and ignore unwanted people.

    • avatar
      Paulius Paždagis

      “Offense is subjective” – that’s a gem, mate.

    • avatar
      Marko Martinović

      Its a fact. What is great for some its offensive to others. Some people find dogs offensive or certain foods etc. Especially today where everything can be offensive

  59. avatar
    Michail Panchev

    Let’s all welcome the censorship and tougher sanctions for daring to express of own point of view,which might differ from the mainstream. :)

    • avatar
      Michail Panchev

      Lets throw to jail everyone,who somehow disagrees with the official standpoint :)

    • avatar
      Paulo Granadeiro

      Are we back to USSR ? Are we in China ?
      Sorry I am lost ! 😂😂😂😂

    • avatar
      Paulo Granadeiro

      Really so what is the point of EU, if not to normalize the common interest of nations ? Did you notice that money and information like knowledge have no nationality ?

      Do you have any idea of the need of common laws, like industrial protection, taxing capital, anti fraud measures, social support, just to mention a few ?

      Do think Brexit will be good to UK ? If you do, pretty soon you will see how good it will be for them… by the way for EU it is fantastic since we get rid of one member full of exceptions on its favour !

    • avatar
      José Bessa da Silva

      The EU serves for nothing. It is a vehicle of legalized corruption and nothing more.

      The EU will implode and those that leave first will rip the benefits.

    • avatar
      Ivan Burrows

      Paulo Granadeiro The EU is nothing but a vanity project to satisfy the self important egos of a few federalist fanatics, if you nee proof just look at the 168 Nations of the world ‘not’ in the pointless EU.

  60. avatar
    George Frehden

    Who is EU, to take decisions regarding national culture, traditions, and every thing related with individual freedom of comunication. As long as is not o problem of State security, or social health risk, Bulling can be ignored by each individual using technology offered by PC design !

  61. avatar
    AJ Nemec

    Too subjective, leftists will lock everyone that disagree with them up because they will find it a criminal offense

    • avatar
      Michail Panchev

      Exactly. And probaly that is the true purpose for that contemplated measure.

    • avatar
      Arthur Gustin

      You realise the difference between expressing your opinion and harrassing someone online or you’re too much on the right to even think properly ?

    • avatar
      Paulius Paždagis

      No need to generalize. You have no basis to say that and imply that some one would actually do that.

    • avatar
      AJ Nemec

      Arthur Gustin saying that muslims and refugees don’t belong in Europe is considered harassment to many. Europe belongs to European, it’s their indigenous homeland and they shouldn’t be replaced within it. Replacing the native Americans was wrong and replacing Europeans is equally as wrong. Yes this would be considered harassment under their bogus laws.

    • avatar
      Paulius Paždagis

      By the way, locking someone up is usually the “rightist” thing to do, so your comment pretty much denies itself.

    • avatar
      AJ Nemec

      Paulius Paždagis “rightist” is a stupid word: come up with a better term than trying to copy off of the term leftist. It sounds very dumb

    • avatar
      AJ Nemec

      Paulius Paždagis and last time I checked people in France the Netherlands and Britain are locked up and or fined for hate speech.

    • avatar
      Paulius Paždagis

      AJ Nemec Hate speech is and should be considered a CRIME. What is your point even?

    • avatar
      AJ Nemec

      Paulius Paždagis no it shouldn’t because anything the left doesn’t like is considered hate speech. Frankly saying Europe should stay ethnically European could be hate speech according to the looney left. You all are just anti white and promote hate speech against people of European descent if anything.

    • avatar
      Ivan Burrows

      Paulius Paždagis Could you explain the millions imprisoned and 20 million dead at the hands of the socialist in the USSR or maybe the millions imprisoned and 60 million dead at the hands of socialists in China ?

    • avatar
      Rebecca Moser

      Ivan ,lol . You would know exactly that those countries are not socialist countries ,they are and were Dictatorships . The Looney right needs to learn to have compassion AJ .

    • avatar
      AJ Nemec

      Rebecca Moser those countries need to fix their own problems just like our people fix our own problems and our own countries

  62. avatar
    Paulius Paždagis

    You know, if someone is ganging up on you on the internet, it’s either you pissed someone off or they are just young angry kids. Either way you have the ultimate weapon on The Internet – log OFF.

  63. avatar
    Constantinescu Florin

    And if I think that every comment to this post is hate speech against me and my dog and I call the Police do you think that Viorika Motoi, Andrew Lucas, Joe Grixti, Paulius Pazdagis, AJ Nemec and so must go to jail?

  64. avatar
    Simeon Milanov

    Idiocracy level 1…. Definetly NO! Internet is the last place where there is free speech. If you feel ofended by what i write, then go f*** yourself (or more politely said, switch to something else). Why leftists and liberals have this insane mania for censoring everything?! Totalitarian freaks…

    • avatar
      David Dreghorn

      The reason they want to make it an offence is so people can say things without being abused. It is actually easy to have a different opinion from someone without being offensive and you would be surprised how easy it is to stop making fun of people because of their size or looks.

    • avatar
      Alexander Tsankov

      Free speech is not the ability to offend everybody because they have a different opinion. Free speech is the ability to express your opinion. As David said you can have an opinion that is against someone else’s and express it in a way its not offending him. Its not hard.

    • avatar
      Pierluigi Michetti

      It’s not that hard to argue without being assholes, come on. :)

    • avatar
      Simeon Milanov

      And why is it bad to make fun of someone? He can make fun of me as well. Our human nature is imperfect. Where is the border between not offending someone and having your own opinion? As far as i can see, everyone , especially in Western Europe gets offended by something. Making fun of someone or even insulting him sometimes can be really bad but its part of human interaction and always has been. Its not normal to try and fix human nature (it always ends with ”people’s courts” and mass shootings). Please tell me why if I offend someone, i should be charged with something? Wouldn”t it be easyer if that person simply stops interacting with me? How retarded you have to be, to feel ”abused” because someone called your something??? I thought that abuse is when you hit someone or you call them late in night and start to speak dirthy stufff. Now you want to tell me that if I call someone ”dumb fat asshole” I am a criminal (I actually don’t mind being called fat for example). And I am pretty sure it wont stop with this. We will end with criminal charges for insults against terrorists as well, I imagine.

    • avatar
      Simeon Milanov

      Everything in the EU starts to remind me of what older people are telling about communist times. You have to mind what you speak or else end in prison. You have to believe in the ”correct” ideology (in this case Liberalism, Social Democracy, Socialism, Leftist stuff, Centrism, Green stuff and so on). You have to be politically correct. Well F*** you all! I believe everyone should speak WHATEVER he wants, but should be also ready to assume MORAL (and not LEGAL) responsibility in front of society and other people for what he says. Its called social ostracism. If someone is a dick just stop interacting with him. When I insult somebody he should just stop interacting with me. And I have to assume responsibility for my words, meaning that I have to be ready to face the fact that many people will no longer want to communicate with me or respect me, because of my behaviour and the language I use. But to prosecute me about this ? Its crazy. It is against the very fundamentals on which the European civilization developed (free will and free speech). And I still haven’t heard a proper definition of online abuse. Will it be targeted solely against insults or it will also include political stuff?

    • avatar
      Simeon Milanov

      Alexander Tsankov Dude, what will be the definition of an insult if that happens? Usually if you argue against let’s say a radical feminist, she will get ”abused” even if you call her a ”woman” or if you say that women take care of children better than men do. So if I argue with some radical feminist chick and express my opinion (contrary to hers) and she starts to scream ”YOU ABUSE ME! YOU BIGOT! DIE BIGOT!”, I will get into prison because that chick is a retard and doesn’t know the difference between insult and having your own opinion?

    • avatar
      Alexander Tsankov

      You are heavily exaggerating the case. You can always say that “In your opinion females are taking better care for children than men do”. This is an opinion, if she insults you as a bigot by saying that – she is the one that is bullying you, its not you. If you say though “Everyone that thinks that men can take care for children just as good as females is a fucking liberal retard and…” then its an abuse. I know a lot of friends who do not like for example the idea that gay people should have a chance to adopt kids, but they are able to express their opinion without using categorizations, without using insults, without harming the other people’s persona. Its not hard.

    • avatar
      Alexander Tsankov

      Well, I certainly don’t believe that we should speak whatever we want. We should always remain on the basis of what makes us a society – that every person is an individual, that every person deserves the same treatment, that any abuse to the person himself is wrong and so on. This part I believe that is purely necessary for a society to function. People often as I say exaggerate what will happen if we manage to be kind to each other, simply because we do not understand that the same should be valid for the other person as well. Radicalism – in both cases is completely wrong. Those SJW should not treat people who do not agree with their agendas as lower humans and the other is also true in all cases.

    • avatar
      Massimo Maria Bosisio

      Alexander Tsankov We should be allowed to say whatever we want. Words are words and sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me. I learnt it in second grade, how about you?

    • avatar
      Matthew Wolfbane

      If someone says something you believe is wrong, you can then use your freedom of speech and expression to respond to them and explain why you believe them to be wrong in a civil manner.
      Of course that doesn’t guarantee a civil response, but guess what: some people just behave like assholes and legislation sure as hell isn’t going to change that.

  65. avatar
    David Dreghorn

    It should carry the same offence if you said it to someones face and tried to emotionally harm them.

  66. avatar
    Gonzalo Rouco

    Oh men, this is going really too far. We need to detect and help the ones that are commiting bulying and support their victims. At the end all of them are victims.

  67. avatar
    Bart Van Damme

    In a few years we will remember “hate speech” as the way leftist “progressives” managed to install their new dictatorship, locking away everyone not stepping in line with their don’t-offend-anyone dogma.

  68. avatar
    Hidalgo Yann

    No. 1st The web is an adult tool. 2nd there’s freedom of expression & 3rd the web is full of bots, cannot beat that on vulgar chats. Have to vary ruled networks as video game stations

    • avatar
      Costi Ciudin

      I am tired to hear how freedom of speech is used as a cozy pretext for all kind of imoral stuffs; freedom of speec h is a human right and, as all human rights, must fall under that rule of ,limitation that says the rights of an individual end where the rights of the rest of people begin

    • avatar
      Hidalgo Yann

      there’s no end to civil rights, the guy can say what he wants to say otherwise any act or reacts have to end first before rights

    • avatar
      Hidalgo Yann

      ignorance is blessing, interacting physically without consent is criminal offense

  69. avatar
    D Hewage

    Yes, it should be, coming from a different racial background I can assure this kind of behavior would continue. Although the term shouldn’t go far as criminal since the age is between 11-16 and this age group is very sensitive as it is the stage where adolescence begins, so primary measures should be enacted before anything else and for instance turning off the internet could make things a “worse case scenario” as to these children would find other means to bully online.

    A suggestion would be at first to inform the parent/guardian after a report has been made and allow them to advise/handle the situation (The EU can also make a protocol for this) at home. In this way even if it is minor the child won’t be exposed to the public and his/her future won’t be ruined by an act carried out as a teenager.
    And then to carry on further if the child has made a similar offense, perhaps this very child who was the bully can be a light to others around him if we made him realize his false act.
    Also, note that most of the bullying starts at home itself and their surroundings for some children.

    I’m stating here only a narrow part of my argument but simple methods can be applied to prevent this kind of behavior online or offline.

  70. avatar
    Jay Tee

    NO, this is crazy to even suggest. what about freedom of speech? what about laws that already exist (anti-harassment, stalking). if you think I am crazy for saying this I strongly suggest you read “the gulag archipelago” a classic and a masterpiece and a strong warning of possible nightmare societies of the future but looking at the past.

    • avatar
      Ciobîcă Ovidiu

      The existing laws do not cover the cyberbullyng crimes. First of all, hidden identities should be banned. Freedom is speech is about saying what you think, but not under a anomynous username.

      There should special departments in the Police for this issues.

  71. avatar
    Elle Wilky

    Before Europe tackles cyberbullying, how about they tackle the British Tories for all of the real life bullying they’ve been inflicting on the sick and disabled since May 2010?

  72. avatar
    Ciobîcă Ovidiu

    Yes, it should! No more hidden identity, bullying both cyber and noncyber must be officially a crime!

  73. avatar

    To vague to quantify. Today conservative stance is often called hate speech and bullying. There is a war of censorship. This is just a trick to reduce freedom of speech

    • avatar

      I understand your point, but I think they refer to real bullying. Of course, if you are conservative and you bully others, than you are a cyberbully.

    • avatar

      They should refer to criminal conduct, now even a negative comment is called bullying. Listen to Anita Sarkeesian talk to UN.

  74. avatar

    This is the new order in the European Union, if you say anything that EU fanatics disagrees with it will be classed as hate speech and you will pay the price. This morning the European Parliament striped Polish MEP Ryszard Czarnecki of his title of vice-president because he compared the actions of another MEP with the Nazi. If you are an EU citizen get use to it, your free speech in the EU is dead.

  75. avatar

    As long as the cyberbullying can be fake by hucking activity, or unwanted intruders is risky for normal communication! On the net we meat people with diffrent background, education, interest on internet, too much policing , who pay for policing? No! annswer is No! look for other way to stop bullying, through programming!

  76. avatar

    No, it shouldn’t. Cyberbullying are just mean words told to you by someone online. It can easily be stopped by the “Block” function that every single social platform and app has.
    In fact, there are a lot more arguments for criminalizing real-life bullying in schools and treating it as harassment. There are kids who systematically cause physical and psychological harm to their chosen victim classmates and no one gives a damn about that, but somehow cyberbullying is a problem?

  77. avatar

    No. One should be able to say and write the most barbaric thing possible. It is called freedom. And the person can be a troll, but is still free to do so, did not touch any one so… Lets just grow each other with thicker skin.

  78. avatar

    Well… Depends. As per me, in order certain activity to be a crime, a provable physical or property damage should have resulted out of it.
    As per cyber-bullying there is ever a block/ignore option and everyone can use it against unpleasant people online.

  79. avatar

    Buylling is bullying…a person should learn to use “block” option.

  80. avatar

    Please focus on real life, where kids kill other kids for a phone or a jacket…. Solve problems on the root.

  81. avatar

    You better define what’s cyber bulling first! Is questioning Islam, god forbid, criticising it!… considered a cyber bulling? If it is …you might as well ban freedom of speech. It’s already heavily censored and branded as “hate speech” so it won’t make much of a difference.

  82. avatar

    The EU has already declared it’s mission to censor hate speech online. 2016 I think. The statement details how they will ramp it up in 2018.
    Hate speech is not defined in the declaration.

  83. avatar
    thiet ke quan cafe

    I think what you said made a bunch of sense.
    However, think about this, what if you added a little information? I am not suggesting your
    information isn’t solid, but suppose you added a headline that makes people want more?
    I mean Should cyberbullying be a criminal offence in the EU?
    – Debating Europe is a little boring. You might glance at Yahoo’s home page and watch how they create news headlines to get viewers interested.
    You might add a video or a picture or two to get people excited about everything’ve got to
    say. Just my opinion, it could bring your posts a little livelier.

  84. avatar

    Used to mod a subreddit, where one of the mods got doxxed by skinheads, who later appeared and harassed her IRL. Which is apparently something they do systematically.
    We. Should. Not. Negotiate. With. Terrorists.

  85. avatar

    No. We already have real laws for real crimes – stop blurring the lines. Just unfriend or report the bully!

  86. avatar

    this is the new authoritarian excuse for gaining control over the web?

  87. avatar

    There is a functionality called “Block” in virtually any online messaging and comm service. Stop making up problems that don’t really exist.

  88. avatar

    Yes, but not one punishable with prison.

  89. avatar

    shure like corrupted politicians

  90. avatar

    we would have to understand better bulling, correctional instead of punitive, much easier.

  91. avatar

    Yes, it should! No more hidden identity, bullying both cyber and noncyber must be officially a crime!

  92. avatar

    Well, I think that it definitely depends on how bad the cyber bullying is. As long as the person apologizes, it can be a minor punishment. It can be a severe punishment, only if it’s a very bad case. People can pretty much track other people online, so we all have to be careful about what we write online.

    • avatar
      Kubanković Szoma Nedjelković-Szöltézs

      Yes Diana, me very much say yes to wat you say you.

  93. avatar
    Billy the goat

    No, i think we should have stronger moderation on the internet instead of people acquiring a criminal record from something they will most probably regret in the future.

  94. avatar
    Axel Edman

    But yes of course. It’s already an offence in many nations

  95. avatar
    Frederik Schumann

    As far as I can see, cyberbullying is a huge problem in the entire European Union and even all over the world. That’s why I think there needs to be tougher penalties and laws. I think cyberbullying should be made illegal and adults should go to jail in extreme cases. Children who have reached the age of criminal responsibility have to pay fines (€100-50,000) or do social work. Schools also have to organize prevention days so that cyberbullying doesn’t even happen in the first place, and parents have to educate their children extensively about the consequences of cyberbullying. Schools need to have specially trained teachers that students can come to when they are being bullied so that deaths like Amanda Todd don’t occur. This problem is getting bigger and bigger and with the advancing digitization a problem of more importance. I think consequences must be drawn.

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