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United Kingdom



Currently, there is no legal definition of cyber bullying within UK law, but there are a number of existing laws that can be applied to cases of cyber bullying and online harassment which include: The Protection from Harassment Act 1997, the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994, the Malicious Communications Act 1988, The Communications Act 2003, the Breach of the Peace (Scotland), and the Defamation Act 2013. However, according the shadow minister Helen Goodman, laws regarding online abuse remain confused. She states that an offence of cyber bullying should mirror the same charges of harassment that can be brought in the real world. She uses the analogy that if several kids go after another on the playground, someone supervising will be there to stop the action before physical harm can be done. Goodman reasons that if harassment crimes can be punishable in the real world, they should also be in the virtual one. She says that a clear legal framework to tackle the problem of cyber bullying is needed for the UK to stop the countless unnecessary deaths of vulnerable young people.

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