Web hoax victim's family seeks reforms

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

A Missouri mother says there ought to be a law against the kind of cruel Internet hoax that led her daughter to commit suicide.

Thirteen-year-old Megan Meier hanged herself after receiving mean messages on the social networking Web site MySpace. She died the next day.

Her parents later found out that their daughter had been communicating online with a woman who was pretending to be a 16-year-old boy. The woman apparently did it to find out what Megan was saying about her own daughter.

Authorities couldn't find a crime to charge her with.

Now Megan's family wants to make it illegal for adults to misrepresent themselves to children online, and make it illegal to harass or bully online.

A state lawmaker is looking into it, but says any legal reforms must protect freedom of speech rights.

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