New law needed for internet bullying
THE issue of cyber-bullying and posting fake information online in cases of domestic violence should be examined further, as it may not be covered by harassment laws, a report has said.
Using social media to post fake or misleading information has emerged as a problem in recent years, the Law Reform Commission noted. But in a report published today, it warned that such behaviour may not come within the current laws on harassment.
The law requires that harassment must involve "following, watching, pestering, besetting or communicating" and must be done "persistently".
But in its examination of the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act 1997, the commission noted the issue regarding online harassment and said it should be examined separately.
Last month, Limerick FG TD Patrick O'Donovan said that Ireland should adopt a similar approach to New Zealand (NZ).
Mr O'Donovan said that "consideration" should be given to new legislation being adopted in NZ to combat cyber-bullying and creating a new offence of incitement to commit suicide.