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The former Daily Statesman is now The Dexter Statesman and currently does not have an operating website.

Cyber-bullies beware!

Posted Thursday, April 7, 2011, at 9:42 PM

As most of you have likely already read, the City of Dexter passed its first cyber-bullying ordinance this week aimed at curbing electronic harassment.

While a common reaction in smaller towns is that the move is an over-reaction, the fact is this is more prominent than most people realize even right here in Stoddard County.

At the meeting the other night they pointed out that "we're not talking about a couple phone calls or text messages." The ordinance is to protect against the badgering and threatening of individuals via various electronic means.

In the comments to my story I noticed a few individuals mentioned Topix. I have to agree that the Dexter Topix page, which I've only viewed a handful of times because I know what garbage it really is, is total trash. (Such trash that I refuse to mention it ever in stories because I don't want to give them publicity) The idea that anyone can say anything about anyone, with or without any proof or evidence, irritates me bad. I am all about free speech. I mean, I'm a journalist and I kind of have to be!

My criminal law professor explained it best. He said to stick your arms out at full length. A person's right to free speech ends when it crosses into another person's space and violates that person's right to "life, liberty and pursuit of happiness."

In many cases we have the ability to look away or change the channel. basically, your freedom of speech doesn't extend to MY living room unless I say it can be there.

Any thoughts on all of this?

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Corey Noles, staff writer for The Daily Statesman and Editor of The North Stoddard Countian, is the author of a regular baseball/St. Louis Cardinals column and also uses his blog to sound off on various happenings in sports. He also operates a weekly baseball mailbag column.

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