Institute to combat cyber-harassment launches in memory of gay teen Tyler Clementi

PinkNews logo on pink background with rainbow corners.

An internet safety institute has been launched in memory of Tyler Clementi, a teen who killed himself after footage of him hooking up with a man was leaked online.

a student at Rutgers University in New Jersey, jumped from the George Washington Bridge in 2010, after his roommate secretly-recorded webcam footage of him kissing another man.

Roommate Dharun Ravi was in 2012 found guilty on 15 counts, but served just 20 days in jail.

This month, New York Law School will launch the Tyler Clementi Institute for Internet Safety, in partnership with the Tyler Clementi Foundation.

The new initiative will provide a number of different services through the Law School’s Innovation Center for Law and Technology – including free counsel to victims of online cyber-harassment.
Institute to combat cyber-harassment launches in memory of gay teen Tyler Clementi
The Institute will be launched at an event sponsored by comms company AT&T, where lawmakers and business leaders will come together with activists and expertss to discuss how to combat the epidemic of cyber-harassment.

Tyler’s parents Jane and Joseph Clementi, co-founders of the Tyler Clementi Foundation, said: “We are committed to honoring Tyler’s memory and preserving his legacy by launching this vital institute in his name.

“We are proud to partner with New York Law School, AT&T, and many others to ensure that cyber-harassment victims across the nation have access to the resources they need to take action and counteract it.”

New York Law School Dean and President Anthony W Crowell said: “NYLS is committed to providing cyber-harassment victims with the tools they need to fight back.

“The Institute and its groundbreaking clinic recognize that although the Internet and other modern digital tools are essential for work, life, and play, we cannot forget about those who may be victimized. We are proud to partner with so many law firms, industry leaders, educators, and professionals as we work hard to make the Internet safe for all.”

New York Law School Associate Professor Ari Waldman, Director of the Innovation Center for Law and Technology and Founder of the Institute for Internet Safety, said: “It’s been five years since Tyler’s death. In that time, countless women, LGBTQ youth, and members of other marginalized groups have been victimized by hate and harassment online and still our legal system fails to take cyberabuse seriously.

“I want to change that. Through its educational programs and clinic, the Institute for Internet Safety will not only create a steady stream of lawyers ready to represent victims of online harassment. It will also push the conversation and encourage parents, teachers, judges, industry leaders, and policy makers to do what they can to make the internet safe.”