MEAN IN CYBER-AMERICA,
ON "20/20," FRIDAY, DEC. 7
Plus: A Preview of Next Week's Travel Myths
From cyber-bullying to capturing bad behavior and posting it online, all you have to do is log on to your computer to be "Mean in America." Is the internet bringing out our darkest selves and hurting us in new ways? Find out on "20/20," FRIDAY, DECEMBER 7 (10:02-11:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. Additionally, Lynn Sherr previews next week's travel myth hour which considers, among other things, whether cell phones really are a bad thing to use on airplanes? "Mean in America" reports include:
* It's every parent's nightmare � loosing your teenage child. But what happened to one Orange County, CA family is almost unthinkable. After an 18-year-old girl crashed her parents' Porsche and died, somehow -- and to the parents' horror -- the police accident scene photos made their way onto the internet. The family has spent a year trying to get these shocking photos off of websites. Although they have had some success, there are still sites that won't take them down. Correspondent Jim Avila reports.
* Many teenagers are having a field day capturing their bad behavior and posting it on popular websites like YouTube. From bullies to batterers, the behavior favors no gender, and the practice has become super viral. Correspondent Bill Ritter looks at this growing trend, including how two Ohio girls became infamous due to their antics.
* Who's to blame for a girl's suicide? The parents of Megan Meier, a 13-year-old St. Louis, Missouri girl, claim that their daughter killed herself after a fake online admirer named "Josh" made fun of her on her MySpace page. Megan's parents say that "Josh" first really seemed to like her but, after six weeks, posted on a MySpace account that "the world would be a better place without you." To the Meiers' astonishment, "Josh" never existed -- he was a hoax, initiated at the home of a girl who had a falling out with Megan. Correspondent Deborah Roberts reports.
* Evelyn Mezzich's MySpace page is filled with a life of happiness, from wedding photos to her first baby's sonograms. Yet nowhere on her page is it evident that this psychologist living the high life in Peru is, according to authorities, a fugitive who fled the U.S. to avoid criminal charges stemming from a fatal alleged drunken driving accident in 1996 in Austin, TX. The victim's mother agonizes over the lack of justice, and says this woman has taken no responsibility for the death of her daughter. Correspondent John Qui�ones reports.
Plus: We are constantly told that all cell phones must be turned off once the pilot is ready for take-off, but can a cell phone really bring down a plane? Myth or reality? Lynn Sherr reports.
"20/20" is anchored by Elizabeth Vargas and John Stossel. David Sloan is executive producer.