Archives for the month of: January, 2014

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Social media sites are a great way for teenagers to socialise with their friends. Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, and Instagram are all social networks that teenagers use to communicate with their friends and others through the Internet. But with the use of these networks increasing daily stories of teenagers coming under attack by cyber bullies and the fatalities because of this is also rising. Parents and teachers are mentors and guardians of children and teenagers; therefore do you think that they should have a better understanding of cyber bullies on the Internet to help guard teenagers against harmful situations?

In October 2013 a 12 year old girl from Florida committed suicide after malicious messages were sent to her via social networking sites. Two girls were later arrested in connection with the death of Rebecca Sedwick; however even after her death more spiteful messages appeared on Facebook clearly showing that the two girls felt no remorse over their actions. The parents of the two girls and the staff of the school came under scrutiny for not taking action earlier to prevent this tragedy as it came out that Rebecca and her mother had apparently reported the bullying to the school before the fatal incident. The police officer that was appointed to the case urged parents to take more responsibility for their children’s actions online. Many of the public believe that the parents of the two girls are to blame as they did not know their teenage daughters activities online and maybe if they knew more about it, they could have prevented the casualty of the young girl. Do you believe this is true?

Another cyber bullying case that caused a teenage suicide is the one about Rehtaeh Parsons, but this time instead of the parents it was the teachers of her school that came under scrutiny for not helping to prevent the fatal incident. Rehtaeh committed suicide after months of torture over social media sites where pictures and videos had surfaced of her being raped by four different boys. When finding out the news her parents did everything they felt they could do to support Rehtaeh, however they felt that the school did not support her and take necessary action within the school. As the pictures and videos were circulating around Rehtaeh’s classmates, she found school unbearable with the constant negative comments made towards her face to face and over the web. Her parent’s felt that the school should have spoken to students about the incident and supported Rehtaeh in anyway they could to make her time at school more bearable. Some of the public feel that if the teachers were more aware of how harmful cyber bullying can be to a person’s emotional and physical state maybe they would have understood and helped her more during this troubling time. Do you believe that the teachers could have done more in this situation?

After hearing about the two different cases on teenage cyber bullying do you think that it is teachers and parents moral duty to be more aware of cyber bullying amongst teens to help prevent further suicides?

Please let us know your thoughts on this subject; all your views are very much appreciated.

R

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In the last week it has been publicised that David Cameron, UK MP, has decided that he wants UK school children to be taught the dangers of ‘sexting’ and cyber bullying, along with safety on the Internet and smartphones. This comes after the shocking revelation that sex education guidance hasn’t been updated since 2000, and contains no reference to the Internet. It is alleged that more than half of teenagers have received an explicit photo, with 40% of those saying they had sent one of themselves. This is a worrying statistic, especially when referring to cases in our latest blog post about Amanda Todd and Daniel Perry, whose mistake of sending an intimate photo cost them their lives. The problem with sending these pictures, otherwise known as ‘sexting’, is that they can be passed round hundreds of social network users within minutes, which is hugely dangerous for the child involved, as the photo could end up anywhere, putting that child in a vulnerable position.

We think it’s really positive that David Cameron has acknowledged this ever-growing issue, and the implementation of teaching in schools will hopefully start to make a difference. Mr Cameron said, “I think we can do better in terms of sex and relationship education. I think we can add better guidance on some of the modern problems of cyber bullying, sexting. We need to deal with that”. Despite being a step in the right direction, with this in mind, is it a bit ‘too little too late’ now, so to speak? The issue of cyber bullying has been going on for a long time now, so the effectiveness of David Cameron’s proposal can be questioned. The ‘sexting’ culture in young teens has already started, and it might take a bit more than sex education to stop it altogether to make sure no more children are hurt. Astonishingly, a 17-year-old teenager called James told charity ChildLine, “sexting is pretty normal at my age. It seems like everyone’s doing it”.

On one hand, it’s a huge positive, if it is instigated soon, as teenagers will be taught the dangers of ‘sexting’ and the Internet, but the negative is that it might be too late, with a lot of damage already done. What are your thoughts? We’d love to hear them!

E

Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2539473/Schools-teach-children-dangers-online-bullying-sexting-says-Cameron.html
sexting

DC

This blog raises awareness of a very important issue. It also shows how common suicide is among young people and how important it is that we come together to make a stand in order to bring a stop to bullying.

Let's Get Ethical

Bully

The day we were given this assignment, I was met with an all too familiar Buzzfeed about the consequences of cyberbullying, the title being “That Dead Girl”.  Unfortunately, this article is not the first in which a young child has committed suicide due to cyberbullying and/or bullying in general.  The a quick Google search on bullying, I was met with the following statistics:

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In this day and age social networking sites are ever growing in popularity, and play a big part in young people’s social lives. Such media platforms are harmless, when used in the right way; however it appears that social networking sites are host to cyber-bullies. Cyber-bullies hide behind screen names and email addresses, and are often unidentifiable. Unfortunately, cyber-bullying is something that is happening more frequently, with statistics showing that one million teenagers were bullied online in 2011. It is questionable however, whether young people are fueling the fire by putting themselves on social networking sites in the first place? But are they really to blame?

Cyber-bullying can have very severe effects and in some cases lead to suicide. One week before her 16th birthday, Amanda Todd took her life after being victimised on the internet for several years.

Amanda thought to be talking to a boy her own age, which later turned out to be a suspected paedophile. She went on webcam, and as requested she flashed the boy. Little did she know, she was being recorded and things took a turn for the worst. The perpetrator blackmailed Amanda, threatening to upload footage unless she gave him another “show”, and when she refused the footage went viral and was sent to pupils, teachers and parents. She received both verbal and physical abuse, and was called names such as “porn star”. Amanda was taunted and bullied until she was at breaking point and fled, hoping to make a new start somewhere else.

Unfortunately for Amanda, she had not escaped. The online perpetrator followed her wherever she went, creating fake Facebook accounts and befriending people at each new school she attended, sharing the footage. As a result, Amanda became isolated with no one to turn to, and no matter how hard she tried she was unable to remove herself from the situation.

After several suicide attempts, Amanda successfully took her own life in 2012, leaving a video of her story behind on YouTube, and was viewed by millions. You would think that a case like this would make bullies realise the severity of their actions and that it would bring a stop to it. Unfortunately this is not the case, and parents are still at risk of losing their children to cyber bullying. Amanda did not ask for this. Her trusting nature caused her to make a small mistake, which others never allowed her to forget, and haunted her right up until her death.

Daniel Perry, aged 17, experienced something very similar to Amanda. However roles were reversed and he thought to be talking to a girl of his own age for several months through Skype and other websites. One night, Daniel exposed himself on Skype and was later blackmailed with the footage. The perpetrator demanded payment and said that if he failed to “pay up” the footage would be shared with his friends and family. It is also believed that Daniel was urged to kill himself on Q&A social network ASK.FM, and three months later he did.

It can be argued that by willingly exposing themselves online, Amanda and Daniel brought it on themselves. However, they believed to be given attention from someone of their own age, boosting their self-esteem and made them feel wanted. They didn’t ask to be bullied and driven to their deaths. Amanda even tried to remove herself from the situation several times, but it became a viscous, inescapable circle.

It is important to remember that both Amanda and Daniel’s cases are very recent, emphasising that cyber bullying and blackmail is a current, ever growing problem with young people seen as soft users. In these two cases it is clear that the two teenagers became trapped and saw no way out other than to take their own lives. They aren’t the only cases; a study in Britain found that at least half of suicides among young people are related to bullying. The law would not let a murderer get away with killing someone, so why let a cyber bully get away with causing the death of an innocent young person? Please share your views on this.

Thank you.

A


Amanda Todd’s story

This is a really thought provoking report, it’s great to see that the girl guides have released this report to help others realise what their friends or family members feelings towards being online may be.

Human Services Policy Network

The Girl Scouts Research Institute recently released their new report, “The State of Girls: Unfinished Business,” which stakes out key issues and major trends affecting girls’ healthy development today. The report uses data gathered from all girls and their families in the country in order to create a comprehensive report on the issues girls are facing today. The report covers many topics, including the quickly changing demographics of girls today, their economic and employment prospects, their emotional and physical well-being, their education, leadership, and inter-personal skills, and their participation in after-school and extra-curricular activities.

The report also covers one new issue girls are dealing with today: social media. The report found that while social media allows girls to interact with strangers, more than half of girls 14 to 17 say they use social media to reinforce their offline relationships. Social media helps them feel closer and more connected to their…

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ASK.FM is a Latvia-based social networking site, which was launched in 2010, and has grown in popularity with an astounding figure of 80 million registered users worldwide (2013), half of whom are under the age of 18. This site allows users to ask other users questions, with the option of anonymity. Thus permits anyone to ask personal questions, delving into the privacy of other people’s lives. With this in mind, it is fair to ask whether having such a website in place is ethically correct?

Age is an important factor to consider when it comes to social networking sites, especially with ASK.FM. Facebook for example has an age restriction in place meaning that those under the age of 18 are not allowed to use their site. However ASK.FM’s Terms of Service state that, “Physical persons must be 13 years or older to use this service,” making it more vulnerable to children and adolescents, putting them at risk immediately.

Furthermore, ASK.FM has received an abundance of press attention regarding abusive, bullying and sexualised content. Consequently, the website has been linked to cases in which teenagers have committed suicide for reasons as stated above. Reports show that in just over one year, there were 12 teenage suicides linking to the website, and with messages such as “drink bleach”, “go get cancer” and “go die,” these suicides do not come as a surprise. Comments like these are totally anonymous, making it impossible for the victim to identify their abuser, and therefore difficult to report. The victim is able to block their abuser, yet the abuser is still able to access the user’s profile, enabling them to view all interactions taking place. Online bullies like these are still out there, and remain a danger to anyone using ASK.FM.

Izzy Dix, aged 14 took her life as an outcome of online bullying that took place on ASK.FM. Since her death, Gabbi Dix has created a petition in hope to put an end to cyber bullying, in memory of her late daughter. The petition reached over 12,500 signatures (09 December 2013) and includes a list of other young people who committed suicide for the same reason, and are all aged between the age of 14 and 17. Reports show that as a result of this, the Prime Minister has set out a series of measures that ensure the safety of young people online.

In addition ASK.FM has recently undergone some changes allowing users to opt out of receiving anonymous comments, and now requires an email address from registered users. However, numerous teens have taken their lives as a result of being bullied on this site, so why has ASK.FM only just made these changes? How many more deaths will it take to make them realise that their website is immoral and wrong?

After reading this blog, you may have hundreds of thoughts running through your head. You may wonder whether the users of websites such as ASK.FM are at fault, and are responsible for the comments they receive. However, with some users as young 13, their vulnerability may make them oblivious to such harm. What can be done to put an end to these ambiguous bullies, and bullying as a whole? Do we need more parents like Gabbi Dix to make bullies realise the implications of their actions? Or do parents need to step in and monitor their children’s activity online from the start? Please share your views on this matter. Any contributions would be appreciated.

Thank you.

A

It’s awful to see that these teenagers felt the need to took their own lives over the fact they were being cyber bullied, it just proves once again how this cause has such a terrible effect on others. However, it is great to see that action is being taken to ensure there will be consequences to cyber bullies horrific actions towards others.

CBS Denver

DENVER (CBS4)– Some state lawmakers are working to make sure Colorado’s kids are more protected against cyber bullying.

Right now here is nothing in Colorado’s criminal code that addresses cyber bullying.

District attorneys have brought charges of harassment but statutorily it doesn’t exactly fit the crime.

The gap in the statutes has lawmakers worried as cyber bullying is linked to extreme consequences.

In Florida a 12-year-old girl jumped to her death after being the target of months of online bullying.

In California a 15-year-old girl who was sexually assaulted at a party committed suicide after pictures of the assault turned up on the internet.

In Canada a 17-year-old hanged herself after photos showing her as the victim of a gang rape were emailed to everyone at school.

Stories of cyber bullying have become depressingly familiar and Colorado is the latest state to consider legislation addressing it.

“It just hurts…

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This info graphic shows the facts and figures on the truth about cyber bullying. It is shocking to see that 1 million children were cyber bullied in the year 2011, a number this high just shows how common it is within a vast amount of people’s day to day life. Knowing how bad it can affect a person both physically and emotionally and how many people have been affected in the past just shows that action needs to be taken to bring awareness to this cause.

Do you think if parents and teachers were more aware of how common this issue is amongst children/teenagers, they would be able to not only be more conscious of if a student or child is going through it, but maybe able to teach them the results it can have on a person to prevent any cyber bullying in the future?

If you have any views on these shocking facts please let us know, we would love to hear them.

R

This video shows the effects that bullying has on a person and their emotional state! Videos posted online about this cause are a great way to bring awareness to it!

This is such an interesting blog post showing different facts and figures about who is getting bullied, where and tips for parents and educators. A very informative post!

NJBiblio

Cyberbullying

We’re all familiar with the concept of a bully.  However, as teenagers and pre-teens become more connected, the old view of the big kid shaking down a little one for lunch money has gone and is slowly being replaced by a more subtle, harder to track, and disturbing trend — cyberbullying, defined as “willful and repeated harm inflicted through the use of computers, cell phones, and other electronic devices.” [VIA]

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Cyberbullying
Source: Best Education Degrees

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