Archives for posts with tag: cyber bullying

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
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DC

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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

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Social media sites and the internet are used daily by cyber bullies to target their victims and could be thought of as negative devices by many, however online campaigners have decided to fight fire with fire and have created online campaigns including videos that have then been posted the web to raise awareness of the effects that cyber bullies have on others. But is there a point in which campaigners efforts to change teenagers actions online are conflicted with being too hard-hitting on such a young age group?

When typing ‘cyber bullying campaigns’ into YouTube it produces a mass amount of campaigns, one that stood out amongst the others was entitled ‘the cyber bullying virus’ and is attached to the blog post below. It shows teenagers at school and how so many people are somehow connected to cyber bullying, whether they are the victims or the online predators. Many people may think that cyber bullying is not as bad as face to face bullying, although in this video it shows just how far a comment on a social media site can hurt an individual. Within this video it compares being a cyber bully to being a virus and when a computer has a virus it ultimately destroys it, just like when a human being has a virus it weakens them physically. In the video a teenage girl is being attacked by the cyber bully virus, therefore demonstrating to the audience how badly a person can be affected when being cyber bullied and the damage it can cause. With the video also showing how easy it is for internet trolls to post vile comments on social networking sites with the use of not only computers but phones too it brings to mind how hard it is to end cyber bullying.

Many of the online pictures and videos which are posted by campaigners about cyber bullies are hard hitting but campaigners believe that they are effective. But, there was one video where the general public felt that campaigners had taken their point too far. The video showed a young female with a needle and thread in her bedroom and then when she looks at herself in the mirror her mouth is sewn up. The caption at the end of the video says ‘If you’re being bullied, who can you talk to?’ The video was in memory of a teenage girl who was cyber bullied over the social networking site Bebo. This was said to be too graphic for teenage viewers because of their age, but campaigners of the video argue that because the rate of teenagers being cyber bullied is so high that teenagers and parents of teens need to know that there are websites and support available.
What are your thoughts about online campaigner’s actions against cyber bullies? Do you think they are morally right to post graphic videos online to change some teenager’s online behaviour or do you think that they have gone too far with such a young age group?

Please let us know your opinion on this matter; all your comments are appreciated.

R

A great video which shows how badly cyber bullying can affect a teenager. The video compares cyber bullies to a virus, therefore shows the emotional and physical stress it can have on someone.

R

This story has had mixed reactions and views; posted on the Daily Mail only twelve hours ago it has already racked up 300 comments. A mother in North Carolina, upon discovering that her teenage daughter had been the perpetrator of cyber bullying on a social media network, made the decision to punish her by shaming her on Facebook, forcing her to sell her iPod and donate the money to the charity BeatBullying, posting a picture, holding a message saying that she “makes poor choices on social media”.

Although some may think this is a positive way of chastising her child, others disagree, with comments made such as “humiliating your child to teach her not to humiliate other children? Gee, I wonder where she gets it!” and “this is terrible parenting, it’s things like this that make kids hate their parents. This will only make her behave worse out of spite”. The mother hit back at these adverse comments, writing on her Facebook page “I’m not worried about the negative that has been said about her punishment, I am her mother and I did what I thought was best given the circumstances. I’ve tried other punishments, and this fit the crime. I don’t regret a thing”.

What are your thoughts on this mother’s form of punishment? It could be seen as a good way of instilling better behavior on the internet in her daughter, by making her admit what she had done on a social network site where all her friends could see, but, like the comments made above by fellow mothers, it could also be seen as setting a bad example as she is humiliating her daughter for humiliating other children. Whatever your view, it’s obviously got people talking, which is positively highlighting the issue of cyber bullying.
We would really appreciate your thoughts and opinions on this particular story, do you agree or disagree with this mother’s choice? Comment below!

Thank you,

E

Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2538640/Mother-shames-cyber-bully-daughter-forcing-pose-poster-saying-selling-iPod-punishment.html

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On our blog we have previously written about whether celebrities are more at risk of coming under attack of cyber bullies than the general public; however, what happens when celebrities ARE the cyber bullies? As previously said the popularity of social networks is growing all the time and now fans can follow their favourite stars and see their daily tweets about anything and everything. With some megastars having millions of followers it just shows how their tweets can reach so many people worldwide. As celebrities are thought of as role models, it is normally the case that their fans will imitate their behaviour. With that in mind it is thought that some celebrities are conveying a positive light on a very damaging action.

As portrayed in September 2013, Rihanna was accused of cyber bullying a fellow star, singer Teyana Taylor. Rihanna posted on the social networking site Instagram a video of her hairdresser wearing a wig much like Teyana’s hair and singing a song which the singer had covered.  When Teyana tweeted her dismay over the unprovoked attack Rihanna wrote “I REFUSE to help your career…you will NOT get an @ from me! Not til you pay me! #nomorefreepromo #iRefuse.” And then later tweeted “I hate broke bitches.” The tweets were later deleted, suggesting the star had realised the damage that she had caused. Some feel that Rihanna made it look to her millions of fans that it was ok to talk to and treat a person this way, surely as a role model that sort of treatment to another person should not be publicised, as some followers could think that it is acceptable to treat a person that way?

Another example of a celebrity that has been accused of cyber bullying is Perez Hilton; he made a name for himself and his fortune by posting vulgar pictures and stories on his blog and Twitter about stars. He gained millions of followers from his offensive behaviour; he even tried targeting certain stars about their sexual preference. Celebrities and the public came out to say that he was thought to be a cyber bully and when he caught wind of this he said he was determined to change his ways. Nevertheless, he had by then gained his millions of followers and publicity so surely they were rewarding him for being a cyber bully?

Many think that celebrities are role models to others and therefore have a great amount of power over millions of people worldwide. Some fans will do anything to be like their beloved icons, dress like them, speak like them, and act like them. Therefore, with certain stars publicising cyber bullying it could increase the amount of internet trolls as fans could think that behaving like that is acceptable.

Do you think it is ethically moral for celebrities to publicise their cyber bullying and let their fans think that behaving like that is the right way to act?

Please let us know your opinion on this matter; all your comments are appreciated.

R

It’s a topic with many differing viewpoints, and can be looked at from a range of perspectives, but the same question remains with the problem of teenage cyber bullying; can parents of teenagers using the internet to abuse and harass others be held at all responsible for their child’s actions? In this day and age, its near enough impossible for a parent to know what their child is doing every time they are online, with so many different social networking sites available. It therefore begs the question of how parents can monitor their child’s online presence without infringing on their privacy which may push their child away.

When it comes to cyber bullying, a term commonly known for its frequency in the news and media today, with increasing numbers of teenagers in the news committing suicide over internet bullying, parent’s responsibility and accountability for their child’s movements poses an interesting argument. On one hand, it can be contended that when it comes to a teenager using the internet, who is still technically a child, under the care and guardianship of their parents, a parent should be aware of what their child is getting up to on the web, making sure that they are using the internet for a positive purpose and not using any sites that could potentially put their child in danger. It could be said that a child’s behaviour is seen as a reflection on their parents and the upbringing they have had, so when a child is using the internet for a negative purpose, to taunt, tease and harass another child, is it reasonable for parents to take the blow? Tina Meier, mother of Megan Meier, a thirteen year old teenager who committed suicide after being bulled via MySpace voiced her opinion, stating; “is it important for us to hold parents accountable for their children’s actions? “Yes. But it’s impossible for parents to be there 24 hours a day.”

On the other hand, it could be disputed that a child’s online behaviour should bear no reflection on the parents. The rights to privacy and the ability to use the internet freely can be out of the control of parents, as how can a parent be expected to watch over what their child does online every minute they are using the internet? In some cases, it’s just not feasible. Similarly, it can be argued that the way a child behaves can’t be blamed on the parents of their child, as parents can’t possibly govern their child 24 hours a day, making sure they are acting appropriately. Casey M, a 17 year old cyber bullying advocate from New York said that “the more that parents try to control what their kids are doing online, the more sneaky kids get, and the less parents know what their kids are doing online”.

It’s easy to judge a parent on the way their child behaves, but what has to be considered is how far a parent can go when it comes to monitoring their child’s online profiles and presence. When you were a teenager, would you have been happy for your guardians to watch over what you were doing online?

It’s a tricky and sensitive subject, especially with teenagers who use the internet to bully others when they are still under the care of their parents, and still technically a child. With regards to laws and punishment, would it be ethical to enforce a law punishing parents when their child is a perpetrator of cyber bullying? This is an interesting question and could spark many more debates on the topic.

What are your thoughts? Feel free to comment below, any input would be greatly appreciated.

 

Hello,

Welcome to our brand new anti cyber bullying blog. We’re three UK students in our third year of University, who are dedicated and passionate about the issue of cyber bulling. The aim of this blog is to get people talking about this issue; any comments, opinions, or personal experiences are encouraged and appreciated. Although this blog isn’t going to stop bullying or trolling on the internet, we hope it’s a step in the right direction, and a place where people can come to share their thoughts on the topic.

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Thanks, E, A and R