by Mike Masnick

Online Bullying Gets Nasty

from the spread-it-around dept

Online bullying isn't new. We've had stories about online bullies for years. While there is an element of adults over-reacting to what appears to simply be traditional schoolyard bullying moved online, some of the many examples in this NY Times article show just how nasty some of the online bullying has become -- though, almost every example they show consists of a student who did something they would later regret on video or in text, and it got passed around to everyone else. It's that aspect of easily embarrassing someone throughout an entire school (or beyond) that seems to causing the most problems. Combined with the "always on" nature of the internet, and it seems tough for many to escape the bullying. At least, in the past, bullying seemed isolated to a few people and only on school grounds. Still, it's not like online bullying is going to go away any time soon, so the focus needs to be on teaching kids the consequences of their actions.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Aug 2004 @ 12:06pm

    Hit the nail on the head, Mike

    Yeah, you're dead-on here: Folks don't realise the Internet is just another comms medium, and that it neither can or should guarantee anyone on the other end is a saint. On the Internet, no one knows you're a dog. Suddenly, though, folks expect the Internet to be this magical place of no human - therefore occasionally nasty - communication. People still hate on the internet, and people still express opinions on the Internet that other people misunderstand. Or whatever.
    Bullying is an unfortunate part of that stage of growing up where we work to put our ape heritage behind us, and it's going to exist on the Internet the same as it exists via the telephone now, or did in letters in the Victorian era. The new medium cannot help us be less ape-like any more than the telephone or newspaper before it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Grizzly, 27 Aug 2004 @ 12:54am

    ape like eh?

    yep, the internet shows just how stupid people are faster then any other medium

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Lidija Davis, 30 Oct 2006 @ 10:27am

    How dare the Internet allow this...

    I realize I am about two years late in responding to this, but while researching recently I came across this post and am grateful that there is someone else in the world that shares, to a degree, my view.

    Why is there a need--from day one of the Internet Age, to label any form of malicious or just plain stupid human behavior as a form of cyber 'something?' It instantly skews the focus--no longer is the bad behavior a human characteristic, it is now just added to the list of "problems" with the Internet--about here, I just want to smack someone.

    Take bullying for instance. In Australia this past week, there has been much media focus on a group of high school thugs who chose to record their bullying, create a DVD, credit themselves as the producers/editors/stars and go on to sell it to neighboring schools and online.

    The media is all abuzz, and have labeled it 'cyber bullying'

    It's like saying: "Hey, I love chocolate, but if my butt doubles in size, it ss not my fault for eating it, it is the chocolates fault for being what it is AND we should be doing something about this outrage."

    Give me a break.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    security, 21 Feb 2007 @ 8:42pm

    Objective Legal Standards

    There has to be objective and specific legal standards on what constitutes online bullying.

    Common current laws such as Harassment or Disorderly Conduct could be expanded to include online behaviour - but society must be willing to understand the potential for abuse of these laws if they are not very refined

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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