Fri, Dec 19th 2008 6:33pm
The WSJ has a column talking about some changes sites like YouTube and MySpace are making to make it easier to flag abusive content. The sites are reacting to the growing storm about cyberbullying, and are perhaps attempting to head off legislation that could inflict onerous regulations on them. The column focuses on the speed with which sites -- often hampered by sheer volume, as well as the number of unfounded reports -- can react to the flags and take down offending content. But should removing content that depicts or constitutes bullying or harassment be the ultimate goal? Like other reporting systems, it's a little hard to tell if these will actually do anything to get to the root of the problem: the bullying itself. Treating cyberbullying as separate and distinct from bullying or other abusive behavior that happens offline just masks the underlying issue. Without addressing that, the real problems for the victims will continue, regardless of whether their tormentors' activities get displayed online or not.
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