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Cyber-bullying Replaces Schoolyard Bullying Among US Kids

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posted on Jan, 28 2007 @ 09:36 PM
Nowadays, users of instant messaging and social networking sites such as MySpace, FaceBook, Xanga and Friendster fall victim to electronic insults, often by schoolmates. The bullying may include nasty remarks, insults and some serious threats. Boys & girls alike are doing this, though girls bullying is described as "more subtle". There were cases in the past, not only in the U.S. which such bullying had resulted deaths.
WASHINGTON -- Cyberspace has replaced the schoolyard as the preferred space for bullying among many US kids, who are going online to threaten, insult and harass each other outside the watchful eye of teachers or parents.

"Many kids are involved or engaged in this behavior because it is sort of out of distance," Justin Patchin, assistant professor of criminal justice at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, told Agence France-Presse. "They don't see the harm that they are causing, they don't really think that they are doing anything wrong, they think they're just having fun," he added.

The phenomenon has even provoked suicides. In 2005, a 15-year-old boy named Jeff killed himself in the southern state of Florida after being harassed for two years on the Internet by other teenagers. Another 13-year-old boy from the northeast state of Vermont, Ryan Halligan, committed suicide in 2003. Halligan, who suffered from a slight handicap, had become the butt of jokes on the Internet by several girls.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

Truly, it seems that the internet is the perfect place for this kind of aggression. Where most people, mostly kids are involved or engaged in this behavior because it is sort of out of distance. You don't actually see the person you are communicating face to face. In most cases, there is almost a complete anonymosity. Schools are trying to solve the problem by enforcing "respect policies" or honor codes under which cyber-bullying would fall. But they also need to consider that they will be close to infringing on freedom of speech enforcing such restrictions.

In the past, we have seen cyber-bullying related death of kids that caused fear among the parents. This is considered difficult because there is a real danger here. The threath is real, yet regulating the use of online communication could also result of violating certain laws.

Here at ATS, all members are subject to obey the Terms & Conditions. I can say that it is being moderated professionally. The bottomline is that you have a model here that worked, and although it is considered difficult to regulate online communication specially with kids, that should not prevent of having a very well regulated use of social networking & instant messaging.

[edit on 28-1-2007 by searching_for_truth]

posted on Jan, 28 2007 @ 10:51 PM
So as I quote Newt Gingrich: Let's close internet, close the blogs, restrict free speech and round up those against the war!
Seriously, this guy should just STFU.

This is a sad phenomenon...

posted on Jan, 28 2007 @ 11:08 PM
Thankfully there's no such thing as a digital noogie, or a cyber-wedgie, or an e-wet willy, and it's pretty hard to steal lunch money with an instant message.

I'm sorry, I realize bullying is a serious problem, but all things considered I'd rather see it on the internet than in real life.

This was a huge problem in Asia first, and I don't know how much luck they've had in stamping it out, probably not much. The anonymity makes it even more difficult to target the individuals involved.

I'd love to see bullying go away, but it's not likely to happen until our society changes - does a 180 degree flip. When wealth, popularity, fashion, physique, and sex are no longer objects of worship, we might see a reduction in bullying. Even then, there's something intrinsic in human nature that separates strong from weak, and prompts some people to prey on others for a whole host of reasons.

It's a sad state of affairs, but what can be done? At least this way there're no beatings! I was reading yesterday about a couple of seniors who taped a freshman to a bench and punched him in the groin a couple of times, you know, for fun.

Seriously, what can we do?

posted on Jan, 29 2007 @ 05:37 AM
On the other hand, cyber-bullying sometimes levels the playing field for those who are less physically endowed, but have a way with words.

Kids need to be taught not to take cyber bullies too seriously. Imagine finding out that the bully who intimidated you to tears or worse turned out to be a pimply pencil-neck, or even a little girl!

Originally posted by Vitchilo
So as I quote Newt Gingrich: Let's close internet, close the blogs, restrict free speech and round up those against the war!
Seriously, this guy should just STFU.

I doubt that Gingrich said this in a serious tone. He was most likely driving some point home by going to the extreme.

posted on Jan, 29 2007 @ 05:56 AM
rofl I remember a story a well known comedian down here in Victoria, Australia told. Dave Hughes, this guys name, kept on getting hate mail from this one person. It gets worse and worse, until he's completely cracked the rhits and whatnot, and asks for this persons phone number. Sure enough he gets it, and rings up, ready to give this guy an ear full. Turns out the guy on the other end was a 10 year old kid or something. Damn, that was funny.

Anyway, goes to show anyone could be anyone. I could be a 70 y/o transvestite-pro living in Vegas for all you people know! I'm not, but still . . .

how can you be sure?

posted on Jan, 29 2007 @ 06:53 AM
Welcome to the internet, incase you've not noticed it's full of insults, wether its myspace, youtube, google vid, a random forum.

btw, myspace is ultra lame and anyone who has a myspace, is ultra lame imo*.

*my opinion is not fact, so don't get so butthurt.

posted on Jan, 29 2007 @ 08:05 AM

Originally posted by searching_for_truth
sites such as MySpace,

MySpace scares the daylights out of me. My 10 year old wants to start posting online. Some of her friends are at MySpace. I took a look at it and said "no way". (and all those pedophile stories on the news in relation to MySpace!!)

I'm probably just a 'hovering mom' .. but ... YIKES!

posted on Jan, 29 2007 @ 09:41 AM
I rather see them hurling electrons rather than fists. Seems the internet is more apt to blunt the effect of bullying and level the field. Plus it's easier to escape from a cyber assault, just turn off the power or change your nick.

I see a new niche market rising, where kids hire cyber public relations agents who can mass email rumors, photoshop fake pics or do damage control. Strange days...

All your bullying are belong to us

[edit on 29-1-2007 by Regenmacher]

posted on Jan, 29 2007 @ 11:56 AM
Not that I'm using this as a news source, but a few nights ago I watched an episode of Without A Trace and a kid almost killed himself because a group of girls had circulated an embarrassing photo online. He had literally hung the noose off of the monkey bars and was choking to death when they finally found him. Thank God, they got there in time. Still, the image was striking (I cried, but, then again, I cry at anything sad).

That might give you guys an idea of how internet-bullying could get serious.

[edit on 29-1-2007 by HarlemHottie]

posted on Jan, 29 2007 @ 12:28 PM
you would have to be an absolute idiot to post a threat over the internet...

the one receiving this threat could easily print it and then could make a workable case to the authorities that this person "feared for his / her life" or something like this

alerting the media about this could be front page news, especially in the us

so, yes, save your threats / insults for face-to-face meetings...

at least then you can lie your way out of saying it...

[edit on 29-1-2007 by they see ALL]

posted on Jan, 29 2007 @ 01:11 PM
For kids to talk smack on the net. You have to remember the years when the hormons were pulling you in so many directions. Kids are going to make fun of each other. When you make fun of someone it keeps the jibs away from you for a while. Plus when I was going to school, I was raised as a hard line sacrastic, smartass. For some of us we just can't help it. The main thing is that some people let the jibs, and ribs become too personal. You have to remember the source when it comes to someone spouting something so vile about you that you would kill yourself. Its really sad that this kid didn't have any friends who would stick up for him.

posted on Jan, 30 2007 @ 12:04 AM
Yes I agree, it is so much easier. That makes it more worrying because one can easily do it without realizing how much an individual can really take such threats.

No immdiate physical harm, but to some individual who may not be very emotionally stable, this is somehow horrifying. No wonder it can lead to suicides sometimes.

Being a parent myself, I do worry for my kids.


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