Cyberbullying

Moderated by Leah Wing

 

As information communication technology has become intricately woven into our lives, humans have harnessed their capacity for extraordinarily creative innovations to foster human connection across time and space.  Yet, sadly and perhaps not unexpectedly, we have also brought into new ICT forums our capacity for cruelty and domination through bullying.  Do different mediums of cyberbullying (text, picture, Internet, video) produce different impacts on victims?  Can one form be more damaging than another?  What gender and cultural dynamics impact cyberbullying?  What legislation, public policies, and educational and commercial practices are in place to prevent and handle cyberbullying?  What ODR platforms and software can or are addressing this problem?  How can the strengths of ICT, such as lessening isolation, be capitalized upon to reduce the effects of Cyberbullying?

 

New challenges and opportunities face our field to contribute to the prevention and handling of bullying through ICT avenues.  Join us for this conversation!

 

A final note:  It is requested that personal identifying details of actual cases are not shared and that anyone who believes that they have or are experiencing cyberbullying seek assistance from those whom they trust since this forum cannot serve as a source for handling such cases. 

 

One link among many which can be of help is:  

http://www.stopbullying.gov/cyberbullying/how-to-report/index.html

 

Moderator Bio:

Leah Wing is Co-Director, National Center for Technology and Dispute Resolution http://odr.info is Senior Lecturer, Legal Studies Program, Political Science Department, University of Massachusetts/Amherst (US) and is founding director of the Social Justice Mediation Institute.  She has served on the Board of Directors of the Association of Conflict Resolution (2002-6) and has been a member of the editorial board of Conflict Resolution Quarterly since 2002.  Her publications concentrate on the critical examination of conflict transformation theory and practices in both the online and offline worlds and her most recent publication is “Online Dispute Resolution and the Development of Theory” co-authored with Dan Rainey in M. Waahab, D. Rainey and E. Katsh, Online Dispute Resolution: Theory and Practice (2012). 

 

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I agree with Richard that parents, teachers, and other adults need to be educated. However, I also believe that everyone should take part in trying to fix the problem, parents, students, and schools as a whole. Through my research I have found suggestions that have been made to have schools take action that would have both parents and students sign a contract. This contract would be more like a policy on cyber bullying and students as well as parents should read over the cyber bullying policy then sign it during the beginning of the school year. The second both parties sign the policy, it becomes a “binding contract” where if anything were to go wrong, it would allow for the school or institution  the “legal authority” to do something about it. Others have also argued that creating laws may violate constitutional rights because it affects freedom of speech. The solution?  If people are going to write a statute against cyber bullying then it has to be “specific.” An interesting quote that I found was one from Dale Herback who teaches communications and cyber law at Boston College. He says, “The rub in almost all these statutes is that when you try to regulate speech, [the challenge is] writing a statute that singles out bullying and distinguishes it from legitimate expression. The way to solve it is to write a statute that is very, very, very specific. The problem is that a lot of the behavior you think is bullying doesn’t qualify as bullying.” I agree with him on this and I feel that as long as we are not specific about these statutes, then much won’t be done to challenge these laws.   

Richard Shaughnessy said:

The vast majority of cyber and traditional bullying is done amongst children in middle school. Some suggest these students should learn at a very young age the harms that go along with being a bully. Some people suggest a “D.A.R.E equivalent” and I agree with them. However, such a program will not be the sole answer to this growing epidemic.

Parents, teachers, and other adults need to be educated on the reasons people bully, as Maire pointed out- one reason may be gender related. By recognizing that bullies enjoy “performing” in front of an audience, principals may hire more chaperones to be on the lookout for school yard bullying. This can carry over to the Internet, where a wide audience is easily accessible for the bully with a single video upload on YouTube, or sharing a picture with hundreds of friends on Facebook. It is important for parents not to ban their children from the Internet because responsible use can prove to be very beneficial to enhancing a collaborative learning experience, but they should monitor particular sites that can serve as a bully’s virtual playground. 

Hi Alberto,

Thank you for doing so!  I realize that you are taking on a tremendous amount of work by doing this!  It is a wonderful communication bridge you are fostering.   Participation from all is welcome, in any language, so please let folks know that their views are welcome in Spanish as well.

Alberto Elisavetsky said:

Hi Lea I'm Alberto Elisavetsky from Odr Latinoamerica, we translate you discussion to our cyberweek 2012 spanish chapter

link:  http://odrlatinoamerica.ning.com/forum/topics/acoso-moral-virtual-c...

All the best

Alberto

There have been quite a number of calls for educating parents and children (especially beginning at an early age) as one important strategy for preventing cyberbullying.  Are there gatekeeping mechanisms that ought to be put in place (and if so where?) for helping to structurally determine that this happens?  For example, should teacher education and principal certification programs within Schools of Education require exposure to curriculum on cyber/bullying?  Are there other public policies that can be put in place that require schools to have policies about teacher and parent training on cyer/bullying in order to receive public funds?  What other gatekeeping mechanisms might help and what are some concerns you have about having such mechanisms?

Thanks Leha here follows your discussion in Spanish, plus an article that I'm wrote in 2007 regrading cyberbullying, plus a video that I'm included in your discussion in the cyberweek spanish chapter,  as a guide for my students

thanks a lot 
Alberto

Traducido al español por Alex Daelli

 

Espacio moderado por Leha Wing

Como la tecnología de información y comunicación se ha ingresado entretejida e intrincadamente entre en nuestra vida, los seres humanos han aprovechado su capacidad para la innovación extraordinariamente creativa para fomentar el contacto humano a través del tiempo y el espacio. Sin embargo, por desgracia y tal vez inesperadamente, hemos incorporado a los nuevos foros & redes sociales de nuevas tecnologías de información & comunicación nuestra capacidad para la crueldad y la dominación a través de la intimidación. Hacer diferentes medios de cyberbullying ( acoso molar virtual ) (texto, imagen, Internet, video) producen diferentes efectos en las víctimas? ¿ Puede una forma ser más perjudicial que la otra? .¿Qué géneros y dinámica cultural impactan al acoso cibernético? ¿Qué legislación, políticas públicas y prácticas educativas y comerciales se aplican para prevenir y tratar el acoso cibernético? ¿Qué plataformas y programas ODR/RED Obline Dispute Resolution/Resolución Electrónica de Disputas  pueden o están abordando este problema? ¿Cómo pueden la fortalezas de las NTIC, como la disminución de aislamiento, se capitalizarán para reducir los efectos del acoso cibernético?
 
 
Nuevos retos y oportunidades encaran nuestro campo para contribuir a la prevención y manejo de la intimidación a través de las NTIC . Únase a nosotros para esta conversación!
 
Una nota final: Se solicita que sus datos personales de identificación de casos concretos no se compartan y que cualquiera que crea que tienen o están sufriendo el acoso cibernético pedir ayuda a los que confían en este foro ya que nos puede servir como una fuente para el manejo de estos casos.
 
Información adicional: link al articulo de Alberto Elisavetsky sobre el mismo tema del año 2007, muestra que ODR LATINOAMERICA, estaba preocupado por esta temática desde hace mucho tiempo: http://odrlatinoamerica.ning.com/profiles/blogs/cyberbullingviolenc...
 
 

Etiquetas: cyberbullying

Hi Leha I'd like to share this video in your foro, we use it before talk with our students about cyberbullying, if you have it sorry, and I'll delete it!

Alberto

 

Hello All, 

My name is Angeramis Tejeda and I am a one of Leah's students. I thank all of you for your input in this discussion for it has been a very enlightening experience for me. I just wanted to express my concern for the impact cyberbullying(CB) has on victims pertaining to differing cultural backgrounds, given that in some circumstances specific groups are targeted more than others.

In one study, researchers who sought to explore violence amongst Asian and Pacific Islanders found that out of the 677 high school students surveyed, 56.1% had been victims of CB in the last year. Filipino and Samoan youth were most likely to report feeling badly about themselves as a result of CB. They also found that CB and mental health problems varied by sex and ethnicity.

Another study, that was recently published in the Psychology of Violence Journal examined the effects of F2F bullying and CB across race, individual and family predictors.Students completed a survey designed to collect information about their attitudes and their experiences with both physical and nonphysical peer violence at 6-month intervals. Students completed a survey designed to collect information about their attitudes and their experiences with both physical and nonphysical peer violence at 6-month intervals and were divided into two groups: Group 1(Spring 2008) and Group 2(Spring 2009). With regard to gender, researchers found that females had higher levels of cyber- bullying at G3, but males had higher levels of nonphysical bullying at G3. Females endorsed higher levels of family violence, but also higher levels of parental monitoring. Females also endorsed higher levels of empathy and higher levels of depressive symptoms. With regard to race, African American adolescents endorsed higher levels of cyber- bullying at G1, and nonphysical bullying at G1 and G3. In addition, African American youth endorsed more family violence, more alcohol and drug use, and hostility but lower levels of parental monitoring and empathy than White students. Also CB levels were associated with both higher family violence and lower parental monitoring, which were explained by hostility (for White males) and depressive symptoms (for African American males). 

Given that victim experiences differ from context to context, are there any programs in existence that take this into account? Also, for those of you located outside of the US, I would like to know about any resources/policies that are being implemented to address CB?

While we are on this subject of legal action I urge us look at the US Supreme Court ruling on Snyder v. Phelps. In 2011 the court ruled, in a decision of 8-1, that it was legal for the Westboro Batpist Church(WBC) to use public space (a sidewalk) to protest Marine Lance Corporal Matthew Snyder's funeral in Maryland. Among many other signs the members of the WBC displayed the messages,  “God Hates the USA/Thank God for 9/11,” “America is Doomed,” “Don’t Pray for the USA,” “Thank  God for IEDs,” “Thank God for Dead Soldiers”. 

The United States holds the first amendment as one of its most sacred laws, and as a result laws banning, or trying to limit cyber-bullying, at this point, will be struck down in the lower courts and will likely never reach the Supreme Court. 

In the opinion of the court Chief Justice Roberts stated, "Speech is powerful.  It can stir people to action, move them to tears of both joy and sorrow, and—as it did here—inflict great pain.  On the facts before us, we cannot react to that pain by punishing the speaker.   As  a Nation we have chosen a different course—to protect  even hurtful speech on  public issues to  ensure that we  do not stifle public debate.  That choice requires that we shield Westboro from tort liability for its picketing in this case. " 

Looking at the scope of cyber-bullying I see something that must be addressed and I find myself constantly considering the one dissenting opinion give by Justice Alito, "Our profound national commitment to free and open debate is not a license for the vicious verbal…..Respondents’  outrageous  conduct  caused petitioner great injury, and the Court now compounds that injury by depriving petitioner of a judgment that acknowledges the wrong he suffered. In order to have a society in which public issues can be openly and vigorously debated, it is not necessary to allow the brutalization of innocent victims like petitioner.  I therefore respectfully dissent."

Cyberbullying is not directed at public figures. It targets as we all know  innocent victims that have little interest to be dragged into the public eye and that is likely why so many victims stay silent. I believe there may still be hope to put a legal end to cyberbullying but until such time early and persistent education must be the answer. 

If this has been noted in the discussion before, I apologize, but I thought this article from the Washington Post was interesting in light of the topic at hand.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/she-the-people/wp/2012/10/30/ma...

To answer this first I must point out that I don't think anyone allows cyber-bullying to continue or happen purposefully, I think that it is such a large issue that many do not know how to stop it once it begins.  Our cultures being at fault or at blame is an element that I had never thought of, but the examples given by Milos goes to show that our cultures are built upon entertainment and a lot of entertainment these days comes in form of hurting others for a laugh or as a joke.  As I have been reading through this on a daily basis it seems to me that everyone is in agreement that it has to stop, but there is one missing element that would bring the harm of cyber-bullying to the front of all peoples minds.  When formspring was just starting and popular cyber-bullying was all over the news because this website let people comment and harm others in an anonymous way.  This resulted in suicides of teenagers across the U.S, it is a problem that the only way our society and culture is when the worst possible outcome happens.  

Leah Wing said:

A number of contributors have pointed to the lack of awareness or of effective action even in the face of awareness of cyberbullying.  Why would this take place--why would we allow cyberbullying to continue?  In the spirit of what Maire and Miloš suggested, might this have to do with our cultures?  They are conflict-ridden and competitiveness abounds.  But surely there are positive impulses and values in our cultures as well.  Therefore, what is missing that will bring more urgency and serious attention to cyberbullying so that interventions and prevention measures will be more effective and holistic?

I capture articles about cyberbullying on Twitter @Jessacher and I follow the cases of the deaths, making inquiries of police and encouraging progress in these cases.

Here is the link to one of the recent stories: http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/10/26/amanda-todd-and-the-greatly...

 

Here were my comments on Twitter @Jessacher:

@grayhamilton Can you pls write another story about #AmandaTodd.  I found the comments of #Olweus shocking/insensitive.

 

@grayhamilton to play devil's advocate is one thing, to deny the horror and pain of victims is untoward.  Can you get #rcmp to provide update.

 

In my opinion, there is nothing really missing.  I feel that the evidence is there, the facts are evident, and the ever growing potential for cyber bullying is increasing.  Overall, I feel as a society we are refusing to accept cyber bullying or rather accept its severe nature.  Children and adults alike do not feel it is a real problem and many feel it is just a way of life or apart of growing up.  This is evident in some of the most successful websites, twitter accounts, and television programs.  Many that are profitable have a focus on making fun of other people.  Facebook was originally created to compare the "hotness" of females on campus which was extremely degrading.  Comparing and contrasting women on their looks, education, sexual past, etc. became extremely popular and is now seen in many blogs.  Many blogs now have an emphasis on degrading women, and making fun of people on subjects such as their looks, actions, etc.  In relevance to cyber bullying, many tv shows and websites also attract most of their viewers by playing and joking about a video someone posted.  Many times, these criticisms can be extremely hurtful and many hosts often take it too far.  Many times when watching these shows or reading these sites, I think about "what if that was me."  I can only imagine how these poor people must feel after being bashed by the cyber media world. I feel more people need to have these feelings of remorse and reject these inhumane actions.  Also when looking at twitter accounts some of the most popular are those that feed off offensive and bullying like tweets.  Examples of this is "offensive tweets" which basically tweets offensive tweets about women, race, etc.  Overall I feel like until these social media outlets are confronted about the material they use to become so profitable, this problem will not end.  This can all be tied back to the fact that we need to instill in children at a young age, to treat others like you would want to be treated. 

Mira Rotter said:

To answer this first I must point out that I don't think anyone allows cyber-bullying to continue or happen purposefully, I think that it is such a large issue that many do not know how to stop it once it begins.  Our cultures being at fault or at blame is an element that I had never thought of, but the examples given by Milos goes to show that our cultures are built upon entertainment and a lot of entertainment these days comes in form of hurting others for a laugh or as a joke.  As I have been reading through this on a daily basis it seems to me that everyone is in agreement that it has to stop, but there is one missing element that would bring the harm of cyber-bullying to the front of all peoples minds.  When formspring was just starting and popular cyber-bullying was all over the news because this website let people comment and harm others in an anonymous way.  This resulted in suicides of teenagers across the U.S, it is a problem that the only way our society and culture is when the worst possible outcome happens.  

Leah Wing said:

A number of contributors have pointed to the lack of awareness or of effective action even in the face of awareness of cyberbullying.  Why would this take place--why would we allow cyberbullying to continue?  In the spirit of what Maire and Miloš suggested, might this have to do with our cultures?  They are conflict-ridden and competitiveness abounds.  But surely there are positive impulses and values in our cultures as well.  Therefore, what is missing that will bring more urgency and serious attention to cyberbullying so that interventions and prevention measures will be more effective and holistic?

Alberto, thanks for sharing so many resources with the discussion forum!

Alberto Elisavetsky said:

Hi Leha I'd like to share this video in your foro, we use it before talk with our students about cyberbullying, if you have it sorry, and I'll delete it!

Alberto

 

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