Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Taking action against online bullying - what can you do?

English: Bullying on IRFE in March 5, 2007, th...
Bullying on IRFE in March 5, 2007, the first class day. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
As you're sure to be aware from the media Cyberbullying (and bullying in face-to-face environments) is experienced with all age groups, and in a wide range of situations. (See herefor example). It is reprehensible in all cases, and people need to know how they can respond if they are bullied, and how they can support each other in cases when a friend or colleague is being bullied.
Beth Caras (in this article) advises "“If you don’t want to respond back to whoever is doing this to you I understand, but you should tell the social medium whether its Facebook or Twitter, because they have people monitoring their traffic, and they have their compliance officers. But you should also tell the police, because law enforcement has computer crime divisions now and they can determine if the threat is credible or not".
Cyberwise, during the US Anti-bully awareness month, also identify a raft of useful resources for young adults who use social media, and their parents (read more here).
If you are not convinced that this is something for all of us to take action, and responsibility for, you may also want to read the following article that remembers Amanda Todd, a 15 year-old Canadian who recently committed suicide after being bullied. Diana Graber challenges us with the following (read the full article here):
It’s tempting to blame social media for this tragedy. But that’s too simplistic an explanation for a string of events that include not only the original unfortunate lapse in judgment, but years of emotional and physical bullying, and a very public plea for help. It makes you wonder were the adults were during all these years. And why issues like bullying, sexting, sharing inappropriate images on social networks, and more, aren’t embedded into our daily discussions both in the classroom and out.
If we can take anything away from this sad story, I hope it’s a call to action for all adults to use this event as a catalyst to talk to the young people in our own lives. Whether we like it or not, we must accept the fact that most of their lives are now being conducted online, so if we don’t learn how to speak to them about appropriate and safe online behavior, or better yet, inhabit the digital world they live in order to be better equipped to guide them through these unchartered waters—then shame on us.
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