Cyber Bullying

Danah BoydDanah Boyd is always a worthwhile read, but today’s post is directly relevant to anyone who is involved in anti-bullying.

Bullies can be enthusiastic adopters of new technology and will experiment avidly to find the most effective ways of making life unbearable for others. Techniques such as poison email campaigns and character-assassinating MySpace/Bebo profiles can easily induce media hysteria and disempower those very adults who need to be most active confronting bullies and bullying. Danah’s measured approach brings welcome sanity to the debate.

My key takeaways

  • There is no reason to suppose that the internet (or any new technology) increases bullying in aggregate. Rather, the bullying moves from one medium to another.
  • Cyber bullying can happen anywhere at any time, unlike physical bullying that requires physical presence. This is bad news.
  • Cyber bullying is more visible to adults, not less. You just have to learn where to look. This is good news.
  • Online bullying requires offline intervention. Your own tools and strategies do not need to change.

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