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Internet Bullying - What's The Answer?

Posted: Mon Aug 05, 2013 10:58 pm
by RussianJet
I came across this story tonight of a 14-year-old girl who hanged herself apparently after being plagued with abusive online messages. Many of the messages urged her to kill herself, which she duly did.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/ukne...bombard-her-with-online-abuse.html

There have been many such stories in the press recently, and the subject has feature heavily in the UK news this last week after a story broke exposing the hideous trolling experienced by a woman who campaigned for women to feature on British banknotes.

What's the solution? Is it ever as simple as just telling people to ignore it? Children in particular are very sensitive to such hurtful words, and simply because it's in an online setting doesn't make it any less real. And yet, because it's online, it seems to somehow be viewed as less serious than making threats or being abusive in 'real life'. Shutting kids off from the internet denies them a world of opportunity and learning, but certainly it seems that it's high time we took the policing of our younger generation's online activities a lot more seriously.

Have you ever been subjected to online harassment? How did you deal with it? How far should the law extend into such matters? Personally, I believe that anything said online is to be treated no differently from saying things face-to-face.

There are calls for websites and online services such as twitter to play a more active role in curbing such abuse. While they should certainly take down grossly offensive material when made aware of it, I do think that the ultimate responsibility lies with the individual. The problem there is of course the degree of anonymity afforded by the internet, but it's surely not that tricky to identify perpetrators of such crimes, is it?? Perhaps I'm being naive there, I'm no expert in such technical aspects of this argument.

What say you? I certainly hope that the kids who helped bully this poor girl to death are made to face up to the consequences of their actions.

RE: Internet Bullying - What's The Answer?

Posted: Mon Aug 05, 2013 11:22 pm
by oly720man
Quoting RussianJet (Thread starter):
What's the solution? Is it ever as simple as just telling people to ignore it?

Well, report it and then ignore it. A bunch of strangers saying anything is meaningless, and kids should be made to understand that anything said on open internet forums like Ask.fm should be taken with a pinch of salt. And, really if you want to join in a bear pit like that then you need to expect the worst of people. Don't go there if you want sympathy or people to be nice to you, there are better places for that.

Having said that, there is certainly justification in chasing down people who use language or online behaviour that would see them arrested if they did the same in public, e.g. shouting "jump" if someone is threatening to do that from a bridge or building.

The trouble is, policing sites like that takes resources, despite the terms and conditions that would see users banned for using such behaviour. We're all aware of how hard it is to get copied photos taken off sites, despite all ample evidence that photos are copied. How many posts are there on a day on the likes of ask.fm and how many of those could be construed as bullying?

[Edited 2013-08-05 16:22:51]

RE: Internet Bullying - What's The Answer?

Posted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 12:13 am
by fr8mech
Quoting RussianJet (Thread starter):
What's the solution? Is it ever as simple as just telling people to ignore it?


In order for the child to ignore it, the child must have some sense of self worth. As parents, we have a responsibilty to our children (and society, at large) to raise children that are emotionally stable. It's not a freaking easy thing to do. My soon-to-be 11 year old daughter breaks into tears if I call her to dinner too loudly. But, I feel comfortable that she is emotionally capable of dealing with bullies.

In fact, she has a 'friend' that routinely harasses (too strong a word for the situation, but a better one escapes me) via text messaging on her iPod. When this same friend is a group text messaging scenario, she is as sweet as can be, but when on a one-to-one text situation with my daughter, she is a little more aggressive.

I read my daughter's text messages. She knows I do it. In fact, we look at them together and I've asked her about how she feels about her friend. Well, after we get the crying (sigh) out of the way, she'll tell me that she just ignores the barbs and jabs and continues the conversation or just completely ignores the little urchinette.

Now, my 7 year old boy...I'm pretty sure I will be having the bully talk with him from the other point-of-view.

Quoting RussianJet (Thread starter):
Have you ever been subjected to online harassment? How did you deal with it?


When I was young..online harrasment was limited to my older brother telling me to "get off the phone, you dumbass"...somtimes he would say it in Greek.

RE: Internet Bullying - What's The Answer?

Posted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 12:22 am
by Maverick623
Quoting RussianJet (Thread starter):
I came across this story tonight of a 14-year-old girl who hanged herself apparently after being plagued with abusive online messages.

Sorry, there's no way she killed herself because of online trolls. Her posts suggest that she wasn't really taking the trolls seriously, or taking what they said to heart.

I'd be taking a long, hard look at how her parents treated her. Sounds like they expected the world to take care of her, instead of doing it themselves.

RE: Internet Bullying - What's The Answer?

Posted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 12:25 am
by RussianJet
Quoting Fr8mech (Reply 2):
When I was young..online harrasment was limited to my older brother telling me to "get off the phone, you dumbass"...somtimes he would say it in Greek.

Times have certainly changed!

Quoting Fr8mech (Reply 2):
It's not a freaking easy thing to do

Surely not. It sounds like you have a pretty good handle on it though, not least because you're obviously fully aware of it. I'm guessing one of the biggest potential problems in this arena is the technical knowledge gap between youngsters these days and many of their parents.

RE: Internet Bullying - What's The Answer?

Posted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 1:15 am
by Ken777
Quoting RussianJet (Thread starter):
What's the solution?

The first thing to do is to arrest the bullies for their part in the death of the girl. Bullies at school need to be addressed - and that is where we fail the most. Suspend bullies for 2 weeks for the first time and expel them if it happens again. That type

Quoting RussianJet (Thread starter):
How far should the law extend into such matters?

When there is a death because of bullies then the bullies need to find out that the laws are far tougher than they are. I have no problem with jail time for bullies when there is damage, and I have no problems with parents being hit with financial penalties.

Quoting Fr8mech (Reply 2):
My soon-to-be 11 year old daughter breaks into tears if I call her to dinner too loudly. But, I feel comfortable that she is emotionally capable of dealing with bullies.

Hate to tell you, but if there are tear when you call her to dinner too loudly then she can well be a target for the bullies in school. Someone, probably Mom, needs to have a continuing discussion with her to ensure she is not being bullied.

Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 3):
Sorry, there's no way she killed herself because of online trolls.

There have been a lot of kids who have killed themselves because of bullies. It's an international problem and it's probably getting worse,

RE: Internet Bullying - What's The Answer?

Posted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 1:25 am
by RussianJet
Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 3):
Her posts suggest that she wasn't really taking the trolls seriously, or taking what they said to heart.

Perhaps, but then a lot of kids will put on a brave face while all the time internalising a whole lot of pain. The problem with words is that it's actually really, really hard sometimes to tell how badly they affect people. It's not always obvious, and it's a pretty natural defence mechanism for a kid to pretend that this sort of stuff doesn't bother them in the hope that it will go away, having failed to achieve the desired hysterical reaction.

RE: Internet Bullying - What's The Answer?

Posted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 2:45 am
by fr8mech
Quoting Ken777 (Reply 5):
Someone, probably Mom, needs to have a continuing discussion with her to ensure she is not being bullied


The reason I feel comfortable is because we (the wife and I) maintain a continuous dialogue with her (and the boy) about bullying.

And, I was being a bit facetious about the crying...but she is a tad emotional. Never really seen her too emotional around her friends...just the family. So, I think the crying is a bit of a ploy to bug me because she knows it bugs me...the big bully.

RE: Internet Bullying - What's The Answer?

Posted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 2:48 am
by Maverick623
Quoting Ken777 (Reply 5):
The first thing to do is to arrest the bullies for their part in the death of the girl.

For what? Why don't we arrest the parents as well, for their part?

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 5):
Bullies at school need to be addressed - and that is where we fail the most. Suspend bullies for 2 weeks for the first time and expel them if it happens again. That type

You should talk to some teachers about that. The second a teacher or administrator tries to discipline a student, their parents throw a fit because they either just can't believe that their little darling could possibly do any wrong... and that's assuming they respect anyone.

The barn door hasn't just been left open, it's been ripped off and used as firewood.

Quoting Ken777 (Reply 5):
There have been a lot of kids who have killed themselves because of bullies.

They kill themselves because they have no sense of self-worth. You can eliminate all the bullying you want, and they're still going to eventually do the deed the next time they get rejected.


We need more work in that area, and less on bullying, because you will NEVER get rid of bullies.

RE: Internet Bullying - What's The Answer?

Posted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 4:13 am
by jetblueguy22
The thing with internet bullying that I think we have to teach kids these days is that the people who do it are usually cowards. Most the things kids say online they would never repeat to their face. I'm a few years removed from high school, but all the drama in school seemed to start with the words "So ***** told ****** to go $% herself on facebook last night!" I've noticed it on websites such as reddit where people just get up on their high horse and treat every one like crap because they think they are better than everyone else. I have a 12 year old brother and an 11 year old sister who in a short time will be in this social media world. I've tried to take my experiences with the internet and make sure they know what they can and can't do, and what to just ignore. Sure my folks use the internet, but there aren't many problems with bullying when it comes to posting your kid's 8th grade graduation pics. Kids can be really vicious. When I was in high school I would have hated knowing my parents monitored my social media accounts, but the more of this kind of stuff I see I wonder if parents should monitor their kids better.

I know the schools are monitoring the kids. There was a local "scandal" with my high school. The principal created a fake facebook in order to see what kids were doing. Well if you know a teen you'll know the amount of facebook friends they have determines how "cool" they are. Well this account quickly racked up nearly every student in the school. About a week after this facebook was created my mother got a strange call to come to the school. Apparently my brother commented on a picture speaking about our school President. She always talked in the third person on the intercom so he commented "Mrs ****** angry! Mrs ****** doesn't think this is appropriate!" Another kid used much more vulgar language and blamed it on my brother. Well my bro started the year out with a 5 day suspension. The strange part was they tried to get my mom to sign a non disclosure agreement saying she wouldn't reveal how they found it. She politely declined and once word got around (through other people. My mom only didn't care how they found out, my brother was 100% of her focus. She should be a CIA interrogator) the brand new principal got himself in some hot water. I think monitoring the students is good, but it should be done by the parents.
Pat

RE: Internet Bullying - What's The Answer?

Posted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 5:41 am
by DeltaMD90
There are many cases where internet bullying is unstoppable... trying to stop it would take a crazy, super controlled and monitored internet. Often times, there are people literally all around the world targeting a person relentlessly. I don't care what anyone says, that is unstoppable and I don't see that changing. Really, what are American or French or British authorities gonna do when IPs go through proxies/other ways of masking your identity that I don't know how to do but I know is easy to do, and even if you figured who it is out, when a bully is in Russia, another in India, etc, what are you gonna do? Even if it is a Canadian bullying an American it's a huge pain to actually get that person.

I could go on and on but basically, online bullying is very very hard to combat. Sometimes it will be an idiot at a person's school using his/her own account and those cases are very easy to prosecute, but when you have worldwide internet trolls, you can't stop them.

You can: teach kids about the dangers of the internet, and failing that, try and teach them how to cope with bullying before it's too late. Not blaming the victim here, but a lot of the victims aren't too educated or smart at what they do online and get screwed. They don't deserve what they get, but neither do women who run though a park alone in the middle of the night who get raped--you gotta be smart at what you do.

It's easy to tell kids to "get backbone" but that doesn't always work, sadly, and you need to suck it up and deal with them a different way... as much as you want to tell them to stop being a wimp

RE: Internet Bullying - What's The Answer?

Posted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 5:57 am
by kiwiinoz
Whilst not specifically related to bullying, the UK recently launched this excellent campaign, including this video designed to be screened at school assemblies:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_o8auwnJtqE

Whilst we should never blame, "the victim", the message I will be giving my children will be to always manage the level of exposure onm the internet. Not just in terms of their own information, but how much they become emotionally invested. One should never have an intimate relationship, (and I dont neccesarily mean sexual) with someone who they have not met face to face

Call me old fashioned

RE: Internet Bullying - What's The Answer?

Posted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 12:20 pm
by smittyone
Quoting kiwiinoz (Reply 11):
Whilst we should never blame, "the victim", the message I will be giving my children will be to always manage the level of exposure onm the internet. Not just in terms of their own information, but how much they become emotionally invested. One should never have an intimate relationship, (and I dont neccesarily mean sexual) with someone who they have not met face to face

Call me old fashioned

True, and same here.

If a kid is being bullied electronically, then turn it off - "block sender", delete the Facebook account etc. That is what you'd do if a person was bullying you face to face (avoid them if you can), so I challenge the assumption that kids especially need to connect at all if the result is negative. It's like they keep going back to the source of the problem and wonder why they get the same result.

I got bullied face to face as a kid by some guys who had been my 'friends'...I ignored them all summer break and the next school year was fine. They had either grown up or found a new source of entertainment.

RE: Internet Bullying - What's The Answer?

Posted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 1:30 pm
by einsteinboricua
Just like the Windows Error Report: you have a choice to send it or not to send it, but the question is: is there a difference?

This is perhaps one use for internet monitoring. But hey, I am entitled to my right to bully without anyone finding out.  

RE: Internet Bullying - What's The Answer?

Posted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 1:35 pm
by smittyone
Quoting einsteinboricua (Reply 13):
Just like the Windows Error Report: you have a choice to send it or not to send it, but the question is: is there a difference?

This is perhaps one use for internet monitoring. But hey, I am entitled to my right to bully without anyone finding out.

I don't get the sense that the majority of internet bullying is even done anonymously.

RE: Internet Bullying - What's The Answer?

Posted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 5:43 pm
by jetblueguy22
Quoting Smittyone (Reply 12):
If a kid is being bullied electronically, then turn it off - "block sender", delete the Facebook account etc. That is what you'd do if a person was bullying you face to face (avoid them if you can), so I challenge the assumption that kids especially need to connect at all if the result is negative. It's like they keep going back to the source of the problem and wonder why they get the same result.

I think shutting down your facebook only makes it worse. If you do that you are letting that bully win. Remove them as a friend or report them for harassing behavior.

Quoting Smittyone (Reply 14):
I don't get the sense that the majority of internet bullying is even done anonymously.

When I was in high school there was this new thing called formspring (it may still be around). What it did was allow someone to anonymously ask questions. You had two types of questions, ones asking who someone liked, and other vulgar harassing questions. For much of my high school career that was where the cyber bullying was happening. You saw plenty on facebook, but the horrible stuff was found there. A lot seems to happen on sites where yes you have a username, but nobody knows each other. I had a guy troll a friend on reddit, follow him on every comment or post he made. Like I said earlier, cyber bullies are just cowards who would never say any of that crap in real life.
Pat

RE: Internet Bullying - What's The Answer?

Posted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 6:20 pm
by einsteinboricua
Quoting jetblueguy22 (Reply 15):
Quoting Smittyone (Reply 14):
I don't get the sense that the majority of internet bullying is even done anonymously.

When I was in high school there was this new thing called formspring (it may still be around). What it did was allow someone to anonymously ask questions. You had two types of questions, ones asking who someone liked, and other vulgar harassing questions. For much of my high school career that was where the cyber bullying was happening. You saw plenty on facebook, but the horrible stuff was found there. A lot seems to happen on sites where yes you have a username, but nobody knows each other. I had a guy troll a friend on reddit, follow him on every comment or post he made. Like I said earlier, cyber bullies are just cowards who would never say any of that crap in real life.
Pat

I remember before MySpace and Facebook, the social network back then was MSN Messenger, and you'd have a profile with a blog and whatnot. Since you could open an email for free and not have to register, you could use an alias and post to other people's blogs (provided that you had their address). I remember receiving a couple of messages making fun of me (I was hairy so I was left messages on how bad I looked and what not). It wasn't until junior year of high school that I finally noticed who was one of the guys leaving me messages. Needless to say, our friendship ceased that day.

RE: Internet Bullying - What's The Answer?

Posted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 6:23 pm
by smittyone
Quoting jetblueguy22 (Reply 15):
I think shutting down your facebook only makes it worse. If you do that you are letting that bully win. Remove them as a friend or report them for harassing behavior.

Perhaps. I guess my point was that if what your kid is reading online is genuinely distressing them, to the point of suicide as has been repeatedly alleged, there is always the nuclear option. There is no requirement to interact with people online and for all intents and purposes they disappear when you log out.

As real as it may seem, the 'social networking' aspect of the internet is not life.

RE: Internet Bullying - What's The Answer?

Posted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 9:00 pm
by Maverick623
Quoting kiwiinoz (Reply 11):
Whilst we should never blame, "the victim"

Nobody (I hope) is suggesting that we punish or shun a victim of any kind of violence or abuse, but we can hold them accountable when they continually put themselves into a situation where they are likely to encounter that sort of stuff.

Quoting jetblueguy22 (Reply 15):

I think shutting down your facebook only makes it worse. If you do that you are letting that bully win.

This is not a game. There are no "winners" or "losers".

Analyzing it as such is what propagates the feeling of a hopeless loss and leads to suicides and other methods of acting out.

RE: Internet Bullying - What's The Answer?

Posted: Wed Aug 07, 2013 4:45 am
by jetblueguy22
Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 18):
This is not a game. There are no "winners" or "losers".

Analyzing it as such is what propagates the feeling of a hopeless loss and leads to suicides and other methods of acting out.

I disagree. What happens is these kids get bullied beyond belief and then the bullies get what they want, which often ends with the deletion of whatever method they are tormenting these kids with. They'll find another method to harass these kids. If these kids stand strong against these jerks it gives them the courage to do it later in life. Rolling over and running from the problems doesn't fix anything.
Pat

RE: Internet Bullying - What's The Answer?

Posted: Wed Aug 07, 2013 4:10 pm
by oly720man
To add to the original story...

Another troll, identified as Jake Williams, wrote: ‘Slut deserved it… I’m happy she’s dead.’

When challenged by Hannah’s friends why he had posted the vicious comments, he replied: ‘Why not? It’s hilarious.’


http://metro.co.uk/2013/08/06/trolls...-any-police-investigation-3914331/


...which makes me think that some people are beyond any rational discussion about their actions, either because they are just nuts or they're all mouth (or keyboard) and attitude and just don't care. And there's nothing you can do about that. A$$holes are always going to spout garbage online if they've got the means to do it and are so inclined.

Quoting jetblueguy22 (Reply 19):
If these kids stand strong against these jerks

Sure, they can punch their lights out if they're physically there, but exchanging verbal blows online with someone who would like nothing more than their victim fighting back, so they can throw more crap at them, isn't really a battle that can be won. Unless, of course the bully is like the wizard of Oz and more illusion than substance and can't hack it when someone does fight back.

RE: Internet Bullying - What's The Answer?

Posted: Wed Aug 07, 2013 4:20 pm
by smittyone
Quoting oly720man (Reply 20):
To add to the original story...

Another troll, identified as Jake Williams, wrote: ‘Slut deserved it… I’m happy she’s dead.’

When challenged by Hannah’s friends why he had posted the vicious comments, he replied: ‘Why not? It’s hilarious.’

http://metro.co.uk/2013/08/06/trolls...-any-police-investigation-3914331/


...which makes me think that some people are beyond any rational discussion about their actions, either because they are just nuts or they're all mouth (or keyboard) and attitude and just don't care. And there's nothing you can do about that. A$$holes are always going to spout garbage online if they've got the means to do it and are so inclined.

The absolute best response to a douche like this is silence. Confronted with that he'd have to move on to burning ants with a magnifying glass or something...

RE: Internet Bullying - What's The Answer?

Posted: Wed Aug 07, 2013 5:19 pm
by pvjin
Yeah it's disgusting what kind of stuff some people do on the internet, usual rather harmless trolling regarding non serious things is one matter, actually bullying some individual like this is another. This is one reason why I avoid social media like plague (other than a couple of quite appropriate aviation related forums), often it shows all the bad sides of humankind and observing those on a daily basis definitely has a negative impact on my mood. Though I got to say even without all the jerks around I would still find places like Facebook quite useless and boring as they are mostly filled with irrelevant things anyway.

Personally I think those bastards should be tracked down and then they should receive heavy penalties.

RE: Internet Bullying - What's The Answer?

Posted: Wed Aug 07, 2013 10:39 pm
by DeltaMD90
Quoting oly720man (Reply 20):
...which makes me think that some people are beyond any rational discussion about their actions, either because they are just nuts or they're all mouth (or keyboard) and attitude and just don't care. And there's nothing you can do about that. A$$holes are always going to spout garbage online if they've got the means to do it and are so inclined.

Exactly. Unless huge changes are made, changes that would have many huge undesired consequences, many of these global, random online bullies will go unpunished. You can't call the "cyber police," you often can't just "track their IP," some proxies are very untrackable, and on top of it all, what is the local police department in IDK, Wyoming gonna do when their bullies are from Russia, Spain, and Sweden? Magically go through channels and somehow track the guys down and have them arrested by proper authorities? NOPE

You have forums of bored people, someone will find a target, and all those people (from all over the world, often with crazy technical stuff that masks/reroutes their IPs) and they just harass and harass. They find out the victims FB, family and friends' facebooks, employers FB, email addresses, addresses, and phone numbers and just troll and troll

They get a rise out of reactions, so the only thing you can do is ignore them. Unfortunately, you get boatloads of people that get pissed off and make ridiculous comments like "reported to Facebook, the police will arrest you" or "hurr durr they have your IP they're gonna get you." It just adds the their humor and the people are soooo wrong and clueless about how the internet and justice system work.

1: Ignore trolls
2: Teach kids internet safety and how do deal with trolls, see step #1

Quoting pvjin (Reply 22):
Personally I think those bastards should be tracked down and then they should receive heavy penalties.

They should. But it's very unfeasible. And I'd hate to see the internet that could be able to do that... it would be great to stop bullies but it would require a crazy restrictive/controlled internet, way worth the benefits of protecting bully victims and easily abused

RE: Internet Bullying - What's The Answer?

Posted: Thu Aug 08, 2013 1:59 am
by RussianJet
Quoting oly720man (Reply 20):
...which makes me think that some people are beyond any rational discussion about their actions, either because they are just nuts or they're all mouth (or keyboard) and attitude and just don't care.

Yes. I think it's important sometimes to understand that it's simply not always possible to rationalise other people's actions, words or thoughts. As humans it's part of our very nature to try and seek logic and reasoning behind things that either hurt us or are otherwise at odds with our own standards of acceptability, but sometimes there just is no explaining it. Some people seem hard-wired to do awful things, and can't even themselves always understand or explain why they behave the way they do. I would like to think that there is at least some good in everyone. Sometimes, however, it occurs to me that now and again we just have to console ourselves with the fact that some people out there are just, well, bastards.

RE: Internet Bullying - What's The Answer?

Posted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 10:45 am
by HAWK21M
Its very easy to be brave hiding behind a computer screen.

RE: Internet Bullying - What's The Answer?

Posted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 6:06 pm
by Ken777
Quoting Smittyone (Reply 21):
The absolute best response to a douche like this is silence.

Or may so rather large guys will drop by and beat the crap out of him - laughing all the time.

RE: Internet Bullying - What's The Answer?

Posted: Wed Aug 14, 2013 8:26 am
by Flyingfox27
Its very sad, i think some responsibility lies with the bully's parents (i get told off when i say that as its a contraversial subject) but then i think well add some common sense and its go to be true, like that Parent who has no job, on benefits and has had 6 babies with more to come and wants a bigger house for free! Weird and scary World we now live in.

Bring back the cane and tougher teaching powers in school and get rid of that "sir u whacked me im gonna sue" culture and maybe this will stop bullies, not saying violence with violence but cane them to discipline.