Friday, 29 June 2007

French Kissing Cyber bullying in the USA

It seems teachers in the UK are not the only ones being cyber ‘bullied’.

While teenagers still think that most bullying happens offline, one third of online teenagers in the US have reportedly been cyber-bullied, according to the Pew Internet Project .

The most common complaint from teens, was about private information being shared, rather than direct threats.

One has to question exactly what they are counting as bullying. Is it the perception, or do they have a list and does it actually include things that most people would not even consider bullying?

Though it may not necessarily be the case here, I have seen some surveys where the criteria were dubious, to say the least, effectively designed to maximise the response.

According to this report, girls were more likely to be bullied than boys. Girls tend to network more, so that makes sense. People who share their identities online were apparently the most vulnerable.

Some 32% of teenagers questioned had experienced one, or more, of the following:

  • Receiving an aggressive email, IM or text message.
  • Having a rumour spread about them online or having.
  • Having a private e-mail, instant message, or text messaging forwarded, or posted where others could see it.
  • Having an embarrassing photograph posted online without permission.

The last two are a bit ambiguous. The more sensitive, the more likely to experience bullying if it is intended, or not.

This from a 16 year old girl certainly fits the bill:
"There's this boy in my anatomy class who everybody hates and some girl started up this I Hate [Name] MySpace thing. So everybody in school goes on it to say bad things about this boy."

I guess the one who started that - and the ones that joined in - never heard of Columbine High School, or Virginia Tech...

According to Secret service investigators, many of the shooters in those situations had feelings of alienation, or persecution, that eventually drove them to violence.

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