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What type of cyberbullying worries you the most?

5
Reflective_Joy
As we all know, there is more than one way to bully someone through the use of the internet and smart devices. This can be through email, text, photos, social media accounts, forums, games and other miscellaneous apps.

But which one of these communication tools worries you the most and why?
3
heidilynnrussell
The only one that worries me is ironically the one I use the most: Twitter. People are able to interact with you behind all sorts of masks, and sometimes their messages are deliberately designed to frighten. But at the same time, I also think of all of the platforms, Twitter is the safest, based on the protection settings, blocking and muting button tools and your decision about whether to keep up a conversation.
Like anything else in life, you have to go into online usage with your eyes wide open, and you can't do it in a vacuum. You make decisions about how much of your private information to post, and you make decisions on how many "safeties" you set up.
Facebook doesn't worry me, because I allow everyone in my inner circle to enter. No one is there who I don't know personally.
The other area of concern for me are blogs, because people can send vicious messages. Even if you are monitoring the blog and filtering comments, these can still be nerve wracking, especially if you receive specific threats. This of course doesn't happen to everyone, and to me not in great regularity, but it does happen.
In that case, I use a neat little free tool called statcounter, where I can track trolls and ascertain whether 1) they are local and 2) whether they are obsessed with the blog (you can see how many times an IP address is hitting on it, for example, plus other gizmos).
I guess the bottom line is, as long as you're smart, you can use social media as a wonderful tool, but you do have to be careful. It's like roasting marshmellows over a campfire -- the campfire is wonderful to make a tasty treat, but at the same time, you exercise a great deal of caution around an open blaze.
3
Petula
Bullying on games worries me as my son plays a lot and gets really upset when people turn on each other, it spoils it for him and he loves playing online. He is getting more of a thick skin now but it just seems to be part of the whole game thing. From a safety point of view I am always wary of social sites like Facebook where you are encouraged to give loads of info about yourself. I think this can be very risky for young people who just want to be part of it all and give too much info away to people they don't know.
1
Frank
Social media worries me as it seems to have so much influence in the world but is unregulated.
1
GamerGirl
People writing really negative lies about me on indexable platforms (that appear in Google) is my biggest fear - and everyone else's! People do it to ruin people's lives and it works....everybody just prays that it's not their turn to have their lives/reputation ruined.
1
heidilynnrussell

In reply to GamerGirl

Hey GamerGirl, I just saw your post about this ... I had something similar happen with a platform we have over here called, "Topix." (Not sure they have this across the Pond or not.) I had a situation in which some people had a disagreement with me. So they went onto Topix and posted false things about me, with my full name in the subject line. This of course was a problem, because my name is actually my *business,* and people search my name on Google to decide whether to hire me. If they found the discussions on Topix, which were slanderous, it could actually affect my livelihood.
This happened on two occasions, one as recently as about 10 days ago.
My approach was that I contacted Topix about the posts and advised them that the posts were slanderous. I also stated that because I am not a public figure, Topix would be liable for any public slander posted against me.
In both instances, Topix removed the posts within 30 minutes and all chatter.
I also followed up with public posts on my Facebook page to discuss this very publicly. The reason I did so was that I feel that if your name is called into question, you must fully (and strongly) respond with the truth against the lies.
Now I am an adult, so I don't recommend going into the full-throttle attack mode for kids. I know libel laws because I am a journalist, which is also why I was able to word my emails to Topix in a manner that they took me seriously.
However, I do think that you don't have to have my experience or qualifications in order to stand up for yourself.
If someone slanders you online, do not go to the person. Go to the website where the slander is taking place, if it is a platform like Topix. Demand that they remove it immediately and that you are being libeled. (Use the word, "libel.")
If it is a private blog where someone is slandering you and you don't have their identity, the best thing to do is contact the website that hosts the blog itself (for example, Wordpress) and lodge a complaint and hope they will take it down.
In the meantime, you can also take other offensive moves. I tag many of my personal blog entries with my full name so that they always dominate search engines. That way, if someone does come after me unfairly, their posts will not go to the top of the Google rankings.
Sorry if I sounded like I was rambling, but I thought your point was really important. It happens to too many people. If you are in the United States, we have laws that protect us against slander and libel if we are private citizens (those people who do not serve in public office). You can use those laws as defense to demand that a site remove all content about you.
Hope this helps.
3
GamerGirl

In reply to heidilynnrussell

Thanks Heidi this is fantastic advice. I haven't had anything malicious published about me (that I know of) but it's great to know there are things I can do if I need to. I'm sure this is going to help lots of people. Maybe you could create a topic about this Heidi? You have lots of valuable experience with this....anyway thank you for your help : )
3
Jazz
As a parent I worry about the sexting type of pictures and photos that kids share because some of these could be used to blackmail or threaten someone. This is also a legal nightmare because if the pictures are semi-nude or in any way sexual or explicit then this may be a crime under child protection/abuse laws. This means that your son or daughter could be put on the sex offenders register (UK) and this would haunt them for the rest of their lives, both personally and professionally.
1
Reflective_Joy

In reply to Jazz

Hi Jazz, you bring up a very important point. Sexting is an issue that worries me as well with regards to today's youth and the long term effects it can have on their lives.
I am deeply concerned with children being put on the sex offenders registry. I believe that recently just happened in the UK? I believe in this case the young man (14) would have this on his record until he is 24. This basically means, if he had any aspirations when he starts university to be a nurse, social worker or in law enforcement he wouldn't be able too and perhaps not at all if he has a advanced criminal background check on him. He is paying for something he did at 14 possibly for the rest of his life.
Though I think we should without a doubt address sexting, I am not sure that is the right way to go about it. I think many that send them are just as naive as those that receive them. Furthermore, due to the risk taking behavior at that age, they don't really fully comprehend the life long implications of passing these kind of photos around. They may know its wrong, but they aren't aware to what extent it can damage someone's reputation and future career goals.

I think more needs to be done to highlight this issue. I think it needs to be part of the curriculum in school. Possibly part of the sex ed component. Furthermore, I think parents need to better understand the risks and what constitutes as sexting. I think there lacks clear guidelines. I know organizations like the NSCPP have a great section on Sexting. it's very informative and directed to both adults and children. I would definitely take a look if you haven't already.

I think too, the most difficult aspect of sexting is having that conversation with your child. It's uncomfortable for all involved. But it's imperative. I think more and more child centered organizations are publishing information and videos that can help arm parent's with the tools they need to address the issue with their children.Which I think helps minimize the stress of going into it blindly. Definitely a very tricky issue and one that is only going to get even more attention.
1
heidilynnrussell

In reply to GamerGirl

Hey GamerGirl,

Thanks -- it is one of those topics that I wish I DIDN'T have a lot of experience with, truth be told. I'm one of those people who "question everything," and as a result, I tend to ruffle feathers easily and shake up boats. Some of that is related to my job -- some of it is just my personality.
All that is to say, in life you just have to realize that not everyone will "like" you, and in fact, some people may actually despise who you are or what you stand for. As long as you are strong about your self-worth and keep that perspective, everything settles out in the end.
In the meantime, it pays to be aware of the laws that protect you from malice and slander and to never be afraid to stand up for yourself. Demand that people remove false pieces of information about you, because your name is the most valuable thing in life. You could be dirt poor, but if your name is good, that's what matters.
Glad I could be of help -- feel free to ask me questions anytime you need support!
XO
1
heidilynnrussell

In reply to GamerGirl

Oh! One more PS to Gamer Girl:
I thought you might want another tip ... the question comes up: How do you know that you're even being discussed on one of these forums or a blog?
In my case, I actually have people in my local community who are keeping tabs on my behalf and who have given me the heads-up anytime something negative is posted about me. So you can rely on your network of friends -- it pays off to have people who have your back and vice versa and who will let you know if they see something "offensive" about you on the Internet.
The other way to check is to constantly do a search on your name and your home town in any search engine. If you are being discussed on blogs or on a public forum, you'd be amazed at how quickly that heads to the top of the list. It's scary. Some people may prefer not to know they're being discussed, but I always want to know so that I can take immediate action.
Just wanted to add that! :-D