Cyberbullying

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Parents Say Bullying is Widespread

According to a recent article in Education Week , 47.7% of 6- to 10-year-old children and more than 50% of children older than 11 have reported experiences of being bullied. The survey of parents by Comparitech also found that over 82.8% of bullying takes place at school, and online it's most common for children to be bullied on Instagram, Facebook or Snapchat. What is your experience? Is there more or less bullying going on despite the abundance of programs aimed at combating it?

The Changing Face of Free Speech in the Digital Age?

The Colorado Supreme Court is considering whether a teenager's tweets are considered free speech. The case stems from tweets sent between two students, in different states that did not know each other, that included threats of violence in the aftermath of the shooting that happened at Arapahoe High School in 2013. One of the students was arrested for harassment, but his conviction was overturned. Traditionally, for something to qualify as a true threat, there is usually a face-to-face confrontation where the harm would potentially be imminent. Experts now say they believe the courts might eventually need to decide whether a person's fear of harm is enough to constitute a true threat.

Bully a Robot and See What Happens to a Teen Brain Being Bullied

Grey New York and national nonprofit Stomp Out Bullying have partnered with clinical psychologist Dr. Jeff Gardere to create an artificial intelligence robot called "Emma" that shows how teenage brains are detrimentally affected by online bullying. A short video embedded in the article shows what happens to "Emma" as she's subjected to a plethora of hateful comments. The robot is designed for teachers, parents and teenagers to use to witness what happens to a teen brain when it is constantly bullied and taunted. Says Dr. Gardere, “… if we can help teens understand what happens when bullying occurs, we can empower them to do better."

Viral Fight Videos Worry Bullying Foes

Viral videos of school fights that show up on social media can incite widespread violence and abuse, with harm coming to perpetrators as well as victims, experts say. Citing a middle school incident that proliferated over social media, licensed clinical social worker Erin Rapp reminds students, "You have to protect each other and look out for each other."

Snapchat Encouraging Kindness

As reported in The Drum,  Snapchat is continuing its partnership with the Ad Council (public service announcement creator), to roll out a new "Because of You" anti-bullying campaign. The campaign, aimed at teens, encourages Snapchat users to use the Lens Carousel feature (part of the app) to share a moment on how another individual made a positive impact in their life.  ‘”Because of You” is a movement that encourages teens to reflect on the power of their words and actions, and consider how they are affecting others – for better or worse. The campaign encourages a more empathetic, inclusive culture by asking users to consider the impact of their actions.

Snapchat and the Ad Council will also co-host a ‘Creators for Good’ summit as part of Snap’s ongoing Creator’s Lab workshop series, inviting creators to the Santa Monica Creator’s Lounge to learn how to use their creative talents to promote social good initiatives.

 

Facebook CEO Calls for More Internet Regulation

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg calls for more Internet content regulation in a recently published op-ed in The Washington Post. He urges new governance pertaining to "harmful content, election integrity, privacy and data portability." He also says that “By updating the rules for the Internet, we can preserve what's best about it -- the freedom for people to express themselves and for entrepreneurs to build new things -- while also protecting society from broader harms." Check out these rules for keeping safe on Facebook on the WikiHow site.

Google Docs Being Used to Skirt Social Media Bans and Cyberbully

Lifehacker reports that some students are using Google Docs to bypass social media bans at school and, increasingly, to engage in bullying. Google Docs, a seemingly innocuous (and approved by most schools) tool for writing and sharing work and photos is being hijacked for popularity polls, memes and much worse, and most parents have no idea that this school approved app could be used this way.  The parental-control mobile app, Bark, reports more than 60,000 cases of bullying via Google Docs.

A Free Speech Library for Social Media Troubles

According to National Public Radio/Michigan, Michigan State University has launched the McLellan Online Free Speech Library at https://mclellanlib.com to help support students who may be facing disciplinary action from schools for their online speech, including in social media posts and videos. Among other things, the online library will offer students resources, case studies and other documents that may help them better understand their rights. This is a good resource to know about if you find yourself in a situation, whether your child is the one accused or a victim of online abuse.

Bullying Prevention at School – Six Rules

Is your children’s school struggling with what to about bullying and cyberbullying? No single practice stops cruelty, but a combination of proven strategies used by committed staff trained in anti-bullying can help. Read Dr. Michele Borba’s six rules that can help defeat the culture of bullying and replace it with the power of character and then pass it along to your school. 

How School Can Protect Networks From Student Hackers

Student hackers are an increasing threat when it comes to infiltrating K-12 school networks, says John Mullen of SonicWall. In a recent article in EdTech online, he writes, “While external cybercriminals seek Social Security numbers and financial information using ransomware, student hackers commit inside jobs with the hope of changing grades, stealing passwords, infecting computers with malware, accessing or hijacking secure school or district websites or even posting inappropriate image”. He also shares several steps that schools can take to help protect their networks from student hackers, including compliance with the Children's Internet Protection Act.

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