QuickLinks - Cyber-bullying
QuickLinks - Cyber-bullying
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Issue no. 403 - 24 November 2009
Online gaming's dirty little secret
There's no denying that the online multiplayer experience is a major selling point for video games like the just-released Modern Warfare 2. The ability to play with (and against) other players from around the world adds an expanded dimension and a social component that single-player titles lack. But while the bulk of the mainstream media criticism of these games tends to focus on the violence, gore, and questionable ethics in such combat-centric titles, little is spoken about a growing issue that can affect online gamers playing any title: instances of racism, misogyny, and homophobia.
Issue no. 402 - 18 October 2009
UK - Bullied girl's parents warn of 'huge pressures' of Facebook
The parents of a 15-year-old schoolgirl who jumped to her death after being bullied on Facebook have spoken of the "huge pressures" placed on young people by social networking sites. Holly Grogan died after plunging 30ft from a road bridge near her home on to a dual carriageway, where she was hit by passing traffic. She was found under a bridge in Churchdown, Gloucestershire, two miles from her home.
UK - Facebook threats woman detained
A teenager has been detained for three months in a young offenders' institution for harassing a woman on social networking website Facebook. Keeley Houghton swore at and threatened Emily Moore in person and on the internet in July, Worcester Magistrates' Court heard. The 18-year-old of Elgar Avenue, in Malvern, Worcestershire, admitted a charge of harassment on 31 July. She was also given a five-year restraining order. Houghton is prohibited from contacting Ms Moore, or commenting about her on any social networking system or website during that time.
Issue no. 399 - 7 June 2009
IE - New 02 service will block unwanted messages
A service allowing mobile phone users to block unwanted messages from other phones will be available from next month. The service, designed to combat bullying on mobile phones is being offered by O2 and is likely to appeal in particular to parents worried about their children's exposure to such threats. O2's service, called Block It, allows O2 customers to block unwanted text, picture and video messages from other mobile phone numbers.
Issue no. 397 - 8 March 2009
EU - Safer Internet Day 2009: Commission starts campaign against cyber-bullying
A video clip on cyber-bullying has been produced for the European Commission. It is available in all EU languages plus in Norwegian and Icelandic. The video will be broadcast on public and private TV channels all over Europe throughout 2009 and will kick off on Safer Internet Day (10 February). A longer version of the video will also be posted on the internet on sites popular with teenagers such as: Arto, Skyrock, Piczo, Habbo Hotel, Myspace UK, YouTube, Dailymotion, BeboIE. The video clip shows a young girl who is victim of cyberbullying, but fights back and reports the problem to her social networking site. Her appearance goes through different stages of transformation, reflecting the way that bullies are distorting her photo on a website. Finally, the girl takes control by pressing the "Report abuse" button available on the social networking site and everything comes back to normal. "Block bullying online! Keep it fun, keep control" is the final message of the video. It shows young people that there are solutions to the problems they may face on the Internet. The video closes with the website and phone number where teenagers can find help and advice in their country. The video clip can be seen at http://www.keepcontrol.eu/.
EU will mit dem "Safer Internet Day" Cyber-Mobbing bekämpfen
Nach Angaben der Europäischen Kommission in Brüssel wurde bereits jeder fünfte Schüler in Deutschland im Internet gemobbt. In anderen EU-Ländern ist Cyber-Mobbing sogar noch verbreiteter. Untersuchungen ergaben, dass in Großbritannien jeder dritte Jugendliche und in Polen sogar jeder Zweite schon einmal im Netz fertiggemacht wurde. Cyber-Mobbing steht deshalb im Zentrum des "Safer Internet Day", an dem Schüler und Lehrer weltweit dazu aufgerufen sind, über die Gefahren im Internet zu diskutieren.
Issue no. 396 - 8 February 2009
CZ - Czech move to stop cyber bullying
The Czech education ministry has drawn up guidelines for teachers to halt the spread of cyber bullying in schools. Some Czech children have attempted to blackmail teachers or classmates by posting video clips of them on the internet. The guidelines offered schools more options than simply confiscating mobile phones or banning their use during classes.
Issue no. 394 - 7 December 2008
US - Guilty Verdict in Cyberbullying Case Provokes Many Questions Over Online Identity
(New York Times)
Is lying about one's identity on the Internet now a crime? The verdict in the MySpace cyberbullying case raised a variety of questions about the terms that users agree to when they log on to Web sites. The defendant in the case was convicted by a federal jury on three misdemeanor counts of computer fraud for having misrepresented herself on the popular social network MySpace. The woman, Lori Drew, posed as a teenage boy in using the account to send first friendly and then menacing messages to Megan Meier, 13, who killed herself shortly after receiving a message in October 2006 that said in part, "The world would be a better place without you." MySpace's terms of service require users to submit "truthful and accurate" registration information. Ms. Drew's creation of a phony profile amounted to "unauthorized access" to the site, prosecutors said, a violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986, which until now has been used almost exclusively to prosecute hacker crimes.
Issue no. 392 - 5 October 2008
US - Kids keep parents in the dark about cyberbullying
Three out of four teens were bullied online over a 12 month period, according to a
released by psychologists at the University of California, Los Angeles. And while that number may seem high at the outset, only 1 in 10 of those kids told their parents or another adult about it, the study showed.
Issue no. 388 - 1 June 2008
US 'cyber-bully' mother indicted
A Missouri woman who allegedly used a fake MySpace profile to bully a girl who later committed suicide has been indicted by a federal Grand Jury. Lori Drew, 49, allegedly posed as a boy on the website to befriend Megan Meier, 13, who hanged herself after he broke off the virtual relationship. Ms Drew denies creating the profile on the social networking website and sending messages to Meier.
Lori Drew Indicted in MySpace Suicide Case.
(.pdf) alleges that Drew and her co-conspirators violated MySpace's terms of service, which require registrants to provide truthful registration information and refrain from soliciting personal information from anyone under 18 or using information obtained from MySpace services to harass or harm other people, among other terms. See also
Experts Say MySpace Suicide Indictment Sets 'Scary' Legal Precedent
(Wired). Federal prosecutors in Los Angeles are resorting to a novel and dangerous interpretation of a decades-old computer crime law - potentially making a felon out of anybody who violates the terms of service of any website.
Issue no. 387 - 12 May 2008
US - Lovestruck MySpace teen not guilty of harassment, court says
by Declan McCullagh. NeW York State prosecutors decided to charge Isaiah Rodriguez, 18, of aggravated harassment and endangering the welfare of a child over a series of MySpace.com messages professing his ardent devotion to a 14-year-old girl. Fortunately, the New York City criminal court thought otherwise. In a ruling on April 4, Judge Michael Gerstein in Brooklyn hels that while the actions of a love-struck teenager may well be foolish, reckless, or otherwise acts which might not be expected from a mature adult, they are not, without more, elevated to crimes.
US - Schoolyard Face-Offs Blamed on Facebook Taunts
Teens are conducting an increasing share of their social lives electronically, via text-messaging, e-mail and social networking sites such as Facebook. Threats, harassment and bullying have followed them online. Although such behavior is not new, research suggests that it is expanding rapidly, and educators and lawmakers seem resolved to pay closer attention to the words students exchange online while off campus.
Issue no. 385 - 21 March 2008
UK - Teachers warn over cyber bullying
Teachers are warning parents they need to be more aware about the potential misuse of the internet and mobile phones by their children. A survey of Association of Teachers and Lecturers members says more than half know of pupils being "cyber bullied" and 16% have been victims themselves. Union leaders said schools should use the available sanctions, such as confiscating phones, more consistently.
Issue no. 384 - 24 February 2008
DE - Lehrerbenotungen im Internet: 3:0 für Spickmich
Das Landgericht Köln hat im Rechtsstreit zwischen einer Gymnasiallehrerin und dem Schülerportal "Spickmich" erneut gegen die Lehrerin entschieden. Diese will gerichtlich erzwingen, dass ihre persönlichen Daten und Bewertungen gelöscht werden. Bei "Spickmich" können Schüler Bewertungen über ihre Lehrer in Kategorien wie "cool und witzig", "faire Noten" oder "menschlich" abgeben. Die Gymnasiallehrerin, die zunächst lediglich die Note 4,3 erhalten hatte, sieht darin eine Verletzung ihrer Persönlichkeitsrechte und klagt auf Unterlassung. Das Gericht wies die Klage der Lehrerin jedoch als "unzulässig" ab. Das Grundrecht auf Meinungsfreiheit gelte zwar nicht unbeschränkt, sondern finde seine Grenzen bei reinen Schmähkritiken und Beleidigungen, doch davon könne bei "Spickmich" nicht die Rede sein. "Durch die Bewertungen sind nicht das Erscheinungsbild oder die allgemeine Persönlichkeit der Klägerin betroffen, sondern die konkrete Ausübung ihrer beruflichen Tätigkeit", argumentierten die Richter.
FR - La Cnil et l'Education Nationale condamnent les pratiques de Note2be.com
La pression monte contre le site « Note2be.com » ; créé fin janvier, il propose aux élèves de noter leurs enseignants, en les citant nommément, ainsi que le nom de l'établissement et la matière qu'ils enseignent. Le site fait l'objet d'une enquête officielle de la part de la Commission nationale de l'informatique et des libertés, qui dit avoir été saisie de 17 plaintes et de plus de 160 signalements. La Cnil a « effectué en urgence un contrôle sur place, le mercredi 13 février », indique-t-elle dans un communiqué.
Issue no. 383 - 27 January 2008
FR - Arrests for threat to Sarkozy son
Two men have been arrested in France over mobile phone death threats to the 10-year-old son of French President Nicolas Sarkozy. Interior Minister Michele Alliot-Marie confirmed a report by Le Point magazine that Louis Sarkozy had received several threatening phone calls.
UK - Soaring number of teachers say they are 'cyberbully' victims
Soaring numbers of teachers are calling helplines for advice on how to cope after being "cyberbullied" on the internet by their pupils. The Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) said that it now receives a call every day from teachers who say they have become victims. The problem was unheard of just two years ago. Pupils are scouring the internet looking for embarrassing photographs of them. They also use chatrooms and networking sites, such as Facebook or Bebo, to share incriminating material or make vicious accusations about their tutors.
Issue no. 381 - 8 December 2007
Electronic Media, Violence, and Adolescents: An Emerging Public Health Problem
(Journal of Adolescent Health)
Adolescents' access to and use of new media technology (e.g., cell phone, personal data assistant, computer for Internet access) are on the rise, and this explosion of technology brings with it potential benefits and risks. Attention is growing about the risk of adolescents to become victims of aggression perpetrated by peers with new technology. In September 2006, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention convened a panel of experts in technology and youth aggression to examine this specific risk. This special issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health presents the data and recommendations for future directions discussed at the meeting. The articles in the Journal support the argument that electronic aggression is an emerging public health problem in need of additional prevalence and etiological research to support the development and evaluation of effective prevention programs.
UK - YouTube tackles bullying online
The first online anti-bullying channel has been launched to encourage young people to denounce the intimidation. YouTube has set up a site where youngsters can post their own videos and messages. It follows growing concern about the increase in persecution by e-mail, mobile phone and on social networking sites, known as cyberbullying. The scheme is being launched at the start of anti-bullying week and is run jointly with charity Beatbullying.
US - Web hoax led girl to kill herself
Megan Meier thought she had made a new friend in cyberspace when a cute teenage boy named Josh contacted her on MySpace and began exchanging messages with her. Megan, a 13-year-old who suffered from depression and attention deficit disorder, corresponded with Josh for more than a month before he abruptly ended their friendship, telling her he had heard she was cruel. The next day Megan committed suicide. Her family learned later that Josh never actually existed; he was created by members of a neighborhood family that included a former friend of Megan's. See also
Cyberbullying Suicide Stokes the Internet Fury Machine
Issue no. 380 - 30 September 2007
UK - Fight cyberbullies, schools told
Schools are being given guidance urging them to take firm action against pupils who use mobile phones and the internet to bully other children and teachers. More than a third of 12 to 15-year-olds have faced some kind of cyberbullying, according to a government study. Ministers are also launching an awareness campaign on the social networking sites used by many pupils. Schools have been told they can confiscate mobile phones and how to get hurtful material pulled from websites. see
Safe to Learn: embedding anti-bullying work in schools
(Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) and
Directgov cyberbullying campaign
(BBC Radio 4).
UK - Putting a stop to the cyberbullies
Cyberbullying is becoming more and more of a problem for children, and schools and parents are finding it hard to cope.
Issue no. 378 - 5 August 2007
UK - Teachers in websites closure call
Teachers have called for websites such as YouTube to be shut down as part of efforts to prevent pupils and staff being bullied. Delegates at the conference of the Professional Association of Teachers (PAT) said bullying can continue outside school and work hours. They said bullies can send abusive text messages or e-mails to victims.
Issue no. 377 - 5 July 2007
UK - Warning over 'bullying by mobile'
One in five young people has been bullied by mobile phone or via the internet, a study suggests. Children's charity NCH surveyed 770 youngsters and found 14% of 11- to 19-year-olds had been threatened or harassed using text messages. Bullies had used images taken with mobile phone cameras to intimidate or embarrass one in 10 young people.
US - Cyber-bullying gathers pace
One third of US online teenagers have been victims of cyber-bullying according to research by the Pew Internet Project. The most common complaint from teens was about private information being shared rather than direct threats. Girls were more likely than boys to be targets and teens who share their identities online are the most vulnerable, the survey found.
Issue no. 375 - 9 May 2007
CA - Majority of Canadian teens in survey report being bullied online
Cyber-bullying is disturbingly common among Canadian teens, with a majority who responded to an online survey saying they have been bullied online, according to a report. The report, Cyber-bullying: Our Kids' New Reality, drew from nearly 2,500 responses to a survey conducted by Kids Help Phone between Dec. 20, 2006, and Jan. 20, 2007. Kids Help Phone and Bell Canada released the report in a handful of Canadian cities.
Schoolgirls bullied into stripping online
Bullies are no longer content to taunt their victims in the playground but are turning to cyberspace, according to Canadian researchers. They are using e-mail, text messaging and social networking sites in new forms of victimization. Cyber bullies are even forcing their girlfriends to undress in front of webcams and then sharing the images with others online, said Professor Faye Mishna, of the University of Toronto, who has been researching the cyber abuse of children. Preliminary results from the research show so-called computer geeks are becoming the new schoolyard bullies. Final results of the study, which will be completed in June, are expected to be published in the autumn.
UK - Cyber bullying threat to teachers
Teachers are calling for much tougher restrictions to protect staff from 'cyber bullying' by pupils. The Association of Teachers and Lecturers has warned of the distress caused to teachers by anonymous, malicious comments on websites. 'Offensive' comments and mocking video clips should not be allowed to undermine teachers' authority.
Links to news items about legal and regulatory aspects of Internet and the information society, particularly those relating to information content, and market and technology.
QuickLinks consists of
a free newsletter appearing approximately every two to three weeks. The newsletter is distributed by electronic mail through an "announcement only" mailing list.
a Web site with frequent updates, an events page, news items organised by category as well as chronologically by issue and full text search.
QuickLinks is edited by Richard Swetenham
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