Cyberbullying in the news

Despite the attention it gets, cyberbullying seems to only to be mentioned in casual conversations until a story gets mainstream or social media attention.  It then fades away into the horizon awaiting the next “breaking news” story.  Yesterday was that day, a series of articles appeared as a result of one story and then branched out into several topics of discussion on the issue.  Will it still be in the forefront of most people’s thoughts tomorrow or Friday?  The victims and the families of the victims will tell you, for them it’s in their mind everyday.

Yesterday there was a guilty plea for one of the perpetrators in an infamous Halifax, Canada case.  Publication bans prevent the disclosing of any names but simple research could tell you what the case was about.  You can read some perspective on the case and others like it here.

That case and the media attention it got did a number of things to trigger conversations yesterday.   Privacy pundits used it to bolster their opposition to the current government’s Cyberbullying Bill.  You can read one of those articles here.

Internet Safety promoters used it on social media channels to promote their favourite web resource on cyberbullying including the Government’s page.

And social network companies used the opportunity to promote what they are doing to combat cyberbullying in their networks for their users.  Facebook launched an anti-cyberbullying campaign in Australia, a country that has strong laws to handle these cases.  Read more here.

Speaking about social networks, there was a small movement to violate the publication ban by social media users, to give the victim a name.  Justice should be served for someone after all.    A hash-tag was created on Twitter with comments like: Publication ban a joke The system should be ashamed of itself by trying to silence this injustice ” 

All in all cyberbullying made the news yesterday, for one victim and her family in Halifax, a small relief in the name of justice for their daughter.   Despite the noise, more needs to be done to prevent the victimization of mostly teens at the hands of their peers.


Fall brings new opportunities for bullies; stand-up against them

Now that summer has past, school brings new challenges for kids.  Bullies take advantage by seeking out new victims such as first year students or newly transferred students who came from other places.  Don’t let them make you a target, if they do, stand up to them.

Here are a couple of new initiatives launched over the late summer to look at.

An interactive video produced by the Government of Canada; #wordshurt.  Give it a try.

The Ontario Provincial Police launched a new app to help with how to manage situations when someone is asking you to send inappropriate pictures.  Using the app, you could send them one of the sample photos instead.  You get to laugh at and embarrass them as well as show them that you are not going to fall prey to their trickery.

Click here to learn about and download the free app.  Sendthisinstead.


Developers need to be more responsible

We are constantly disappointed and discouraged by developers who design mobile apps to make cyberbullying easier.  Why not develop apps to help minimize the issue rather than fuel it.  These apps encourage the use of digital devices to record and share “self-incriminating” stories or events purported  as humour.  What they don’t do is protect the users who were trying to have fun with the app from the trolls that choose to use it for purposes other than was intended.  They take the opportunity to be mean or exploitative causing undue harm for other app users.

The latest app to join this group is called “Awkward”.  It allows someone to post a 10 second video “confession” of something they may not normally have shared publicly.  The app gives you the ability to slightly blur your face while recording yourself using your phone’s video camera.

You can read about the app here.  There is a short YouTube video showing how it works here.

The website has a few more details about it here.

The app is only available for any iOS device ( iPhone, iPad etc.) currently (for now) .

This is a bad idea on many levels.  Please don’t use this app.



Sextortion – A global epidemic

Take the opportunity this summer to raise this issue with your teenagers.  Innocent fun in video chats or other online communications can lead to serious consequences for many.  If you don’t know the dangers lurking out there how can you expect your children to.  Educate and guide them so this doesn’t happen to your family.

Read more…



It’s not OK


70% of 13-22 year olds have experienced cyberbullying – and that’s not OK.

Sadly, bullying isn’t anything new. Some people, for a myriad of reasons, find themselves being hurtful to others. The same is true of cyberbullying.

With so many opportunities to ‘publish’ our thoughts, these days bullying can move from the confines of the playground and into the spotlight of the Internet, for all to see. These hurtful messages can lead to sometimes quite devastating consequences. In many cases, it isn’t a simple matter of just ignoring it or going offline. Cyberbullying hurts and it’s time we all stopped and said, “IT’S NOT OK”.

The launch of KINSA’s new website, NobodyStandsAlone, seeks to help teens, parents and educators combat cyberbullying and change the way bullying is viewed. Once bullies were feared, some might even say revered. But enough is enough – it’s time to stand together to say it’s not OK and bullies won’t be tolerated. By associating the word ‘bully’ with something so abhorrent you’d be horrified to be labeled that, perhaps we might finally turn the tide on this age-old tactic.

To read more and get some great tips on the subject, go to