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.


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