struggles online


Cyberbullying verse Cyberstalking


The practice of cyberbullying is not limited to children and, while the behavior is identified by the same definition when practiced by adults, the distinction in age groups sometimes refers to the abuse as cyberstalking or cyberharassment when perpetrated by adults toward adults. Common tactics used by cyberstalkers are performed in public forums, social media or online information sites and are intended to threaten a victim's earnings, employment, reputation, or safety. Behaviors may include encouraging others to harass the victim and trying to affect a victim's online participation. Many cyberstalkers try to damage the reputation of their victim and turn other people against them.

Cyberstalking may include false accusations, monitoring, making threats, identity theft, damage to data or equipment, the solicitation of minors for sex, or gathering information in order to harass. A repeated pattern of such actions and harassment against a target by an adult constitutes cyberstalking.[4] There are consequences of law in offline stalking and online stalking, and cyber-stalkers can be put in jail.[5] Cyberstalking is a form of cyberbullying.

In schools

The safety of schools is increasingly becoming a focus of state legislative action. There was an increase in cyberbullying enacted legislation between 2006-2010.[14]

In 2012, a group of teens in New Haven, Connecticut developed an app to help fight bullying. Called "Back Off Bully" (BOB), the web app is an anonymous resource for computer, smart phone or iPad. When someone witnesses or is the victim of bullying, they can immediately report the incident. The app asks questions about time, location and how the bullying is happening. As well as providing positive action and empowerment over an incident, the reported information helps by going to a data base where administrators study it. Common threads are spotted so others can intervene and break the bully's pattern.[15] BOB, the brainchild of fourteen teens in a design class, is being considered as standard operating procedure at schools across the state.

Cyber Bullying





the act of harassing someone online by sending or posting mean messages, usually anonymously.

How to Recognize it

A lot of innocent teasing happens on Facebook and via text message. So when does a good joke go bad? When someone "repeatedly harasses, mistreats, or makes fun of another person," say Sameer Hinduja and Justin Patchin, co-directors of the Cyberbullying Research Center.

In their research, the two academics found that approximately 20 percent of students admitted to having cyberbullied. However, many more students reported incidents that fall under its definition. Posting mean or hurtful comments and spreading rumors online was the most common complaint in their random survey of 4,400 students ages 10 to 18 in February 2010.

Not surprisingly, it is most prevalent among middle schoolers, and adolescent girls are more likely to have experienced cyberbullying than boys-25.8 percent versus 16 percent. Girls are more likely to spread rumors, while boys are more likely to post hurtful pictures or videos.

"Cyberbullying is tailor-made for the relational aggression and rumors that girls typically engage in," says Patchin, associate professor of criminal justice at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and co-author with Hinduja of Bullying Beyond the Schoolyard: Preventing and Responding to Cyberbullying.

While research shows that cyberbullying makes both boys and girls feel angry, sad, and embarrassed, girls are more likely to react with frustration-"Why doesn't anyone like me?"-while boys are more often scared, perhaps of back alley retribution. And as we all know from recent headlines, in the most extreme cases, cyberbullying can trigger violence or suicide.

It's also different from traditional bullying in challenging ways. The bully can remain anonymous and unaware of the pain inflicted on the target. Middle school kids who are just learning to navigate the social scene may not realize how hurtful online comments can be.

"It emboldens some kids to bully who wouldn't otherwise, because they can hide behind a computer screen," says Patchin. Most disturbing is the lasting impact of cyberbullying. Once something goes viral, the harassment is continuous because it is shared, repeated, and nearly impossible to erase.

5 Websites teachers should watch out for

These social networking sites, popular among tweens and teens, can be a breeding ground for cyberbullying.

1. Formspring
Formspring users anonymously post comments about other people. In essence, it is an open invitation for insults and gossip, and has been linked to the suicide of 17-year-old Alexis Pilkington.

2. Chat Roulette
Users are randomly matched with strangers around the world to engage in webcam-based conversations. According to a March 2010 survey conducted by RJMetrics, 13 percent of users are either nude or appear to be engaging in a lewd act.

3. Stickam
Stickam features live streaming video, audio, images, and video chat. With more than 4 million members and content from networks like MTV, G4, and CBS, the site seems to be reputable. However, the New York Times reported three predator arrests linked to the site.

4. Foursquare
A location-based app in which users identify where they're located in return for virtual badges like "Mayor" and "Super Mayor." It can be used to broadcast exclusion and could be dangerous since kids could be revealing their locations to strangers.

5. 4chan
4chan is an anonymous digital bulletin board mostly used for the posting of manga and anime. It's "no-rules" policies have provoked media attention. Source: SafetyWeb
Cyber Bullying