February 26, 2014 at 12:14 PM
Kids around the world are touched by cyberbullying every single day. Whether they are the victims, the witnesses, or the bullies themselves, children are constantly coming face to face with this epidemic. As school districts, lawmakers, and parents continue to search for ways to combat this increasingly dangerous issues, mobile developers have also decided to join the fight against cyberbullying.
According to Gamesbeat, the game developer, Pixelberry Studios, has added an episode to its High School Story game that centers around cyberbullying. Oliver Miao, the Chief Executive Officer of Pixelberry, explained that the studio created “Hope's Story,” to supply guidance to teens on the issue of cyberbullying, and to introduce them to tools, such as Cybersmile, which is a resource that helps victims of bullying.
February 21, 2014 at 12:57 PM
What is the appropriate course of action for schools and cyberbullying? There may not be a right answer, but here is one administrators opinion. This article was originally posted on BlogHer.
If your child is getting cyberbullied, what can you do to help? Would you call on your child’s school to unravel the complicated drama that inevitably ensues with a bullying incident? Is school the best authority over these matters?
Bullying has become a wholly different thing than it was perhaps when you were bullied in your youth. Back in the day (meaning the pre-cell phone, pre-social media era) if your group of on-again-off-again friends decided you were off-again, they got together at lunch time and sat at a different table where there was no room for you. Or they told your boy-crush that you were crushing hard on him even though you swore them to secrecy. You suffered the day in school and maybe, if it happened to be on a Friday, your so-called friends had a sleepover without you and called you up to let you know that they were all at the ring leader’s house ... and you weren’t. Your angst, anger and hurt was extended all the way through a pint of ice cream, but not much past the weekend, as your friends remembered that your group science project was at your house and it was due on Monday. So they got over their funk, and you got over your hurt. Everyone remembered why you became friends in the first place as you finished your project together. And all was well again. (Did I just tell way too much about my middle school self? Well, perhaps, but you get the point ... )
This pain and misery lasted a day, maybe two. Nowadays, with the help of technology, bullying has taken on a whole new character that is meaner, wider spread and longer lasting. Kids are hijacking the social media of others and saying harmful things in their stead. They are posting derogatory and hurtful comments on Facebook and Formspring. They are spreading unauthorized photos and video far and wide on cell phones and the Internet.
And with an impact that is so much more profound, before parents can even help their children deal with the pain, alienation and the utter blow to their self-esteem, they just want to know how to
February 19, 2014 at 5:09 PM
The past week has been a whirlwind for British speedskater Elise Christie. In the 500-meter short track final, Christie crashed and took out Park Seung-hi, a Korean star in the sport.
As a result of her fall, Christie told Sports Illustrated that she received “a couple of thousand messages that were negative” on social media, many of which came from Korea. These messages were tough for Christie.
“I spent the last few days feeling quite down and struggling psychologically,” Christie said. “I came in yesterday and was quite emotional.”
Not only did she lose her chance at gold in the 500 by crashing, she also was disqualified in the 1500 for “a technicality” that her coach called a “s--- thing.”
To avoid the ongoing ugliness directed at her on Twitter, Christie suspended her own account, but then the story of the negative tweets directed toward her circulated in Britain, and thousands of Brits tweeted their support her boyfriend, fellow speedskater Jack Whelbourne. On top of that turnaround, the speedskating communities in Britain and Korea both showed their support for her.
February 14, 2014 at 1:44 PM
According to the Cyberbullying Research Center:
“about one out of every four teens has experienced cyberbullying, and about one out of every six teens has done it to others.”
The Center has also found that victims of cyberbullying are nearly twice as likely to attempt suicide than youth who have not experienced cyberbullying.
The overwhelmingly widespread nature of online bullying, its potentially fatal consequences and the lack of control held by adults to stop this behaviour has made this an extremely difficult problem to solve. However, 13 year old Indian American teen Viraj Puri may have found the solution for this complex issue.
February 13, 2014 at 1:11 PM
There is a new app on the block for Android and Smartphone users. The app, Yik Yak, allows users to post anonymous comments and thoughts. The app also takes into account the geographical location of the phone, using the location services of iPhone and Android phones to feed users comments that have been posted close by. The purpose of the app is to start anonymous conversation, but in the age of digital parenting it can be seen as far more sinister.
Yik Yak and It's Growth
Yik Yak debuted on Google Play in January of 2014, and entered the iPhone market in December of 2013. Since its introduction to each platform it has grown quickly. It is currently listed as the 70th most popular social networking app on the Apple App store. It has been downloaded over 6,000 times from the Google Play store and is growing by 38% each month. The free application offers young adults a platform to comment and chat anonymously with those around them. Because the application uses a phone's location services to find where the comments are being posted from, it also allows users to see comments from people that are close to them, often within a few blocks or even feet from them. The location aspect of the application has made it increasingly popular with young users, specifically those in middle school and high school, even though the application insists it is only intended for people over the age of 17. While the application restricts the age, in theory, the entire interface is skewed towards young users, with a colorful interface, cartoon-like graphics, and an easy to navigate platform.
Yik Yak's Policies and Guidelines
According to the rules and regulations of Yik Yak, users are to be aged 17 or older. Bullying, according to the app developers is strictly prohibited, and users are also prohibited from posting full names and phone numbers in their comments. Inappropriate content can be tagged for removal, but opponents of the app claim that content is not being monitored, nor are the users that are currently logged into Yik Yak. If someone wishes to have inappropriate comments removed it can be done in one of two ways;
February 9, 2014 at 12:20 PM
“If what was going on online was happening in the real world, there would be people marching. There would be social change.” - Mary Kay Hoal, Submit The Documentary
Submit The Documentary is an honest and heartbreaking film that focuses on the raw reality of cyberbullying and the effects it has on America's youth. After watching a news story that reported on the suicide of an 11-year-old boy, director Les Ottolenghi saw the need to encourage parents and their children to stand tall and fight against this epidemic of online bullying.
Production on the film began in 2011 and focused on gathering the perspectives of experts, school administrators, children of various ages, and parents of the victims whose lives were cut short. Each interview supplies the documentary's audience with substantial insight on the truths that surround society's efforts to fight cyberbullying.
February 4, 2014 at 2:16 PM
Check out the inspiring article below, originally published on Yahoo!, about one woman who is turning cyberbullying on its head. And make sure to follow this link to see the awesome video!
February 3, 2014 at 11:43 AM
There comes a time in every parent's life, when he or she realizes they start sounding like an old person. It's a sobering moment. One when you hear yourself talking about "back in my day" or "when I was your age" and you begin the long and arduous path of beating a dead horse with tidbits of what made your generation better than your children's.
February 2, 2014 at 2:14 PM
Laura sat at her laptop still steaming mad from the incident that had happened earlier with Michelle. "I'll show her!" she thought. Just then, Laura had an idea... "I can set up a bogus email account and create a fake Facebook page. I'll put Michelle in her place without her even knowing who did it." After a setting up her new identity, Laura became "Julie". Pleased with herself Julie launched a full blown cyber attack on her once friend Michelle. "See if she ever messes with me again", Julie laughed. On the other end of the computer, Michelle sat with her mouth gaping open. She couldn't believe what she was reading. "Who's Julie?" she thought. "What did I do to her?" Michelle's heart was beating fast and tears began to stream down her face.
February 1, 2014 at 4:23 PM
Last week a news story sent a shiver down my spine. During the inquest into the death of 15-year-old Tallulah Wilson, her mum called for action against the "toxic digital world" that made the last months of her daughter's life hell. It's a feeling I share.