"I Was Jailed for Cyberbullying"

Read the account from the first British person to be jailed for cyber bullying She speaks of her regret at posting a death threat online. 

Keeley Houghton, 18, was sent to a young offenders' institute for three months in 2009 after writing on a social networking site that she was going to "murder" a fellow teenage girl.

The incident happened after an ongoing feud with Keeley's victim. Keeley said she she attempted to apologize to the girl on the night before she posted the message, but says her victim wouldn't listen.

"It was understandable, but I was so angry, even through to the next day," Keeley recalled on This Morning today (12 September).

"I was sat with a friend at my house and I wrote what I wrote. I don't even know what I was thinking. I didn't think she would see it. I wasn't friends with her on the social networking site."

Keeley, who is now a reformed character, removed the message within 24 hours and explained: "I knew it was wrong. I thought about it and thought, 'No, I shouldn't have written it'. So I just took it down.

"I don't know why I said it. It wasn't a threat I was going to go through with, it was just something I wrote at the time." 

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Are People Being Cyberbullied on Twitter?

Check out this article on NoBullying.com about how Twitter provides a unique platform for bullying.

It seems that the bullying, harassment and abuse that occurs on the social networking platform Twitter, one of the most popular social networking platforms in the world that’s meant to bring people together, has sadly become a common occurrence – it’s expected. As bad as the abuse has been over the past several years, it also seems that it’s escalating these days with racism, bomb threats, sexual and violent threats against women, etc.

Twitter has had a system in place to reduce bullying and harassment, but it’s just not effective and doesn’t work. The current system in place allows users to fill out a “report abuse” form, but this clearly doesn’t work. We see the abuse every day on Twitter. You don’t have to look hard to find it, all you have to do is click on something that’s currently trending or receiving negative feedback in the news and you’ll see massive amounts of profanity, bullying and threats.

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Pew Research Center Study -- Teens, Social Media, and Privacy

This is one study that all parents (and all people in general, really) need to check out! It is all about teens, social media and privacy and has great facts on what teens post, what social media sites they use the most, what areas they are concerned about while online, and much more. This study is full of great information. The more you know, the better equipped you will be to keep your kid's safe!    

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Teachers "Friending" or Following Students to Prevent Cyberbullying?

Cyberbullying is a growing problem among children, but the effects can last much longer than the event itself. Once something goes online, it can be almost impossible to take it down...and humiliation can follow a child for the rest of their life. However, some teachers are turning to a new method of watching and controlling things: "Friending" or following their students.

The keystone of this strategy is the fact that social media sites, by design, are intended to share information with a particular group of people. This can be as small as a Tweet group of friends or as long as an essay re-published to thousands of people with one click of a button. However, as easy as it is to follow students, following the bullies with the intention of stopping their behavior is not the best strategy for preventing cyberbullying, even if teachers are the ones doing it.

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Digital Parenting: What Every Parent Needs to Know About Snapchat

Keeping up to date with the evolution of social media can be a challenge for any parent, but familiarizing yourself with the latest trends is a vital part of digital parenting. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are the most popular social media outlets, but there are many less known apps that are gaining a large teen following. One app that is taking over social media is Snapchat. Snapchat, which is used largely by teens and young adults, allows its users to send pictures to their friends that self-destruct after they are viewed. Unfortunately, the promise of a picture disappearing is not entirely true. The person receiving the photo can choose to take a screenshot of it. Even though the sender is notified the screenshot was taken, once the recipient has acquired the photograph how they choose to use the image is out of the original senders hands.

With the allure of a picture vanishing once it is viewed, Snapchat has become an app that is widely used for taking photos of a sexual natures. While parents are aware of sexting by text message, they may not realize their teens have found a new way to send inappropriate images of themselves. Snapchat's advertising as a self-destructing photo app has created a false sense of security in teens and young adults. The reality that the receiver of the image can take a screenshot of the photo and use it any way they want without the senders consent is a consequence a teen may not fully comprehend.

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10 Things Parents Do On Social Media That Embarass Their Kids

Most adolescents and teens can’t imagine a world without Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites. As a parent, you may feel a responsibility to monitor your child’s social media use, and that makes sense. 

However, it’s important to make a distinction between necessary monitoring, which you’re doing for your child’s safety, and simply impinging on their social life and interactions with their friends. Facebook for kids is a form of interaction – one that most children want limited to their peers as much as possible. 

Here are 10 things that parents do on social media that might be embarrasing to their children: 

1. Posting Too Much

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Digital Parenting: How to Deal with a “Cry for Help” on Facebook

Those of us who are in their thirties remember a time when the things that parents did and the things that kids did were totally separate.  Parents went to work, had dinner parties with their friends, or went to movies or the theatre.  Teens, on the other hand, hung out with friends at school, gossiped in the cafeteria, and went to raucous parties at each other’s places.  The only time that parents were able to monitor teens was when they were at home in the evenings.  Before the advent of cell phones, you couldn’t get in touch with anyone at a moment’s notice.

Now, the two worlds overlap all the time on Facebook, where parents as well as children have accounts.  It’s easy to keep an eye on teens by logging in and taking a look at their latest posts, especially if the teen has agreed to be “friends” with his/her parents on Facebook.  Although teens may not always want their parents to know what they’re up to, who they’re communicating with, and what exactly they’re saying, you still find many teens posting nasty comments about others when they know that their parents are sure to see them.

Do these kids just not realize that Facebook is not like a private diary?  Or are they actually hoping to be noticed by engaging in behaviors that psychologists call a “cry for help”?  A good example of a “cry for help” in real life, as opposed to the digital arena, is when a person swallows a large number of sleeping pills, but not enough to kill him/her, just enough to get him/her some attention from loved ones.  The person doesn’t know what to do to make things better and hopes to shock others into paying attention.  There are also more everyday “cries for help,” sometimes referred to as “acting out.”  These take the form of throwing tantrums, locking the door to one’s room, or constantly engaging in risky behaviors to get the attention of parents.

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Is it Safe For My Teen? Monitoring Twitter Will Make it Safer

Twitter, which was founded in 2006, began as a text messaging service for people to connect within a small group.  A tweet, a message consisting of up to 140 characters, is what Twitter is made up of. Photos and videos can be included within your message.

The use of hashtags on Twitter is a way people link to a certain topic. Twitter publishes trending topics on the site throughout the day. 

The information you put out there is done so in real-time. The information is shared instantly.

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Crack Down On Summer Vacation Cyberbullying

With summer vacation just around the corner, kids have much more free time on their hands for social networking than they did during the school year. With that absence of face-to-face contact and communication that kids are normally exposed to during school hours, cyberbullies are provided a “protective shield” from real-life consequences. Hiding behind the safety of a keyboard, bullies feel invulnerable to any possible negative repercussions of their behavior, making them far more vicious in their attacks. Consider the following few tips on keeping your kids safe from cyberbullying this summer vacation, when decidedly taking preventative measures, or if your child falls prey to one's attacks. Be sure to instruct your children on the proper procedures to execute if they encounter online harassment.

Don't Fight Fire With Fire

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Teens Abandoning Facebook for Twitter?

The social network training wheels parents provided for Facebook are beginning to shift to something new now that teenagers are moving more exclusively to other social network sites like Twitter. With adults seeming to be taking over Facebook and the endless battles over privacy issues, can teens really find more peace, tranquility and safety over at Twitter? According to a Pew Report, kids were finding better methods of expression on Twitter (and Instagram) than Facebook has ever provided.

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Guest Post: Creating a Tween-Friendly Environment On Social Media

Our first guest post comes from Patrick Coombe. He  works for,  Elite Strategies , an internet marketing agency in Florida, and is a proud Father.  Here is his take on creating a tween-friendly environment on social media. 

Whether we like it or not, we all know that tweeners are more active on social media now than ever.

Take a look down any hallway in a middle-school, and you will see kids everywhere hiding their smart phones in their lockers and bags to make a quick text or social media update.

We don't need to review the consequences and dangers of children being online unattended.  We see stories about it each night on prime time TV. Horrific stories of children being abducted and held in the custody of demented strangers. 

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Digital Parenting: How To Do It Like a Pro

Dads and moms can’t be everywhere at once. While we would all like to be able to meet all of our work, family, and social obligations while still being able to keep both eyes squarely on our kids at all times, life just doesn’t work that way. Still we need to be conscientious parents and we’d like to know what’s going on with our kids for those hours a day that their heads are burrowed into their phones, tablets, laptops, and computers. Digital parenting is one of the newest trends sweeping the nation and this is something which has been borne out of both curiosity and necessity. 

What it is: Digital parenting gives parents the tools they need to monitor their kid’s virtual activities. It’s no secret that there are bad people out in the world. The virtual and literal anonymity of many corners of the online world have made it vital that your kids be kept an eye on.

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10 Things Parents Do On Social Media That Embarrass Their Kids

Most adolescents and teens can’t imagine a world without Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites. As a parent, you may feel a responsibility to monitor your child’s social media use, and that makes sense.

However, it’s important to make a distinction between necessary monitoring, which you’re doing for your child’s safety, and simply impinging on their social life and interactions with their friends. Facebook for kids is a form of interaction – one that most children want limited to their peers as much as possible.

Here are 10 things that parents do on social media that might be embarrasing to their children: 

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Why Pheed will Replace Your Child's Facebook and Instagram

Pheed is the latest in social media and is positioned to replace Facebook and Instagram in the near future. Why? Because it offers so much more sharing options than Facebook, Youtube and Instagram combined and some of its features will make your online parenting harder. 

What is Pheed?

Pheed is a social media app that is available only on iPhones and online. Soon, it will also be available on Android phones, as well. If your child accesses Pheed using only their phone, any online parenting software that you use to track your child's social media usage will be useless. This could be a major draw for kids who have their own phones. 

Each user gets what is called a "channel" which is much like Facebook's wall. Users can post their information for everyone to see, or they can close their channel. If a user closes their channel so that only certain people can see it, they have the option of charging other users to view the channel. This can be a highly attractive feature for younger users who may let the wrong users see their channels all in the name of making a profit. 

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We Must Embrace Digital Parenting, Ready Or Not

Perhaps before asking the question "What types of technology are our children ready for?", we should ask ourselves "Are they ready for technology and social media at all?" With all the pressures that parents feel concerning social media and technology, sometimes they don't stop to consider that maybe technology is not a good idea at all at this time.  With big business fueling advertising of the latest, greatest advances, we're being led to believe that life cannot continue normally without it.  But the truth is, the human race has survived a very long time without tweets, statuses and apps. 

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Cyberbullying Makes Its Way To Instagram

It was only a matter of time: cyberbullying has come to Instagram.

In only one of the most recent incidents, a police report was filed against several girls in a northern California school district for cyberbullying on Instagram.  According to school officials several girls allegedly hacked into their victim’s Instagram account, then posted demeaning and “sexually derogatory information” on the twelve-year old’s account.  The victim’s mother believes the girls took this action to get back at her daughter after she complained about being bullied at school.  It took filing a police report to get the offensive material removed.

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6 Key Indicators Showing Your Teen's Addiction To Social Media


Having your kids “constantly connected” is not a new thing. When I was a teenager we had the same addiction to music as modern teens have with social media. My parents used to refer this unconscious state as “plugged in”, which described me as; headphones in and music up so loud that I couldn’t hear the outside world. At the time I loved music so much that I would listen to it all the time, as loud as could, frequently blaring it from my second floor speaker system so loud the entire neighborhood could hear it. I’m fairly certain my thought process at that time was as follows: This music is really good (which it wasn't), but this music is really really good turned up all the way, and because if Ilike it so much, everyone else should hear it too, right? [Cranks volume knob all the way to the right]

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Increase Peace of Mind and Child Safety with Digital Training Wheels

Parenting in the digital age involves a whole new set of tools. Parents are facing technology with which they are not familiar, and the additional perils and parenting blind spots that technology can bring. By providing your child with Digital Training Wheels, you can increase your peace of mind and ensure that your child is using technology safely and responsibly.

Social Media Safety

Social networking sites and applications such as Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and Instagram open a window to the world which is largely unprotected. Not only do these sites give your child exposure to the world, but they give the world access to your child as well. By using tools that monitor your child's activity on these sites you can provide an extra level of protection in your child's life. You can see:

  • with whom your child is communicating

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Guest Post: Cyberbullies Online: Educate, Lead by Example

This guest post is from Tina Kehoe, a stay-at-home mom of three wonderful kids and a frequent writer on digital parenting topics.

A little girl named Marie, who happens to be in eighth grade, recently received an anonymous text that reads “we are going to have sex next Friday after the dance. Or else." The little girl trembles in shock and fear as she ponders whether she should go to an authority figure or just live in fearful suspense, wondering if the sender is telling the truth. Another sixth grader in New York is plagued by the school bully, so he retaliates via text that “You and your sisters and mom better watch your backs. My dad has a gun."

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Why Facebook Keeps Violating Your Privacy: Facebook Safety Alert


Shared via Yahoo! News: The latest controversy over who can use your Instagram photos is far from an isolated event.

Facebook's photosharing site Instagram backtracked Tuesday on its new user privacy policy that would have allowed the site to sell users' photos to advertising agencies.

After a huge outcry from Instagram users on both Facebook and Twitter, co-founder Kevin Systrom wrote on the company's blog:

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We are pleased to announce that Bark will be taking over where we leave off. The uKnowKids mission to protect digital kids will live on with Bark. Our team will be working closely with Bark’s team in the future, so that we can continue making the digital world a safer, better place for kids and their families. While we are disappointed we could not complete this mission independently, we are also pleased to hand the uKnowKids baton to Bark.
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