Friday, October 05, 2007
Social networking for avatars
Videogaming reduces a gender difference
Young fashionistas online
Thursday, October 04, 2007
Cyberbullying ed: 'Adina's Deck'
The bystander factor
On the Internet, there are a lot more "bystanders" when the bully can put mean text, photos and video in front entire peer groups or schools all at once, greatly compounding the victimization. Then there's the viral kind of bullying, when mean statements get passed along, IM'ed, cut-'n'-pasted by bystanders who suddenly become accessories to the bullying.
"Helping children to understand that they can make someone else suffer by swapping photos or commenting on video clips, and that a 'harmless bit of fun' to one person could be agonising humiliation for someone else, is really important," writes commentator Bill Thompson at the BBC, pointing to a new anti-cyberbullying program of the UK government's Department for Children, Schools and Families, written by Childnet International. Thompson writes that the program "shows how seriously the problem is being taken, and that may make it easier for children to tell someone about what is happening…. As with physical bullying, the first step to resolving the problem is to admit that it is happening and find someone who can help you take the next step."
[* The US cyberbullying numbers above were from the Pew Internet & American Life Project and the UK ones were cited by Childnet International.]
What does cyberbullying look like?
The video is part of the London-based nonprofit organization's Digizen.org project. Like NetFamilyNews.org and ConnectSafely.org, Childnet, our sister organization, believes that "Digital citizenship isn’t just about recognising and dealing with online hazards. It’s about building safe spaces and communities, understanding how to manage personal information, and about being Internet savvy - using your online presence to grow and shape your world in a safe, creative way, and inspiring others to do the same," Childnet has on the project's About page. To do that, we all - youth, parents, educators, advocates - need to understand the problems as well as the positives of digital media and the Internet.
Though produced in the UK with British actors, "Let's Fight It Together" has universal relevance, and I hope it will fuel broad discussion in many countries.
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
NJ AG's 'Report Abuse' button
Mr. Nigam added that MySpace wasn't contacted by the New Jersey attorney general's office about the program - the company first heard about it in the news media. In related news, General Milgram's office this week subpoenaed Facebook, "requesting that the company turn over information as to whether registered sex offenders have profiles on the site," CNET reports. MySpace has responded to similar subpoenas in recent months (see "Social-networking dangers in perspective").