Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Schoolyard bullies get nastier online

Filed under
Web

When Joanne had a row with a longtime friend last year, she had no idea it would spill into cyberspace.

But what started as a spat at a teenage sleepover swiftly escalated into a three-month harangue of threatening e-mails and defacement of her Web log. "It was a nonstop nightmare," says Joanne, 14, a freshman at a private high school in Southern California. "I dreaded going on my computer."

The bullying eventually stopped after her parents and school officials intervened. But Joanne remains shaken by the experience.

The incident reflects the latest way technology is altering the social lives of children at an age when they are especially vulnerable to insults. The emergence of cyberbullying has intensified adolescent angst. It allows bullies to unleash putdowns, nasty rumors and humiliating pictures in e-mail and blogs that can strike victims at home and at any time. The damage can be devastating, psychologists say, even as it is not always obvious to parents and teachers.

Cyberbullies, mostly ages 9 to 14, are using the anonymity of the Web to mete out pain without witnessing the consequences. The problem - aggravated by widespread use of wireless devices such as cell phones and BlackBerrys - is especially prevalent in affluent suburbs, where high-speed Internet use is high and kids are technically adept, says Parry Aftab, executive director of WiredSafety.org (www.wiredsafety.org), an online safety group.

"Some kids can't wait to get home so they can continue taunting," says Aftab, who is also an Internet lawyer. "Maybe we need to protect kids from one another online as much as we shield them from dangerous adults."

Many victims don't tell their parents out of fear they will be barred from using the Internet, Aftab and others say.

"You feel as if no one can help you," says Alyssa, 14, who waited two weeks before telling her mother she was being bullied by a boy who called her a "loser" and "stupid" in instant messages. "It's a lonely, scary feeling."

The problem appears to be growing, as more kids chat on the Internet. Half of 3,000 U.S. children surveyed the past six months said they or someone they know have been victims or guilty of cyberbullying, says WiredSafety.org.

Full Story.

In related news, a study shows parents limit teens' web use. That story here.

More in Tux Machines

GNOME News

  • The Begining
    The friendship/relationship with the awesome community of GNOME begins. What followed after 2 commits into the main branch, one application submission, and the result was the start of the most amazing few months. These months have been a humbling experience, the biggest learning experience, and the most productive time.
  • GTK+ Tester Window?
    For an internal application, I’ve created a Gtk.Window derived tester class, added some widgets to show current test, status, number of fails and a Gtk.Grid to attach custom widgets. This class expose some API to set a widget to test, autoclose and some signals you can use to run some tests.
  • GUADEC 2016
    A lot of great things happened – as always GUADEC with it’s perfect size got me to speak to a hell lot of new and interesting people. Thank you all for being there – it was a pleasure.

Leftovers: OSS and Sharing

  • #MyOpenHA Part 1 -Philosophy
    Home Automation. The holy hipster and geek grail. I have played with it. I have tried. I have failed. But today I am proud to have a solution I can truly endorse. So join me on this journey. This series will explain my solution, in excruciating detail. In the hope that I can learn from you while I am explaining. This series will be filled over time with more and more articles. But now, let’s talk about philosophy. The Why. Soon you will see the What and How. One promise, or the TL;DR: It is all 100% Open Source. Well, almost. I have integrated some quite non-open things but always in an Open Source Way.
  • Disable the new Firefox 48 location bar - Tutorial
    Here we are. Seven minutes later, our life is bearable again, but not perfect. Thank you Mozilla, thank you very much. This is exactly what I needed to enrich my life. After all, we all know, cosmetic changes are good, because that's what plants crave. Stop with these idiotic tweaks please. No one cares. It won't make the browser better. It won't change the market share. It will not attract idiots, as idiots are happy. It will only alienate diehard users who keep on using your browser because they have no alternative. From a loved favorite to the least of evils choice. That's what Firefox has become.
  • What’s Happening in OpenStack-Ansible (WHOA) – August 2016
    My goal with these posts is to inform more people about what we’re doing in the OpenStack-Ansible community and bring on more contributors to the project.
  • PowerShell on Linux? No, Thank You [comic]
  • LLVM Might Get An AAP Back-End (Altruistic Processor)
    There's an active proposal to incorporate a back-end into LLVM for AAP, a processor ISA for deeply-embedded Harvard architectures. AAP is designed for FPGA usage and there is an open-source soft-core with commercial deployments also being available. AAP is short for the Altruistic Processor and is described in technical detail here. AAP is said to be an original design but inspired by the OpenRISC / RISC-V projects.
  • UK-French Data Taskforce publishes joint report
    "Invest in and share experiences building core data registers, learning from the French National Address Database experience”; “develop initiatives to bring basic data literacy into primary and secondary education”; and “commission research into algorithmic transparency and accountability” are among the recommendations listed in a report published in July by the joint French-UK Data Taskforce.
  • Tuscany: how to promote the economy of sharing and collaboration
    In June, the region of Tuscany (Italy), in collaboration with Open Toscana and ANCI Toscana, launched a project, the goal of which is to “build a regional policy on the economy of sharing and collaboration”.
  • MS Tries But Just Doesn’t Get FLOSS
    This is what drove me to GNU/Linux so many years ago.
  • Microsoft's maps lost Melbourne because it used bad Wikipedia data
    Microsoft has laid part of the blame for Bing Maps' mis-location of the Australian city of Melbourne by a whole hemisphere on Wikipedia. Yes, Wikipedia, “the free encyclopaedia that anyone can edit.” Microsoft made its admission after your correspondent took to Twitter on Monday to do what we in publishing call “pimping"the story of Melbourne's mis-placement. Ricky Brundritt, a senior program manager at Bing Maps, noticed that pimping and responded as follows.
  • Northern Ireland promotes Open Data in education
    The Northern Ireland Department of Finance has supported a challenge that encourages the re-use of public Open Data in education. Called the OpenDataNI Challenge – Using Open Data for Education” (ODNI4EDU), this project, officially launched on June 14, intends to award two applications or educational tools and resources that make use of at least one dataset published on the portal OpendataNI.
  • Try this handy tool to convert a Web site into a native app with Electron
  • Introducing CloudiumOS [Ed: built on Electron]
    It is a complete multi platform operating system that allows you to manage your documents, access your media files and collaborate with other people on the go. CloudiumOS can work side-by-side with another operating system (either via a VM, a Desktop app or Mobile App) or as a standalone installation.

Opera Data Breach, Security of Personal Data

  • Opera User? Your Stored Passwords May Have Been Stolen
    Barely a week passes without another well-known web company suffering a data breach or hack of some kind. This week it is Opera’s turn. Opera Software, the company behind the web-browser and recently sold to a Chinese consortium for $600 million, reported a ‘server breach incident’ on its blog this weekend.
  • When it comes to protecting personal data, security gurus make their own rules
    Marcin Kleczynski, CEO of a company devoted to protecting people from hackers, has safeguarded his Twitter account with a 14-character password and by turning on two-factor authentication, an extra precaution in case that password is cracked. But Cooper Quintin, a security researcher and chief technologist at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, doesn’t bother running an anti-virus program on his computer. And Bruce Schneier? The prominent cryptography expert and chief technology officer of IBM-owned security company Resilient Systems, won’t even risk talking about what he does to secure his devices and data.

Android Leftovers