Saturday, October 01, 2005

QuickTake: Beware the Cyberbully!

There's always something new to worry about when it comes to technology. Whether it's a hard drive crashing or a new computer virus, the information superhighway has its fair share of potholes.

Here's a new pothole to consider:

We are all familiar with school bullies,” said Parry Aftab, a lawyer who specialises in internet privacy. “Cyberbullying is the online equivalent. It is any kind of harassment, insult or humiliation that uses internet-related technology.

Here's an example:

At a Boston school recently, several students were disciplined for creating a lewd website about a teenage girl’s supposed sexual activities. The site included her name, photograph and phone number. In New York a 14-year-old girl who foolishly sent her boyfriend a camera phone picture of herself topless was mortified when he posted it on a website used by everyone at their school.

My university has a policy describing appropriate use of computer technology. I haven't looked at it recently, but I think it addresses cyberbullying, at least indirectly. The question is whether the cyberbully lurking inside some people knows about the policy, and the punishment that comes from violating it.


Blogger Sarah said...

That is horrible! Hopefully the sight was shut down and hopefully those boys got a butt whopping! Kids today, they have no brains at all!!

11:02 AM  

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