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Words Wound—For a Long Time

Bobby recently shared his story with us. He said that he’d been really excited for his first day of fifth grade. On that first day, his teacher assigned classroom seating so she’d know where everyone was. Then she passed around a tablet of paper and told everyone to print their given names. “She strictly specified…

Does Bullying “Cause” Suicide? Cyberbullying Research Center

Does Bullying “Cause” Suicide?

The title of Deborah Temkin’s recent Huffington Post article is a simple request: “Stop saying bullying causes suicide.” Her plea is understandable and justified. Sameer and I also cringe when we read the ubiquitous headlines espousing the conventional wisdom proclaiming that “bullying causes suicide.” But what does the research actually say about the nature of this…

Can Someone be an Unintentional Bully? Cyberbullying Research Center

Can Someone be an Unintentional Bully?

Defining bullying is a tricky thing. And technology just adds another complicated layer to the whole situation. I mean, we know it when we see it, and at the extreme end it’s easy to identify: the repeated threats, multiple humiliating posts, and numerous hurtful texts most likely qualify. But what about that mildly inappropriate joke…

What Teens Are Doing Online

(reposted from the Free Spirit Publishing blog) Some adults are under the assumption that just about everything that teens do online is either hurtful to themselves or others or a complete waste of time. To be fair, there’s no shortage of daily headlines that seem to point to the conclusion that many teens are using…

Hannah Smith: Even More Tragic Than Originally Thought Cyberbullying Research Center image 2

Hannah Smith: Even More Tragic Than Originally Thought

Many are now familiar with the tragic case of Hannah Smith, the 14-year-old from Leicestershire, England, who hanged herself on August 2nd after reportedly being harassed online for months. Cruel messages received principally on the social media site Ask.fm are being cited by her father and others as a primary cause of the suicide, though…

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Law Enforcement Views of Cyberbullying and Sexting

Earlier this summer, Sameer and I (along with our good friend Joe Schafer), published an article in the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin that describes the perceptions and experiences of law enforcement when it comes to responding to cyberbullying and sexting.  This article stemmed from my work a few years ago as a Futurist in Residence…

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Summary of State Sexting Laws

We define sexting as “sending or receiving sexually explicit or sexually suggestive nude or seminude images or video, usually via a cell phone.”  Most commonly when people use the term “sexting” it is to refer to incidents where minors take pictures of themselves when they are nude or nearly nude and send them to others. …