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What Teachers and Administrators Can Do About Cyberbullying – Podcast

I was featured on *Audio Ed* to discuss in detail how administrators, teachers, and staff can prevent and respond to cyberbullying among school students.  Please click here to download and listen (8 minutes, MP3 file).  Justin and I are passionate about training and working with public districts as well as private schools to meaningfully inform…

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Podcast – Cyberbullying Advice to Help Parents Protect Kids

I recently appeared on WNYMedia’s “Parent Talk” radio show to discuss what parents can do to protect their child from online harassment.  Please click here to download and listen (47 minutes, MP3 file), and let me know if you have any follow-up questions!

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Is Cyberbullying Simply an Expression of Free Speech?

A colleague of mine recently posed the following questions after listening to my recent interview on Wisconsin Public Radio: Q:  If a student were bullying someone & claimed they had the right of freedom of speech to say whatever they want, how would you respond? Q:  If a public official felt they were being bullied…

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Teachers expressing negative opinions of students online

Justin and I were chatting recently about an example cyberbullying case that involves a student who repeatedly is posting comments on her Facebook page about a teacher at school, stating “Mr. Z is a douchebag,” “Mr. Z is a jerk and nobody likes him,” and “Please post ‘I Hate Mr. Z’ comments on my wall!” …

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Chatroulette, sexually-offensive content, and cyberbullying

An increasing amount of educators and parents are asking us our thoughts on “Chatroulette,” which was created by a Russian teenager in late 2009.  User traffic has increased from 500 people a day last November to 1.5 million daily as of March 2010, and major IT companies are seeking to purchase it from its ingenious…

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Chatroulette, sexually-offensive content, and cyberbullying

An increasing amount of educators and parents are asking us our thoughts on “Chatroulette,” which was created by a Russian teenager in late 2009.  User traffic has increased from 500 people a day last November to 1.5 million daily as of March 2010, and major IT companies are seeking to purchase it from its ingenious…

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Cyberbullying Panic?

Several high profile incidents have put cyberbullying at the top of the headlines in recent months.  When Sameer and I first started studying this problem over eight years ago, it was rare to see a cyberbullying story in the media, now they are everywhere. Larry Magid, a technology journalist who contributes to a number of…

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RapeLay – sexually explicit video gaming and youth culture

Recent press coverage has been focused on “hentai” video games being produced in Japan and distributed all across the world in an underground manner. Hentai generally refers to sexually explicit or pornographic comics and animation, and video games of this ilk have been available for years overseas. Recently, though, they have been “ripped” from DVD-ROMs…

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Criminal Charges Filed Against Bullies in Phoebe Prince Case

It is not often that students are charged in criminal court for their participation in bullying.  But that is what happened this week.  As has been well-publicized, 15-year-old Phoebe Prince of South Hadley, Massachusetts, committed suicide in January after experiencing extreme levels of bullying from her classmates.  After conducting a thorough investigation, District Attorney Elizabeth…

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Implications for teachers who socialize with students online, and how to avoid them

Let’s return to our multi-post (here, here, and here) discussion of student and teacher interaction on social networking sites or in other online venues. Social networks such as Facebook and MySpace are primarily for socializing. “Socializing” involves interacting for social purposes, and “social purposes” are those marked by friendly companionship with others. It seems, therefore,…

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Student-Teacher Interaction Online – Another Perspective

Sameer and I have talked a lot about this issue in recent months, and while we both basically agree that teacher-student interactions online are risky business, we struggle with how to best approach the issue.  Earlier today he posted his thoughts on the issue.  I would like to take this opportunity to re-articulate mine to…

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Student-Teacher Interaction Online – Another Perspective

Sameer and I have talked a lot about this issue in recent months, and while we both basically agree that teacher-student interactions online are risky business, we struggle with how to best approach the issue.  Earlier today he posted his thoughts on the issue.  I would like to take this opportunity to re-articulate mine to…

Students and teachers becoming a little too “friendly” in cyberspace

As we have previously discussed, a recent article published in Education Week entitled Policies Target Teacher-Student Cyber Talk suggests that some educators and pupils are informally connecting and chatting online with increasing frequency, where relatively innocent interactions may have the potential to escalate into inappropriate relationships. While such cases seem to occur rarely, a few…

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The Changing Nature of Adolescent MySpace Use: 2006 to 2009

Sameer and I are just putting the finishing touches on a paper that examines the social networking behaviors of adolescents who are on MySpace.  For the past five years, we have annually taken random samples of MySpace profiles and analyzed them for content to ascertain any changes in adolescent participation and information sharing on the…

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Schools Have a Responsibility to Proactively Stop Bullying

A federal jury recently ordered the Hudson Area School District (Michigan) to pay $800,000 in damages to a student who endured years of emotional, physical, and sexual bullying.  Dane Patterson was in middle school when the bullying began as simple name calling and verbal harassment.  It escalated in high school and included being pushed into…

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Strain, Traditional Bullying, and Cyberbullying podcast

I recently participated in a joint podcast organized by Sage Publications with fellow social scientists Robert Agnew, Carter Hay, and Paul Mazerolle to chat about the relationship between the sociological concept of strain, traditional bullying, and cyberbullying. According to Agnew’s General Strain Theory, strain has three sources: (1) the failure to achieve positively-valued goals; (2)…

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Victimology in Cyberspace

Justin and I have been focusing a lot on what I like to call “Facebook Faux Pas” – or, in general, unwise practices on social networking, social media, and microblogging sites.  A new site has been receiving a lot of attention lately – PleaseRobMe.com.  Check it out at your convenience.  Basically, it runs a simple…

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Cyberbullying research article published in Deviant Behavior

Routledge (Taylor and Francis) is making some of their copyrighted journal articles available at no cost through June, and our research piece entitled “Cyberbullying: An Exploratory Analysis of Factors Related to Offending and Victimization,” published in Deviant Behavior, is one of those and is available here.  To date, it is one of the most downloaded…

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Can Schools Discipline Students for Creating a Mean Facebook Page About a Teacher?

There have been a few high profile cases recently reviewed by the courts, and summarized in the media, where students have sued their schools arguing that discipline they received as a result of improper online speech was a violation of their First Amendment right.  The most recent case involved a former Florida high school student,…

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The Relationship Between Cyberbullying and Suicide

There have been many high profile and tragic incidents in the media in recent years which have linked adolescent suicides to experiences with cyberbullying.  The connection between suicide and interpersonal aggression is certainly nothing new, as a number of studies have documented the association between bullying and suicide.  Sameer and I have a paper coming…

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Identifying anonymous or pseudonymous cyberbullies in civil suits

Though we focus on youth, we have had an increasing number of adults who call and email us asking for help regarding their own cyberbullying victimization experiences.  Some of the stories we hear are extremely tragic and horribly malicious.  Many times, we are at a loss for words that might help based on the fact…

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The Changing Nature of Adolescent Use of MySpace

Sameer and I have been exploring online social networking generally, and adolescent behaviors on MySpace in particular, for over five years. Since 2006 we have randomly selected several thousand MySpace profiles each year to determine: 1) who is on MySpace and 2) what kind of information they are posting.  Our latest article, which is published in…

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Slate Magazine project on cyberbullying victimization experiences

The Cyberbullying Research Center is helping Slate Magazine in their newest initiative to delve into the vivid experiences of those who have been victimized online (primarily through cyberbullying, sexting, and cyberstalking).  This multi-faceted and long-term project seeks to collect stories, interact with those most affected, and deeply understand the problem and what can be done…