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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,…

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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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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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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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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Social Norms and Cyberbullying Among Students

As I mentioned in my cyberbullying and sexting comments at the National Crime Prevention Council Circle of Respect event two weeks ago, “social norming” continues to bear relevance for dealing with cyberbullying at schools, and I’d like to flesh it out some more since I am a big fan of the concept.  Basically, youth tend…

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Formal comments on cyberbullying and sexting at the NCPC Event

I greatly enjoyed being a part of a distinguished panel of guests at the National Crime Prevention Council’s Circle of Respect event on Friday, January 15th in Washington, DC. Speaking alongside Deborah Norville (the anchor of Inside Edition), Chris Moessner (a very experienced researcher and Senior Vice President with Stewart and Partners), Rachel Simmons (author of…

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Cyberbullicide – What We Can Do

We’ve been discussing cyberbullying and suicide recently, and even though cases are isolated and rare, the link is worth our attention.  First, it reiterates the fact that all forms of adolescent peer aggression must be taken seriously both at school and at home, and that online harassment can have grave real-world implications.  It also follows…

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2009 in Review

This has been a very busy year for us at the Cyberbullying Research Center.  We continued our research activities and expanded our outreach and educational efforts.  We enjoyed meeting many of you through our travels throughout the United States.  We did about 50 presentations, workshops, or assemblies for thousands of youth, parents, educators, and others…

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Cyberbullying on Wiki Sites

Recently, I spoke about cyberbullying on Wiki-type sites at the annual Answers.com conference in Atlanta, Georgia.  Let me first say that the Answers.com community (employees of the company and volunteer supervisors and contributors) is top-notch.  I absolutely loved being with them, witnessing their contagious passion for improving user experience on the site, and hearing their…