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Megan Meier Federal Cyberbullying Case Decided Today

Well, as you’ve probably heard by now, the federal jury in California found Lori Drew guilty of computer fraud (and violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act) but not guilty of felony charges of unauthorized computer access to inflict emotional distress on Megan Meier.  She faces up to one year in prison and up to…

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Megan Meier Cyberbullying Case In Court Today

So, today is a big day in that the Megan Meier cyberbullying case is going to trial.  Lori Drew, the neighbor who is accused of creating and using a fake MySpace page to befriend and then break the heart of Megan by posing as a boy who had romantic interest in her.  You know the…

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Reducing Cyberbullying: Is Your School On Track?

A couple of school districts have recently contacted me in a panic about how cyberbullying has been a major actionable issue for them since the start of the school year, but that they don’t know where to even begin (apart from amending the school policy to cover “electronic” variants of harassment).  They realize that additional…

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JuicyCampus.com and the response by schools

My local newspaper just ran a story on JuicyCampus.com and asked me about it (since it could be considered cyberbullying), and so I figured I’d share a few of my thoughts here.  First, the fact that college students are flocking to the site to read and write highly-offensive gossip about others is a sad commentary…

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Anger in Cyberspace

I found this new CNN article on anger online really interesting.  In our new book, we talk about two theoretical concepts which are highly relevant: disinhibition and deindividuation.  To be disinhibited is to be freed from restraints on your behavior.  In some venues, disinhibition can be a positive thing. For example, someone who tends to…

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Cell Phones and ChaCha

In the last several months, we have received more calls and emails from school administrators about issue related to cell phones than probably anything else.  The concerns about cell phones are varied.  For example, students are texting on them all hours of the school day, cell phones can be used to take pictures or video…

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Rates of cyberbullying in Australia, and the reasons why…

Just a quick cross-cultural thought – this article discusses how approximately 10% of 9th and 10th graders in Australia have been cyberbullied…and the article compares that figure to the 50% or so (????) of American students who have been cyberbullied.  The lead researcher and professor stated that their country is about five or so years…

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Focal areas within cyberbullying prevention and response

Mike Donlin, Senior Program Consultant (aka Program Manager), for Seattle Public Schools (and our good friend and esteemed colleague) recently asked us a few thought-provoking questions about cyberbullying prevention and response.  They are as follows: 1. How can we consistently involve all the major stakeholders – educators, legal, the tech industry, families and youth –…

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Problematic pictures circulated via cell phones

I just read an interesting article covering a topic that is frequently brought to our attention when we speak at conferences – cell phones and sexually-explicit images of teenagers being circulated among peers. The bottom line is that we have got to figure out the best way to get kids to think hard and seriously about…

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Wide variation in reports of cyberbullying frequency…

As my eyes tend to be super sensitive to statistics and data related to cyberbullying, I was taken aback by the findings from a study mentioned in this recent FoxNews article. It states: According to Parry Aftab, an Internet security and privacy lawyer and founder of WiredSafety.org, 85 percent of 5,000 middle-school students surveyed said…

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Live Web Chat for EdWeek Today

We will be participating in a live web chat for EdWeek today from 1-2 Eastern time.  From EdWeek: “At its best, the Internet helps students find information and stay in touch with friends through everything from text-messages and blogs to social-networking and other video- and photo-sharing Web sites. But the Internet can also enable students…

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UCLA Research on Cyberbullying

A new research piece on cyberbullying was published recently by a couple of UCLA professors that pointed out that 72% of youth between 12-17 experienced online bullying within the past year.  I find this number insanely high; the authors rightly note that their web-based methodology (constructed very similar to our older studies) possibly led to…

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Tagging of personal pictures online, facial recognition, implications for youth

As most of you know, Justin and I have conducted some studies on the youth use of social networking sites.  Our primary intention was to determine if and how adolescents are rendering themselves vulnerable to victimization based on the content (diary entries, personal information, pictures, video, etc.) they post within their profile pages.  This content…

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Defining Cyberbullying

There has been renewed discussion recently about what behaviors actually constitute cyberbullying.  This is an issue that we have commented about on this blog before and discuss in detail in our book (see especially pages 5 and 49). One of our favorite Internet safety newsletters, Net Family News, recently reported on an article published last…

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Cell phones on School Campuses in California

In keeping with a trend we have been seeing across the country, another school board in California has decided to ban the inappropriate use of cell phones on school grounds (largely to prevent cyberbullying and the recording and online posting of fights). There is one exception – students are able to use cell phones to…

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Cyberbullying and Strain

One of the more popular criminological theories floating around these days suggests that individuals engage in deviance as a response to experiencing stressful life events or strain.  For example, youth who are abused at home or who break up with a serious significant other, or who move to a new town, are more at risk…

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The Cyberbully Next Door

I was recently talking to a colleague (who is an economist at my University) and he told me of an experience that recently happened with his daughter.  She was at a get-together at a hotel in our city where alcohol was being served. Somehow the police found out about the party and busted all of…

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Teachers and students “friending” on MySpace

CNN posted an interesting story about teachers setting up MySpace pages and “friending” their students…and about a Missouri legislator sponsoring a bill banning elementary school teachers from doing so.  I was talking to Justin about this, and we both agree that a state bill banning this activity is completely overboard (another example of how politicians…

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Cyberbullying Research

When we first started exploring the issue of cyberbullying over 6 years ago, there weren’t very many of us out there. A very small handful of researchers were studying the problem and virtually nothing had been published in the academic literature. Now, thankfully, cyberbullying is being comprehensively studied by a number of competent research teams.…

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Book on Sale at Amazon!

For those of you interested in purchasing our book, it is now on sale at Amazon.com for $21.41 which is 33% off the list price of $31.95.  This is such a good price you should maybe think about buying two copies!  We’re not sure how long the sale will last, but the book is still…

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8-12 year-olds and online social interaction

A new report was released last week that zeroed in on online social interaction among youth between the ages of 8 and 12.  The “Tween Internet Safety Survey” found that at least half lie about their age online (in keeping with our own findings from discussions with kids around the nation).  They also found that…

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Why Do Youth Engage in Cyberbullying?

This is another one of those questions that we get all of the time.  Of course, there is not one easy answer to this question.  Moreover, what causes one adolescent to cyberbully may not influence another to engage in similar behaviors.  So, while we have a number of theories or hypotheses, what do you think? …

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Jostens Renaissance National Conference

I just got back from the Jostens Renaissance National Conference. WOW. The energy at this conference was electric. Over 1,100 educators and superstar students from around the country met up in Phoenix to discuss various issues relating to teaching, learning, culture, and motivation (just to name a few). I covered a basic overview of cyberbullying…

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Jostens Renaissance National Conference

I just got back from the Jostens Renaissance National Conference. WOW. The energy at this conference was electric. Over 1,100 educators and superstar students from around the country met up in Phoenix to discuss various issues relating to teaching, learning, culture, and motivation (just to name a few). I covered a basic overview of cyberbullying…