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Should Parents Ban Access to Facebook?

Our colleague Anne Collier from NetFamilyNews made us aware of an email that Anthony Orsini, a middle school principal from New Jersey, sent to parents a couple of weeks ago imploring them to prohibit their children from participating in social networking sites. As reported on CBS and elsewhere, the letter Orsini sent to parents included…

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Formspring, Cyberbullying, and Alexis Pilkington

Formspring.me, launched in November 2009, is a user-to-user question and answer web site. If you sign up, the site presents visitors to your page with the ability to anonymously ask you anything via a web form.  You can then post your answer, along with the question, for all to see.  A benefit of Formspring is…

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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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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,…