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New Jersey seeks to require Facebook and MySpace to police users

You’ve probably heard about the proposed law in New Jersey that would require social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook to police their users.  This is so frustrating for me to hear, as well-intentioned but oft-misguided legislators propose solutions to overblown online fears.  Social networking sites are not responsible for actively surveilling and censoring the…

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Jamming cell-phone signals on school campuses…

This article from British Columbia refers to a high school principal who bought a cell phone signal jammer from an online dealer in China in order to thwart students from using their phones at school in violation of district policy. First off, hats off to the resourcefulness of the principal in this situation – even though…

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Facebook Cyberbullying Policy

Here’s a recent query I received from an educator who I have worked with in the past.  I thought her question and my response would be of interest to others so I am posting both here.  Does your school district have a policy regarding cyberbullying or Facebook?  How about cyberbullying on Facebook? Question: “The reason…

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Sexting, the Jesse Logan case, and what schools can do

Recently, we’ve received calls and inquiries about “sexting” and the Jesse Logan case, and so I thought we’d discuss the matter here.  For those looking for an official definition, we characterize “sexting” as “the sending or receiving of sexually-suggestive or explicit text or pictures via one’s cell phone.”  Anecdotally, it seems that the phenomenon is…

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Cyberbullying on Facebook

A teenager from New York has filed a lawsuit against Facebook, four high-school classmates who used the site to harass her, and their parents.  Specifically, two boys and two girls created a Facebook group called password-protected “90 Cents Short Of A Dollar,” in order to “hold [her] up to public hatred, ridicule and disgrace.”  Content…

Cyberbullying on Facebook

A teenager from New York has filed a lawsuit against Facebook, four high-school classmates who used the site to harass her, and their parents.  Specifically, two boys and two girls created a Facebook group called password-protected “90 Cents Short Of A Dollar,” in order to “hold [her] up to public hatred, ridicule and disgrace.”  Content…

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Virtual Presentation: Internet Safety 2.0

One of our good friends and fellow Internet Safety advocates Anne Collier (co-author of MySpace Unraveled) recently did a presentation on Second Life.  By that, I don’t mean the topic was Second Life (an online virtual reality world in which people interact with each other via avatars), but she, through her avatar, gave a presentation…

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The response of private and public schools to cyberbullying

One of the questions we field sometimes involves how private schools differ from public schools in their response to instances of cyberbullying and student misuse of technology.  A case from a private Michigan college illustrates the general distinction that we’ve seen.  In this situation, a 19-year-old male was placed on six-month probation after being accused…

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Filtering software for iPod Touch and iPhone web browsing

One of my colleagues, Forrest Collier, over at InternetSafety.com, has just released a sweet new app for the iPhone and iPod Touch that helps parents protect their children from objectionable and problematic content on their mobile device.  The program is called “Safe Eyes Mobile” and works just like the built-in iPhone browser with pinch and…

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Facebook’s Terms of Service controversy

As you may know, Facebook recently altered its Terms of Service, essentially stating that they own all of the content that you (the user) upload to their site.  This includes content that you’ve uploaded but then later removed, and your content after you have chosen to delete your account.  The Terms of Service in other…

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Anti-cyberbullying curriculum for schools

Our colleague Mike Donlin, over at the Seattle Public Schools District, recently headed up a comprehensive project to create an initial set of Internet safety curriculum materials focusing specifically on cyberbullying.  His state of Washington has been very progressive in creating and promoting anti-cyberbullying legislation (see RCW 28A.300.285 for more information), and has realized that…