Should You Give Your Kid Snapchat or Instagram? Cyberbullying Research Center

Should You Give Your Kid Snapchat or Instagram?

Parents are constantly asking me about their kids and their social media participation. Among other things, they want to know what app or site they should start their child on.  I could recommend some that are specifically designed for young eyes and ears, but those aren’t as popular as the ones that the mass of…

Teaching Snapchat Safety to Teens Cyberbullying Research Center image 2

Teaching Snapchat Safety to Teens

In my last blog entry, I sought to help readers unfamiliar with Snapchat with a primer on its background, use, and notable features. While emphasizing that the vast majority of youth use the app in positive ways (based on our extensive anecdotal observations), there are some negatives that may arise on rare occasions. It is…

The Snapchat Revolution: Background, Basics, Pros, and Cons Cyberbullying Research Center image 3

The Snapchat Revolution: Background, Basics, Pros, and Cons

Snapchat. If you work with youth, you know it’s all the rage. And if you don’t, I bet you’re still hearing about it on a regular basis. Maybe you’ve taken the time to download it and use it. Maybe you have some familiar with how it operates, and why it is the next big thing.…

My Visit to the Columbine Memorial Cyberbullying Research Center

My Visit to the Columbine Memorial

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to visit the Columbine Memorial in Littleton, Colorado. Even though my family loves Colorado as a vacation destination, I had never stopped by to see what was done to honor those who lost their lives in that horrific tragedy. My friend Dan – who lives in Littleton –…

Parental Monitoring Apps and Cyberbullying - Our Review and Recommendations Cyberbullying Research Center image 1

Parental Monitoring Apps and Cyberbullying – Our Review and Recommendations

Whenever Justin or I present to adult audiences, we are often asked to suggest parental monitoring software that moms and dads can install on their child’s devices to provide some sort of monitoring functionality. Some are interested in quickly being “in the know” if their son or daughter is being cyberbullied, so that they can…

More Insight about the School's Ability to Respond to Off-campus Threatening Speech Cyberbullying Research Center

More Insight about the School’s Ability to Respond to Off-campus Threatening Speech

Schools across the United States continue to grapple with the question of when they can intervene in off-campus incidents that impact the school environment. A case recently decided by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals examined this issue once again. In January of 2011, Taylor Bell, an Itawamba Agricultural High School (Mississippi) senior, posted a…

The Secret to Safety on Anonymous Apps Cyberbullying Research Center

The Secret to Safety on Anonymous Apps

Despite the recent flurry of increased media attention, anonymous online environments and mobile applications have been around for many years. The social media site Formspring.me arguably introduced the world to the potential consequences of anonymous communications when it launched in 2009. Long before that, though, users routinely created fictitious MySpace profiles or pseudonymous online blogs.…

After School, Another Anonymous App for Teens Cyberbullying Research Center

After School, Another Anonymous App for Teens

After School is the latest mobile device application to take schools and parents by storm. We first became aware of the social media app when it was introduced in the fall of 2014. It created quite the controversy back then and was even removed from the App Store, at least for a brief period. It…

The Importance of your Digital Reputation Cyberbullying Research Center image 1

The Importance of your Digital Reputation

We live in a society where online searches tend to influence – if not drive – many of our decisions. If we are looking for a good doctor in the area, a potential vacation spot, or advice on what electronics to purchase this holiday season, we will perform searches using our phone, tablet, or computer.…

Advice for Adult Victims of Cyberbullying

We get a lot of emails, phone calls, and comments on this blog from adults who are being bullied though technology.  They stress to us that cyberbullying is not just an adolescent problem.  Believe me, we know.  We receive more inquiries from adults than teens.  We know that cyberbullying negatively affects adults too.  It’s just…

MusEffect: Inspiring Cyberbullying Prevention Through Dance in 2015 Cyberbullying Research Center

MusEffect: Inspiring Cyberbullying Prevention Through Dance in 2015

Over the last year, we’ve been in touch with Los Angeles-based non-profit dance company MusEffect after seeing their passion to use their talents towards cyberbullying prevention. Their Public Service Announcement, 953K – Inspiring Action Against Cyberbullying, generated over 1.2 million views and inspirational stories of healing and resolution from audiences across the globe. We particularly…

Cyberbullying Prevention Software Encourages You to ReThink Cyberbullying Research Center

Cyberbullying Prevention Software Encourages You to ReThink

Last October, we profiled Trisha Prabhu, who as a young teenager designed software intended to reduce the prevalence of cyberbullying by invoking the conscience of users before they post or send a malicious or cruel text. Her project and efforts have deservedly received much praise on a national and international level, and Justin and I…

How Empathy, Kindness and Compassion Can Build Belongingness and Reduce Bullying Cyberbullying Research Center

How Empathy, Kindness and Compassion Can Build Belongingness and Reduce Bullying

I have known Dr. Patti Agatston for almost ten years now, and our work meets at the intersection of teens and technology. Justin and I hold her and her colleagues in the highest respect because like us, they make sure that the information they share is based on solid research instead of sensationalistic anecdotes or…

Teens Charged with Possessing Naked Images of…Themselves Cyberbullying Research Center image 2

Teens Charged with Possessing Naked Images of…Themselves

Two sixteen-year-olds from Fayetteville, North Carolina, did what many teens who are in romantic relationships do: they talk, they text, they hang out. And they sent each other nude photos. Research shows that at least one-third of teens have engaged in this kind of behavior at some point in their lives. Technically speaking, though, youth…

Doxing and Cyberbullying Cyberbullying Research Center

Doxing and Cyberbullying

Slang for “dropping documents,” doxing (also spelled doxxing) typically occurs when someone collects another’s private personal information, such as a home address, contact information or social security number, and subsequently broadcasts or “outs” that information to the public without permission. Crash Override Network (a task force made up of people who have previously been targeted)…

Password Management Software for Teens Cyberbullying Research Center

Password Management Software for Teens

Think about how many times every day you use a password on a phone, computer, social media site, gaming network, or another online account. Passwords are a huge part of our daily lives. Technically, they serve as authentication to identify people as being who they claim to be. Correct authentication is supposed to prevent others…

Speaking to Teens at Parochial Schools about Bullying Cyberbullying Research Center

Speaking to Teens at Parochial Schools about Bullying

Apart from our efforts within various public schools around the nation, Justin and I also work regularly with parochial schools as they attempt to reduce bullying and encourage kindness across their campuses. This gives us a chance to really connect with the youth there in a powerful way by dovetailing their faith with a call…

Cyberbullying Less Emotionally Impactful than In-Person Bullying? Cyberbullying Research Center

Cyberbullying Less Emotionally Impactful than In-Person Bullying?

Researchers at the Crimes Against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire (UNH) just published a paper in the journal Psychology of Violence that explores the question of whether technology “amplifies” the harm for youth who are harassed. Anecdotally, we have heard this to be the case from many youth over the years:…

Nothing Works? Taking Stock of America’s “War on Bullying” Cyberbullying Research Center

Nothing Works? Taking Stock of America’s “War on Bullying”

The Obama administration arguably declared war on bullying in the fall of 2010 when it convened the first federally-supported Bullying Prevention Summit. In 2011, stopbullying.gov was launched. That same year, I attended a conference hosted by President Obama at the White House, where he said: “If there is one goal of this conference, it is…

Bullying, Students with Disabilities, and Federal Law Cyberbullying Research Center

Bullying, Students with Disabilities, and Federal Law

At a recent conference in Chester County, Pennsylvania, I had the privilege of getting to know Andy Faust, who is an authority on special education law at Sweet, Stevens, Katz & Williams LLP. In particular, I was impressed by his level of expertise and intrigued by his astute observations about the Individuals with Disabilities Education…

Setting up a Free Bullying and Cyberbullying Reporting System with Google Voice Cyberbullying Research Center

Setting up a Free Bullying and Cyberbullying Reporting System with Google Voice

I have written in the past on anonymous reporting systems in schools, and I strongly advocate for them whenever I have the opportunity to speak to educators on how they should prevent cyberbullying. Based on your own observations, I am sure you’d agree with me that youth are way more comfortable texting/typing – especially when…

Wisconsin Extends Restraining Orders Beyond State Borders Cyberbullying Research Center

Wisconsin Extends Restraining Orders Beyond State Borders

Last week Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker signed into law 2015 Assembly Bill 10, which amends state statute 801.04(1) so that Wisconsin judges can now issue restraining orders in cases of domestic abuse, child and at-risk adult abuse, and harassment against persons outside of the state of Wisconsin. Specifically, subsection 813.015 was added to 801.04(1): 813.015…