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Age- and identity-misrepresentation on the Internet

The New York Times last week asked me my thoughts on the Megan Meier case and online misrepresentation, and I thought I’d expand on my perspective here.  First off, we have to understand why this case drew so much attention.  It was because we have a vulnerable and depressed young girl basically driven to suicide…

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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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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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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…