Catfishing as a Form of Cyberbullying Cyberbullying Research Center

Catfishing as a Form of Cyberbullying

“Catfishing,” at least in the online world, refers to the practice of setting up a fictitious online profile, most often for the purpose of luring another into a fraudulent romantic relationship.  The Urban Dictionary defines a “catfish” as: “someone who pretends to be someone they’re not using Facebook or other social media to create false…

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Social Exclusion and Bullying

I have been thinking about the concept of “social exclusion” as it relates to cyberbullying, and really wanted to hear some thoughts from our readers. People are by nature social. The second worst punishment that we can dream up in this country is solitary confinement. We know it hurts, we know it drives people crazy,…

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Social Influences on Cyberbullying Behaviors Among Middle and High School Students

Sameer and I wrote a paper that was recently published in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence that examines the influence of peers, parents, and educators on the cyberbullying behaviors of middle and high school students. It has long been known that adolescent behaviors (both positive and negative) are largely influenced by significant others.  Our…

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Social Influences on Cyberbullying Behaviors Among Middle and High School Students

Sameer and I wrote a paper that was recently published in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence that examines the influence of peers, parents, and educators on the cyberbullying behaviors of middle and high school students. It has long been known that adolescent behaviors (both positive and negative) are largely influenced by significant others.  Our…

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Fake Memorial Pages on Facebook, Pranks, and Cyberbullying

Canadian Cyberbullying Educator and Speaker Lissa Albert has been looking into the phenomenon of Fake Memorial Pages on Facebook, and whether these should be construed as simple, harmless pranks – or if they can be a form of harassment and, ultimately, cyberbullying with the significant potential for emotional and psychological harm.  We wanted to make…

Anthony Zeno v. Pine Plains Central School District Cyberbullying Research Center

Anthony Zeno v. Pine Plains Central School District

A new bullying case has emerged from the Second Circuit Court of Appeals (New York) which demonstrates that schools could potentially be held liable for monetary damages even in cases where they do take steps to respond to harassment that occurs in school.  The point this particular case makes is that a school response needs…

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Most Cyberbullies Are Bullies at School

Technology has given students immeasurable opportunities to communicate with friends and collaborate on schoolwork.  Of course it also allows those with ill-intent to use high-tech avenues as mediums to be mean.  One question that we have been exploring is the extent to which technology has created a whole new class of bullies.  Think about it:…

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Anonymous Reporting for Bullying and Cyberbullying Incidents

Justin and I strongly believe in the value of anonymous reporting systems in schools.  Based on our experiences working with students across the nation, we have found that they want to speak up and let adults know what is going on (both offline and online), but they are very nervous that it will end up…

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Smartphone Apps and Bullying

I’ve been chatting with Canadian cyberbullying educator and speaker Lissa Albert about various apps for cell phones and their potential for misuse, and it has been one fascinating conversation.  As such, she volunteered to write up a summary for our blog – which really paints a comprehensive picture as to what is available out there…

Amanda Todd, Cyberbullying, and Suicide Cyberbullying Research Center

Amanda Todd, Cyberbullying, and Suicide

By now, most people are familiar with the Amanda Todd tragedy. The 15-year old from British Columbia, Canada posted a cry-for-help video on YouTube using note cards to detail the torment she endured from classmates and strangers in the wake of a revealing (topless) video chat photo being released to her Facebook friends and others…

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School Climate and Cyberbullying: An Empirical Link

Our latest book School Climate 2.0: Preventing Cyberbullying and Sexting One Class at a Time argues that one promising way to prevent cyberbullying and other problematic online behaviors from occurring is to develop a positive climate at school where students feel safe and cared about. There is ample evidence to affirm the power of a…

Should Cities Have a Cyberbullying Ordinance? Cyberbullying Research Center

Should Cities Have a Cyberbullying Ordinance?

I have received quite a few inquiries in the last several months from local elected officials who are interested in proposing a city or county ordinance to address cyberbullying. An ordinance is basically a law or legal decree passed by local municipalities (usually a city, township, or county) that has the authority of law within…

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Nice it Forward

There appears to be a growing movement among teens to, well, be nice.  Or at least a movement to actively use social media to say nice things about others.  We are all familiar with the myriad of ways that technology can be used to cause harm; this blog is dedicated to working towards limiting those…

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Less schoolwide bans on devices, more school climate initiatives!

Computers have long been a fixture in many American schools. Indeed, we had computers in our middle schools back in the day. And when we visit schools today — large and small, rural and urban — they (of course) all have computers. Many schools have computer labs or general-access machines in libraries or other common…

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Teens and Technology, School District Policy Issues, 2012-2013

With the beginning of the school year upon us again, I thought it might be valuable to review a very important topic. One of the most important steps a district can take to help protect their students and protect themselves from legal liability is to have a clear and comprehensive policy regarding bullying and harassment,…

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A Positive School Climate Makes Everything Possible

We have a lot of really great anecdotes and ideas from educators included in our latest book School Climate 2.0:Preventing Cyberbullying and Sexting One Classroom at a Time.  Below is one example from our friend Steve Bollar, who is a principal in New Jersey.  He is an “in-the-trenches” expert when it comes to developing and…

A Positive School Climate Makes Everything Possible

We have a lot of really great anecdotes and ideas from educators included in our latest book School Climate 2.0:Preventing Cyberbullying and Sexting One Classroom at a Time.  Below is one example from our friend Steve Bollar, who is a principal in New Jersey.  He is an “in-the-trenches” expert when it comes to developing and…

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Bullying and Peer Violence Videos as Teaching Tools?

A colleague sent me an article detailing how pictures and videos of bullying and other forms of violence posted online – student on student, or student on teacher – can actually be used as a “teachable tool” and to “wake everyone up.”  Parents can sit down with youth and watch them together, and convey lessons…

Help With Fake Facebook Profile Pages Cyberbullying Research Center

Help With Fake Facebook Profile Pages

Imagine you receive an email from a friend that includes a link to a Facebook profile.  You click on the link and see your name and picture on the profile.  But you didn’t create it.  And some of the information included isn’t exactly flattering. In fact, it’s embarrassing, and malicious, and ruining your reputation.  Now…

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A Lot to Believe In

Sameer and I just returned from the Jostens Renaissance National Conference which was held this year in Orlando, Florida. This was the 5th year that I have presented at this conference and the second time that Sameer has participated. The theme of the event was “Something to Believe In” and did they ever deliver. Despite…

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New Teen Sexting Study

There is a new study on teen sexting that has been published (online at least) in the journal Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine that is receiving tons of media attention. Most research that is published in academic journals is largely ignored by the media and the public, but for some reason this article has…

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Peer Influences and Social Norming

We are working on a new paper that examines the influence of peers on cyberbullying behavior. We have long known that there is a strong correlation between a youth’s behaviors and those of his or her friends (see Mark Warr’s work, especially “Companions in Crime”). It should come as no surprise, then, that we are…

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Remarks to the Minnesota Task Force on the Prevention of Bullying

Yesterday I had the opportunity to speak to members of the Minnesota Task Force on the Prevention of Bullying.  Members were appointed by Governor Mark Dayton with the charge of recommending a course of action to the governor about how best to prevent and respond to bullying.  Below were my comments to the group. Remarks…

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Guidelines for updating your school’s social networking policy

As a followup to our last blog post, we’d like to share some more guidance to keep in mind as you are updating and refining your school’s policy related to Facebook (and other social networking sites). We hope this is helpful for you. Please remember, though, that you must do a lot more than policy…