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Digital Self-Harm: The Growing Problem You’ve Never Heard Of post thumbnail

Digital Self-Harm: The Growing Problem You’ve Never Heard Of

Sameer and I first became aware of digital self-harm over a decade ago when we learned of the suicide of Hannah Smith. She was 14 years old when she ended her life after being mistreated online. The resulting investigation determined that the threats and hurtful comments directed toward her on the anonymous app Ask.fm were […]

Lessons Learned from Ten Generative AI Misuse Cases post thumbnail

Lessons Learned from Ten Generative AI Misuse Cases

Generative AI can contribute to a wide range of possible risks and harms that can affect the emotional and psychological well-being of others, their financial state of affairs, and even their physiological health and physical safety.  Both users and platforms (as well as government!) have a clear role to play, and I’ve explained their respective […]

Teens and AI: Virtual Girlfriend and Virtual Boyfriend Bots post thumbnail

Teens and AI: Virtual Girlfriend and Virtual Boyfriend Bots

A school counselor who works in a private school in California recently emailed me to ask for help as it relates to students and the misuse of specific AI bots. Her concerns, though, did not surround general purpose AI bots like Snapchat’s My AI or Microsoft’s CoPilot, but rather those that are specifically used as […]

When Your Mother is Your Cyberbully post thumbnail

When Your Mother is Your Cyberbully

Last winter when Sameer and I were writing the third edition of Bullying Beyond the Schoolyard (published last fall!), we spent quite a bit of time searching for unique examples of cyberbullying to include in the book. One of the more interesting cases I came across involved a 14-year-old girl from Beal City, Michigan. I […]

World Anti-Bullying Forum 2023! post thumbnail

World Anti-Bullying Forum 2023!

It’s been over a month, but I still catch myself smiling when I think of the memories made at the 2023 World Anti-Bullying Forum (WABF). For those not familiar, WABF is an international forum and biennial conference focused on understanding and preventing bullying, cyberbullying, and other forms of interpersonal violence against children and young people. Delegates […]

Cyberbullying Continues to Rise among Youth in the United States post thumbnail

Cyberbullying Continues to Rise among Youth in the United States

Here at the Cyberbullying Research Center, we routinely collect data from middle and high school students so that we can keep on top of what they are experiencing online. Over the last two decades, we have completed about twenty unique studies of teens and tweens in the United States involving more than 30,000 subjects. And […]

Social Media, Youth, and New Legislation: The Most Critical Components post thumbnail

Social Media, Youth, and New Legislation: The Most Critical Components

In my last piece, I discussed how some legislation in various US states has been proposed without careful consideration of the contributing factors of internalized and externalized harm among youth. More specifically, I expressed concern that the complexities surrounding why youth struggle emotionally and psychologically demand more than simplistic, largely unenforceable solutions. We recognize that […]

State Laws, Social Media Bans, and Youth: What Are We Doing? post thumbnail

State Laws, Social Media Bans, and Youth: What Are We Doing?

There has been a flurry of activity related to new legislation intending to make social media and gaming platforms safer and more accountable to upholding expected standards of trust, security, transparency, and privacy. These laws are being proposed because of continued concern of possible ill effects of popular platforms on the well-being of young people. […]

Takeaways from the Surgeon General’s Advisory on Social Media post thumbnail

Takeaways from the Surgeon General’s Advisory on Social Media

U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy issued an advisory earlier this year entitled “Social Media and Youth Mental Health.” In this public statement, Dr. Murthy summarizes the (limited and often methodologically shaky) research related to adolescents use of social media. His primary focus is on mental health, though other aspects of child wellbeing are also […]

Harassment in TikTok Comments: A Pilot Test of the TikTok Research API post thumbnail

Harassment in TikTok Comments: A Pilot Test of the TikTok Research API

In the Spring of 2023, TikTok released a Research API to academic researchers in the United States in an effort to “enhance transparency with the research community” and “stay accountable to how we moderate and recommend content.”1 According to their documentation, approved access allows for the retrieval of: • Public account data, such as user […]