Just a quick cross-cultural thought – this article discusses how approximately 10% of 9th and 10th graders in Australia have been cyberbullied…and the article compares that figure to the 50% or so (????) of American students who have been cyberbullied. The lead researcher and professor stated that their country is about five or so years behind on issues like this…and that this problem will grow in Australia with the increased adoption of high-speed Internet connections in homes.
I personally am not sure that higher broadband speeds available at home are going to markedly enhance the rate of online victimization. I’ve researched intellectual property theft and found a strong correlation of piracy with faster lines allowing higher throughput, but I feel that there are fundamental behavioral, cultural, and societal issues that facilitate higher rates of cyberbullying in certain countries. For example, certain countries in the Far East (e.g., Japan, South Korea) have ridiculously fast broadband (40mbps+) to the home, but cyberbullying is not a severe problem at all because demonstrations of interpersonal aggression and violence online are shunned, shameful, and disdained. Justin and I plan to conduct comparative cross-cultural research on cyberbullying in the near future to further flesh out the relevant issues. For now, I’d be really interested to hear the insight of others on this matter.