Sunday, January 21, 2007

Cyberbullying and "Maturity"

While in the process of doing the research for the blog I'm currently working on ("Cruelty in an Internet World") I came across a few articles and links that I wanted to share with you in the interim. These articles deal with internet bullying and cruelty.

One thing struck me as I read them. It seems as though there is an assumption that cyberbullying is an activity endemic to just teens and children. There is little acknowledgement of the fact that such bullying is also being conducted by adults in the internet world. Perhaps part of the reason for that is the assumed maturity level of those who engage in that bullying. One would think (or hope) that once one reached adulthood, one would be past the stage of taunting, threats, lies, mockery, and other actions practiced by these online purveyors of nastiness. Of course, that is a false assumption, as clearly shown by those who daily bully Clay Aiken and his fans "like it's their job."

Regardless of the fact that the following excerpts are from sites and articles that are specific to children and teens, much of what is identified within also holds true for the adult bully. Society has clearly defined the sorts of activities in which they participate to be unacceptable. It is difficult to believe that some of the things I've been reading in preparation for the next blog were written by adults. I've seen higher moral and ethical standards (not to mention intelligence and maturity) in a Middle School.

So...on to the articles I discovered:

Here are some relevant selected excerpts from a site called "Cyberbully"
(comments in brackets [ ] are mine):

Types of cyberbullying
  • Flaming -- angry, rude arguments
  • Harassment -- repeatedly sending offensive messages
  • Denigration -- "dissing" someone online by spreading rumors or posting false information
  • Impersonation -- pretending to be someone else and posting...
  • Cyberstalking -- creating fear by sending offensive messages and other harmful online activities
How, Who, Why

  • Cyberbullying may occur via personal web sites, blogs, email, discussion groups, message boards, chat, instant messaging, or text/image cell phones.
  • A cyberbully may be a person whom the target knows or an online stranger. A cyberbully may be anonymous and may enlist the help of others, including online "friends."
  • Teens [or in this case adults] may not be concerned about the consequences of harmful online behavior because: They think they are invisible or can take steps to become invisible, so they think they can't be punished.

The Harm

  • Cyberbullying can cause great emotional harm to the target
  • Online communications can be very cruel and vicious
  • Cyberbullying can be happening 24/7. Damaging text and images can be widely disseminated and impossible to fully remove.
More excerpts from another site that deals with teens and online cruelty:

Define cyberbullying

Cyberbullying is harassing, humiliating, intimidating others on the internet. Some teens [and adults] are using the internet to deliver cruel and harmful messages. Sometimes cyberbullying involves racial, religious, or cultural slurs. Sometimes it is sexual in nature. It can involve someone you know or a complete stranger.
One of the questions in the children's activity section in the article:

8. What positive values are missing when someone bullies online? (Respect, responsibilities, fairness, etc.) What about kids who watch as another kid is bullied online? What does that say about them? Their values?
Excerpts from the section that deals with sharing information about cyberbullying:

2. ...cyberbullying is different from face-to-face bullying because:

  • It frequently gives the bully anonymity.
  • The cyberbully doesn't see the hurt he or she has inflicted. There is no visual or auditory feedback. Cyberbullies may not feel any compassion or empathy.
  • Cyberbullies can be dangerous people.
  • Online bullying is a punishable offense.
Finally, The Washington Post published an article that dealt with the "hidden culture of agression" in our society, and how that was applicable to children and internet bullying. Again, this article uses children as its reference point. Amazing that the activities it addresses are also being conducted by (supposed) adults.

As you can see, even though the above sites and snippets are directed towards children and teens, concerning bullies who also happen to be children and teens, much of what is said within them can also be applied to the adult online bullies witnessed every day on several of the "hater" sites, and on the message boards and comment areas where they swarm anytime a mention is made of Clay Aiken. Again, the maturity and emotional level of those who engage in this form of activity is highly suspect.

Consider this blog a preface to the one I'm in the process of writing.

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caviar said...

Those who expend an inordinate amount of energy trying to destroy the career of an artist, derived solely from envy that his talent, intellect, and humanitarian endeavors so surpass those meriting their admiration, readily can be defined in terms of cyberbullying as stated in your blog. The perverse and obsessive behavior of an ilk drawn together from a hatred of Clay Aiken is in itself sociopathic. Protected by internet anonymity, they project their own amoral cyberharassment onto Clay's fandom demonstrating, sadly, the demented adults those children guity of such practices may become.

kit said...

Nighthawk, thanks for your new blog. I particularly appreciate the Washington Post link. That article stuns me! I know what the FOOLS have been doing to Clay and us, but I was unaware that children are tainted with the same kind of insane hatred. What is going on in our world? I have no recollection of anything resembling this in my childhood. Do I simply have a bad memory, or is something terrible happening to our society's code of ethics? I'm simply struck dumb and deeply hurt by it all. Thank you, Nighthawk, for your compelling efforts to rectify this wrong.

tnmtmama said...

Excellent blog, nighthawk. One of the reasons this is so prevalent now is that people can remain anonymous while doing it. Before, they needed to be face to face, now they can hide behind a computer screen. You would expect adults to act like adults, and, sadly, they are. This is how some adults act when they don't think anyone can see them.

Anonymous said...

Excellent links. Thank You. I think the anonymity afforded on the internet makes it too easy for people to treat others this way. It's similar to the rude gestures directed at other drivers. I'm sure people that express their aggression that way would be horrified if they ever looked through the window of that other car and found one of their children or friends looking back at them. If that analogy could be extended to the internet, perhaps they could see how harmful that behavior is to themselves and to the world.

As we all try to evolve as better people living in a better world, it usually becomes clear to most people that the first place to work on improving the world is inside ourselves. The inner shadows need to be combatted first. People that are unable to deal with their inner shadows, typically look outside, searching for an 'enemy' to blame. The fact that these people are "adults" and are still doing that speaks volumes about their character and the depth of their problems. A person like Clay that reflects back on them their own shortcomings must, in their minds, be attacked or they will have to accept that the problem is within themselves. Hard to do when you're not thinking clearly and have surrounded yourself by others with similar problems.

It's sad really. I wish there was something more we could do. I really do feel like your blogs are a great way to shed light on this issue and, hopefully, those that are just on the fringes of this lunacy might actually see clearly enough to help themselves.

Anonymous said...

Interesting blog. I had no idea this was going on with kids, and I guess it sure says a lot about the grownup bullies, doesn't it?

So if Percocet is TFH who supposedly is also Director Sandy of KCE, doesn't KCE have a lot of teens? If its her, could this person be possibly inciting some of the teens there to become cyberbullies? I know it's not illegal (I don't think) and I guess she's from Canada so US laws wouldn't apply anyway, but it sure is disgusting and immoral.

Anonymous said...

Anon at 7:12, I really liked your post. It "speaks volumes about their character and the depth of their problems" indeed.

Feisty said...

Great blog Nighthawk.

I feel for the children of these FOOLS who continue to spew their lies like they breathe air. If this is the way they as parents act, I can just imagine how they have raised their families. It’s a very scary thought really. Hopefully their children are smarter than they are… let’s pray anyway.

I suppose though that the FOOLS themselves are just unhappy outcasts in society with very little in their daily lives to keep them occupied, so they found the internet and a group of others with the same mindset. The FOOLS continually show their green, although they try to disguise it under a veil of hatred. But they are consistent. Each day they continue to show their FOOLish side. They are running out of things to dig up now because there isn’t anything (as there wasn’t from the beginning), so now they are bringing up “Old News” and they think that is going to have some huge bearing on Clay? Big YAWN!!!

I for one can’t wait to see your next installment. You may though have to write it in a way for the FOOLS to understand. Perhaps you can include pictures for them?

oneidolwoman said...

Nighthawk, thanks yet again!

The FOOLS are self-hate hobbyists. Their offline relationships must be torture for them and for those who are unfortunate enough to know them. Yep. Because they are failures at everything, they choose to spend their precious time on this earth attempting to destroy the happiness, success, wealth, celebrity, good relationships and good deeds that they will never know or experience themselves.

The FOOLS are feeding off of a huge reservoir of self-hate.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this blog, They have been very accurate and well thought out. This is exactly what I see from the FOOLS evryday. If it involves Clay on the internet they are there. spreading lies. I'm looking forward to more, somehow this is helping me too, to ignore thier crap. seeing it put this way shows me thier true intentions without being surrounded by thier filth.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for what you are doing. I am particularly interested in the lack of maturity these mentally disturbed people display. It truly does amaze me that some of these hateful people are actually old enough to be Clay's grandmother and many old enough to be his mother. Boggles the mind unless one accepts the reality that they are truly demented and need psychiatric help.

DawnC said...

I would consider what someone did at Clay's MySpace page yesterday as cyberbullying. Someone posted multiple defaced photos of Clay and repeatedly posted obscene comments about his sexuality. The name of the person who did this was male and his avatar was of two bare-chested men embracing, so it's possible he is a gay man.

Which raises the question: why would any gay person participate in the ridicule of anyone else's sexuality, gay or straight, having likely encountered sexual prejudice themselves? The media promotes negative sexual stereotypes and the public condones sexual harassment in the form of "celebrity gossip" and "jokes", but it would seem non-heterosexual people would tend to defend an individual's right to self-identify, not join in the social hostility toward those who are perceived to be gay. If they truly believe Clay is "one of them", what purpose does it serve to add to the climate of negative stereotypes and intolerance? On the other hand, no amount of pressure and harassment can force someone to "come out" if there is no closet.

I don't understand the mob mentality which apparently feeds the obsession of the FOOLS, but I particularly don't understand such unacceptable behavior from those who have likely been targets of discrimination and abuse themselves.

tnmtmama said...

dawnc asks:

Which raises the question: why would any gay person participate in the ridicule of anyone else's sexuality, gay or straight, having likely encountered sexual prejudice themselves?

I can't answer your question, but the pictures came from PH. Great endorsement for his lifestyle, isn't he? He is the perfect example of a cyberbully, hiding behind what he calls a gossip site, making up lies about people.

kit said...

Recently I've read numerous blurbs in various non-tabloid publications either implying or actually stating that Clay's career has faltered due to the negative publicity he's been receiving. I think THIS kind of publicity is very likely to turn away potential fans who buy into it. Thus, I think Nighthawk's work here is particularly important, but only if we can get it disseminated to the general public. With this thread, Nighthawk, you're just preaching to the choir. Please find a way to get public attention to your findings. I'm getting scared that we're going to lose Clay if we can't help shut up the insidious FOOLS.

celebhith said...


There's really not a lot I can add to what everyone else has said in response to your blog. I can only ditto with a huge BRAVO and keep up the good work. Your research and exposing all aspects of these haters is sorely needed!

Anonymous said...

I think it is true that this is preaching to the choir. It is very frustrating to know how all this has damaged Clay's career, and I believe it has and it is based on lies. I think someone needs to get this all out there to the general public but how? This has been a true smear campaign against a fine and decent human being. It's deplorable. I want the world to know how the media works with slime to promote lies about people. It happens a great deal and Clay is a prime example of this. How can we get this out there?

nighthawk said...

Apologies to everyone for taking so long to write this next blog.

While I have been busy, the truth of the matter is that there is just such a wealth of material from which to choose, it's hard to decide which angle to explore first. Looking at the depth of delusional and wishful thinking grounded in malevolence as is found on their boards is just ... well, it would take a decent psychiatrist about a year to decipher it and make all the correct diagnoses. Sort of like group psychosis.

I alternate between thinking I'm looking at a writhing mass of hissing snakes, or a group of baboons beating their chests and putting on a display. At times it's utterly ridiculous and laughable and at times jaw dropping in its spite and hatefulness. That they think of this as normal behavior in and of itself indicates that there is a disconnect with reality. And they're at it 24/7 ... like I said earlier, obsessed.

They have taken falsehoods and created a whole separate reality and emotional framework built around them. Some undoubtedly know about the lies. Others probably have convinced themselves of their validity, ridiculous though they are. All are steeped in negative energy, mockery, and hatred designed to ruin the life and career of a young guy with a great voice who came in second on a talent show. What a noble and sane goal in life!

So, as I said, lots of material to choose from, and my preference is to use their own words to illustrate my points .. they make it so easy. I'll decide which blog to finish and put up first tomorrow. Since I'm working on a couple right now, the next two should be fairly close together.

Also, I'm sorry for not putting some of the comments through. I don't want to go there yet.

Anonymous said...

Well, I'll tell you what they have sunk to a new low. What utter low-class filth they are. They have drug an innocent child's name - a child who is now dead - into their cesspool and twisted this child's story to make it against Clay.

I know this child's family and they will be HORRIFIED to find out about the exploitation of their daughter's name and story in that filthy pit of a site and for the purpose of trashing something that their daughter cherished.

I have no words for scum like that.

Truth Rules said...

"It is very frustrating to know how all this has damaged Clay's career, and I believe it has and it is based on lies."

While I understand that there are some who perceive this to be true I wish that the people thinking this would stop saying it.

It is most definitely not true and it gives the FOOLS a false sense of accomplishment. The FOOLS have no power over anyone unless it is given to them. Clay certainly has not given them any power over his life or his career. Neither should we.

Idiots and Fools said...

Clay's career has not been damaged by the FOOLS even though they want to take credit for anything that befalls him.

Clay has dismissed these FOOLS from his life and is living his life as he sees fit.

While I appreciate NH for doing these blogs, I have to believe that they are not for Clay's benefit.

He doesn't give these FOOLS a minute of his time, nor should he.

They are completely delusional and for them to think they have any impact on his career only shows how completely out of their minds they are.

What a pathetic group of scum.

oneidolwoman said...

"While I understand that there are some who perceive this to be true I wish that the people thinking this would stop saying it."

I agree. Let's keep it in perspective. The FOOLS are flyspecks. I've read dozens of VERY positive Clay mentions in blogs and articles about AI6. Most people know FOOLS when they trip over them and just keep walking. Clay will still be singing and doing good deeds decades from now. (I'm going to need to live to a very ripe old age so that I can enjoy watching all of his success.)

Anonymous said...

ABC has offered to allow people to ask questions of Clay during his appearance on GMA. Over at the anti-fan site they found this out and were thinking up all kinds of nasty questions to ask Clay. Someone asked where to send the questions. Someone else posted the ABC site. Then someone posted that you had to ask these question via a video! They couldn't do that! They wanted to send them anonymously--of course because none of them have the courage to ask their nasty questions on a video--proving they are nothing but a bunch of cowards hiding behind their computers. Besides, they are idiots if they think anyone at ABC would actually put their questions on the air.