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 cyberbullyingMore excerpts from another site that deals with teens and online cruelty:
- 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...
How, Who, Why
- Cyberstalking -- creating fear by sending offensive messages and other harmful online activities
- 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.
- 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.
Define cyberbullyingFinally, 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.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.
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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