All Articles Tagged "cyberbullying"
For all the full-time Internet trolls out there, let this be a warning to you: If there’s one celebrity you might not want to go after, especially through their social media accounts that they clearly have control over, it’s probably Rihanna.
According to VIBE, the singer and wannabe “gangsta” was minding her business, posting her usual variety of photos to her Instagram. One of these photos just so happened to be of Ri with one of her family members, so you would hope these type of photos would be off-limits to the haters.
A follower who clearly wasn’t a fan commented on the picture saying, “I swear everyone in Rihanna’s family looks like they’re retarded… Must be the drugs and alcohol!”
Like most trolls, this follower assumed that she wasn’t going to see it and that she could just get a few Navy stans riled up, but the singer herself caught wind of the comment and went on attack mode.
She went to the woman’s Instagram profile, grabbed a photo of her, put it side-by-side with a goat and posted it to her profile with the following caption:
“Can you spot the 3 things that are different in these pics? Chile, it’s time to privatize that account!”
Ouch. In the end, the young woman privatized her account, because we’re sure the stans were trying to do some research on her and be ugly, and as for Rihanna, she would later delete the photo of the young woman next to the goat. But alas, what’s done on the Internet always comes to light.
While the young woman shouldn’t have said that a member of the singer’s family looks “retarted,” and even if she deserved some sort of tongue-lashing, at the same time, Rihanna needs to be above going toe-to-toe with these folks. We all do it once or twice out of frustration, but we know this isn’t the first time she’s done so on her Instagram and Twitter. And with all of her often fanatic/crazed followers, she was, in a way, setting this woman up to get verbally attacked by hundreds of people. All in all, everybody needs to do better.
So, to you, is this a form of cyber-bullying? Or are people overreacting?
When Bullies Hurt More Than Your Feelings: Are Parents Making Today’s Kids Too Sensitive To Handle Conflict?
One of the things I enjoy most about Facebook is that through a simple “Accept Friend Request” you can see exactly who’s still involved in childish drama that was once entertaining as a teen, but is now plain pathetic. On a positive note, you can also see slivers of success from not just the over-achievers, but the underdogs who are having the last laugh. But what also becomes apparent in my adventures in social networking is the need for people to obsess over their glory days in the high school hallways, because clearly their adult lives are paling in comparison. I’m not talking about joining a group to be updated about the ten-year reunion or occasional passing memory about a beloved teacher who passed away. I’m talking about the folks who are trapped in their prom king/queen reign while the rest of us are living real life.
I bring this all up to say that high school was definitely not chock full of my fondest memories. In fact, I don’t even remember much of it. While I wasn’t exactly bullied, there was a clear defining line between the “cool” kids and everyone else. I had my moments, but I definitely didn’t make the cut for senior superlatives. I wasn’t drowning in ridicule but I wasn’t sunbathing on the shores of the socially elite. With a few close friends and some funny memories, I happily spent my school career staying afloat somewhere in the middle.
Today’s teens are definitely growing up in a different element. I have my fair share of awkward memories of classmates rubbing my five-head like a genie lamp and joking about premiering movies on my high hairline. There was a guy or two who publicly rejected my silent love letter advances. But even on my worst days, I knew that when that bell rang at 3:00 p.m., I could return to a place where people loved me and not have to deal with any of that nonsense for at least 18 hours. Today, Facebook, Twitter and other social networks are giving teens their own digital spotlight and making it difficult for them to at least just blend in somewhere in the middle. Either you’re the most popular person at school with 2000 followers to prove it or there are message boards dedicated solely to unite people who hate you for the most random reason. Social networking at its worst is giving cruel kids more opportunities to bully even after the last bell rings.
Bully victims are between 2 to 9 times more likely to consider suicide than non-victims, according to studies by Yale University. The CDC reports that suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people, resulting in about 4,400 deaths per year. Over 14 percent of high school students have considered suicide, and almost seven percent have attempted it. As a result, more and more parents are opting to home school their children or allowing them to enroll in cyber school, but I question if this is helping or hurting the problem. Whether you’re dealing with a Twitter thug or a good old-fashioned jock stuffing a student into a locker, three things are usually true:
- Bullies thrive in numbers. You may have a ringleader, but they usually crumble if they don’t have a crew to back them up.
- Bullies thrive on weakness and intimidation. Your fear is their motivation.
- The best defense is a good offense. Bullies don’t have nearly as much influence on someone dealing with someone who is self-assured and has a strong support system in the first place.
(New York Times) — Under a new state law in New Jersey, lunch-line bullies in the East Hanover schools can be reported to the police by their classmates this fall through anonymous tips to the Crimestoppers hot line. In Elizabeth, children, including kindergartners, will spend six class periods learning, among other things, the difference between telling and tattling. And at North Hunterdon High School, students will be told that there is no such thing as an innocent bystander when it comes to bullying: if they see it, they have a responsibility to try to stop it. But while many parents and educators welcome the efforts to curb bullying both on campus and online, some superintendents and school board members across New Jersey say the new law, which takes effect Sept. 1, reaches much too far, and complain that they have been given no additional resources to meet its mandates.
(AP) — A business consultant who wants to know who’s been anonymously disparaging and fixating on her online has gotten a court to force Google to tell her, reports the Associated Press. As she joined a growing number of people who have persuaded courts to unmask troublesome cyber ciphers, Carla Franklin said Wednesday she hoped her case would help others combat similar problems. “The Internet cannot become a safe haven for harassers and stalkers,” she said in an e-mail.
(Chicago Sun Times) — Digitally placing classmates’ heads onto other people’s bodies, leaving abusive messages on Facebook profiles, e-mailing X-rated images and inciting violence via text message are all part of the modern school bully’s arsenal, Chicago Public School officials say.
But now new rules mean “cyberbullies” caught using cell phones or social networking websites such as MySpace or Bebo to pick on classmates face mandatory suspension, possible expulsion and a police investigation.