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Old 02-10-2008, 09:58 AM #1
Gypsy Nirvana
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Cyber-Bullying.....

This topic has come to my attention more and more over the years that I have been a member of forum sites and has become more evident to me since I started www.icmag.com 4 years ago...by reading many threads and the posts within them....

Someone takes a dislike to you for some reason or another......It may be because you might dissagree with what they are saying online or a multitude of other reasons some that may have even taken place in the real world. It could be a form of industrial sabotage/espionage' if you run a business from a disgruntled employee or customer or competitor........


The bullying could also come from someone that just likes to victimise others from a safe seat somewhere without facing the repercussions from their actions that would normally happen in the real world.....

The cyber-bully can hide behind a screen somewhere safe (for them) and attack you in many ways as I have seen against myself and many others out there over the years and this can be quite damaging both phychologically and emotionally to the victim.

What is Cyberbullying?

Cyberbullying ......refers to the new, and growing, practice of using modern technology to harass, or bully, someone else.

In the past Bullies used to be restricted to methods such as physical intimidation......postal mail, or on the telephone. Nowadays, developments in electronic media offer forums such as email, instant messaging, web pages, and digital photograpy to add to the arsenal.....so.... Computers, cell phones, and PDAs(blackberries e.t.c) are new tools that can be applied to an old practice......

....There are different forms of cyberbullying and these can range in severity from cruel or embarrassing rumors to threats, harassment, or stalking. It can affect any age group; however, teenagers and young adults are common victims, and cyberbullying is a growing problem in schools.

....Why has cyberbullying become such a problem?....

The relative anonymity of the internet is appealing for bullies because it enhances the intimidation and makes tracing the activity more difficult....

...Some bullies also find it much easier to be more vicious because there is no personal contact. Unfortunately, the internet and email can also increase the visibility of the activity. Information or pictures posted online or forwarded in mass emails can reach a larger audience faster than more traditional methods, causing more damage to the victims.

..Because of the amount of personal information available online, bullies may be able to arbitrarily choose their victims.

....Cyberbullying may also indicate a tendency toward more serious behavior. While bullying has always been an unfortunate reality, most bullies grow out of it.

Cyberbullying has not existed long enough to have solid research, but there is evidence that it may be an early warning for more violent behavior.

How can you protect yourself?....

Be careful where you post personal information - By limiting the number of people who have access to your contact information or details about your interests, habits, or employment, you reduce your exposure to bullies that you do not know. This may limit your risk of becoming a victim and may make it easier to identify the bully if you are victimized.....

Avoid escalating the situation - Responding with hostility is likely to provoke a bully and escalate the situation.

Depending on the circumstances, consider ignoring the issue. Often, bullies thrive on the reaction of their victims. Other options include subtle actions. For example, if you are receiving unwanted email messages, consider changing your email address. If the bully does not have access to the new address, the problem may stop.

Online in forum sites such as this you can redflag any post that you concieve as being from a cyberbully and get the administrators of the site to be aware of it and then they can adudicate as to whether or not the material breaches their terms of use and then deal with it by deleting the post/thread and/or warning or banning the member responsible for it.
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Old 02-10-2008, 10:33 AM #2
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I find this phenomenon which is drawing a lot of international attention, mainly due to it being perpetrated against teens and pre-teens, to have amazingly striking similarities in the adult age group, and especially where forum websites frequented by adults are concerned...and then add in the mix of all this the 'type' of website frequented (those in which a member relies on anonymity) and the analogy is quite clear.

These are definitions found when googling in research of cyber-bullying:

Sending a threatening or hurtful email or instant message, publishing a mocking or hateful website, forwarding private or personal information to others whether in an email, instant message, picture or video, are just some of the methods online bullies use to embarrass, intimidate, harass, threaten or ridicule another person.

• Flaming is a type of online fight. It is an act of sending or posting electronic messages that are deliberately hostile, insulting, mean, angry, vulgar or insulting, to one person or several, either privately or publicly to an online group.

• Denigration also known as "dissing", occurs when a person sends or publishes cruel rumors, gossip or untrue statements about a person to intentionally damage the victim's reputation or friendships.

•Bash boards are online bulletin boards where people post anything they choose. Generally, the postings are mean, hateful and malicious.

• Impersonation can be particularly harmful and occurs when someone pretends to be or poses as another person.

• Outing occurs when someone sends or publishes confidential, private, or embarrassing information, online. Private email messages or images meant for private viewing, is then forwarded to others.

• Trickery is when a person purposely tricks another person into divulging secrets, private information or embarrassing information, and publishes that information online.

• Exclusion is an indirect method of online bullying, intentionally excluding someone from an online group or community.

• Harassment is when the electronic bully repeatedly sends insulting, hurtful, rude, insulting messages.


As anyone should be able to see, by drawing the parallel between what is going on with teens and pre-teens, this activity is (especially among the online canna community) a clear and present danger.

This is why ICMag has a TOU regarding flaming:

4. Flaming/Trolling: Flames are posts intended to insult and provoke. Posters who speak incessantly and/or rabidly on some relatively uninteresting subject or with a patently ridiculous attitude will be banned. Repeated posts directed with hostility at a particular person or group of people or their beliefs will be cause for banning. Any individual who chronically trolls, who regularly posts arguments, flames or personal attacks for no other purpose than to annoy someone or disrupt a discussion will be banned. Trolls are recognizable by the fact that they have no real interest in learning about the topic at hand - they simply want to utter flame bait.

This is why ICMag has a TOU regarding sharing or distributing personal information or text sent via private methods:

12...The Posting of personnal messages(P.M.'s) and e-mails (or part's there-of) in open forums sent to you on this site or any other is strictly frowned upon/not considered good etiquette and will lead to the offending member being banished from this site....posting of members' personal info is strictly forbidden and will result in immediate banning. P.M. clarification: ANY personal message sent by one member to another through the P.M. system or Rep Point system, both of which are not public and shared between a private system between members (not in open forum).

12a. Forwarding of Private Messages (P.M.'s) shall not take place without the original sender of the P.M. giving the member who wishes to forward that private information permission 'prior' to the P.M. being forwarded. Any member who forwards a P.M. to another member without first obtaining permission from the original sender will be banned should the original sender of that P.M. make a valid complaint to Admin.

As always, and as stated in the ICMag TOU:

Please let us know ASAP if there are any postings that violate these guidelines, especially if they offend you! Next to every post there is a link to report the post.

Many times both Gypsy and myself have urged members to never ever reveal their personal information to another member (unknown internet entity). I have often referred to this as playing 'russian roulette' with your security.

We wish to not scare anyone...just knock some sense into some who are either 1) unaware how vulnerable they become through unsafe online practices, or, 2) need a bit of a reminder to not get too comfortable...to the extent of divulging your personal 'real' world (identity etc) to others.

Additional note to members with teenage children...if you have not heard about this problem before, please do some research on it, as this trend of behavior in ever increasing statistically. It has within the past few years taken a leap into the adult realm as well.

Thanks,
dg
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Old 02-10-2008, 10:53 AM #3
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Its sure a shame this is the way things are shaping up... Im glad you guys take the time to bring us up to speed on this issue. thnx
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Old 02-10-2008, 11:24 AM #4
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Sad sign of the times - technology seems to be enhancing all the worst aspects of society and suppressing anything good.

Welcome to the brave new world!
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Old 02-10-2008, 02:32 PM #5
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High ... my name is Herb Weedman ... I'm a cyber bully (in recovery) ... I've relapsed a few times lately and I need help ... Yummybud is my target ... I live to hate him ... I tried and tried to help him (as many others have) but instead of taking some very solid advice from myself and other more intelligent, respected members he chooses to counter all helpful posts with more of his bullshit as to why he can't accomplish even the simplest of tasks (asking a girl out, making friends, keeping his undies clean or growing a plant). I want to stop hating on Yummybud ... but I just can't ... I see him in chat and I have to hate on him ... I see his threads and I have to troll them ... Is there a pill I can take ? Is there a group I can attend ? I don't want to feel hate in my heart but in Yummys case I'm starting to Like it ... HELP!
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Old 02-10-2008, 04:01 PM #6
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wow, i can't believe this just went up. I did a search for "trolls" because I have a follower that does nothing but frustrate me (I don't even post a ton). I get negative feedbacks on regular post made months ago from the same person.

what should one do if they are being cyber bullied?
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Old 02-10-2008, 06:18 PM #7
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I think this subject deserves further attention.......Great thread Gypsy......
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Old 02-10-2008, 07:37 PM #8
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I laugh when someone is out of line, it just makes them look bad. Flaming is just not useful, if even a person thinks they're teaching a person something. There is always someone to answer your question in a responsible and honest manner, so I don't mind flamers that much, but they just lower our spirits whether we are the person who posted or are just reading it.
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Old 02-10-2008, 08:57 PM #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dutchgrown
I find this phenomenon which is drawing a lot of international attention, mainly due to it being perpetrated against teens and pre-teens, to have amazingly striking similarities in the adult age group, and especially where forum websites frequented by adults are concerned...and then add in the mix of all this the 'type' of website frequented (those in which a member relies on anonymity) and the analogy is quite clear.

These are definitions found when googling in research of cyber-bullying:


• Exclusion is an indirect method of online bullying, intentionally excluding someone from an online group or community.
We who moderate and administer online fora have a special responsibility to be aware of this particular type of cyber-bullying.

Some degree of transparency- making clear what precisely the issue or issues were that led to an exclusion- rather than simply summarily and with no constructive elaboration excluding people, can help preemptively prevent this particular sort of cyber-bullying. It will also help define and make clear to all users where the lines are drawn, thus helping avoid unnecessary misunderstandings and ambiguities in future.

Sometimes exclusions can be a useful tool for protecting other users and the general civility of a given online forum. Other times they can be, as you said, employed maliciously as a cyber-bullying tactic.

Every one of us who moderate or administer online fora need to balance protecting civil discourse on our sites against the temptation to use exclusion as a means to bully users with whom we disagree but express their views in a civil, respectful and polite manner.

I've had to ban people for disruptive and abusive behavior in order to protect the users and civility of fora I've helped run, but I always do so reluctantly and strive to keep from letting mere honest differences of opinion expressed civilly be the cause. It can be a difficult and thankless job as I well know and the primary compensation is often simply knowing one has done their best to be fair and to keep the discourse civil and constructive without one's personal feelings compromising one's objectivity. I'll bet there are a lot of others like myself here who volunteer our time to help various sites provide the best experience for our fellow users.

Take the time to thank your mods and admin on the sites you enjoy visiting, those thanks may be all the tangible reward they get!
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Old 02-10-2008, 10:14 PM #10
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Originally Posted by JJScorpio
I think this subject deserves further attention.......Great thread Gypsy......
You may want to change your signature and title then JJ
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