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Monday, March 10, 2014

Take a Stand Against Cyber Bullying

To start I'd like to applaud Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the other technology forums in their initial efforts to combat bullying. They acknowledged that the problem exists and has evolved to a new level in the cyber communities. Facebook has taken the approach to establish a HUB where their users can specifically report bullying. Twitter and Instagram have taken a less direct approach to have them reported as abusive users.

Yet I believe that it is possible for the companies to take a proactive approach to dealing with bullying. The software exists when red flags can be raised if certain words are used. Rather than rely on the victim to muster the courage to report their attackers protocols should be in place for the sites to contact the victim and attackers if certain keywords are used. There would be some who believe this would squash freedom of expression but direct, premeditated attacks should not be included under that heading. 

These technology forums have been used as a tool to advance a growing culture of hate. The flawed philosophy of sticks, stones and words has been around for years. The right words can cut deep. A single individual is capable of inflicting much psychological damage and that is increased exponentially when there are multiple attackers piling on as a pack.

That is the mentality that has developed in cyber space where people feel they have the right to attack any one for whatever reason. Even celebrities are not immune to such attacks. Jimmy Kimmel highlights this situation for comedic purposes with his Mean Tweets segments. Yet that raises the question as to why someone would follow someone on Twitter or join their Facebook page just to say venomous things.

A recent story in the news revolved about several people launching a campaign of hate against someone who shared the same name as their intended target. Rachel Canning was the recipient of the attacks and she was able to spin the situation to raise awareness and funds for autism. She also made the effort to personally scold some of the attackers for their actions against someone they did not know from the safety behind their computer. One hero that has risen above the situation and created something positive.

The idea of wearing the white hat or black hat has been around for years. There is no denying that those that embrace the bully culture have chosen to wear the metaphorical black hat. It really is a situation of black and white. The difference between right and wrong. A problem that must be dealt with wherever it arises.

-population-we™ blog post by John Bohan
© 2014 population-we, LLC 
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  1. It's not that bullying is any worse today. The impulse for cruelty is the same impulse. The only difference is that the tools to achieve that have become more sophisticated.We were about the youngest ones and the older ones would pick on us. When they would bully us, we’d double-team them. We do take bullying seriously and we investigate any incident of bullying. Are my children ever kind to each other? check your child's protection at

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