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How do we stop cyber bullying?

Every so often, there is a story on the news about a teen or adult commiting suicide due to cyber bullying. This story on the BBC News website has caught my eye and many others as well; http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/19960162

I know it is a very big problem today and I would like it to be a minimal problem in the future.

I was hoping we could all join together, concentrate and present as many ideas as possible to tackle this problem. I know we probably won't be able to solve it in this one conversation but we could start talking to combat the issue.

What are your ideas to prevent/stop cyber bullying?

Do you reckon we should put a minimum age of using social networking sites or uploading images onto social networking sites?

Ready for all suggestions!

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    Josh S

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    Oct 17 2012: I'm a high-schooler so for the most part, im in the middle of the situation.

    Maybe my response will sound cold or mean, but i have to get it out there. The entire concept of cyber bullying doesn't make sense. If you don't want to get cyber bullied, don't go onto social media sites... I mean honestly, if its that big a deal dont use it. But another huge factor that everyone seems to ignore, is that students dont make fun of other students online publicly unless they're provoked ( in 99.999999% of the situations). I'm sorry, but they really don't.

    Second, if a student can't handle what others say online yet continually go online, there are other problems worse then online bullying. If its that bad, their home life must be awful and torn, and that should be fixed before cyberbullying.

    Cyberbullying is attributed to way more deaths then it actually causes. The underlying causes, a torn home, nonexistant parenting, are what causes the suicides, not other students.
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      Oct 17 2012: Josh, I don't think your statement that students don't make fun of other students publicly unless provoked is not correct.

      I worked at two different schools in which kids targeted high-functioning autistic students in this way. In one case a student put up a website under the name of his target and posted lots of neo-nazi material- as if the target was the site host.

      Kids start rumors about other kids sometimes whom they resent. Unless something like being a quiet A student, having bad acne, or wearing a turban are considered provocations, I do not think your evaluation of what leads to bullying is correct.
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        Josh S

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        Oct 18 2012: Fritzie,
        Maybe you worked in schools years ago, or maybe my school is just an anomoly,
        but we also have autistic chilrden in our school, and if someone were to make fun of them behind their backs, they are immediately reprimended by not teachers, but fellow classmates. And never have they made fun of them to their face. If someone in our school was to do what that student did, they would be scorned by the student body.

        Yes, kids do start rumors, but not on the innocent. I have seen only 2 cases of rumors being spread online, and neither case was their a true 'victim'. In both situations, both parties did something to antagonize. Again, maybe it is a difference in my school, but kids respect religious differences. They also dont make fun of people for the reasons you described.

        I could definately see your situations being carried out 20 years ago (from what i see in movies, of course i could be wrong because i dont have first hand knoweldge) but it is not what happens nowadays.

        And its not like i go to some small private school, i go to a very large public high school which is just about average with the rest of the country in socio-economic and ethnic diversity differences.
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          Oct 18 2012: No, much more recent. And my youngest child is fourteen.

          But I am glad your school has bullying under control.
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    Gail .

    • +1
    Oct 17 2012: The way to prevent cyber-bullying related suicides is to have better parent-child relationships. A child who takes that route has already been basically abandoned by the parent.
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    Oct 17 2012: What ever happened to "Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words will never hurt me?"

    We have to give our kids the tools to deal with the haters in the world. You can turn off the computer, block the phone. If the kid is internalizing the bullying they need to get some assistance on putting it into perspective.

    Almost everyone I know was bullied at some point in their life. It's like a pack of hyenas out in the bigger world. Isolating and protecting ONLY online is an exercise in futility. I do understand the media is new but bullying is not.
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      Oct 18 2012: No one likes bullies lol, not even the bullies, just sayin'.
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    Oct 17 2012: Cyber-bulling can not be stopped. It is simply a product of abuse which is always a danger that comes with freedom.

    What can be done is that parents should teach their children the importance of not taking the words and perceptions of other people too seriously; and as Josh S has wisely suggested, social media presence is not a must. If the cyber exposes you to disempowering thoughts and attitude, then you gotta leave it.

    There is always a difference between the real state of things and what a few vindictive individuals say or think.

    No doubt my suggestions are not easy, but sadly it is a more practical solution than waiting for the day when everybody on the cyber will be lovey-dovey. It's not going to happen.
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    Oct 17 2012: People gotta realize that the majority of internet users are trolls. And one way to beat trolls is to ignore them.

    One way to stop cyber bullying is to just not take them seriously.

    I think a lot of people who commit suicide due to cyber bullying are people who have low self-esteem and low self-respect, probably because they don't get enough love in their life to where they themselves can love themselves.
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    Oct 17 2012: As a parent the most important thing you can do is teach your children not to care what others think of them. Especially the opinions of people you don't even like. In reality bullys are victims too otherwise they wouldn't be so desperate to impact others lives.
    Question to Bully;." Why are you scared of Victim?"
    Answer; " I'm not scared of Victim I bully him all the time".
    But Bully, you only bully people because your scared of them. What are you scared of Bully?
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    Oct 16 2012: Great question and one that has gotten lots of attention, particularly as it affects school children.

    There are, fortunately, many websites now with inventories of effective strategies to counter cyberbullying. No one needs to start from scratch to generate ideas.

    Here is one such resource: http://www.ncpc.org/topics/cyberbullying . What do you think of what they propose?