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David Williams

Training Specialist , Arvato

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Is trolling the start of sociopathic behaviour?

As we are losing the social interaction skills that were previously developed over time from social environments like play and outdoor games, with online gaming and social networking, are we encouraging a lack of accountability for sociopathic behaviour online?

Do we need do include social skills as an agreed part of educational programmes?

For example in traditional social environments a bully could be held accountable and shunned or even defended against, in cyber bulling there is little if any backlash which can result in a feeling of immunity to the social norms, and as such sociopathic behaviour can be dismissed as trolling.

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    Sep 11 2013: Just to push back against the statement that "in traditional social environments a bully could be held accountable and shunned or defended against," I think that's a lot more true in theory than it is in practice.

    The schoolyard case that's being discussed is a very particular one -- kids at school are one of the most heavily monitored, socially regulated groups possible. Parents bullying their children, domestic partner bullying domestic partner, customers bullying staff are all situations I've witnessed repeatedly, and I'm sure the list goes on. Behavior that crosses into illegal activity can be acted upon, with online trolling as with in-person harassment, but there is quite a lot of offline bullying that no one is ever punished or chided for, especially since there's usually no written evidence.

    So yes! I believe social skills should be a more important part of education -- but no, I don't see that as purely the influence of online communication.
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      Sep 11 2013: Hi Morton, that's a really interesting perspective, so i shouldn't necessarily separate it from normal interactions but perhaps that it may exacerbate certain behaviors?

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