Slashdot stories can be listened to in audio form via an RSS feed, as read by our own robotic overlord.

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Social Networks Government The Internet Politics

Irish Gov't Seeks To Rein In Cyber Bullying 211

Posted by timothy
from the hands-stuck-in-wringing-position dept.
An anonymous reader points out a story on the Irish Times that says "the Irish government is looking for ways to combat 'cyber-bullying' after data indicated that a significant percentage of young children are subjected to this kind of abuse via their mobile phone and popular social network accounts. The industry has been asked to come up with solutions for this problem and a government office is due to publish a guide on the issue in the near future. Surely this is a problem faced by children in all developed countries these days." Add "for the children" to the list of reasons to track the Web-site habits of mobile web users in Ireland.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Irish Gov't Seeks To Rein In Cyber Bullying

Comments Filter:
  • by bigtomrodney (993427) * on Friday November 14, 2008 @04:36AM (#25758467)
    As an Irish person I'm glad that something is being done about bullying. I was bullied at school a lot and when not being beaten was subject to horrendous psychological bullying.

    The main point here though is that so-called "Cyber-bullying" is just bullying. Various organisations have been sensationalising this issue by prefixing [i]cyber[/i] and pretending it's a new issue. What about when I was receiving phone calls at all hours? Was that cyber-bullying? It was just called bullying in my day.

    I really think that this whole issue is doing more to harm the reputation of the internet/computers/phones than it is to resolve the larger issue of bullying. All I expect to see from this is a large set of draconian yet ineffective restrictions placed around communication media and this is something that disgusts me for a lot of reasons.
    • by bigtomrodney (993427) * on Friday November 14, 2008 @04:42AM (#25758483)
      Apologies for replying to myself but my first post doesn't read back the way I intended it to.

      I would like something to be done about bullying as a whole, but I suspect that when implemented under the banner of cyber-bullying it will completely miss the point and will likely be doomed to failure. The emphasis on the 'cyber' aspect tells me it'll be cheap and ineffective technological measure when we could be using this opportunity to tackle bullying in the wider scheme.
      • Sadly, you are probably correct. However, this problem has been around for a very long time, so it's not probable that anything new will be found for 'traditional' bullying.

        However, new technologies raise new opportunities, and concerns, and thus require new responses.

        I believe there was a case recently where some poor child committed suicide after being persecuted online. So, yes, I think they should do something specfic about this.

        Having said that, as a parent I recognise that the best thing to do is to

        • by theaveng (1243528) on Friday November 14, 2008 @06:29AM (#25758897)

          The solution is to stop raising a bunch of rude brats. The parents/teachers need to tell teenagers, "You have the body of an adult (reproduction, et cetera), and now it's time to start acting like one. Abuse of your peers will Not be tolerated." The bullying messages and phone calls are just a symptom, and treating the symptom is not going to cure the disease. You need to go directly to the source and teach teens to act with manners & that insulting other people is Not acceptable.

          I too was bullied as a kid, not with internet but with verbal abuse, which led me to keep quiet so nobody noticed me. I never "escaped" that verbal abuse until I found myself in college with an adviser who refused to tolerate such behavior from his students. That's what we need today, but starting at age 13. If we can teach teens about adult behaviors like sex, then surely we can teach them manners too.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Toll_Free (1295136)

            You can't teach manners. Manners are something you learn by watching others you respect.

            Bullys typically have respect for no one, they are taught out of fear. Teaching one out of fear means they won't learn by typical methods, because they are always being scared of something.

            Typically, a bully has a father that's an asshole. Typically. Or no father at all, and a mother who is a whore. Either way, a simple 2X4 upside the bully's head will work wonders. It DID for me in 7th grade.

            --Toll_Free

        • by theaveng (1243528)

          P.S.

          When my mom was a U.S. high school girl in the 1940s, she had to take classes in Etiquette. I don't know why U.S. schools stop teaching such things, but it's time to start doing it again. It's not enough to just recite numbers and dates. A citizen must also know how to interact with one's peers without degrading them.

        • by mea37 (1201159)

          "I believe there was a case recently where some poor child committed suicide after being persecuted online. So, yes, I think they should do something specfic about this."

          Two thigns:

          First, people have committed suicide after being bullied since before there was an Internet. Such cases illustrate serious problems, but those problems are not technology-related. The "cyber" prefix really is just media technophobia at work.

          Second, there's more than one problem in play when bullying leads to suicide. The obvio

      • it'll be cheap and ineffective technological measure

        Its cheap, and effective: effective in convincing the voters (and themselves) that the government is "doing something".

        Also, the Irish government is probably happy to announce anything that will distract attention from the economic problems they will have if Obama cracks down on American companies using transfer pricing to move profits to low tax countries.

      • by PinkyDead (862370)

        My kids are in school in Ireland as we speak, and as a parent I have come across a number of incidents where bullying was an issue and in every case the problems were dealt with very effectively under the existing guidelines by the school.

        I only point this out, because it appears from your posting that you are suggesting that there is no framework in Ireland for dealing with this and this cyber-bullying measure is the first one - that's not true.

        Now, my kids are in primary school - and I do have concerns ab

      • by Doc Ruby (173196)

        My wife is Irish, we visit for several weeks every year. I can see the widespread practice of bullying among Irish children - feeding aggression among adults, who also bully children, perpetuating the cycle.

        If Irish people could break the cycle by stopping adults from bullying children (and each other), the "cyberbullying" would disappear, too.

        Online expressions are just a reflection of the in-person character of the people. Rehab the characters, and the reflections will follow suit. Treat only the symptom

      • The whole you are glad something is being done scares me.

        When I was a kid, I got bullied, too. To the point of being put in the hospital, twice.

        I didn't learn about the legal system, I learned about a fucking 2X4 piece of wood.

        After that, no more bullying problems.

        The problem with kids, and this solution, is it breeds pussies. For lack of better terms.

        We have kids KILLING THEMSELVES today because someone talked "smack" about them. Honestly, are you THAT F U C K I N G mentally weak, that someone who says

      • Good point bigtomrodney. It reminds me of the all the panic over online credit card use. I used to respond to people like this: "hmm so you trust the unshaven overweight fella in the gas station who could have a camera snapping pics of your card as he swipes it over an online JCPenny.com computer that has no feelings or motives?" Every time the response I got was that they never considered that and then thought differently. I don't mean to sound like I'm playing "blame the victim" here, what I am trying to
    • by Chrisje (471362) on Friday November 14, 2008 @05:08AM (#25758571)

      I can't agree more. On the risk of sounding jaded/damaged, I have the following comments:

      As someone that got bullied in the Netherlands I can vouch for the fact that the solution shouldn't come from outside. After many years of psychological and physical bullying (I still have a skull fracture scar to show for it), I decided to fight back at the age of 13. I did this in such a way that I immediately got left alone for the rest of my school years.

      Take the biggest bully. Hurt him. A lot. Publicly. Even if you end up on the losing end of the fight at large, it's over. People might think you're a psycho, but it beats being bullied. Turning to a mobile operator to "prevent" bullying is sheer nonsense. The wankers will always find a way. It's not an Irish problem and it's not a problem of technology. It's about me sending my kid to self defense classes as soon as he's old enough.

      I've found that those that excel at violence really don't need to use it.

      • by Belial6 (794905)
        While I don't totally disagree with you, the problem with the "Teach them to fight" solution is that the bullies not only tend to get the same kind of training, but the ones who's parents encourage their bullying tend to get a lot more of the training.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by smithsan (1407153)
      Cyber bullying has existed for quite a while, it is only coming to attention recently because the media is picking up on it.Cyber bullying is worse than physical or verbal bullying because it is not done face to face, so bullies don't feel sorry for their victims. --------- smithsan DUI News Blog [legalx.net]
      • Hah!
        Like they feel sorry in person.
        total bullshit.

        • Hah!
          Like they feel sorry in person.
          total bullshit.

          The guy that bullied me in person was sorry afterwards. I made sure of that.

      • by WK2 (1072560)

        Traditional bullies never felt sorry for their victims either. But cyber-bullying certainly lowers the bar for the lack of self-esteem required.

        What really makes cyber-bullying worse than regular bullying, is that the victim can't identify their attackers.

      • I'm sorry, would you like to come back to earth, where the rest of us live?

        Bullies feel bad. The only bully I knew that felt bad was the one I hit upside his head as hard as I could with a piece of wood.

        Also got me out of being fucked with by people with IQ's smaller than their dick size.

        Grow a pair, grow up, and learn to deal with your problems, instead of thinking it's everyone elses problems to deal with.

        That's what got the world into the mess it's in now, nobody takes responsibility for themselves or th

    • Various organisations have been sensationalising this issue by prefixing cyber and pretending it's a new issue.

      Here-here. It always makes me shudder on how ineptly this "new type" of bullying is handled. Rather that trying to prevent it, I say it should be allowed to happen, and then handled using conventional, existing laws

      If you put all your effort into preventing "cyber" bullying, you're missing out on the greatest gift those bullies can give you: Immutable, public and permanent evidence of their wrong

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 14, 2008 @04:41AM (#25758481)
    Irish kids are taught NOTHING about manners, and manners are what lead to common-decency.

    The writer says, "Surely this is a problem faced by children in all developed countries these days." I would think that it's actually worse here because people seem to become more and more rude in real-life with every passing second.. and the (falsely) perceived anonymity of "hiding behind" a social networking engine or a mobile phone tends to exacerbate the issue.
    Another part of the problem is that most Irish kids are shuttled to and from school in big feckin' SUV's [which should be banned in this country anyway..especially UK-made Range Rovers], and rarely actually socialise with other kids outside of school. This lack of socialisation isolates kids from seeing the pain inflicted by their actions. If they don't see the pain caused, then they have no empathy for the "victim." Here as in the U.S. children are almost completely isolated from adults in the name of "keeping them safe from perverts" and never learn any social skills from adults either.

    In true American style, the Irish, instead of addressing the problems being generated by people, want to enact idiotic, ineffectual regulations and monitor the tools these people use. This approach will not work.

    Why are the people in charge always so fucking stupid and clueless?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by codeButcher (223668)

      Why are the people in charge always so fucking stupid and clueless?

      Perhaps because the people who put them in charge (being a democracy and all that) are even more stupid and clueless? After all, half of the population have below-average IQs [slashdot.org].

      • by rolfwind (528248)

        Half the people have under median IQs you mean.

        Not average. For an extreme example, 9 people have 96, 97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102, 103, 104 IQ respectively and #10 has 150. The average IQ in that room would be 105, and 9 out of 10 would have below average IQ.

        • The GP would be correct if the population was evenly distributed. This is not likely in a population of 10, but is probable in a population of 5,000,000.

          (This obviously doesn't apply in Cork, where they're all thick.)

        • by Dr_Barnowl (709838) on Friday November 14, 2008 @05:28AM (#25758645)

          Yes, that would be true for that particular sample, but the IQ of a population is defined in terms of the distribution of intelligence [wikipedia.org] - and 100 is defined as the median intelligence. Since intelligence follows a normal distribution, median coincides with mean (average), and half the people have below average IQ.

          Your sample represents a skewed distribution, but if we take your numbers to be the score an arbitrary intelligence test used to rate IQ, the median score is 123. So to have a 100 IQ, you'd have to score 123, placing the lower 9 in your group firmly under the wire.

    • Irish kids are taught NOTHING about manners, and manners are what lead to common-decency.

      Here! Who the fuck do you think you are spouting that kind of shite! I was raised to sit up straight, and be polite, and peel me spuds before aeatin' 'em. I'm as polite and well mannered a Irishman as ever you'd meet. So feck off with yourself!

    • by Lumpy (12016)

      Irish kids are taught NOTHING about manners, and manners are what lead to common-decency.

      American kids are taught NOTHING about manners, and manners are what lead to common-decency.

      British kids are taught NOTHING about manners, and manners are what lead to common-decency.

      German kids are taught NOTHING about manners, and manners are what lead to common-decency.

      French kids are taught NOTHING about manners, and manners are what lead to common-decency.

      ALL kids are taught NOTHING about manners, and manners are w

    • In true American style?

      Remember, anonymous asshole, we came from your country to escape the persecution your pretty much talking about now.

      So, anon ass, seems Irish and English bullying have been going on longer than whats that? AMERICA HAS BEEN IN EXISTANCE?

      Stop with the veiled assinine attempts at throwing stones. Yes, it's a major problem, but it's not a problem for legislation, it's a problem for people to grow a pair of nads and actually take some personal responsibility.

      In true American style, you c

  • tag. This isn't like paedophiles preying on targets, using the internet as the means of finding their victims in hopes of targeting them in real life.

    This is the opposite. The bully already knows his victims, and uses the internet just as another avenue to further that bullying.

    I don't know a definite answer, but attaching cyber to it seems nothing but a way to get people's fears up to pass stupid laws.

    • by Chrisq (894406)
      This is true, any law that can be bypassed by using the mail instead of email is pretty stupid.
  • by EdIII (1114411) * on Friday November 14, 2008 @05:11AM (#25758597)

    Well since filtering and heuristic analysis is probably impossible, I suggest TattleText(TM). The poor child can simply forward the offending text to a central authority. The central authority can then call the bully's mom.

    Problem Solved.

  • by MikeRT (947531) on Friday November 14, 2008 @05:28AM (#25758649) Homepage

    The main reason we have a lot of bullying is that we have policies that don't allow students to ever confront bullies and use force to defend themselves when attacked. If a student punches a bully in the face for trying to do some sort of nasty physical bullying, like locking them in a locker, they can get suspended/expelled and arrested.

    Let the victims of bullies stand up for themselves. It used to work in this country. When my dad was bullied at an early age back in the 1950s, he and the bully got into a fight and the bully got beaten up. The principle not only didn't care about the harm done to the bully, but hauled him into his office and called his parents to let him know that he had gotten beaten up by a kid who he had severely bullied. Back then the courts would have laughed any lawsuit over that out of court and would have probably awarded legal fees to my grandmother if she had to hire a lawyer to defend my dad.

    The solution to bullying isn't "education," it's letting them get subjected to the consequences of their actions. I would consider it poetic justice if in a modern incident like what happened to my dad, the kid not only beat up the bully, but posted the video to Youtube for the whole world to mock the shit out of the bully.

    Don't give me that "oh they're hurting on the inside" argument for treating them like a wounded animal, instead of a predator. Most people choose to not become like those who hurt them. Those that do choose that path shouldn't be shown any particular mercy by society or the legal system when their victims put them harshly in their place.

    • by Andr T. (1006215)

      When my dad was bullied at an early age back in the 1950s, he and the bully got into a fight and the bully got beaten up.

      I agree with most of what you said, but you have to face the fact that many (if not most) of the children that are bullied are wannabe nerds with low or no athletic advantage over the bullys. There are many cases where the school has to take some kind of measure because the kid can't stand up for himself.

      This makes me think of all those comedies where the nerds beat the *blip* out of the bullys in the end. But, infortunately, this doesn't always happen in real life.

      • by Andr T. (1006215)
        Sorry, misspelled unfortunately.
      • Most of the bullies I faced in school were bigger than I was, but that didn't mean I couldn't hurt them. Bullies go for the easy targets. If you prove you're not an easy target, he won't mess with you, even if he COULD beat you.

        • by Andr T. (1006215)
          I have a friend who had a 'Magic the Gathering' store. He told me that once there was a boy in his store that was being harassed by other two boys, smaller than him.

          The bigger boy then came to my friend and said: 'Can you help me? They'll beat my ass as soon as I leave your store'. My friend laughed and said: 'You're bigger, go there and beat up the shit out of them.'.

          The boy looked at my friend's face, almost crying, and said: 'Yeah, but... I'm a pathetic loser and they'll beat me even if I'm bigger.'.

      • You assume you have to win. If you break a bullies nose every single time he gives you shit then how long is it going to keep up even if you get hurt worse?
        The fucking "curl up into a ball" shit only makes things worse.

        Worst of all is school policies where you aren't allowed hit back even when attacked. all you may do if you want to avoid suspension is wrap your arms around your head and hope the kicking stops soon.

        • My school had that policy.

          When I hit the bully in the head with a 2x4 piece of wood, they wanted to haul me in for a friggin military tribunal it seemed.

          At that point, my mother brought in my 2 instances of being put in the hospital and copies of the NUMEROUS letters she had sent to the principal and school board.

          That pretty much closed it up. They decided it wouldn't be worth it to go to court and be shown for the incompetent fucks the school admins and board actually where.

          You want to stop being bullied,

      • But one of the things you need to remember is that in many cases a predator will back away from prey that turns savage and violent when cornered.

        Another thing... if a nerdy victim of bullying strikes first, they'll often get the upperhand against a more athletic opponent; the human body is nowhere near as immune to physical harm and the psychological shock from it as the movies present. I scared the ever loving shit out of a bully in school by suddenly grabbing him by the shirt and slamming him full force i

      • by residieu (577863)
        Was that why I never go bullied in school, because I was an actual nerd not just a wannabe?
        • by Andr T. (1006215)
          You only get to be a real nerd after you understand why String Theory is lame. I was not aware of that in High School.
    • by Kokuyo (549451) on Friday November 14, 2008 @06:16AM (#25758833) Journal

      I agree. I was bullied a lot during school and it stopped when I actually threw the guy on the teachers desk. Sure, during the next break I got some but the fact that I didn't run away actually did the rest. Never had a problem again.

      Bullying is just to easy. The consequences are minor and the work involved is negligible. Since you can't do anything about the work it takes, change something about the consequences.

      What I never understood was that often teachers took the side of the bully. I always assumed that probably the parents of those kids weren't much better and the teachers were just afraid.

      I, for one, will teach my kids that when someone tries to bully them they have to retaliate decisively, brutally and make sure everyone knows that crossing them means physical damage.

      School is like the world during the cold war. You need to demonstrate your power just enough so you never have to actually use it.

      • Thank you very much! I was bullied in school and believe me I spent quite some time visiting with the principal, vice principal...I regret nothing of the violence I used to teach bullies to leave me alone. Except a few cases where I overreacted but kids will be kids.
        I actually had a brilliant principal when I was in elementary school. She never approved of fighting but she treated it as an issue with two sides and made sure to know both sides. Pity more people don't use that approach.
        • by Andr T. (1006215)

          Except a few cases where I overreacted but kids will be kids.

          Kids will be kids? I lost an eye!!!!

          • Well, that is obviously going to far however even that can happen accidentally. Hell, I actually almost killed myself at least once. You could lose an eye in friendly play. Saying you lost an eye doesn't say how bad the bullying was. I'm not saying you're situation wasn't awful, but two kids playing with sticks as swords can poke an eye out.

            Kids will fight that is a fact. It can't be stopped. I'm not saying not to pull them apart, I'm saying it;s less serious than 2 adult fighting

            I was never a bully, bu
      • by Andr T. (1006215)

        School is like the world during the cold war.

        In Soviet Russia, the cold war is like school.

      • I, for one, will teach my kids that when someone tries to bully them they have to retaliate decisively, brutally and make sure everyone knows that crossing them means physical damage.

        Yep. I taught my son how to make a proper fist, and how to swing with his whole body. I also taught him to aim for the nose. If he hits it'll hurt like crazy. If he misses, he'll catch an eye or mouth and it'll hurt like crazy. Finally, I taught him that he will never get in trouble with me for defending himself or his siblings.

        This came up exactly one time, and he took my advice. His teacher told me what happened and I explained that he was following my instructions. She nodded and said that the bul

    • by westlake (615356)
      The main reason we have a lot of bullying is that we have policies that don't allow students to ever confront bullies and use force to defend themselves when attacked. If a student punches a bully in the face for trying to do some sort of nasty physical bullying, like locking them in a locker, they can get suspended/expelled and arrested.
      .

      Real-world examples seem in order here.

      Because in searching Google they are mighty hard to find.

      The arrest of the victim, one suspects, is most likely to happen when h

    • by houghi (78078)

      I once beat up a bully and the school decided to call the police. Nobody ever bullied me again, so I would say it was worth it. I would do it again.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Your Father was apparently bullied *ONCE* and stood up to the bully. That's not what this is about.

      This is about the kids who do not have it within their power to fend off bullies, and end up being systematically abused for years, or even their entire lifetime.

      Your Dad's solution was correct:.confront the bully, preferably in a very public way, and force them to feel what it's like to be humiliated, or at least make them fear that they will face retaliation instead of complacency if they target you.

      Fo
      • Man, this post should be modded +10 He Gets It.

        Seriously. Putting the video of beating a kid up on utube is over the top. It not only makes you a bully, but sets you up legally as you are now premeditated.

        All you have to do is kick the living fuck out of one of the bullies once. Even if you get the crap beat outta you, you will gain the RESPECT of those bullying you (respect and fear have a fine line. Typically, those that bully others don't understand or want to recognize that fact). Once you have res

  • by teazen (876487) on Friday November 14, 2008 @05:45AM (#25758703) Homepage
    Ah... my shoddy mastery of the English language made me read the headline as 'Irish government seeks to reign in cyber bullying', which to me seems to be a much more attainable goal.
    • by genner (694963)

      Ah... my shoddy mastery of the English language made me read the headline as 'Irish government seeks to reign in cyber bullying', which to me seems to be a much more attainable goal.

      No it's not. My govermnet holds that postion with an iron fist. USA! USA!

  • Here is the issue (Score:4, Insightful)

    by rfc1394 (155777) <Paul@paul-robinson.us> on Friday November 14, 2008 @05:55AM (#25758743) Homepage Journal

    If the same behavior - one kid bullying another or saying unkind things - was occurring in a non-electronic medium, we usually would consider it the sort of thing where it's a matter for the kids to settle among themselves, or at most, by the kid's parent talking to the bully or the parent, which then usually stopped it. But now, we're going to add the ISP, school authorities, police and courts into the mix and create a tempest in a teapot.

    The most someone can do electronically is say things; they can't strike you, or hurt you, or do anything to you unless you accept their comments about you as valid. Kids have had nasty cliques against other kids for dozens of centuries. We need to allow kids to learn to toughen up a bit, if we coddle them too much, they won't get through the real world, and when something comes along that mummy and daddy can't protect them against, they're going to be in a lot worse trouble.

    You want to do something against physical threats, fine. You want to do something against extortion ("give me your lunch money or else"), that's something that should be taken care of. But if you're going to treat mere communication of meanness or cruelty as more serious than mere taunts in the absence of an actual threat of violence, then what you're effectively doing is treating words the same as actions. A dangerous path that ends up usually producing stupid overreactions, as a number of incidents here on Slashdot have been reported, where some kid is given an assignment to write a story or some report, but does so in an edgy or unconventional way, is considered a criminal or terrorist and is treated that way for doing nothing more than doing his classwork as he was asked to do it.

    I remember one I did. We were asked to give a report in class on how to do something. Well, having read once how too many people cut their wrists the wrong way, I decided to be edgy and unconventional, and write a report on the correct way of how to commit suicide by slitting your wrists. When I stood up to read it, the kids in the class thought it was great, and the teacher even pointed out I drew in examples of how to correctly position the wrist so you cut the vein properly. (Most people bend the wrist inward; that's wrong, you should bend the wrist so it is pushed outward.) And that's all that happened (other than I think I got an A for being thorough). The teacher understood it was simply a student doing a report he knew would be different in order to have fun in class, not some "cry for help" of a depressed kid who was planning to kill himself.

    Today, if some kid had done the same thing, I suspect that instead of taking it as the joke it was, he probably would have been called to the principal's office and maybe gotten detention for it, or possibly have to go see a shrink before being allowed to go back to school.

    • Most people bend the wrist inward; that's wrong, you should bend the wrist so it is pushed outward.

      It's been so long since I've done the report, that I think I wrote it backward in the example above, most people bend their wrist forward which pushes the vein inside and makes the suicide attempt less likely to be effective, you're supposed to bend your hand so the hand leans down so the wrist is bent inward, allowing better access to the veins to be cut.

      I mean, I wouldn't want someone trying to commit suicide to use the original example wrong, have it fail to work and then sue me for giving them bad advi

    • If the same behavior - one kid bullying another or saying unkind things - was occurring in a non-electronic medium, we usually would consider it the sort of thing where it's a matter for the kids to settle among themselves, or at most, by the kid's parent talking to the bully or the parent, which then usually stopped it. But now, we're going to add the ISP, school authorities, police and courts into the mix and create a tempest in a teapot.

      Brilliant. That's exactly the problem. Well said.
      Leaving it alo

  • by rfc1394 (155777) <Paul@paul-robinson.us> on Friday November 14, 2008 @06:24AM (#25758871) Homepage Journal

    The article mentioned how someone bullying someone else by causing their phone to ring "all hours of the day and night."

    We have laws in the U.S., at least, that make it illegal to harass someone without a legitimate purpose of communication, by either excessively calling them or otherwise disturbing them for the purpose of making them upset. If they have this, then the victim of someone being called at all hours already has legal protections to stop this sort of thing if it's occurring, and no new laws are needed. If they don't, then perhaps this is what should have been done.

    In fact, I like the way they're written here. If you call me, and use foul language to insult me, I can have you arrested for harassing me. On the other hand, if you call me, and irritate me so badly that I curse you out and insult you with the most degrading and harshest profanity I can think of, you can't do anything to me. Which makes sense: I didn't call you, you called me; if you disturb me, then you have to put up with my response to you. If you hadn't called me and bugged me, you would never have gotten the insult in the first place.

    These are just attempts to grease the skids for more draconian restrictions on the Internet, using the boiling frog analogy. You can't drop a frog in boiling water, he'll jump out, but gradually increase the temperature and he'll sit there and allow himself to be boiled to death, or so the analogy goes. Make a huge grab for people's rights and they will squawk; nibble away in little pieces and they'll never notice until they're all gone, and by then it's too late, unless the "canary in the coal mine" starts screaming Chicken Little style at the beginning and refuses to allow even the first bite. (Talk about mixed metaphors!)

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by TheJasper (1031512)
      Real world laws shouldn't be brought into the playground. At that point you are beyond simple childrens fights and in the adult realm. I'm not saying it isn't ever necessary but it's an extreme measure.
      There are real world rules and playground rules. On the playground you should be able to get into fights, even bad fights, without immediately being a criminal. Children have to learn. Bring lawyers into it and you give more power to the bullies because they are the ones who will be actively trying to use an
  • The great enabler (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jandersen (462034) on Friday November 14, 2008 @07:27AM (#25759167)

    Bullying is bullying, whether it happens by means of computers or not, and it is never a pretty sight. The thing about computers and the internet is that they enable people to have a far longer reach and a greater impact; and it doesn't just enable "the good guys", unfortunately. So when they talk about cyberbullying, it isn't just some lame excuse for imposing new censorship, there is actually a very real problem. In the days before the internet, bullying in the school at least stopped when you got home; but now it is on your telephone and on the internet, and with the use of simple scripts you can make it go on non-stop without any effort at all.

    And the other thing about doing things on the internet is that it is more anonymous - it is so much easier to be cruel to a person you don't have to watch, unless, of course, you get a kick out of seeing others in pain, and it is a lot easier to avoid getting caught. At least right up to the point where some kid chooses to end their life, which is a problem on the increase.

    I don't think the schools or service providers can do anything about the problem on their own. It is something that requires the whole of the community to work together against it; and that is yet another thing the internet has has an influence on: there isn't a lot of community feeling left. On the up-side, however, the internet could potentially be used to mobilize the community against this kind of thing.

    People keep droning on about the nanny state and how everything would be better if the government just stayed out of everything; but how would that be better, when nobody in the community are willing to get off their soft arses and solve the problems? We get a nanny state because we, with our inaction and unwillingness to take part in a community, ask for it. I think it is verging on the contemptible to whine and complain about state interference when people don't even try to do it better themselves.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by HungryHobo (1314109)

      Bullying is bullying, whether it happens by means of computers or not, and it is never a pretty sight. The thing about computers and the internet is that they enable people to have a far longer reach and a greater impact;

      Greater impact?
      Your ability to ignore jackasses is much greater on the internet.
      On chat? put em on your ignore list.
      Emailing you? block list.
      Saying things about you on a message board? same as if they're saying something about you in the newspaper.

      it isn't just some lame excuse for imposing new censorship,

      yes it is

      there is actually a very real problem. In the days before the internet, bullying in the school at least stopped when you got home;

      HAH!
      they could call you, they could mail you letters, they could hang around outside your house, they could mess with you in any number of ways.

      but now it is on your telephone and on the internet, and with the use of simple scripts you can make it go on non-stop without any effort at all.

      When was the last time you came across a bully who could code and used it to bully people?
      Be realistic.

      • *" of how people relied on various communities " not "of how people various communities "

      • by jandersen (462034)

        I am not going to go into every little thing you write and refute them; you don't seem to be the kind of person that would try to consider things calmly and rationally.

        When was the last time you came across a bully who could code and used it to bully people?

        I don't know - can you code? Seriously, though, bullying isn't just reserved for those who are weak of mind; and anyway, writing a few lines in a scripting language isn't exactly rocket science. All it takes to be a bully is that you derive satisfaction from doing it; it could be as simple as having found out that being rude and making sure t

  • Hey kids (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Spatial (1235392) on Friday November 14, 2008 @07:52AM (#25759285)
    Use the damn block/ignore button!
    • by WK2 (1072560)

      It seems pretty unlikely that their is a button to prevent people from writing negative stuff about you on the internet, and then sending the links to all of your peers.

      I find it more likely that you don't know what bullying is (which I suppose is a good thing. hint: spam is not the same thing), and didn't read the article, and barely understood the summary. But that didn't stop you from posting. I do that too.

  • what the governments are doing to prevent bullying in schools ? what CAN they do ?

    little. since most of the kids wont inform anyone that they are bullied, out of shame.

    same goes for internet. internet is no different than 'real' life.

    seems like another bullshitty excuse to try censorship.
    • by geekoid (135745)

      "
      little. since most of the kids wont inform anyone that they are bullied, out of shame. "

      Actually, I find that it's out of uselessness.

      No one takes action against the bully, ever.

  • A bunch of people used to always give me a really hard time until they realized I'm the most chill person on earth

  • Didn't pretty much ALL of us watch Back to the Future?

    Didn't we see how to deal with Biff?

    Fuck him up while he's trying to rape the girl you love. At that point, the entire future changes, music taste changes, and the bonus is, you get a time machine.

    So, nerds, get some balls!

    wait, I beat up a bully in jr high school.. WTF is MY time machine.

    DOC!!!!

    --Toll_Free

  • but something something something.

  • Here in North Carolina if you make a public threat and more than one person hears it, it's considered to be terrorism. So why not extend that to online. Make a threat or insult online and it's terrorism. A straight up felony. We really don't need the quaint 18th Century notions of free speech. The risk of offending or scaring someone is just too high.

Any given program, when running, is obsolete.

Working...