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Internet trolling and the the cult of cyberspace


Darth Crooks
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Just heard on the news about another poor kid who has commited suicide over abuse that was spread over ask.fm. Working at a school, we've worked a lot with the kids about cyber bullying and social networking.

 

I realise this is probably applicable to the facebook thread but it's not isolated to that. I've had bust-ups with kids at work because they can't be separated from their smartphone/facebook, living out arguments online and people are paying a lot of attention to what is said over the web and letting it massively affect their physical lives. I personally think they are fantastic tools for communication and have kept a lot of my friendships alive but are they doing just as much harm as they are good? Who is responsible? Able to act?

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Mentioned this yesterday, can't help but feel she was a ticking time bomb tbh. She didn't have to keep going back to the site she was getting abused by anonymous posters on. That's not to say what she experienced/suffered was right, I just don't understand why she kept going back if it made her so unhappy she ended up taking her own life. It's not like other bullying situations (schools/neighbourhoods etc..) where you can't really avoid it.

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Mentioned this yesterday, can't help but feel she was a ticking time bomb tbh. She didn't have to keep going back to the site she was getting abused by anonymous posters on. That's not to say what she experienced/suffered was right, I just don't understand why she kept going back if it made her so unhappy she ended up taking her own life. It's not like other bullying situations (schools/neighbourhoods etc..) where you can't really avoid it.

 

This is what concerns me. People are increasingly relying on technology and online to play out their real lives. It is all the more dangerous with impressionable youngsters. It's sad but surely you'd hope that someone sat her down if she'd expressed this to anyone, that is.

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This generation of parents don't know how to deal with it IMO.

 

it's hard to keep an eye on all the time, just like in the past you couldn't keep an eye on kids when they went out. it's all based on trust and the belief that you know your kids, sometimes the parent gets it wrong whether it's online or what the kid does when playing out.
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I reckon its near impossible for us older folks to understand just how immersed and integrated kids are with social media these days and like mentioned above parents can't deal with it at all.

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"Oh but it's just a bit of bantz" "that kid should have been emotionally tougher" "why didn't they just ignore it"** why is it the last option is to ever say the bullies were to blame? Are we so afraid of a slippery slope of PC feelings-police that we can't even acknowledge that it's the online tormenters, and not the victim, who are in the wrong?

 

** - not necessarily things said here but they're along the lines trotted out about these kinds of things.

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"Oh but it's just a bit of bantz" "that kid should have been emotionally tougher" "why didn't they just ignore it"** why is it the last option is to ever say the bullies were to blame? Are we so afraid of a slippery slope of PC feelings-police that we can't even acknowledge that it's the online tormenters, and not the victim, who are in the wrong?

 

** - not necessarily things said here but they're along the lines trotted out about these kinds of things.

 

The question isn't, is it her fault or the bullies - but the bullies or the internet

 

people are dicks, the anonymity of the internet does create a platform but people are dicks that is the end of it. you cant stop that. People/parents need to be more aware of what kids are accessing and how to deal with cyberbullying, but censoring the internet (I'm sure cameron will mention this at some point and use it, protect the kids yada yada) for everyone is not a way forward.

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Obviously the trolls/bullies are in the wrong but I just don't understand why she kept going back if she was getting grief that led to this horrific outcome?

 

Just seems so preventable in my admittedly naïve bubble.

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"Oh but it's just a bit of bantz" "that kid should have been emotionally tougher" "why didn't they just ignore it"** why is it the last option is to ever say the bullies were to blame? Are we so afraid of a slippery slope of PC feelings-police that we can't even acknowledge that it's the online tormenters, and not the victim, who are in the wrong?

 

** - not necessarily things said here but they're along the lines trotted out about these kinds of things.

 

The question isn't, is it her fault or the bullies - but the bullies or the internet

 

people are dicks, the anonymity of the internet does create a platform but people are dicks that is the end of it. you cant stop that. People/parents need to be more aware of what kids are accessing and how to deal with cyberbullying, but censoring the internet (I'm sure cameron will mention this at some point and use it, protect the kids yada yada) for everyone is not a way forward.

Why is the onus on the parents of the victims to learn "how to deal with it" and not the parents of the bullies not to raise anti-social little shits?
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"Oh but it's just a bit of bantz" "that kid should have been emotionally tougher" "why didn't they just ignore it"** why is it the last option is to ever say the bullies were to blame? Are we so afraid of a slippery slope of PC feelings-police that we can't even acknowledge that it's the online tormenters, and not the victim, who are in the wrong?

 

** - not necessarily things said here but they're along the lines trotted out about these kinds of things.

 

The question isn't, is it her fault or the bullies - but the bullies or the internet

 

people are dicks, the anonymity of the internet does create a platform but people are dicks that is the end of it. you cant stop that. People/parents need to be more aware of what kids are accessing and how to deal with cyberbullying, but censoring the internet (I'm sure cameron will mention this at some point and use it, protect the kids yada yada) for everyone is not a way forward.

Why is the onus on the parents of the victims to learn "how to deal with it" and not the parents of the bullies not to raise anti-social little shits?

 

Which do you think is easier(/possible)?

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It must be pretty tough as a parent. How to you monitor your child's internet activity without being an absolute mentalist standing other them every time they want to use a computer. I would imagine most kids at 14 or whatever would be more stressed with their parents constantly watching over their shoulder than they would with the bullies the parents are trying to protect them against.

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We were discussing this in another thread and this was all I could really figure:

 

As a parent I dread having to deal with the issue of internet usage. All I can think to do is try to teach her what appropriate internet usage is and what kind of behavior to be suspicious of, use some sort of blocking service, try to keep current on what technologies and platforms are popular with the kids, and above all just let her know that she is loved and her worth is not determined by the internet. Ultimately, I think you've got to give your kids the knowledge and emotional tools to make good judgments and know when to ask for help. That and constantly be on watch for signs of trouble.

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As tragic as this is, I can't help but think that the majority of the older generation are overreacting to this, and to other thing based around the internet, such as the MP's that got abused on twitter last week, and David Cameron's war on porn. Times are changing, and the internet is still a relatively new thing, and the older generation are stuck in the older way of thinking and are overreacting and saying that the internet should be blocked, to stop children and even adults to certain extent from being abused, and from seeing content that they shouldn't. Don't get me wrong what certain people do on the internet in wrong, and they should be punished if the situation is serious enough, it is relatively simple to get someones IP address who post these content, but by blocking content for the whole, because of what 1% of people on the internet do, is stupid and wrong, and if content does get blocked I can see their being a up roar from the younger generation, as in my opinion the majority of the older generation is stopping the younger generation from advancing, and holding them back.

 

Also their seems to be a lack off common sense, for instance surly there were signs that this girl was going to do what she did, which the parents should have noticed. It's all good the parents coming out and saying that Ask Fm should be blocked and there should be more done to prevent this from happening again, but if they were doing their job as a parent correctly then this all could have been avoided, and as Cajun says, why did the girl keep going back to the site if she knew she was getting abused.

 

 

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"Oh but it's just a bit of bantz" "that kid should have been emotionally tougher" "why didn't they just ignore it"** why is it the last option is to ever say the bullies were to blame? Are we so afraid of a slippery slope of PC feelings-police that we can't even acknowledge that it's the online tormenters, and not the victim, who are in the wrong?

 

** - not necessarily things said here but they're along the lines trotted out about these kinds of things.

 

The question isn't, is it her fault or the bullies - but the bullies or the internet

 

people are dicks, the anonymity of the internet does create a platform but people are dicks that is the end of it. you cant stop that. People/parents need to be more aware of what kids are accessing and how to deal with cyberbullying, but censoring the internet (I'm sure cameron will mention this at some point and use it, protect the kids yada yada) for everyone is not a way forward.

Why is the onus on the parents of the victims to learn "how to deal with it" and not the parents of the bullies not to raise anti-social little shits?

 

Which do you think is easier(/possible)?

It's not either/or. I'm just saying there seems to be absolutely no conversation about curtailing cunt behavior.
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It's just an unfortunate but probably pretty unavoidable scenario, they're not exactly nasty kids (they might be but it's not a given) it's just too easy to be an absolute cunt on the internet, hopefully things like this open peoples eyes a bit more but it's still going to continue unless you bring in drastic measures, which I wouldn't be fully opposed of tbh*.

 

*I know people are up in arms about the report button on twitter (I don't use it like so I cannot really say much) but if you're being a massive cunt on forums and social media it should be the forum owner's imperative to ban you imo, like you would be on here or anywhere else in the real world.

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This is from 2004 so it's hardly a new phenomenon.  Give some people anonymity and a stage and they'll act like utter cunts simply because they can.  They'd probably never dream of acting in such a way in public because they'd be shunned by people around them, but online they can simply create a new identity to shield themselves and it has never been easier to create a new persona since most social sites are free and want additional subscribers for advertising.

 

I'm not sure how parents could properly deal with potential problems though.  You can make sure the only computer access is supervised but with tablets and smartphones being so widespread it would be impossible to police someone's access 24 hours a day.

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I'm not familiar with the most recent case but in the past a lot of the more high profile victims brought a lot of it upon themselves. It's in no way justifiable but the 'targets' were often massive attention seekers whose behavior rightly or wrongly lead them to receiving grief.

 

 

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