Legislation proposed around the US after the tragic case of a Missouri teen's suicide following cyberbullying is fuel for an important discussion about whether such laws are needed. "Officials from Megan [Meier]’s town of Dardenne Prairie wasted no time unanimously passing a statute that makes Internet harassment a local misdemeanor," writes ConnectSafely.org co-director Larry Magid in a commentary at CBSNEWS.com. "Others have called for state and federal legislation to make it a crime to post comments anonymously or under an assumed identity." Larry points to the unintended consequences of overreaching laws drafted in reaction to an extremely rare occurrence. What is not rare – and in fact affects millions of young people – is online bullying by peers. Dealing with age-old social problem that is now common online and – overseas and increasingly in the US on mobile phones – is going to take a great deal of education and rational, not reactive, discussion in schools, homes, legislatures, and the media. Previous NetFamilyNews coverage of the Meier case can be found here and here.
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NetFamilyNews – by Anne Collier
- At the IGF: Youth participation = greater youth e-safety
- Enabling peer protection: Knowledge is empowerment
- Millennials’ changing social media use: Survey
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- Dealing with the nasties online
- Leadership in bullying prevention and so much more
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Analysis & News – by Larry Magid
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- Protecting children online needs to allow for their right to free speech
- It’s time for schools to upgrade both technology and pedagogy
- Why Google (and Facebook) should admit kids under 13
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- Tech can make driving dangerous, but also safer
- IAC’s Ask.com buys Ask.fm and hires a safety officer to stem bullying
- Massive data breach shows skills of Russian hackers