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.
NetFamilyNews – by Anne Collier
- Youth Voices, Outer Voices: 2 fine participatory media projects
- New Facebook policy targets guns, other regulated items
- Google’s new learning tool that learns
- The flap over Talking Angela the chatbot app
- About the worldwide ‘selfie’ phenomenon
- How technology will improve the well-being of young adults
- Calling our children narcissists on ‘a sociopathic scale’: Really!?
- Nothing complicated about this: Read ‘It’s Complicated’!
Analysis & News – by Larry Magid
- Adults spend 11 hour a day using electronic media
- Smartphones that promise user privacy
- Author danah boyd on why teens and social media are ‘complicated’
- Security experts at RSA decry government hacking
- In defense of Internet safety education
- ‘Neknominate’ is a stupid and potentially deadly online dare game
- Confessions of a binge viewer
- People who suffer from so-called ‘game addiction’ have other problems