Dealing with cyberbullying on YouTube

Some basics for how to avoid or deal with nasty comments posted under your videos

By Anne Collier

Say you’re 15, care greatly about a particular environmental cause, and use your YouTube account to vlog (video blog) about it in an earnest way that triggers some really nasty comments on your page. What do you do? YouTube has some tips it blogged with just that scenario in mind, linking to the National Crime Prevention Council’s new anti-cyberbullying campaign, Circle of Respect, which came up with the scenario and illustrates it here. The tips are good, basically saying: 1) Delete the comments and consider blocking the user; 2) Report hate speech (comments on race, gender, or disability); 3) If physical threats (which are illegal) are involved, talk with a trusted adult about whether to call 911; and last but far from least: 4) Be respectful yourself – treating others with civility is protective. I base that on a finding published in Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine in 2007: that aggressive behavior online more than doubles the aggressor’s risk of victimization. For a much more thorough guide to parenting in the video age, see kid-tech expert Warren Buckleitner in the New York Times. [Meanwhile, the Italian government is getting considerable flak for proposing new Web-video rules that would require users to get clearance from the Communications Ministry before uploading their videos to sites like YouTube, The Standard reports.]

Related links

* “Top 10 Safety Tips for Video-Sharing” here at
*Parents face a new frontier: Setting electronic limits,” with some individual family strategies in the Washington Post
* Why “soft power” parenting works better at NetFamilyNews.

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