March 30: Stop Cyberbullying Day

by Marianne Richmond on March 30, 2007

Andy Carvin has declared March 30th Stop Cyberbullying Day. He writes that he would like people to talk about cyberbullying because it is spinning out of control. Well that is certainly how it feels…that things are spinning out of control; and that feeling transcends cyberbullying.

First, as Andy states ,"he most constructive response is to talk about it." The "it" he is referring to is cyberbullying and yes, I agree that it needs to be talked about. The Internet gives the bully an even more effective add-on weapon of intimidation, anonyminity. And in this instance, it appears, another more diabolical weapon, impersonation. Kathy Sierra receives death threats and horrific pictured of her are posted on-line….the perpetrator is not only anonymous, but is pretending to be someone else.

The result has been a veritable trainwreck in the blogosphere…if the goal of the anonymous troll included disruption, along with intimidation, he/she must be quite satisfied. Not only do we have hideous behavior,  we have irresponsible accusations of complicity being made and then repeated and republished. It is all hard to read…many of the people involved are bloggers I respect and some, Jeneane, is a friend and colleague also.

As I am writing this, Bill O’Reilly is interviewing Jim Gilchrist who was shouted off the stage at Columbia University in October. Gilchrist is the founder of the Minutemen, a group that patrols the Mexican in order to keep illegal aliens from entering the US.

O’Reilly, who frequently shouts down the guests he disgarees with on his show is "outraged" at the student’s behavior and their, in his opinion too lenient punishment. In the course of the discussion, O’Reilly labels Columbia President Bollinger,who is not on the show to defend himself, a "wimp," which he spells out for us for added impact.

Online and off, we seem to have lowered our standards of civility. Perhaps we all need a good hard look in the mirror. Can we make our points, based upon their merits without  using a label or an insinuation to discredit those who disagree; can we listen to an oposing point of view without feeling the need to silence the voice of disagreement?

OK, so we are not cyber trolls, but are we bullies? If so, March 30th sounds like as good a day as any to clean up our own act. I prefer the blogosphere that assembled at Blogher Business and the bloggers that had a blast last Friday night in NYC. Coming back to this, to put it mildy, illustrated the extremes.

I found the accusations leveled against Blogher to be completely unfounded. Slow response? Do Lisa Stone, Jory DesJardins, and Elisa Camahort not have the right to be involved in other activities for a day without that being "evidence" that they are supportive of trolls and stalkers? 

I think the fact that Lisa took the time to provide a thoughtful and acurate response speaks volumes….and the quality of her post contrasts sharply with many who were not so concerned with accuracy on their blogs and in their comments.

So, this is written with the hope that all the great bloggers that have ceased to blog because of the trolls and cyberstalkers will find their way back to their blogs….that would be a victory for the good guys. 

And let’s talk about cyberbullying…but let’s talk nicely, and listen more.

Beth Kantor has more info about StopCyberbullying on her blog and Andy Carvin has put up lots of great thinking here.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Similar Posts:

    None Found

Be Sociable, Share!

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: