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Education The Internet

UK Schools Will Fight Cyberbullying 273

Plutonite writes "The BBC is running a story on UK schools being told by the education minister to fight cyberbullying, by which they mean bullying with the aid of (network-based) technology. Schools have been told to confiscate mobile phones, and, more controversially, to investigate and get material removed from personal social-networking sites. Are schools supposed to be doing this as an extension of their duty to prevent physical bullying in school, or is this is yet another example of governmental intervention where it is not due? Should kids be brought up knowing that their life on the web is being documented and controlled by people other than their parents?"
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UK Schools Will Fight Cyberbullying

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  • by Ckwop ( 707653 ) * <Simon.Johnson@gmail.com> on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @02:20PM (#20747243) Homepage

    I was bullied extensively in the early part of my school life. My parents reported it to the teacher and when that didn't work, we went to the Headmaster at the school. The abuse did not stop.

    So I changed schools - and I got yet more abuse. We went through the same procedures again and again and again and it was no use. The teachers didn't want to know.

    I finally made it to High School and then I decided this time, it wasn't going to happen again. Some kid tried it on and I opted to belt him one in the nose. His nose was thoroughly broken and he was out of school for a week.

    After that, I was set for the rest of school. Nobody really tried anything on after that. You see the athaphy that I ran in to in my earlier episodes worked to my advantage now. Precisely nothing was done to me and my schooling carried on as normal.

    It seems that these days we attach an "e-" or a "cyber-" on to a pre-existing social problem and suddenly everyone treats the issue as urgent . The problem with such initiatives is there fail to realise that this is a human problem first and a technological problem a distant second.

    The way to deal with bulling in schools is in my view is very simple. The punishment should be swift, harsh and feared. They should be charged with assault or harassment in a full criminal court and ordered to do a suitable amount of community service. Failure to comply should immediately mean jail-time which should be served in school holidays.

    It's a pity that the type of people who bully are the sorts who have violence all around them at home. As such, the only thing they understand is violence. A short, sharp shock may be enough to put them back on the straight and narrow coupled with some kind of therapy. I do not believe such people are beyond help but if left to there own devices, they will become the criminals of tomorrow.

    Simon

    • by OrangeTide ( 124937 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @02:49PM (#20747615) Homepage Journal
      I was thinking along the same lines. Solution to bullying outside of school should be dealt with by the authorities (and therefor be much more serious), or dealt with (my preference) with physical violence.

      If someone was harassing me electronically for their own amusement it would not be long before I'd jump them, sorry if it's not very politically correct for kids to beat each other up, but to a kid the unreliable PC solutions are of little help. Also some of the abuse can be dealt with electronically, someone sending you terrible message, put them on ignore. (many cell phones will let you ignore numbers too)

      Bullies tend to become corrupt police officers and abusive middle managers. bullies become criminals when they are too poor to afford the education and influence necessary to have a career where their abusive nature can be tolerated.
    • I finally made it to High School and then I decided this time, it wasn't going to happen again. Some kid tried it on and I opted to belt him one in the nose. His nose was thoroughly broken and he was out of school for a week.

      Yeah! Now THAT'S what I call a "Youtube moment!" Post the torrent when you get a chance...

      (yes, I'm kidding.)
    • I agree completely, I've had similar experiences with similar results. We should should do more to help those kids who are being bullied realize why, bullies are just stupid a$$holes. Lets face it, people are inherently selfish and act accordingly. Bullies do what they do because they are who they are. If you pop one in the nose they will leave you alone most of the time.
    • You wanna know how to deal with bullies? They pull a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue. That's how you deal with bullies. That's the *Chicago* way!
    • by evil_aar0n ( 1001515 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @03:33PM (#20748213)
      Excellent points, and I agree. "Time outs" and "dialogue" don't do squat. You want to teach a kid not to do something? The judicious application of a bit of minor discomfort - aka "pain" - can go very far. Of course, you can take this to extremes, and it has been, which is why we have parents and other authority figures espousing "time outs" and other useless methods nowadays. "Hey! Teacher! Leave those kids alone!" they say.

      My own anecdote: I was a little turd in school - nothing serious, but a typical wise-ass. One teacher, one time, lifted me by the hair on the back of my head - I deserved it - and that was it for screwing around in his class. I learned. Kids today learn a different lesson: that they can do whatever they want and no one can touch them. Wrong lesson to teach, in my view.

      Sorry you had to endure that crap as a youth.
      • There is a much more powerful tool than discipline, especially in high school.

        Social Acceptance. And that can be a knife and a shield. Kids who are socially accepted, even in difference social circles are significantly less likely to be bullied. And if we can teach our children that bullying is not socially acceptable, the bullies themselves will face losing their social acceptance.

        Which do you think is more terrifying to your average teenage; losing their phone, or not having anyone to call?

        -Rick
        • Kids who are socially accepted, even in difference social circles are significantly less likely to be bullied
          Yeah, that does makes sense... since those kids who were bullied were those who weren't socially accepted... hence GGP's point that the bullying continued when he changed school. It was olny when he punched someone on the nose that he became socially accepted, and the bullying stopped.
        • by Ash-Fox ( 726320 )

          And if we can teach our children that bullying is not socially acceptable, the bullies themselves will face losing their social acceptance.

          I have seen bullies before, they're not really part of a social group, their friends are usually other bullies and that's about it. So, your plan is technically already in effect here.

          Which do you think is more terrifying to your average teenage; losing their phone, or not having anyone to call?

          Not having anyone to talk to?

          When I was a teenager: Losing the phone, since I

        • Err, ya, this occurs in the imaginary world you live in. In the real world the socio-economically challenged bullies form their own groups, we typically call them gangs ;).
      • Now if lifting a kid by the mane (hair) happens, they'll learn to retain a barrister or attorney. It would an interesting sight in the US if those excess new lawyers hit the pavement soliciting students for whom to represent.

        Then the teachers would have their own, and the schools their own.

        Then, everybody will have mics and telemetry wiring up their ass. Then, kids will hone their long-range assaults out of victim camera view. (Until they attack a geek who was "wired into the system" and every camera and mi
      • While I don't completely disagree with your view I can't completely agree with it either. While at school I was messing around one time, nothing serious just being a bit loud, and a teacher just came along and pulled my ear. Trouble is he pulled it hard enough that I heard a loud pop - my ear has never been the same since and gives me some trouble, I put it down to that event. Problem is this: if nothng had gone wrong with my ear do I think his action was justified? Yes. Considering something appears to ha
    • The way to deal with bulling in schools is in my view is very simple. The punishment should be swift, harsh and feared. They should be charged with assault or harassment in a full criminal court and ordered to do a suitable amount of community service. Failure to comply should immediately mean jail-time which should be served in school holidays.

      So what you're saying, if he punches you, he should go to jail. But if you punch him, you should face no consequences? If it's a self-defense argument, what are

    • by Arthur B. ( 806360 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @03:56PM (#20748535)
      Community service? The kid didn't harm "the community" he harmed you, any damage he owes he owes to you, not to the community. You should also have the option to punch him in the nose, if he believes its ok to do it, then it must be ok to receive it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Derekloffin ( 741455 )
      I can agree with some of what you say, but not a whole lot. The first thing I really have to disagree with is the very nature of the bully. The violent bully, the stereotypical one you see on TV, is really the least of your worries. Yeah, they can beat you up, but that's easy to prove, and in most cases with competent school oversight this can be effectively neutralized (not totally mind you, you will always have people slip through). It's the psychological bully that is far more prevalent, and worst st
    • "The punishment should be swift, harsh and feared."

      "A short, sharp shock may be enough to put them back on the straight and narrow coupled with some kind of therapy."

      Boy, you don't mince words.

      I infer that a 45,000v, 2,500 Watt, 256 Hz cattle prod to the forehead will swift, harsh, fearsome, short enough, sharp enough, and certainly shocking enough to jolt their asses onto a straight and narrow posture...
    • Many US schools have a "zero tolerance" policy to violence. If you punch someone even in self-defense, they call the police and you now have a criminal record. Unfortunately, this trigger point often isn't reached until after a long period of bullying, when the victim finally lashes out. The only conclusion I can reliably reach about schools, at least in the USA, is that the staff approve of bullying. Maybe they admire the bully for being strong, or contemn the victim for being weak. I don't know eith
    • It seems that these days we attach an "e-" or a "cyber-" on to a pre-existing social problem and suddenly everyone treats the issue as urgent . The problem with such initiatives is there fail to realise that this is a human problem first and a technological problem a distant second.

      I completely agree. "Cyberbullying" sounds hip and modern, so everyone is jumping on the bandwagon while ignoring the problem of real, physical bullying. So someone posted a picture of you on a Myspace web page? Big Fucking

  • Yes, they should know it's being documented.. Because it is. Whether it be by schools, peers, google, marketers, Homeland Security, etc., it will be monitored, and it's best they know that.
    • by mmcuh ( 1088773 )

      Absolutely correct. Kids should be taught at an early age that _everything_ they write on the web - in a forum, in a facebook, in an archived mailing list, anywhere else - can, and probably will, be copied, cached, indexed and indexed again and made available to everyone through search engines like Google. They should know that everything they publish under their real name, and most likely some that they don't, can be connected to them and viewed by their friends, parents, grandparents, and any future girlf

      • Even scarier are the people that understand that everything can be monitored and kept long term. Teachers and school employees are not trained investigators and will likely punish only the dumbest 'cyberbullies'. Have two people you don't like, simply 'Joe Job' the first against the second. What do you mean the internet is an anonymous medium and that anyone could have posted that, we have your picture right here on Myspace staying this! Guilty as charged. Even if the system does fix the current crop of bul
  • Adjustments (Score:4, Insightful)

    by eldavojohn ( 898314 ) * <eldavojohn@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @02:24PM (#20747301) Journal

    Should kids be brought up knowing that their life on the web is being documented and controlled by people other than their parents?
    If people need parenting advice it shouldn't be from Slashdot. Come to think of it, if people need parenting advice, they shouldn't be having kids.

    I'm not going to tell UK people how to raise their children and they're not going to tell me how to raise mine. You can go ahead and prepare your kid for what your government is going to force onto them anyways. I personally am going to teach my kids to question everything. Question me, question the government and question any institutions. I'm going to teach them how to do it objectively and how to improve themselves as well as the said institution. And you know what? Maybe my kids will be able to reverse what my generation has let slip out of control. Maybe not. Depends on how you raise your kids. So the question I'm really interested in is how are you going to raise your kids so I know whether I have to prepare mine to be monitored their entire life or prepare them for something we all used to enjoy.
    • Come to think of it, if people need parenting advice, they shouldn't be having kids.

      Why? Because everyone is born a child-rearing expert? I think society should be encouraging parents to seek advice, not shun them for it.
      • Agreed, the GP is delusional if (s)he thinks everyone is born knowing how to be a proper parent. I suspect that attitude is exactly the problem in many situations.
        • by GeckoX ( 259575 )
          Even worse, a lot of people think they ARE born knowing how to be a proper parent and simply won't seek out advice, even though they are not doing a great job of parenting themselves.

          Not saying the GGP is in that category as I do not know for sure...but they very much could be given the implied attitude towards others seeking advice.

    • if people need parenting advice, they shouldn't be having kids.
      If people think that they don't need any parenting advice, they shouldn't be having kids.

      There, fixed that for you.
    • by renoX ( 11677 )
      >Come to think of it, if people need parenting advice, they shouldn't be having kids.

      That's a stupid remark, you should be ashamed of yourself..
    • "Come to think of it, if people need parenting advice, they shouldn't be having kids. "

      This is the stupidest thing I have EVER heard. Children have minds of their own, even if you are the best parent in the world. People are born with a law of being (ala goethe)

      Goethe argued in his scientific works that a "formative impulse", which he said is operative in every organism, causes an organism to form itself according to its own distinct laws, and therefore rational laws or fiats could not be imposed at all f
    • This wasn't meant to be parenting advice, it was simply an issue of unhealthy government intervention with peoples lives, at a very young age, in ways that can possibly pave the way for further tampering with our privacy and freedoms (or what is left of them). Others have already commented on your parenting advice remark, but really, I think slashdot is a *great* source of information for a whole range of people in this crazy era. Especially people with children. It's not about being a bastion of profession
  • Huh? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by zappepcs ( 820751 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @02:24PM (#20747303) Journal

    Are schools supposed to be doing this as an extension of their duty to prevent physical bullying in school, or is this is yet another example of governmental intervention where it is not due? Should kids be brought up knowing that their life on the web is being documented and controlled by people other than their parents?"
    No, yes, and FSCK YES !

    Kids should know that the Internet is not a playground with safety bumpers on every sharp corner. It is for adults, and there are people out there that will monitor everything they can, people will take advantage of every opportunity. The sad fact is that not enough adults know this yet, so teaching kids about it is a good start at the education that should come with the purchase of Internet services.
  • by Tackhead ( 54550 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @02:25PM (#20747311)

    A survey for the union found that 70% of teachers had heard children in their schools using homophobic language.

    When there's insults to be dished out, you will only insult each other using the approved insults!

    The union is calling for pupils' mobile phones to be classed as potentially offensive weapons and for them to be banned during school sessions.

    And when there's abuse to be documented, who'll be documenting the abuse? Who'll be watching the watchers? Not you, Citizen!

    When we point the camera at you, it's for your safety. When you point the camera at us, it's an offensive weapon.

    Don't bully. Your government hates the competition.

    • In UK schools, the word "gay" as an adjective is used as a synonym for "bad" by pupils. Most of the time it isn't specifically meant as a homophobic insult, but of course the association of "gay" with "bad" is indirectly negative. The figure is probably somewhere nearer 80%.

      Cyber-bullying never seemed like a real problem to me anyway, I have never met anyone who has experienced it (YMMV). Most social networking sites let you delete comments and the like from your profile, so the user already has the tools t

  • No matter what the intentions behind this decree, I don't think anything will change. If J. Random Memorial School sends Facebook a message demanding that they remove a person's comment about a student of theirs, and it does not violate Facebook's TOS, then why would they do it? Most social networking sites aren't based in the UK; frankly, its unenforcible.

    Also, even if social networking sites were affected, wouldn't the "cyberbullies" just find another medium, i.e. AIM/YIM/MSN/IRC/Insert your own acrony
  • Schools have been told to confiscate mobile phones, and, more controversially, to investigate and get material removed from personal social-networking sites. And then what will they do? Bully the student to remove the offensive material... "If you don't remove that post about Timmy RIGHT THIS INSTANCE YOUNG MAN!!!" That's teaching them how not to bully others by bullying them.... Seriously, what about education for a change. Personally I don't think anyone carrying a phone in any school should be allowed to
    • "If you don't remove that post about Timmy RIGHT THIS INSTANCE YOUNG MAN!!!" That's teaching them how not to bully others by bullying them....

      It is not bullying a kid to stop him from bullying others.

      To warn him that his actions will have consequences. That entry into adulthood demands that you learn to respect some minimal standards of civilized behavior. That is also part of learning.

      Perhaps a more important part of learning than what you will find in the textbooks.

  • Well, actually, their every e-move IS being documented, by Google, and people other than their parents DO control their lives, such as teachers, government officials, etc. I don't know how it is in the UK but in the US you don't really have much in the way of rights until you hit 18. But, that aside, how far do you take this? What about bullying outside of school? What about bullying when the kid's 20? IMO you do kids a great disservice by insulating them from the hard parts of life, such as the fact that s
    • IMO you do kids a great disservice by insulating them from the hard parts of life, such as the fact that some people are pricks. It's better to learn how to deal with that yourself at a young age than to learn to rely on your parents or the government to come to your rescue.

      You do your kids no better favor by not warning them that others may step in to protect their own.

      To defend the most vulnerable.

      That there are lines that cannot be crossed without paying a price.

    • by DM9290 ( 797337 )
      "...but in the US you don't really have much in the way of rights until you hit 18."

      do you interpret the fact that rights are being violated as evidence that the rights don't exist?
  • by Cro Magnon ( 467622 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @02:34PM (#20747443) Homepage Journal

    Should kids be brought up knowing that their life on the web is being documented and controlled by people other than their parents?


    Yes, they should, because it's true. Why lie to the poor tykes?
  • Should kids be brought up knowing that their life on the web is being documented and controlled by people other than their parents?"

    No, let's lie to them and tell them that only the tooth fairy and Santa Claus knows anything about their public online info...

    ~S
  • i (Score:2, Interesting)

    by kurtis25 ( 909650 )
    I was bullied in elementary school. By High school I was friends with the kid who bullied me, and yes we had fun with that one. We were talking about bullying in my humanities class, my friend (the ex-bully) raised his hand and said, "I used to bully people," the teacher asked how he thought that made the other kid feel. The bully said, "I dunno," he looked at me and asked, "how did you make it feel?" I said something about not remembering but that he owed me back for all the lunch money he took after he be
  • by Marcion ( 876801 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @02:37PM (#20747473) Homepage Journal
    Teachers realm the comments for signs of cyberbullying:

    Teacher: "Now young Sebastian, while I admire your interest in communist era Russia, I'm not sure that image you linked to is really relevant to technology."

    Student: "You must be new here, mod parent down, imagine a Beowulf cluster of those..."
  • Unless it is initiated on school property, or during school hours, or is otherwise set up specifically to harass during school hours or on school property, I don't see how the school has either the right or the responsibility to intervene.
  • by Critical Facilities ( 850111 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @02:46PM (#20747575)

    Examples cited include threats, intimidation, harassment or "cyber-stalking", unauthorised publication of private information or images, impersonation and so-called "happy slapping". Mr Balls also called for action against anti-gay bullying -calling for schools to promote a "culture of respect" and saying that "homophobic insults should be viewed as seriously as racism"

    I dunno about an article that quotes a "Mr Balls" about "happy slapping".
    • I live in the UK, and our minister in charge of education really is called Mr Balls. I have to remind myself not to snigger every time I hear about him.

      "Happy slapping" is the act of assaulting someone while one of your friends films it, usually on a camera phone, the aim being to send the recording to all your other friends to prove how tough you are (or something like that)...

  • People make it seem like life and all these problems suddenly sprung into action. People grew up and dealt with these problem before. They should be able to do so still.. or are people devolving?
  • all the government wants to do is to tell you what you can say and what you can do. They'll use any tactic to stop you from thinking yourself, and any questioning of the current administration will get you put into some kind of trouble.

    Fscking George Bush.. leave us alone!
  • Semantics (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Sparr0 ( 451780 ) <sparr0@gmail.com> on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @03:08PM (#20747843) Homepage Journal
    I have a problem with the modern vernacular using a single word, "bullying", to encompass everything from name calling to practical jokes to mild or even violent physical abuse. Doing so robs descriptions of the latter of the weight they deserve.
  • If children were well-educated, they wouldn't engage in cyberbullying, and they would put social networking sites into good use. Their current use of such wonderful tools as social networking clearly shows that their mental state is many orders of magnitude below the threshold required to characterise a living being as an animal, yet alone a human. This is the result of a combination of poor parentage and a broken bankrupt society. If they had good parents *and* were living in a healthy caring society, t
  • by Joe Tie. ( 567096 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @03:21PM (#20748041)
    Schools have been told to confiscate mobile phones, and, more controversially, to investigate and get material removed from personal social-networking sites.

    I've also heard there's this new fangled thing called paper that can be used to send nasty comments to people anonymously! Poo has also been known to be used in this manner, while sitting on a doorstep. So just remove paper, pens, hands, poo, and doors from the environment and our children can finally be safe!

    As much as I applaud any attempt to improve the quality of a child's education, attacking the tools they use for bulling isn't going to do anything to the root causes of it. However, sending the kids to an island and having them fight to the death for our amusement....that could work.
  • by Ungrounded Lightning ( 62228 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @03:28PM (#20748147) Journal
    ... is this is yet another example of governmental intervention where it is not due?

    When considering government interference with free speech and balancing this with libel and other criminal written speech, please remember that the schools and government in question are in the UK.

    The UK government does NOT have a constitutional guarantee of a right to free speech and freedom of the press. Its libel laws are quite different from those of the US as well. (It's one of the major differences between the legal systems of the two - in the US truth is an absolute defense aganst claims of defamation, and "public figures" have an extra burden of proving deliberate malace when bringing a charge.)

    Now the question was about whether such intervention was PROPER. IMHO that doesn't vary as you cross The Pond - though others may disagree. But what's LEGAL, what's standard governmental practice, and the theoretical underpinnings behind decisions and reasoning about them DO differ drastically. So what the courts will let the government get away with, and how to go about getting them to force the government to back off, will also differ greatly.
  • Should kids be brought up knowing that their life on the web is being documented and controlled by people other than their parents?"

    Yes, obviously, because it is.
  • by Darth_Keryx ( 740371 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @04:08PM (#20748691) Homepage
    Having lived for 5 years in the UK I saw first hand (and to a degree experienced) bullying. I do not know if Americans realize how serious a problem it is in the UK. The kind of cruelty and abuse one reads/sees in "Harry Potter" might seem foreign and unlikely, but let me tell you that is nothing, just a sample, of what "bullying" can mean in British schools. Serious physical and long term psychological damage. There have been known cases of suicide - the only way some poor kid could escape the daily abuse. For the record my experience was mild compared to some. And yes once I started threatening bullies with "I'm taking karate, you can hurt me today, I'll get you next month" it got better. Frightening but true.

    My first point is simply that I am glad British school might be doing something about bullying. Although we can debate whether the solution is entirely legal or appropriate. But the problem is very real.

    Now to cyberbullying...

    My daughter was the very first victim of cyberbullying at her rather elite private school here in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. (Yes a personal detail.) Pretty bad, although could have been worse. Her teachers cared and tried to take action against the students involved. The administration did squat and hung us out to dry. She handled it well, but over the course of that year (because her parents took it very seriously) she was ostracized, and quickly students and administrators alike got into a "blame the victim" pattern. Her grades plummeted. Often talked about killing herself, yadda yadda yadda. Friendships (such as between us and other parents) ended over this because they would not hold their children accountable. (In a new school now, thriving, grades shot up to A's and 100's. Go figure.)

    Again - my point is simply "cyberbullying is also a serious and real problem that causes real observable damage".

    Whether such policies are legal, enforceable, and so on - that is quite debatable. The website provider (a kind of Facebook for kids) actually took the site down when we complained (we think). Good for them. Violation of policy. The school took the "well, not our network/computers, therefore we can't do anything" line. (Photos of my child were clearly taken at school. Uh...) Technically might be correct. I don't know. My final point is, "Even if schools cannot legally police and enforce every last dang website or IM or whatever... *something* needs to be done by *someone*". The problem is bloody real and so is the damage this kind of filth.

    I appreciate and sympathize with concerns about privacy and excessive government intrusion and all that. I really do. But what then shall we do? Unless we want to deny the seriousness of this problem?

    • by nomadic ( 141991 )
      But what then shall we do? Unless we want to deny the seriousness of this problem?

      Sue? I know the kneejerk reaction on slashdot is lawsuits are always bad, but if the bullying reaches a severe enough status, and the school unreasonably refuses to try and fix it, there are a bunch of federal and state claims open to the bullied kids and their parents.
  • *cyber* bully? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nurb432 ( 527695 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @05:23PM (#20749519) Homepage Journal
    Kids that are effected from *virtual* bullies should get a grip. Its NOT REAL.

    Stop being a baby. Geesh.
    • Why the hell is this modded insightful? Being called names/lied about online is just as real as being called names/lied about to your face/in public. There's nothing virtual about "cyberbullies", it's no more than the application of technology to a practice that's been around forever.
      It may be "just words", but let's face it, the "sticks and stones" argument never amounted to anything much, not when we were kids, and not among adults either (why do you think we have slander/libel laws?). Words DO have an ef
      • by nurb432 ( 527695 )
        Even if you were right ( which you arent, they are just hollow words in a total vacuum ) have you ever heard of just closing the window, or ignoring the sender? ( fake ) Problem solved.

        Im sorry but anyone that is bugged by a virtual bully is a wuss and needs serious mental help and will never be able to function as a normal human in society..

        Now, if you want to talk about a person in your face screaming at you, sure, pure words can be effective against lesser people as its harder to walk away if they follow
  • The root problem (Score:4, Insightful)

    by damburger ( 981828 ) on Tuesday September 25, 2007 @05:38PM (#20749695)

    Politicians are old. Tony Blair was considered to be a 'youthful' PM coming to power in his 40s. The technology that shapes our lives is young, and constantly evolving. I'm only 26, grew up nuts about computers, and already I feel as if I'm starting to slip behind the curve, its frightening to me so its probably terrifying to them.

    The country is run by technically illiterate near-pensioners who are slapping e- and cyber- prefixes on everything in a fit of desperation. The result is idiotic initiatives such as this, which aside from being a waste of time and money, present an opportunity for the more savvy political players lurking in the shadows to invade peoples privacy and crush their civil liberties.

    From a techie point of view, Gordon Brown might as well be Leonid Brezhnev. A relic of a past era making crappy decisions based on the principles of his own time, without regard for the reality of the present. Young people in the UK need to kick out the gerontocracy and start making informed technology policy.

  • So kids are picking on robots in U.K. schools now, or something?

    -b

  • Should kids be brought up knowing that their life on the web is being documented and controlled by people other than their parents?

    Is this a serious question? Really?

    A serious question is 'How can we stop bullying?'. The above is just crap.

    Lots of love,
    Ex-bullied.

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