[LINK] Oh, that evil Internet!

David Boxall david.boxall at hunterlink.net.au
Thu Jul 23 15:18:07 AEST 2009

> A Melbourne mother has blamed her 14-year-old daughter's suicide on 
> the internet and the tragic case has highlighted the problem of cyber 
> bullying among young people.
> "I can guarantee you if she didn't go on the internet Friday night 
> she'd be alive today."

Is there really anything new here? Bullying happened long before the 
Internet. Judging by the outcome, the victim was vulnerable. That 
vulnerability probably would have been exploited without any "cyber" 

What's remarkable to me is the way we differentiate between physical 
violence and other forms (social, psychological, emotional). The only 
difference I see is that the other forms don't draw blood directly.

> ... about 10 per cent of young people reported they were being cyber 
> bullied.
The "cyber" part is unlikely to be all - or even most - of the bullying 
suffered. I venture to say that this type of violence is far more 
prevalent than the physical.

The piece recounts experiences involving a troll-bully, ending with 
advice to ignore them. I'd point out that such psychopaths exist outside 
the Internet, though the online environment provides a handy cloak for 
the cowardly deviant.

> ... young people do not think adults take cyber bullying seriously.
We tend not to take seriously anything that isn't physical. The 
consequences are sometimes tragic.
David Boxall                    |  Dogs look up to us
                                |  And cats look down on us
http://david.boxall.name        |  But pigs treat us as equals
                                                   --Winston Churchill

More information about the Link mailing list