Protecting Children From Online Defamation, Libel, or Threats

Posted by admin | Uncategorized | Monday 28 June 2010 1:24 pm

This article at the New York Times is an excellent example of the sort of problems that are occurring these days because of the rise of the Internet and, particularly, the rise of social networking sites. This is not the fault of the Internet, of course, it is simply due to the fact that we have not yet encountered these problems and thus have no idea how to handle them.

Schools these days are confronted with complex questions on whether and how to deal with cyberbullying, an imprecise label for online activities ranging from barrages of teasing texts to sexually harassing group sites. The extent of the phenomenon is hard to quantify. But one 2010 study by the Cyberbullying Research Center, an organization founded by two criminologists who defined bullying as “willful and repeated harm” inflicted through phones and computers, said one in five middle-school students had been affected.

Affronted by cyberspace’s escalation of adolescent viciousness, many parents are looking to schools for justice, protection, even revenge. But many educators feel unprepared or unwilling to be prosecutors and judges.

Often, school district discipline codes say little about educators’ authority over student cellphones, home computers and off-campus speech. Reluctant to assert an authority they are not sure they have, educators can appear indifferent to parents frantic with worry, alarmed by recent adolescent suicides linked to bullying.

Whether resolving such conflicts should be the responsibility of the family, the police or the schools remains an open question, evolving along with definitions of cyberbullying itself.

Nonetheless, administrators who decide they should help their cornered students often face daunting pragmatic and legal constraints.

The entire article is well worth a read. It brings up some very good questions in regards to how the law should or should not be changing and evolving in order to meet the new challenge of the Internet.

Online defamation can unfortunately cost the recipient a large amount of time and money. Reputation Hawk can greatly minimize that damage.

1 Comment

  1. Trackback by — March 20, 2013 @ 7:44 pm…

    Reputation Damage » Protecting Children From Online Defamation, Libel, or Threats…

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