Bullying and cyberbullying interactive learning modules for parents

The Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development has developed online interactive learning modules for parents that focus on bullying and cyberbullying.

The bullying and cyberbullying module

developed in partnership with Andrew Fuller, (clinical psychologist and student wellbeing specialist), has been developed to help parents understand, recognise and manage bullying and cyberbullying behaviours.

The cybersafety and social media module

developed in partnership with Susan McLean (cybersafety expert), has been developed to help parents address standards of behaviour in the context of cybersafety and social media.

Two excellent resources for parents.

Why trolls and hackers should be afraid

A while back The Age published an interesting article that claims online trolls and hackers, who have previously been able to remain anonymous, can now be identified by their writing style.

“Your writing style can give you away and on the internet anonymity is difficult to achieve,” say the US researchers who have developed online tools to analyse writing.

The researchers, from Drexel University in Philadelphia, studied the leaked conversations and contributions of hundreds of anonymous users in underground online forums.

They were able to identify 80 per cent of users using stylometric analysis to match writing styles to authors.

An interesting invention and may help deter bullying.

Read more here.

Younger teens stand up to cyberbullying

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has recently published the early findings into research on cyberbullying with the following results:

According to the ACMA’s research, more than one in five 14 to 15-year-olds has experienced cyberbullying, compared to sixteen per cent of 16 to 17-year-olds. Twelve per cent of 14 to 15-year-olds report that they have frequently witnessed cyberbullying.

‘The good news is that these young people are prepared to stand up and speak out about cyberbullying. Fourteen and 15-year-olds reported that they frequently took action by telling the cyberbully to stop (14 per cent), defending the target of the bullying (20 per cent), or ignoring the cyberbullying behaviour (21 per cent),’ Richard Bean said.

Levels of cyberbullying among Australian children remain generally steady despite increases in online participation, indicating that the cybersafety messages underpinning programs such as Cybersmart are getting through.

Read the rest of the early findings here.

eheadspace can help

If you or your family are finding the going hard, eheadspace Australia has online and telephone counselling available.

eheadspace is a confidential, free* and secure space where young people aged 12 to 25 years and their family can web chat, email or speak on the phone with a qualified youth mental health professional. The eheadspace online and telephone support service is operated by headspace, the National Youth Mental Health Foundation.

*All eheadspace online services are free but if you call 1800 650 890 from a mobile phone normal call charges apply. Let us know if you are calling from a mobile and we can give you a call back.

eheadspace provides online and telephone support and counselling to young people 12 – 25 and their families and friends. If you’re based in Australia and going through a tough time,eheadspace can help

I need help for me

If you’re 12 – 25, you can contact eheadspace if you need support or are worried about your mental health. eheadspace can help you deal with a broad range of issues like bullying, drug and alcohol issues, depression and anxiety, relationships, concerns about a friend, fitting in and isolation.
read more about “help for me”

I need help for someone I’m worried about

If you’re a parent or carer who is concerned about the mental health of a young person 12 – 25, you can contact eheadspace for specialist advice and support.
read more about “help for someone I’m worried about”

I need help with work or study issues

If you’re 12 – 25 and have issues or questions specifically relating to work or study.eheadspace specialists can help you to get back on track with your study, career, job and other advice relating to employment and education.
read more about “help with work or study issues”

I need emergency assistance

eheadspace is not an emergency service but offers mental health support and treatment where appropriate. If you’re in need of immediate support or medical assistance please contact emergency services.
read more about “emergency assistance”

See the FAQs for more information. What a valuable service.

Tagged for life

Two weeks ago, the Herald Sun reported that the Victorian State government has developed a resource to address teenagers missing out on jobs due to inappropriate social media and digital footprints.

Youth Affairs Minister Ryan Smith is launching a fresh campaign urging young Victorians to re-address their social-media etiquette and remember that posts can last forever.

The Baillieu Government’s new push, to be launched today, has the theme, “It’s There for Life“. Students across Victoria will be warned on the dangers of sexting and social-media pitfalls in a bid to reduce the number of prospective employees hurt by their online presence.

 There is also a competition for students with prizes valued at $1500. Entries for the competition close on 14 April. Enter here.

Childish behaviour as parents worsen cyber-bullying

Recently the Sydney Morning Herald published an article on how parental involvement in their child’s online issues can actually make matters worse. Journalist Deborah Gough explains:

PARENTS who buy into their children’s online disputes can continue the tirade long after their children have made up, warn bullying experts.

Judi Fallon, manager of the Alannah and Madeline Foundation’s eSmart program, said parents can exacerbate cyber bullying problems between schoolchildren.

Ms Fallon said the problem could start at school, then continue at home on social media sites, where parents often became involved. ”Kids being kids, they can end up friends the next day, but the parents continue on with it,” she said.

Read the entire article here.

Creators of abusive websites could be charged

Following on from yesterday’s post where cybersafety expert Susan McLean called on police to charge creators of hate websites, The Age is reporting that police do intend to prosecute where there are grounds.

Detective Senior Sergeant Greg Dever said in the past couple of months police had had several pages shut down, including one that was selling guns and drugs, a page full of dead-baby jokes and a page with ”hateful and hurtful comments inciting murder” directed at police.

He said Facebook was ”very co-operative as long as due judicial process is followed”, and was willing to assist police in matters involving material that ”would encourage an act of violence or some illegal act”.

Read the whole article.

Police urged to charge and prosecute creators of cyber hate

Former Victoria Police officer and now cybersafety expert Susan McLean has urged Australian police to ‘track down and charge’ people who post hate pages online, The Age reports.

McLean states that

police already have powers to pursue posters of such content. Under section 474.17 of the Commonwealth Crimes Act, it is an offence to use ”a carriage service to menace, harass or cause offence”, punishable by three years in jail… ”There have been many cases in the UK where these people have been hunted down and charged and jailed. We need to do that in Australia.”

Read the whole article here.