Holiday help

This is the last post from iQ for sometime to come. Best wishes to all readers for a safe and happy Christmas and New Year and beyond.

Just a note that if you need support due to online issues, there are a number of avenues you can use:

You can also search the iQ archives for further assistance.

Parents underestimate risk of cyber-bullying for teens

Recently The Sunday Age published a report stating that

Nearly 80 per cent of Australian children under 10 years of age use social networks. Among older teenagers – those 16 and 17 – parents underestimate bullying and risky online behaviour. But the most likely candidate for cyber-bullying is a 14 year old girl who checks her Facebook account daily.

By the time teenagers are 16, parents start to underestimate the likelihood of their child being bullied or involved in upsetting experiences. Only 17 per cent of parents said their 16-year-old was bothered by something on the internet, but 26 per cent of teenagers of that age said they suffered through an upsetting experience.

What is of concern is that once parents believe that their work is done, that their children know how to successfully navigate the social media world is when they are actually most at risk.

Read the whole article here.

 

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.

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.

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.

Facebook launches anti-bullying campaign

ABC News – Technology and Games (Australia) is reporting that Facebook is now working with Project Rockit and headspace on an anti bullying campaign. Users are invited to take the following pledge:

Bullying makes every day hard. It makes people feel isolated, unimportant and afraid to go to school. I have the power to stop bullying by getting involved in a few specific ways. Here is my pledge: I will speak up – I will take a stand when I see young people humiliating or hurting each other. I will talk about bullying with my friends and the adults in my life, so everyone knows I think it’s wrong. I will advocate – I will stick up for others who might be in need of my help, and not just my closest friends. I will be a role model – I will not use my phone or computer to spread rumors or say hateful things, and I won’t ignore it when others are cruel and intimidating. Stopping bullying begins with me. Taking this pledge can change someone’s life in a meaningful way. I will forward it to my friends and family to help grow a community committed to ending bullying. I will speak up.

This is a real step forward from Facebook and it’s great to see that leading Australian organisations have been collaborating on this. Read more from Facebook here.

Corinne Grant’s take on the Charlotte Dawson Twitter attack

Yesterday’s post outlined the Twitter attack on television host and Smile Foundation ambassador Charlotte Dawson and the fallout from her hospitalisation.

 Corinne Grant has responded in a piece called Dear trolls, ask yourself this…  She begins with:

If you get on Facebook or Twitter or the online comments section of an article and throw hate at another human being, you have no idea what harm you are causing.  None.

Just because the person you abuse ignores you, it doesn’t mean you haven’t injured them.  Just because they retweet your comment and claim it didn’t bother them, there’s no proof that’s actually true.  And just because they joke about it doesn’t mean they are not covering up the fact that you and the hundreds of other people joining in the bullying aren’t hurting them incredibly.

 Not knowing the effect of your abuse does not absolve you of responsibility.

Sometimes it’s too easy to hide behind a screen when hurting someone. It’s too easy to hide behind an avatar or anonymous account. Would we say it to someone’s face? If the answer is no, then don’t post it.

Looking after your friends, family and self is as easy as that. Treat people how you’d like to be treated. It really is that simple.