Archives for the category: Bullying by SMS, Sexting
June 28, 2011
Juveniles caught sending sexually explicit photographs via their cell phones would not face criminal prosecution but rather intense education on the ramifications under a bill approved on Monday by the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee. Newsroom Jersey reports.
The measure (A-1561) was approved 78-0 by the Assembly in March. It now moves to the full Senate for final legislative approval.
March 7, 2011
If a 14-year old boy coerces a 14-year old girl into making a sex video on a cellphone, then releases that video on the Internet, can he be charged as a child pornographer? A federal case in Kentucky may set key precedent. arstechnica reports.
-- Bill would let 'sexting' NJ teens avoid charges - New Jersey teenagers caught texting or posting sexually explicit photos online could avoid prosecution under a measure that would give first-time offenders the chance to complete a diversionary program.
-- Court Says Parents Can Block ‘Sexting’ Cases - In the first federal appeals court opinion dealing with “sexting” — the transmission of sexually explicit photographs by cellphone — a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit ruled in March 2010, that parents could block the prosecution of their children on child pornography charges for appearing in photographs found on some classmates’ cellphones.
November 2, 2010
The free blacklisting option will be available from Monday and is the first such service to be introduced in New Zealand.
Read full article.
October 25, 2010
Senate Majority Leader Barbara Buono and Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle today unveiled the “Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights” – bipartisan legislation designed to combat harassment, intimidation and bullying among students. NJ Today reports.
The Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights is designed to raise awareness of bullying, harassment, and intimidation in schools and prevent instances of abuse.
Read full article.
October 13, 2010
The patent’s official title? “Text-based communication control for personal communication device” is meant to solve the problem that "there is currently “No way to monitor and control text communications to make them user appropriate. For example, users such as children may send or receive messages (intentionally or not) with parentally objectionable language.”
Read full article.
May 11, 2010
Australia's Victoria Police wants a 15-minute film on ‘‘sexting’’ to be shown in schools to educate children on the dangers of using mobile phones to send sexually explicit images. [via The Sydney Morning Herald]
Sergeant Matthew Gildea, of the Bendigo sexual offences and child abuse unit, said sexting among teenagers was out of control, with children as young as 12 involved.
Read full article.
January 27, 2009
A new public service ad highlights the growing problems of "textual abuse," where harassment of children occurs by way of text messages. Watch the video.
[via The New York Times]
December 22, 2008
A 21-year-old woman accused of sending a vulgar text message to a 17-year-old girl is one of the first cases brought under a law against cyberbullying spurred by the suicide of a teenage girl following cruel internet messages on the internet. The Sydney Morning Herald reports.
In the case, Nicole Williams is accused of using electronic communications to harass a teenager in a dispute over a boy. Williams is scheduled for arraignment on one count of harassment on January 8.
December 4, 2007
Australians are spending tens of thousands of dollars on high-tech devices to beat bullying in the schoolyard. The Age.
"Bully buttons", which students push when they are being bullied, can be installed around a school, linked to cameras that record incidents and alerting teachers by SMS.
Melbourne company Celltek created the wireless bully button, a black box with a red button that can be mounted on a pole or wall.
Once the button is pressed, nearby cameras swing into action and record the area around the button. Teachers are alerted by SMS or by a pop-up screen on a connected PC in the staff room or office."
October 7, 2007
According to stuff.co.nz, text message bullying is not just confined to kids, but to abused women, for whom it's a growing problem.
"Breaches of protection orders by text messaging and the internet are a growing problem for people trying to escape abusive relationships, social groups say.
Rachel Harrison, communications manager of internet safety watchdog NetSafe in New Zealand, said breaches of protection orders were one of the most "persistent" cases they referred to police.
... Christchurch Women's Refuge manager Annette Gillespie said the use of internet and cellphones to abuse women was a growing problem and making it more difficult for women to escape and avoid harassment from abusers.
"Technological advances have had a sinister downside for many women who have been, or are in, abusive relationships," Gillespie said.
"It is an extremely invasive way of getting to women they may not be able to physically access. It is a form of psychological abuse that can be used to create a great degree of fear and terror.
... Reports of this type of abuse were also increasingly common in other countries, Gillespie said. "
June 27, 2007
A UK teaching union is calling for mobile phones to be classed as potentially offensive weapons, reports the BBC.
"NASUWT general secretary Chris Keates said the way pupils misused them to bully their teachers meant they should be banned from school premises.
Ms Keates is raising the issue of mobiles with ministers at a task force meeting on Tuesday.
She is particularly concerned about websites such as ratemyteacher and bebo which, she says, provide a vehicle for false allegations and abuse by pupils which can damage teachers' self esteem and careers.
She said: "These sites are fed by pupils' misuse of mobile phones. The time has come for mobiles in schools to be placed in the category of a potentially offensive weapon and action taken to prevent their use by pupils while on school premises. "
March 21, 2007
"Human communications have become increasingly superficial," sighs Yasuko Nakamura to Aera magazine's March issue, reports Mainichi Daily News.
"Nakamura, president of Boom Planning, has been tracking youth fads for over two decades. And she has noticed lately that among teens, use of ubiquitous cell phones has been shifting from voice conversations to mail messaging to posting of personal profiles on SMS sites.
Just a bunch of kids, enjoying some innocent fun, right? Er, no. The heady mixture of teen hormones and IT seems to be generating the high-tech versions of the lynch mob.
... In Japan, "gakko ura saito" (clandestine school sites), have created a new form of group bullying that's spurring a whole generation of anonymous slanderers who make old-fashioned bullies and meanies seem almost preferable by comparison.
After all, in old-style "ijime," at least you know who your tormentor is. The electronic version is just as vicious, if not more so, because electronic communications afford complete anonymity. And of course it's far more difficult for school authorities to intervene, let alone identify the instigators or implement disciplinary measures."
February 27, 2007
According to Newsday, a Long Island (NY) family has filed a $5 million civil rights lawsuit against their son's high school, claiming it did nothing to stop students from text-messaging racial slurs and scrawling an offensive word on his locker.
"The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Central Islip on Monday, says administrators at the nationally ranked Miller Place High School failed to stop the mistreatment of ninth grader Brian Orr _ one of five black students in a school population of 950".
August 1, 2006
Children in Edinburgh schools are being encouraged to report bullies by text message, informs Scotsman.
The majority of secondaries and primaries in the city will have the system implemented after the summer holidays.
May 9, 2006
Harassing someone by text messaging has become such an invasion of one’s private space that Oklahoma legislators passed a bill last March making harassment by text messaging a criminal act, reports gmtoday via Poynter Online.
The House Bill 1804, by Lance Cargill (R-Harrah), makes it illegal to use any electronic or telecommunication device to terrorize or harass another individual.
"This bill expands current harassment laws to make clear that not only are harassing telephone calls illegal, but so are harassing e-mails, faxes and text messaging," Cargill said. "This legislation was requested by an Oklahoma County assistant district attorney, who was concerned about victims’ rights."
April 16, 2006
According to the Times online, it's not just children who are subject to bullying by SMS, but teachers are harrased as well.
"Teachers have complained of “bullying” by pupils who use mobile phones to film them losing their temper and then send the videos to their friends for amusement.
According to one teen, “The idea is to get the teacher to blow their top and then play it back to amuse your friends.”
Often, the pupils goad staff into “ranting for the camera” to make the video as entertaining as possible.
The phenomenon has caused such concern that it is to be raised in a motion at this week’s annual conference of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers in Gateshead.
“In some cases, teachers’ heads have been superimposed on another image to make them look stupid and the whole thing posted on an internet site.”
... The videos are not violent, unlike “happy slapping”, in which youths film each other attacking people. Teachers are worried, however, that the videos expose them to humiliation and, if seen by parents or colleagues, may damage their careers.
Some observers point out, however, that the threat of covert filming may prompt teachers to curb their tempers and maintain high standards themselves. "
April 13, 2006
A new study finds girls are increasingly bullying other girls via cell phone and text messaging, reports United Press International.
"Researchers tracked 65 15- to 18-year-old girls and found bullies used text messaging more than the Internet and traditional playground methods.
Forty-five percent of the girls, who lived in a well-off Sacramento suburb, say they've been victims, USA Today reports. The study was presented at the American Educational Research Association meeting in San Francisco. Researcher Juliana Raskauskas conducted the study while at the University of California-Davis."
March 14, 2006
Vodafone and Telecom will meet the police and an internet safety group next week to discuss whether they are doing enough about text bullying, reports Radio New Zealand.
"The meeting comes after a number of text bullying cases have emerged, including the recent death of a 12-year-old Waikato girl who had been bullied."
-- Teenage bullies hound 12-year-old to death - The day before school started, Alex Teka was found dead in the back garden of her Putaruru home. The 12-year-old had been the target of text bullies. (New Zealand Herald)
-- Text message torment ends in tragedy - Helen Algar believes her teenage son died after being on the receiving end of a silent but potent form of bullying - text messaging (2003).
February 4, 2006
"A manager and two workers are running the £65,000 project which will be open to receive texts three days a week.
Pupils aged 11 to 14 in the two schools have been given pocket-sized cards with the text helpline number on them. As well as the confidential helpline, the service will offer one-to-one support for pupils facing emotional distress."
November 22, 2005
A mobile phone service which enables bullied children to discreetly contact their parents is being launched, reports the BBC.
"The Pingalert can be activated by pressing a speed dial button on a child's handset, which can be kept hidden from view. It sends a text message to the parent's phone with a location description and picture message map where possible.
The service, launched by company Mtrack, aims to help children out of difficult situations."
The service locates the sender's phone to within 500 yards in built-up areas and sends the message to the parent's phone within 60 seconds.
November 20, 2005
Parents whose children attack or threaten classmates could be hauled before the courts and fined £1,000 ($1.700) under UK government school reforms, according to the BBC.
There have been several high profile cases of bullying in recent weeks..
Related: - According to a recent survey by U.K. children's charity NCH, reported by ZDNet, one in five kids has been bullied via digital phone or computer. Bullying by text message was the most common form of abuse reported, with 14 percent of children interviewed saying they had received upsetting messages on their mobile phones. The interactions run the gamut from disconcerting to downright terrifying."
November 15, 2005
Bullying in school has shifted from physical attacks to psychological cruelty, say head teachers in the UK, via the BBC.
"Mr Trobe, head teacher of Malmesbury School in Wiltshire, says that when he began his teaching career three decades ago, there was more physical bullying. "Now there are more cases of verbal or psychological bullying. There are so many different avenues for this," he says.
Such psychological tactics have become common in the past five or six years, he says, driven by the near-universal ownership of mobile phones among youngsters. "Mobile phones are used to send threatening messages or to ring people up and not saying anything. It all builds up pressure on youngsters."
As well as phone threats, he says children, particularly girls, have become more adept at ostracising each other and applying social pressure, by ignoring or excluding particular classmates.
... He warned that a series of violent attacks in schools, particularly involving girls, appearing to be a worrying pattern, in which pupils were ready to use extreme violence."
October 31, 2005
According to the Townsville Bulletin, Australia's soaring divorce rate has led to a generation of girls who have "discovered their inner bitch" and who make life hell for their victims - using text messages and e-mail to intimidate and victimize.
"Psychologist Michael Carr-Greg told a conference in Melbourne yesterday female bullying was a largely unresearched phenomenon that was out of control in the nation's schools.
"Some of these girls are the queen of mean," Dr Carr-Gregg said.
And while male bullies tended to use their physical strength to intimidate others, female bullies had become adept at using SMS and email to victimise others.
Dr Carr-Gregg - who recently learned of an incident in which a girl was made to eat a pie filled with dog-food - said schools needed to introduce programs to tackle the problem.
"There is really nowhere some of these kids can hide," Dr Carr-Gregg said. "They can be emailed at home or texted wherever they may be. What's disturbing is that we are getting reports that girls are bullying at younger and younger ages."
August 10, 2005
A British website called Politic.co.uk, reports at length on "hooliganism", the term used broadly to describe disorderly, aggressive and often violent behaviour perpetrated by spectators at sporting events. In the UK, hooliganism is almost exclusively confined to football.
Without saying so in so many words, politics.co.uk describes today's hooligans as violent smart mobs.
"Today, in contrast to the more or less spontaneous upsurges of violence of the past, gangs of rival fans will frequently arrange to meet at specific locations, using mobile phones or the Internet, before and after matches to fight".
The (Calcutta) Telegraph has a disturbing article on how stalking today has found a dangerous new medium; the mobile phone.
"While the comparatively new incidents of disturbing SMS or MMS circulating around are being referred to as the ill fall-outs of new technology, psychiatrists differ in opinion.
In reality, SMS and MMS are a variation and part of the “prank call” and “stalking” phenomenon prevalent over years.
Whatever may be the form, or the language, the emotion behind the messages and the act of intruding into someone's privacy remains the constant factor.
Though circumstances change, motive remains the same — disturbing a person concerned or in other words “victimising”.
June 22, 2005
An excellent article by ZDNet on the dark side of children's digital lifestyle.
February 18, 2005
Bullying, a recurring issue in school playgrounds.
BBC has an article today on how UK schools are increasingly spending large sums of money on software designed to help combat such issues.
"Text Someone is the latest service from Truancy Call, one of several systems on the market, which offers pupils the chance to beat the bullies via a technology they are all familiar with - the text message.
"Incidents of bullying can be reported at any time of day or night via text message, e-mail or voice message.
The statistics bear out the need for action in this area. It is estimated that between 15 and 20 children take their own lives each year as a result of being bullied."
Documented reports of several tragic incidents;
-- Text message torment ends in tragedy Helen Algar believes her teenage son died after being on the receiving end of a silent but potent form of bullying - text messaging.
-- A previous tragc incidence occured in Norway in 2001, where a young man committed suicide after receiving a threatening SMS saying: "You will die this year. We know where you live". He was suffering from a depression.
February 7, 2005
Something which just doesn't seem to be abetting, cyberbullying. This last preventive measure comes from the Australian mobile phone industry, as reported by ABCNews Online.
"The peak body representing the mobile phone industry is launching a campaign to help combat the increasing trend of school yard bullying by text messages.
A recent study of first year high school students in Brisbane found 14 per cent had been harassed by SMS".
Related campaigns from the UK and Singapore:
-- Australia. SMS bullies face school suspension - Students who bully by email and SMS could be suspended from NSW schools from next year, under tough new rules announced today, reports The Age Autralia.
-- UK. Radio One help launch anti-bullying drive - DJs and Pop stars are joining forces with the Government and the Anti-Bullying Alliance to launch the first ever Anti-Bullying Week.
-- UK. Pupils 'texting' to stop bullies - A Nottingham school is piloting the country's first mobile phone text messaging scheme to deal with bullying. It is part of the first anti-bullying week in which the government is joining forces with children's charities to tackle the problem.
-- Singapore taps SMS craze to discourage bullying - Singapore is harnessing the power of SMS text messaging to fight an old scourge: bullying in schools through a ampaign unveiled in the local media today ahead of Bully Free Week
-- UK. A new Vodafone's ncampaign targets cellphone bullies - Netsafe aims to support children who are being bullied through education and the launch of freephone number.
December 6, 2004
Students who bully by email and SMS could be suspended from NSW schools from next year, under tough new rules announced today, reports The Age Autralia.
"New South Wales (NSW) Education Minister Andrew Refshauge said the new rules would give principals the authority to take "swift and decisive" action against "severely disruptive" students.
He announced the rules after a newspaper reported the state's teachers were under siege in the classroom, with more than 1,000 serious incidents in state schools reported to the department of education in the past year.
Dr Refshauge said the incidents ranged in severity from bullying by SMS to teachers going on strike because of student disruption."
November 28, 2004
Threats sent by mobile phone text message are being blamed for a rise in violent crime figures, reports Manchester Online.
"Police in Cheshire say the number of violent crimes has gone up by eight per cent in the last six months.
But the force says a large part of the increase is due to the fact that the Home Office now classifies harassment by text or e-mail as a violent crime."