In so many of the instances in which the popular press (and the general public) apply the label "trolling," they're referring to sincere statements from people who believe every word they're saying. These alleged "trolls" have myriad intentions that may include getting a rise out of their target, but also include silencing their target, humiliating their target, inspiring fear or emotional distress in their target, etc etc etc. It's not provocation merely for provocation's sake, and the stakes are much higher. We don't need special Internet words for hate speech, harassment, or death threats. These words already exist.
Glen Canning, wrote a blog about his daughter, Rehtaeh Parsons, who hung herself because of the trauma of an alleged gang-rape by four classmates and the relentless bullying that followed. He wrote, "They say parents need to teach their children. Instead, it was Rehtaeh who was my teacher." But here's the thing: Parents do need to teach their children, and they are not doing it. Rehtaeh Parsons' death arrives on the horrific heels of the Steubenvile high-school rape case and Amanda Todd's suicide near Vancouver last fall after a sexually explicit photo led to the bullying that eventually drove her to take her own life, too. Our job is not just to feed and clothe our kids, but to shape them.
This week, it seemed the entire country was focused on the suicide of Nova Scotia teen Rehtaeh Parsons. The alleged conscienceless cruelties that now seem inextricably linked to her death have disgusted and sickened so many that Rehtaeh may one day be remembered as the young woman who made us confront our shameful moral and legal deficits -- and do better. Blogger Anne Therriault wrote that when she read Rehtaeh Parsons' story, she couldn't help but wonder, "Where the f**k were all the grownups?" It's a very good question. One that we should keep asking loudly and often.
As a business executive, I routinely apply logic to solve issues, but when my child called to say she'd just been surrounded a school gang who verbally abused and bullied her, all logic goes out the window... I just wanted to protect her. Sadly bullying continues to be a pervasive issue that affects our kids' well-being.
The Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police renewed its call for Internet surveillance legislation on Friday, urging the government to move forward with Bill C-30. It is striking that the government never mentioned cyber-bullying when it introduced Bill C-30. That is because the bill has little to do with cyber-bullying.
It's now been two weeks since the tragic, allegedly bullying-induced suicide of B.C. teenager Amanda Todd first made headlines around the world, but if the steady output of Canadian editorial pages is any indication, there's still much to say. It's hard to deny the sheer poetic justice in the volume of sympathy and thoughtfulness born from the aftermath of an episode of such overbearing nihilism and cruelty. Not that some haven't gone too far, of course.
For the past few years my personal and professional contacts that work with teens and young adults have wondered aloud if bullying can lead to mental illness. Researchers are starting to question the same thing and various studies are suggesting childhood bullying can lead to psychosis and paranoia.
Social homogenization is one of the most frightening commonalities I have found within lesbian culture -- in real life and in cyber-space. I wondered why a group of women, many of whom were heretofore oppressed within their own communities and family for reasons of their sexuality, would be so aggressive and unkind towards other women.