Thursday, April 09, 2009

Save your kids

Karen McAuley (Vancouver, BC):

I started this group because of things that not only have happened to myself but friends of mine out here. Also because of my son that is growing up in a world so full of the negative things that are depicted in the wiki article posted.

Cyber bullying has become the newest rage for kids, when they are stopped at school they take it to the internet, they harass, torment, verbally abuse and make derogatory comments via instant messages, e-mail, chat rooms and so forth.

I think that there should be more done out here to prevent this sort of thing from happening.

These kids and even adults are getting away with this sort of behavior despite many websites (online games and chat rooms) terms of service. Much like life it depends on where you are in the food chain on how much you can get away with.

Perhaps we can never rid the internet or the school yard of this type of behavior we can certainly make more of an effort to make it known that we wont tolerate it regardless of what they say.

To often it goes unchecked, unnoticed and we often think no way not my kid I raised them better than that. It is that kind of thought that leads kids to think it wont matter their parents wont ever think they could do or say such things.

Instead of just words now a days ids bring guns, knives and other assorted weapons to the bullying front. Make threats online about shooting someone if they tell anyone they are bullying them, stalk them outside of the internet and on the internet making it hard for there to be a safe haven of any sort.

It takes it's toll on a family as a whole, it is even harder when you are an adult and being bullied and harassed out on the internet, where do we go, we are supposed to be the ones taking charge and yet what happens when that is no longer the case.

Case in point - I played this mmonrpg called Darkthrone the terms of use state with a parents permission a child under 13 can play with war game of sorts and anyone 13 and over can sign up on their own. It also states that any derogatory comments, slanderous behavior, threats, verbal harassment and abuse will not be tolerated.

Now the forum is for everyone it is built into the game and there is no separate sign in needed. If some people out there do not like others they let it be known. They will verbally attack people, threaten them, harass them, try to get them kicked out somehow, will make life generally hell for anyone out there. They bully and harass and will do whatever it takes until you submit to what they want.

There are forum moderators that should always be responsible people that can handle whatever comes at them, that goes for any group, community forum, game forums, or where ever there is some form of a new board that can be posted on.

Regrettably it comes down to this - in the end you, your kids and whatever info you can man yourself with are about all you are going to have. We as parents cannot know what our kids are up to 24/7 and it only takes one split second decision to change someones life forever.

I want to get people aware of this and get as much information as we can to try and make a difference. It starts at home...educating and talking to the kids and even making yourself aware of things to look for will help curb this before it gets out of hand.

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