Peruvian Net against Child Pornography

The Peruvian Net against Child Pornography is a non-profit organisation that works against Child Pornography, Child Sexual Abuse, Child Smuggling and Trafficking in Persons and especially aganist Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in Peru and Latin America. We are working and liaising with institutions that aim the same objectives.

miércoles, 10 de octubre de 2007

Cyber-bullying, e-bullying or bullying online

Cyber-bullying involves the use of information and communication technologies to support deliberate, repeated, and hostile behaviour by an individual or group, that is intended to harm others.


Cyber-bullying (predominantly spelled cyberbullying by many researchers) is when someone repeatedly makes fun of another person online or repeatedly picks on another person through emails or text messages, or uses online forums and postings online intended to harm, damage, humiliate or isolate another person that they don’t like.
The National Crime Prevention Council criterion of what constitutes cyber-bullying is "when the Internet, cell phones, or other devices are used to send or post text or images intended to hurt or embarrass another person."
Online bullying, called cyberbullying, happens when teens use the Internet, cell phones, or other devices to send or post text or images intended to hurt or embarrass another person. Cyberbullying researchers Hinduja and Patchin define cyber-bullying as: "willful and repeated harm inflicted through the medium of electronic text"and recently updated the definition to account for cyberbullying through the internet that occurs without actual text, such as videos being uploaded to YouTube, for example.
The updated definition as awareness of the phenomenon increases is: "the intentional and repeated harm of others through the use of computers, cell phones, and other electronic devices."
Cyber-bullying can be as simple as continuing to send e-mail to someone who has said they want no further contact with the sender, but it may also include threats, sexual remarks, pejorative labels (i.e., hate speech), ganging up on victims by making them the subject of ridicule in forums, and posting false statements gossip as fact aimed at humiliation.
Cyber-bullies may disclose victims' personal data (e.g.m real name, address, or workplace/schools) at websites or forums or may pose as the identity of a victim for the purpose of publishing material in their name that defames or ridicules them. Some cyberbullies may also send threatening and harassing emails and instant messages to the victims, while other post rumors or gossip and instigate others to dislike and gang up on the target.
Though the use of sexual remarks and threats are sometimes present in cyber-bullying, it is not the same as sexual harassment and does not necessarily involve sexual predators.

Cyber-bullying vs. cyber-stalking, an expert organization dedicated to internet safety, security and privacy, defines cyberbullying as:
"a situation when a child, tween or teen is repeatedly “tormented, threatened, harassed, humiliated, embarrassed or otherwise targeted” by another child, tween or teen using text messaging, email, instant messaging or any other type of digital technology."
The practice of cyberbullying is not limited to children and, while the behavior is identified by the same definition in adults, the distinction in age groups is referred to as cyberstalking or cyberharassment when perpetrated by adults toward adults. Common tactics used by cyberstalkers are to vandalize a search engine or encyclopedia, to threaten a victim's earnings, employment, reputation, or safety.
A pattern of repeated such actions against a target by and between adults constitutes cyberstalking.


In the summer of 2008, cyber-bullying researchers Sameer Hinduja and Justin Patchin published a book on cyber-bullying that summarizes the current state of cyber-bullying research. (Bullying Beyond the Schoolyard: Preventing and Responding to Cyberbullying, Hinduja and Patchin).
Escalating trend: Research documents that cyber-bullying instances have been increasing over the last several years.
They report findings from the most recent study of cyber-bullying among middle-school students. Using a random sample of approximately 2000 middle-school students from a large school district in southern United States, about 10% of respondents had been cyber-bullied in the previous 30 days while over 17% reported being cyber-bullied at least once in their lifetime.
While these rates are a bit lower than some of the findings from their previous research, Hinduja and Patchin point out that the earlier studies were predominantly conducted among older adolescents and Internet samples. That is, older youth use the Internet more frequently and are more likely to experience cyber-bullying than younger children.
Surveys and statistics: The National Crime Prevention Council reports cyber-bullying is a problem that affects almost half of all American teens.
In 2007, Debbie Heimowitz a Stanford University Master's student created Adina's Deck, a film based on Stanford accredited research. She worked in focus groups for ten weeks in three different schools to learn about the problem of cyber-bullying in Northern CA. The findings determined that over 60% of students had been cyber-bullied and were victims of cyber-bullying. The film is now being used in classrooms nationwide as it was designed around learning goals pertaining to problems students had understanding the topic. The middle school of Megan Meier is reportedly using the film as a solution to the crisis in their town.
In September 2006, ABC News reported on a survey prepared by I-Safe.Org. This 2004 survey of 1,500 students between grades 4-8 reported:
  • 42% of kids have been bullied while online. One in four have had it happen more than once.
  • 35% of kids have been threatened online. Nearly one in five had had it happen more than once.
  • 21% of kids have received mean or threatening e-mails or other messages.
  • 58% of kids admit someone has said mean or hurtful things to them online. More than four out of ten say it has happened more than once.
  • 58% have not told their parents or an adult about something mean or hurtful that happened to them online.
A 2006 survey by Harris Interactive reported:
  • 43% of U.S. teens having experienced some form of cyberbullying in the past year.

Similarly, a Canadian study found:

  • 23% of middle-schoolers surveyed had been bullied by e-mail
  • 35% in chat rooms
  • 41% by text messages on their cell phones
  • Fully 41% did not know the identity of the perpetrators.
The Youth Internet Safety Survey-2, conducted by the Crimes Against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire in 2005, found that 9% of the young people in the survey had experienced some form of harassment. The survey was a nationally representative telephone survey of 1,500 youth 10-17 years old. One third reported feeling distressed by the incident, with distress being more likely for younger respondants and those who were the victims of aggressive harassment (including being telephoned, sent gifts, or visited at home by the harasser). Compared to youth not harassed online, victims are more likely to have social problems. On the other hand, youth who harass others are more likely to have problems with rule breaking and aggression. Significant overlap is seen — youth who are harassed are significantly more likely to also harass others.
Hinduja and Patchin completed a study in the summer of 2005 of approximately 1,500 Internet-using adolescents and found that over one-third of youth reported being victimized online, and over 16% of respondents admitted to cyber-bullying others. While most of the instances of cyber-bullying involved relatively minor behavior (41% were disrespected, 19% were called names), over 12% were physically threatened and about 5% were scared for their safety.
Notably, less than 15% of victims told an adult about the incident.
Additional research by Hinduja and Patchin found that youth who report being victims of cyber-bullying also experience stress or strain that is related to offline problem behaviors such as running away from home, cheating on a school test, skipping school, or using alcohol or marijuana. The authors acknowledge that both of these studies provide only preliminary information about the nature and consequences of online bullying, due to the methodological challenges associated with an online survey.
According to a 2005 survey by the National Children's Home charity and Tesco Mobile of 770 youth between the ages of 11 and 19, 20% of respondents revealed that they had been bullied via electronic means. Almost three-quarters (73%) stated that they knew the bully, while 26% stated that the offender was a stranger. 10% of responders indicated that another person has taken a picture and/or video of them via a cellular phone camera, consequently making them feel uncomfortable, embarrassed, or threatened. Many youths are not comfortable telling an authority figure about their cyber-bullying victimization for fear their access to technology will be taken from them; while 24% and 14% told a parent or teacher respectively, 28% did not tell anyone while 41% told a friend.
A survey by the Crimes Against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire in 2000 found that 6% of the young people in the survey had experienced some form of harassment including threats and negative rumours and 2% had suffered distressing harassment.

Comparison to traditional bullying

Certain characteristics inherent in online technologies increase the likelihood that they will be exploited for deviant purposes. Unlike physical bullying, electronic bullies can remain virtually anonymous using temporary email accounts, pseudonyms in chat rooms, instant messaging programs, cell-phone text messaging, and other Internet venues to mask their identity; this perhaps frees them from normative and social constraints on their behavior.
Furthermore, cyber-bullies might be emboldened when using electronic means to carry out their antagonistic agenda because it takes less energy and courage to express hurtful comments using a keypad or a keyboard than with one’s voice.
Additionally, electronic forums often lack supervision. While chat hosts regularly observe the dialog in some chat rooms in an effort to police conversations and evict offensive individuals, personal messages sent between users (such as electronic mail or text messages) are viewable only by the sender and the recipient, thereby outside the regulatory reach of such authorities. In addition, when teenagers know more about computers and cellular phones than their parents or guardians, they are therefore able to operate the technologies without concern that a parent will discover their experience with bullying (whether as a victim or offender).
Another factor is the inseparability of a cellular phone from its owner, making that person a perpetual target for victimization. Users often need to keep their phone turned on for legitimate purposes, which provides the opportunity for those with malicious intentions to engage in persistent unwelcome behavior such as harassing telephone calls or threatening and insulting statements via the cellular phone’s text messaging capabilities. Cyber-bullying thus penetrates the walls of a home, traditionally a place where victims could seek refuge from other forms of bullying.
One possible advantage for victims of cyber-bullying over traditional bullying is that they may sometimes be able to avoid it simply by avoiding the site/chat room in question. Email addresses and phone numbers can be changed; in addition, most e-mail accounts now offer services that will automatically filter out messages from certain senders before they even reach the inbox, and phones offer similar caller ID functions.
Unfortunately, this obviously does not protect against all forms of cyber bullying; publishing of defamatory material about a person on the internet is extremely difficult to prevent and once it is posted, millions of people can potentially download it before it is removed. Some perpetrators may post victims' photos, or victims' edited photos like defaming captions or pasting victims' faces on nude bodies. Examples of famous forums for disclosing personal data or photos to "punish" the "enemies" include the Hong Kong Golden Forum, Live Journal, and more recently JuicyCampus. Despite policies that describe cyber-bullying as a violation of the terms of service, many social networking Web sites have been used to that end.

Legislation against cyberbullying

Legislation geared at penalizing cyberbullying has been introduced in a number of states including New York, Missouri, Rhode Island and Maryland. At least seven states passed laws against digital harassment in 2007. Dardenne Prairie of Springfieled, Missouri passed a city ordinance making online harassment a misdemeanor. The city of St. Charles, Missouri has passed a similar ordinance. Missouri is among other states where lawmakers are pursuing state legislation, with a task forces expected to have “cyberbullying” laws drafted and implemented.
In June, 2008, Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.) and Rep. Kenny Hulshof (R-Mo.) proposed a federal law that would criminalize acts of cyberbullying.
Lawmakers are seeking to address cyberbullying with new legislation because there's currently no specific law on the books that deals with it. A fairly new federal cyberstalking law might address such acts, according to Aftab, but no one has been prosecuted under it yet. The proposed federal law would make it illegal to use electronic means to "coerce, intimidate, harass or cause other substantial emotional distress."
In August 2008, the California state legislature passed one of the first laws in the country to deal directly with cyberbullying. The legislation, Assembly Bill 86, gives school administrators the authority to discipline studies for bullying others offline or online.
A recent ruling first seen in the UK determined that it is possible for an Internet Service Provider (ISP) to be liable for the content of sites which it hosts, setting a precedent that any ISP should treat a notice of complaint seriously and investigate it immediately.
A law passed in California against cyber-bullying will take effect, January 1, 2008, allowing schools to suspend or expel students who engage in cyber-bullying.

Harmful effects

Research had demonstrated a number of serious consequences of cyber-bullying victimization.
For example, victims have lower self-esteem, increased suicidal ideation, and a variety of emotional responses, cyberbullying back, being scared, frustrated, angry, and depressed.
One of the most damaging effects is that a victim begins to avoid friends and activities, often the very intention of the cyber-bully.
Cyber-bullying campaigns are sometimes so damaging that victims have committed suicide. There are at least four examples in the United States where cyber-bullying has been linked to the suicide of a teenager. The suicide of Megan Meier is a recent example that led to the conviction of the adult perpetrator of the attacks.
Intimidation, emotional damage, suicide: The reluctance youth have in telling an authority figure about instances of cyber-bullying has led to fatal outcomes. At least three children between the ages of 12 and 13 have committed suicide due depression brought on by cyber-bullying, according to reports by USA Today and the Baltimore Examiner.
Lost revenue, threatened earnings, defamation: Studies are being conducted by large companies to gauge loss of revenue through malicious false postings. Cyberstalkers seek to damage their victim's earnings, employment, reputation, or safety. A 2008 High Court ruling determined that, generally speaking, slander is when a defamatory statement has been made orally without justification. Libelous statements are those that are recorded with some degree of permanence. This would include statements made by email or on online bulletin boards.

Adults and the workplace

Cyber-bullying is not limited to personal attacks or children. Cyberharassment, referred to as cyberstalking when involving adults, takes place in the workplace or on company web sites, blogs or product reviews.
A survey of 1,072 workers by the Dignity and Work Partnership found that one in five had been bullied at work by e-mail and research has revealed 1 in 10 UK employees believes cyber-bullying is a problem in their workplace.
Cyber-bullying also is rampant on
Wikipedia entries, and iTunes, where product reviews along with other consumer-generated data are being more closely monitored and flagged for content that is deemed malicious and biased as these sites have become tools to cyberbully by way of malicious requests for deletion of articles, vandalism, abuse of administrative positions, and ganging up on products to post "false" reviews and vote products down.
Cyberstalkers use posts, forums, journals and other online means to present a victim in a false and unflattering light. If the cyberstalker is distressed by the content of an author's book, for example, he or she will design a cyberstalking strategy that assumes control of how the public views the book and / or diverts the author from marketing practices.
False negative reviews and bully-organized vote-downs to give low popularity ratings have become a major concern for retailers, authors and publishers because they can affect credibility and potential sales.
The question of liability for harassment and character assassination is particularly salient to legislative protection since the original authors of the offending material are, more often than not, not only anonymous, but untraceable. Nevertheless, abuse should be consistently brought to company staffers' attention.
Recognition of adult and workplace cyber-bullying tactics: Common tactics used by cyberstalkers is to vandalize a search engine or encyclopedia, to threaten a victim's earnings, employment, reputation, or safety. Various companies provide Cases of cyber-stalking (involving adults) follow the pattern of repeated actions against a target. While motives vary, whether romantic, a business conflict of interest, or personal dislike, the target is commonly someone whose life the stalker sees or senses elements lacking in his or her own life. Web-based products or services leveraged against cyberstalkers in the harassment or defamation of their victims.
The source of the defamation seems to come from four types of online information purveyors: Weblogs, industry forums or boards, and commercial Web sites. Studies reveal that while some motives are personal dislike, there is often direct economic motivation by the cyberstalker, including conflict of interest, and investigations reveal the responsible party is an affiliate or supplier of a competitor, or the competitor itself.
Source: Wikipedia