Hope you liked the last blog 'what a silly woman' because we're going down the sad road again when its comes to cyber bullying. In 1997 Suicide statistics show that in the UK at least 16 children (15 and under) killed themselves each year because they are being bullied. Fast forward to 2009 and that figure increases to 39, with attempts at an all time high.
What reasoning is there for this? You can't say the Internet and SNS can be responsible for this?! Well maybe I can.....have a look at these statistics
What a fantastic drop between 1999 - 2006!! But what can possible have happened to up turn these sad statistics considering MySpace launched in 2003, Facebook in 2004 and Bebo in 2005 I'll eat my shoe if its not related to SNS. According to A AP-MTV survey, only half of young people say they have thought the idea that things they post online could come back to hurt them later, meaning about half of the young people do not think before they post. But what about those who know EXACTLY what they are doing...
Take the case of Megan Meier, a 13 year old American student who took her own life after the 49 year old MOTHER of a girl who Megan fell out with, created a fake MySpace account and pretended to be a 'young hot boy', interested in Megan. What's worse, Megan had to beg her mother to allow her to accept the friend request, showing that at least Megan's mother did appropriate actions of what a parent should do.
Megan began an 'online relationship' with the 'boy' where the vile woman behind the screen got Megan to confess her secrets and vulnerabilities, to which, the 'boy' turned on her and stated that 'he' didn't want to be friends anymore, which in turn made Megan considerable upset and vulnerable..what 13 year old wouldn't be?
Not only did 'he' end the 'relationship' but saw fit to send their private e-mails to every online friend 'he' could, of course meaning the whole school read, laughed and made lurid, hurtful comments at Megan online, not only that but the 'boy' sent this: -
'Everybody in O’Fallon knows how you are. You are a bad person and everybody hates you. Have a shitty rest of your life. The world would be a better place without you.'
Megan hung herself after this message. Lori Drew was acquitted of any wrong doing in Megan's death.
I think this is quite possibly one of the most horrific things I've seen since looking at e-safety, there are so many points to this story, firstly, there should be harsher consequences for those caught cyber-bullying, secondly, SNS should do more to help vulnerable children manage their accounts and impose consequences to those caught cyber-bullying and thirdly we're simply still not doing enough to combat cyber bullying.