Wednesday, March 29, 2017

No more anonymous apps marketed to teens!


Here are some anonymous apps that mostly teenagers use to cyber bully or cyber harassment is Yik-Yak, Whisper, Fire chat, After school, burn book ,Kandid, Memo, Anomo, Psst! Anonymous, WUT, and Truth. These websites are encouraging  the cyber harassment  and much more. And I also feel like these app creators should get sued or they should be liable for kids on these apps. So if a child gets in trouble the app creator should get in trouble for creating it.
As this image shown on yik yak  an anonymous person is calling girls at a  school a vulgar  name and this is why you,, the app creator should not create apps like this. Yes, i understand cyberbullying was already a problem because it goes on at schools, neighborhoods, social media or even at home but now it's an even bigger problem because people like you want to make apps like this and you basically encourage them to cyber harass or bully kids at school. And once they get into school everyone is talking about them and downloading the app  that's when it all begins.

For example at my school there is now a app called “after school”  and the school had to put a blockade on it so kids coulnt use it because so many people were getting bullied. The reason kids want to get on websites like the ones listed above is to talk to their friends with adult in the room or post opinions without having a label on them. The adults could delete the app or they could ground them or even maybe they restricted them from internet but the kids can still find a way to post bad things on theses website that's another reason why we shouldn't have theses apps. These apps are really bad and if someone gets hurt or tries to hurt someone i feel that you should be held accountable for losses or injury because these apps are the reasoning for it. I also feel like the app creators should get sued or something because no one gets blame when someone commits suicide because they are getting bullied on theses apps and they get to that point.

Have you even know what it's like to lose someone by suicide from cyber harassment ?  4500 commit suicide each year and that number is very high and which is another reason why we should get rid of it. We need to get the numbers down for suicide from cyber bullying. On this website cyber bullying   i found out that 81 % of teens say bullying online is way easier to get away with so if kids use anonymous apps that you are creating it's easier to get away with then instead of doing it at school, or social media, or even in the neighborhood.

When apps creators like yourself create chat rooms like this cause way more bigger problems for us trying to make the cyber bullying and harassment stop or make it a lesser problem in this world. I feel like parents should also have provisional eyes on their kids phone for these chat rooms so that can’t cause problems or prevent it from happening it to their kid. There was this girl her name was megan Meier and she hang herself in her bedroom closet for the reasoning because she was on chat rooms like you create and you need to fix them and remove them. You making them just for them money is cause people all around the world like Megan to commit suicide. So if you think money is more important than a life then you need to reevaluate people's life. I feel like you should make apps that teens will love that won't involve in cyber bullying and that you should think if there is any way there could be  possibility of your app causing someone to hurt themselves. Don't make the apps like yik yak or after school cause it's just asking for trouble. If i were to make an app for teens i would make it where you can speak your mind and don't de discriminated from your thoughts and if so did their would be harsh consequences or they would be blocked from using the websites. You need to make this change because if you don't it will just keep happening and eventually you will get sued and then no one will even go to the anonymous apps.  

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Why Cyber Citizenship Should be Included in the Education System

By  Rose

Have you ever wondered how to prevent cyberbullying in today's youth? Cyber harassment has been a major issue within the youth because of social media. There are many social media apps that kids can sign up for that not only requires their personal information but also has other people on it. Defining cyberbullying to me is pretty easy. It’s when a user of an app continuously says mean things to harm or to mess with another person. I believe digital citizenship should be a needed lesson in the American school system because it will help students, parents, and teachers to understand the struggles that come with today's technology.

I encourage every parent to talk to their children about the dangers of using the internet and the consequences that could come with online bullying. When I was researching and found a website that had multiple different conversation starters that parents could use to talk with their children about the multiple different topics that are included in cyber citizenship. In another article that I read, a young girl petitioned and fought for a course at her school in Texas that involved everything there is to know about being apart of the online world. In the article it states that 95% of teenagers that range from 12 to 17 years of age are online approximately 10 hours a day at a time. Teachers have said that this should be taught because they should know about and how to use social safety.  

Cyber crime is a large portion of crime in the United States and there are three different ways to use a computer illegally. The computer could be used as a target to try to hurt other online webbers, and it can be used as a weapon by doing illegal gambling or trying to commit internet fraud. The website also states that the computer could be used as an accessory meaning someone could keep stolen or illegal files on it.  

There are many sites that are created to help the understanding of cyber citizenship that go into the specifics of what it really is to help even the people who don’t fully understand the internet in general. Cyber citizenship should be taught in all schools because it would help create a safe environment for children to be and to help then understand what the right and the wrongs are. A good website is because it has the courses already mapped out and has different games to help each grade learn about the topic. I think it would be great to have that in schools because it’s fun and entertaining yet still teaches the students at the same time. There are also tests at the end and the website automatically grades the tests and quizzes for the teacher, and the teacher can also request the test scores.

I encourage every parent to sit and down talk with their child about the cyber citizenship. If children learn at a young age then they will continue to use the internet in a respectful way and then pass on their knowledge to other friends and family. If the Cyber Citizenship course is added to the regular curriculum in elementary schools then everyone can help improve the overall use of the internet and to create a fun save place for every online webber. Also, if this program is involved in schools then it will give the students a fun game to do while also learning. A lot of kids don't focus much or learn so this would be a great way to get them to do exactly that. Digital citizenship is needed because people need to learn the rights and the wrongs of technology. They also need to learn the consequences that come with doing illegal or mean things to people online. The consequences can range back and forth. If someone commits something illegal then they could end up in prison and if a child cyber bullies they could get in a lot of trouble with their parents and school. If good citizenship is taught while kids are young then they can help prevent the future cyber crimes that may occur.

Bullying: Things to know

By Sam

The international problem that is increasing tremendously daily throughout our nation is the act of bullying. To be a bully means to use superior strength or influences to intimidate someone, typically to force him or her into doing something you the bully wants. Bullying is a huge problem and is spreading rapidly throughout the United States. In 2014 49% of children ranging from 4th grade to 12th grade reported that they had been bullied within the past month. However, 30% of children ranging from 4th to 12th grade reported that they have bullied others within the previous month.(“Facts About Bullying”) Social media also play an immense part in bullying, being that 43% of teens have been bullied online and 1 in 4 have been bullied on more than one occasion.
Children are bullied every single day and many times we are sometimes blinded by the fact and see past it. This point of issue needs to stop, we need to become more aware of the situations in order to put an end to bullying forever.

One way that bullying is seen in action is at school, 77% if school children have reported that they have been bullied. To add on to the horrific feeling of being bullied, what do you think it would be like if you tried to get help and tell somebody and they just kinda brushed it off their shoulders and do nothing so the situation gets worse? A very unfortunate  and sad thing is that 85% of reported bullying cases do not get solved, and the teachers do nothing about it at all.Because of the sky high numbers of bullying victims just keep increasing, recently school across the United States have created school groups to reinsure that children and teens know that they are not “worthless, ugly, fat.” and that they are strong,independent, and will make it through it. Schools also have counselors available for children to talk to and report bullying to. However, school isn’t the end of it for many of the children it continues even when they get home.

The most popular form of bullying is called “cyber bullying” a form of bullying through social media. I believe that this is the most used way of bullying because it’s behind a screen and a lot easy for most people to say stuff through a computer screen than to somebody's face. But I don’t think that many bullies get that something you put on the internet is their forever, so many bullies will post a ugly picture of some kid doing something “funny” and just mean to leave it on for a couple minutes or so but don”t understand that the picture will never really be deleted. Cyber bullying is actually illegal and the victims are able to press charges against the bully or, the bullies family. A poll was taken and about half of young teens had reported as being cyber bullied and 20% of the teens are cyber bullied on a day to day basis. 72% of the victims have been bullied because of their looks, 26% are being chosen to be bullied because of their race and religions.

There are millions of solutions to help prevent bullying and yet it is still such a extremely huge problem in today's world. One way to help prevent bullying is to tell someone, although you may believe that telling someone will not change anything  at all and if anything will make it worse or if you have told someone such as your teacher and nothing has changed, tell you mom, a counselor, a sports coach, tell anyone and the number one thing not to do is keep it all in. it is most important to let it out. Another solution is if you see someone being bullied go up to them and just be there friend and insure them that it will be okay. Bullies often bully because they think that it makes them “Cool” and  they do it for attention, if you stand up against the bully and are on the victims side it could show the bully that they are hurting others. The absolute number one rule is to not ignore it, ignoring it is almost as bad as being the bully yourself. If you see someone getting bullied do something about it.

Bullying is a worldwide problem and is sadly only increasing. We need to be the generation to end this horrible act that is so popular in our everyday lives.  The two main forms of bullying are verbal which usually occurs at school and cyber bullying which occurs online. The numbers of bullying victims are too high and we need to start decreasing them. If you see someone being bullied make sure you either one tell someone or two go talk to them. The problem will never be solved unless we take it upon ourselves to put an end to bullying.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Most vulnerable populations most likely to be cyberbullied

By Bekah

Women and young teens are more likely to get attacked and bullied online for several of reasons. First of all, women tend to sexually put themselves on social media. They are also very hungry for drama and are usually on more social media sites than men are. Although, I can’t completely put all the blame on men for being a predator, because women are just as much a threat to one another.  

Being a high school student and being on all the social media accounts I see how brutally mean some girls can be to other girls, even if they don't even post about them. They do this so they can look “petty” or so they seem cool to other people, however from my perspective it isn't cool at all. The constant question we are always asking is after years, and years of protesting for women’s rights, why tear each other down and bully one another? It's so crazy to me how girls forget that we were once so disrespected, why would we even want to put ourselves in this position again, it's starting a new rise of sexism.

Sexism had a huge part in American Society until 1920 when the 19th amendment passed and women had political rights. However this wasn't the end of sexism. Men still did and do feel like they hold a higher power over women. This causes them to think it's okay to say or post whatever they feel because we are somehow beneath them. We are now seeing a new rise of sexism evolving due to the new election and is going to cause so many new problems with cyber bullying and normal bullying.

This also shows that just because a female decided to post a semi revealing picture of themselves, it doesn’t give anyone the right to bully them on that social media account. Many comments or harassment usually come from an anonymous troll. I think that because they don’t show their identity they feel like they they have the right to say whatever they like. Then they also feel like they can get away with more things when nobody knows who they are.

Trolls don’t just cyberbully women, but they can also sexually harass people very easily because nobody knows who they are. Many people think “freedom of speech” gives them the ability to speak and say as they choose. That is not true, they have the right as long as they don’t infringe on the rights of others. Women are easily targeted because they also like attention, when it becomes more hurtful, they get more offended. That is when they realize, “posting that picture was probably a bad idea.”

Trust is a huge factor in young adult and teenage cyber bullying. You think you can trust some friends with something you say, or you approach a friend online and have a sexual conversation, trusting that they won’t say anything. This is how drama starts along with 15% of harassment towards females, according to the Pew Research Center. The text message starts with two people and from there the other person shares it, and the message gets passed around from people to people. Mainly in girl cliques does this happen because girls, like to talk to each other and judge how a conversation went, or what people look like in a picture.
In this generation, we are having to become more accepting to the new things that are  happening. Coming out of the closet is almost like a normal thing now, but 10 years ago it would have been crazy and not normal whatsoever. Some people aren't used to that and that's why they start trolling, they want it to go back to how it was before. Trolling may be there way of trying to change people and put them down so they won't want to express themselves. What trollers don't know is that what they say and do causes a lot of hate in this society. If women would not only stand up for themselves but also spread a word when they feel attacked, I think the percentage of women getting cyberbullied would decrease and much more people would be happier.

Dear Body Shamer,

Dear Body Shamer,

Do you know what you're really doing? Do you know why you're doing it? Do you know how much this is affecting your victim? Do you know in what ways this is affecting your victim? Do you even know how this could affect you?

Cyberbullying can be from real people's accounts or fake anonymous accounts. Just a simple joke made on the internet towards someone can be taken as cyber ullying. When it comes to the internet, you no longer have emotion when you speak. People are unable to see your body language or hear the tone in your voice; which makes it that much easier for things to hurt people. Sometimes, the mean, harsh things that are said are meant, and that's the case most of the time. People like to feel powerful and strong, and some even think they actually look cool. Is that what you're doing? Watching others suffer to make yourself feel better? Do you actually think you look cool and fun to be around when you're putting others down?

It's not funny to be mean and bring others pain. Watching others shouldn't bring you joy either. I promise you that the majority of people who see you bullying someone think you’re horrible and heartless; they are just the last ones to speak up. Nobody wants to speak up for the one being beat down, but some will instead bandwagon and hop in on hurting his person. People love to gang up on someone for reasons they might not even be sure of, but it looks fun. Is that why you do it? Because you're bored and want to join in on bashing someone and ruining their self esteem? Because you have nothing better to do than hurt others? Because you really hate someone so much that you have to devote your time and energy into pulling this human being down until they believed that they were truly worthless?

Oh, you mean you didn't mean for them to feel like that? You really thought that calling someone ugly and pointing out their flaws while you posted personal information about them wouldn't affect them? You need to think for a moment, something in life that broke your heart. It could be a dead animal, family member, or even a past relationship. Imagine someone exposing everything about it on social media and making it feel meaningless. Now, think of the things you hate most about yourself, all of your worst insecurities. What if an anonymous account attacked you and all of your issues that stop you from loving yourself? Can you imagine the pain and sadness you would feel? Well that's exactly how you're affecting those who you bully.

When you drive people to feel this low and this worthless, so much more goes through their mind then you would think. Many people have a hard time shrugging things like this off. I’ve seen people affected firsthand, and it's broken my heart more than once. My best friend in 7th grade hated herself so much because of others’ judgments that she started cutting herself. We were just 12 year old little girls. The other kids thought it was funny to joke about the way she looked but didn't see how much they were hurting her. I was forced to grow away from her and to this day, she has never been the same bubbly, life loving, happy girl I knew. Sadly, that wasn't my only friend who was bullied to such a far point. My best friend now has been on independent study since her sophomore year of high school because of being bullied. It's her senior year, and she barely wants to attend any school functions because she can't bear to be judged anymore. Three years later and this poor girl still has no idea what she did for her whole school to hate her, for mean girls to try and jump her, or why it became a “trend” to post about her and all the things they saw as wrong or ugly. Many people have come forward and apologized admitting they had no real reason to treat her the way they did, and so why is it that they did? They drove her to tears so many times and I was always there for her, holding her, and reminding her what a beautiful person she was. Nothing is worse than holding someone you love who's heartbroken and you have no power to change what happened.

These girls are not the only ones. Did you know that 3 million kids a month stay home from school because of bullying? Or that 1 in 10 kids who are cyberbullied try to commit suicide? I bet you didn't know that suicide because of bullying is the number 3 killer of teens. This is how it's affecting your victims. You bully a person in an already unstable state and they commit suicide or even try, you can mark yourself as a killer. You don't know what people are already going through so why would you try to make life worse for anyone in anyway?

You're only okay with doing what you're doing because you believe there is no consequences. You feel powerful and untouchable, but that's not really the case. In California, you can face up to 1 year in jail or a $1,000 fine for online harassment or for giving out personal information about someone else with the intent to cause harm. Deciding to cyberbully someone is a decision that may seem small to you, but only until you get caught. Would you be okay if everyone around watched you get convicted for cyberbullying and heard your victim testify against you, with tears running down their face? Would you be able to live with yourself if someone took their own life because you made them feel like they were worthless?


Someone who cares

Wayback means you can't take it back

By Zane

Young kids nowadays need to learn that once you put something on social media you can’t take it back. Now I know almost all young kids just want to have fun and don’t really think or care about  what they’re putting on social media. When I asked multiple people, “Do you know what the Wayback Machine is?” I kept getting the same answer, “No, what is that?”

So, I thought, well, it would probably be a good idea to let the younger generation know. The technical definition for the Wayback Machine is, “The Wayback Machine is a digital archive of the World Wide Web and other information on the Internet created by the Internet Archive, a nonprofit organization, based in San Francisco, California, United States.”

So this just means that every time you post something on the your social media, the archive has bots to take screenshots and store all of the new information. It was created in 2001 and was the size of a couple Coke machines. Now, it stores over 9 petabytes and is growing by 20 terabytes of data every week. A terabyte of data is the size of 1000 Gigabytes. It takes 1000 terabytes of data to make 1 petabyte of data.

Knowing about the Wayback can affect you in many ways. If you’re trying to get a job later in life, you’re not going to want to be putting anything you don’t want your employer to be seeing. If you post it, they can still see it and it could very well affect you. Having the knowledge about it can help you and anyone you tell about it, because the more people that know about it the less likely of people putting illegal things on their social media.

It would be a much better thing if everyone knew about the Wayback Machine. If all parents knew about the Wayback Machine, it would make their kids think twice before posting illegal things or bullying someone online. It is also better for law enforcement to be able to look back on things and come to a conclusion in bullying situations.

Trolling "trolling"

By Tyler

The word “troll’ has taken an all new meaning in the last few years as the persona for anyone meaning to be hurtful or bothersome on the internet.Things trolls do usually are harmless acts, like saying hurtful things to a certain person, trying to get a negative reaction out of them.But in some extreme occurrences,the troll will go as far as spreading personal information about someone,such as addresses and telephone numbers to the public.Some cases have even ended in both homicides and suicides.If some trolls can gain access to our most personal information,be the source of suicides involving cyberbullying and can be considered dangerous in certain cases,then shouldn't it have a more fitting name?If actions such as these occur in real life receive punishment,shouldn't actions online receive the same ones?

When the word “trolls”is heard or seen,the brain conjures up images of hideous monsters lurking under bridges,not people looking at a computer monitor out to harass others.This name can make them look like a joke and not a serious problem or threat.The word “troll’ originated in Norway and Denmark's mythology to describe giant cave-dwelling beasts.So how did it become synonymous with internet trolling? The internet version of this word comes from internet chatrooms to describe annoying members during the late 1980s. During this time the word only referred to annoyances rather than actual harassment. But as time went on, it eventually came to generalize all forms of internet harassment.This means that calling someone a hurtful name and legitimate death threats fall into the same category.

I want to change this by having different internet troll actions into different categories. As well as different levels of punishment. Because of how easy it is to become anonymous on the internet, punishment for illegal actions is difficult for law departments. But for those caught, I believe actions should be taken against these individuals. I believe the harshness of the act determines the harshness of the punishment. For example, I think trolls who do nothing more than call someone a hurtful name or spread a nasty rumor deserve nothing more than a slap on the wrist. While trolls who do more extreme actions like sending death threats or repeated hurtful harassments deserve to pay fines or even face jail time. If actions like these in person receive punishments, I believe actions on the internet deserve the same.

I believe the word “Trolls” should be changed regardless of what the action is, as I believe it does not make as important enough impact as it can and should. Trolls can cause long lasting psychological damage to the victim and they should be treated as criminals rather than a nuisance.

Report cyberbullying!

By Holden

Many Americans around the world are abused and cyberbullied every day. About 28 percent of students between 12-18 are bullied at school. Most of my information I aimed for kids between 10-15 years of age. There are many innocent kids taking their life because one person who decides to ruin their life and bully them. This needs to come to a stop. There are many websites, buildings, and overall help to cure being bullied. It takes a strong, healthy dedicated person to overcome being cyberbullied.

The main reason I believe that  bullies are out there because of social media. These apps are a escape route for bullies to abuse one another instead of saying it to their face. Also it's so easy for a bully to log on to social media and troll someone because of the easy access. Also, in my opinion, kids under 10 years of age should not be allowed on social media apps. Apps such as Yik-Yak, Afterschool, Whisper, are the main apps trolls cyber bully  go on and get away with it because most of the kids on these apps are around 10-15 years of age. Therefore, adults and other older people are not on these apps to see what's is really going on.

If you decide to let your kids have any social media apps you should check their social media for them, protection making sure there is no bullying going on online. A few clues are to ask them where they're going, what they're doing, and who they are doing it with. Also ask for their password, and tell them you'll only use in case of an emergency. Finally encourage your kids to tell you if they know anyone being cyberbullied. These simple key facts can keep your children safe, and still have the ability to use social media.

I believe cyber bullying is a crime. There are many laws out there that should be enforced more. And I believe that cyberbullying should be the main one. Not enough law enforcement detectives break down on this situation and take control. There are people losing their lives over this horrible situation. “Too many women have had their lives upended by the threats and harassment they have received online, and they often feel they have nowhere to turn for help,”says Clark.
I also believe in the report button on social media. If you allow your kids to be on social media make sure you teach them to use the report button. This simple button can be the difference between life and death. Although there are times where this button can potentially do nothing. But if you hit this button you have done your part by showing and caring about one another's life. “Even if you block someone, you can still be mentioned in caption and comments with your username.”  

Being on social media as a younger generation, leaves me as an example to set with younger kids coming into social media. I can help by putting my positive feed to younger kids on Twitter and other assessable apps. If I was a younger kid going into social media I would want help and positive feed for someone to give me advice and experience on social media.

In short, don't be little jerks. In life, kids like to talk big over social media to one another, but when coming into person they try to act buddy buddy with the guy who they had beef with.       

Social Media Report Button Has No Effect

By Scott

I have been on social media and have personally seen harmful content on my timeline, and I reported, hoping to get rid of it. The content wasn’t about me, but it was directed towards a group of people and was very harmful. After I reported it, I felt good and hopeful about the outcome hoping that nobody was hurt. I was with my friends and the post was still on their timeline which wasn't very motivating. We all reported it, but everyone I talked to about had already seen it, my feeling of accomplishment went away and I felt awful for the people it targeted too. The harm that post made is unmeasurable and could have made tons of damage to the innocent users on social media.

Social media apps need to step up the repercussions of people when they get reported by the “report” button. This is for app developers and teens to learn about how serious trolling is. Every day somebody will get reported on social media but few if any consequences will follow, so why is that?  When someone gets reported on Instagram nothing happens to them unless five other people block them, and even then, if it the account does not break Instagram rules nothing will happen. People have tried to simulate this before and test Instagram, but they found nothing happened to them once five people blocked them.

Although Instagram has the capability to delete your account they rarely ever do. Instagram has over 600,000,000 active users and everyday people can  see or are be apart of cyberbullying. Twitter says that after a user gets reported they will review the account and determine what to do, they have the power to permanently suspend the user, but it doesn't say anything about any legal action. The other social media sites are all similar in that they can stop the user, but there will be no interaction with law enforcement.

The internet, specifically social media, is a safe haven for trolls because little repercussions will follow. To cyberbullies a deleted or suspended account is no big deal; they can just create a new one. The social media report button is more for making yourself happy, by removing the content off of your timeline. The odds of a cyberbully getting in trouble on social media is very slim because they have to be reported by five people and go against social media rules which are very vague.

I think a simple and effective solution to this problem is to make the report button more powerful so that there is less cyberbullying on social media. Although this seems like an easy task, it is difficult because you give lots of power to the users now. There would have to be a set of questions with reasons why they are reporting someone or else everyone would get reported. There also should be a department of evaluators that look through the reports and reasons, each social media company should have their own department. If a cyberbully was actually causing harm to someone and was reported, then their account should be deleted and other actions following in correlation of how bad the offense was. Social media is so big that in order for it to be screened and free of cyberbullies there needs to be more power to the users, so they can take some of the load off of the companies.

Cyber bullying is a huge part of our society today and with new technology created there needs to be new ways of keeping users on it safe. Companies have made new software for the users to enjoy and view the internet differently, yet the internet has turned its back on making new technology to patrol the internet. In order for social media to be safer the report button needs more power so the people that are on it everyday are a part of keeping it safe, like they want.  

Erickson Da Silva, a professional Instagram account manager says ,”Nothing happens if 5 people block you and report you if you're not doing anything against Instagram rules, I've tried this and did the experiment myself with my friends accounts... I haven't found the limits for this blocks/reports so something actually happens.”  This is terrifying news and very sad to hear as a Instagram user because a toll that you use and depend on to keep Instagram harmless is useless. The fact that people have tried to have their account deleted by having it reported and nothing happens is an awful.  They might as well have no button if it does nothing, Instagram or any other social media account could use their users to clean and patrol their sites for them. Social media corporations could make a survey and deploy it to its friendly users so and if they pass they can be apart of instagram and make it a better place to be. Social media is a wonderful tool when it is used correctly and is a great way to stay connected with everyone, everybody should be allowed on it and be safe on it.

Three types of trolls and how to counter them

By Julia L.

To all those high schoolers out there who think trolling is funny and who encourage it you're probably one of the most immature people out there, but this is for you in hopes for you to learn. To those high schoolers who think trolling is wrong and want to stop it this is for you.

So I recently read an article about the types of trolls did you know there are 10 types of trolls out there, I'm only going to talk about three of them. Who would have thought that, right? Did you know 28 percent of Americans have admitted to trolling somebody they don't even know? Thats one quarter of Americans that are internet trolls. That’s one quarter of the American population that is willingly hurting people on the internet.

The first type of internet troll is the ‘Insult Troll,’ “The insult troll is a pure hater, plain and simple. And they don't even really have to have a reason to hate or insult someone. These types of trolls will often pick on everyone and anyone -- calling them names, accusing them of certain things, doing anything they can to get a negative emotional response from them -- just because they can. In many cases, this type of trolling can become so severe that it can lead to or be considered a serious form of cyberbullying.” says the article. This type of troll you see more often, I guess more people like to insult people they don’t even know. I couldn't find the percentage of this type of troll, but I feel like this one is the most common one than the others.

The second type of internet trolls is the ‘Persistent Debate Troll.’ This type of troll loves a good argument. They can take a great, thoroughly researched and fact-based piece of content, and come at it from all opposing discussion angles to challenge its message. They believe they're right, and everyone else is wrong. You'll often also find them leaving long threads or arguments with other commenters in community comment sections, and they're always determined to have the last word -- continuing to comment until that other user gives up,” said the author of the article. I feel like if someone wants to try to “debate” with someone they don't even know through someone's post then they might think they know everything and wants to prove a point, but it can get out of hand and start an argument that might progress into something bigger.

The third type of intent troll is the ‘Grammar and Spellcheck Troll.’ You know this type of troll. They're the people who always have to tell other users that they have misspelled words and grammar mistakes. Even when they do it by simply commenting with the corrected word behind an asterisk symbol, it's pretty much never a welcomed comment to any discussion. Some of them even use a commenter's spelling and grammar mistakes as an excuse to insult them.Yes everyone makes spelling/grammar mistakes, to spelling your instead or you’re from writing a sentence the wrong way, it's harder for a person if they have dyslexia. If a troll does this to someone with dyslexia, some people will think it’s rude, but I've talked to people who have dyslexia and some of them say they're glad for these types of trolls because they can correct the spelling or grammar error. In a way, the insult troll goes with the grammar/spelling troll.

These three types of trolls are the most common on the internet. Most people have seen them, been a victim to them,or even are them. If you see these trolls, you probably don't want to ask them to stop. They will just take it the wrong way and start an argument with you. Sometimes you can get away with calling them out, but do it consciously.

If you were going to confront an insult troll, say something like “Hey, you may of had a bad day, we all have those days, but wouldn't it be better if you just get ice cream and watch a romantic movie and cry like normal people.” To confront a Persistent Debate Troll try saying something like “ thank you for your input but I’ll stick to what I believe.” To confront a spelling/grammar troll you can say “Hey, thank you for that, I'll be sure to correct myself” or correct the mistake and delete the comment. That’s how to deal with three different types of trolls, if you want to learn about 7 more types of trolls look at the article provided.

Smartphone Safety Advice for Parents

By Julia H.

Today, for most of us, our everyday lifestyle is filled with electronic devices; especially smartphones. Smartphones are a vital device that allow us to contact each other and access the internet. Almost every child has one. Although having a way to contact your children can have significant advantages, you should also be careful with giving children smart phones.With the benefits of access to the internet, come the dangers. Here are a few words of advice on what you can do to ensure your child's safety and make them responsible smart phone users.

Unfortunately, mobile phones were not designed for privacy and security. Not only do they do a poor job of protecting your communications, they also expose you to new kinds of surveillance risks—especially location tracking. (“Surveillance Self-Defense”, 2017) One of the most common issues of smartphones is the lack of privacy. Many apps on the phones use gps location tracking to make their apps function. This allows them to see where your child's phone location is, and also your child. This location could easily be taken advantage of and lead to unsafe situations for your child. In order to keep them safe you should warn them about this and show your children how to turn off the location settings on the phone. For certain apps the location is nice to have, like when using google maps or find my iphone, but the location should not be necessary for applications like Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat.

Another big problem is cyberbullying. The use of electronic communication to bully a person is greatly increasing. It's hard to protect your child if you don't understand the problem with cyberbullying or see it happen. There are a few ways to prevent cyberbullying from the parent's standpoint. You should learn about the social media apps your child likes to use that way you can become familiar with them. Have some conversations about the issues of online cyberbullying with your child. Always encourage them to speak up when something is wrong whether they are being bullied or they know of someone else that is. Help your child save, print, or photograph the bullying and their email to prove it is cyberbullying and contact the police if the threats become worse. The biggest thing parents can do to prevent cyberbullying is by being their child's “go to guy or gal”. Always be supportive and understanding. Try not to overreact and blame your child but also don't underreact and tell them to just deal with it.
Online predators are also another big threat. The internet is very anonymous so it's easy for people to fake identities and manipulate others especially children who are easy targets for them. This is another issue that you should talk to your kids about. Knowledge and awareness could be considered the best defense against online predators. Let them know how they can prevent being a target. Don't let them give out any private information to strangers. If it's for registering onto a website make sure they asking for your permission beforehand. Ask that your children do not respond to strangers that are trying to “get to know them”.  

The best thing you can do to help your child stay safe is warn them about these dangers and always be a good role model. Show your child what it's like to be a responsible person when using your phone. Be mature when on social media sites, such as when posting information on Facebook. Use carefulness and nothing but respect when interacting with others. If you are against something like a political post for example, you can state your opinion, but try your best to say it in a civil manner. Limit your time on your phone to show them it's important to spend time without it. Children follow by example, so make it your responsibility that your child truly understands how important it is to be careful when using today's electronic devices.

Chen, Brian X. "What's The Right Age For a Child to Get a Smartphone?" NYTimes. N.p., 20 July 2016. Web. 02 Feb. 2017.
Homeland Security. "Security Tip (ST05-002)." Keeping Children Safe Online | US-CERT. N.p., 1 Oct. 2016. Web. 17 Feb. 2017.
"The Problem with Mobile Phones." Surveillance Self-Defense. Electronic Frontier Foundation, 12 Jan. 2017. Web. 19 Feb. 2017.
"Fighting Online Predators:Tips for Parents, Children and Teens." Fighting Online Predators:Tips for Parents, Children and Teens. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Feb. 2017.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Second Chances?

By Liana

I am writing to Apple, Samsung, to the Facebook creator, and to any other creator of an anonymous app such as Yik Yak or Whisper. Do you really think that second chances are a good idea? Think about it; really think about it. In giving a cyberbully or a troll a second chance, you are giving them a second chance to end someone’s life; you are giving them a second chance to kill someone’s will to live. As of right now, in this very moment, how many second chances have you given? Possibly thousands or millions. In this instance, ask yourself how many of those second chances turned around and harassed and hurt someone to the point where that person wanted to hurt themselves. For those of you who do not know what a troll is, listen to Shane Koyczan’s audible poem "Troll".

After listening to “Troll”, answer me this, do you still think that it’s not important. Do you really think that people are going to learn their lesson by being “reported”. I believe that your report button should be taken one step farther. If an account is reported with a legitimate reason, such as cyber bullying or trolling, then not only should it be shut down, but that IP address should not be allowed to create a new account. Why are you going to allow someone to create a new account, or another fake account, only to use it to harm someone else. All those second chances you have given, all those lives lost, that’s on you, you can’t take that back.

Will screen names really fix anything? Think about it. It’s a start, don’t get me wrong, but it’s also a flaw. Someone can say their screen name is Jessica when their real name is Jane. It still does not fix anything. I respect that you are taking a stance on the anonymity issue of your apps. Unfortunately, that will not be enough. That just opens up a whole new opportunity to make a fake accounts to troll and cyber bully one another. The amount of fake accounts online is alarming. I don’t understand why it is even possible to have duplicate and fake accounts. Again, you should be using people’s IP address to track and monitor their online activity. People should not be able to have more than one account. When someone is given an anonymous account, they often use it to harm others. There are very few cases where anyone really benefits from an anonymous account.

Damage Done:
“20% of kids cyberbullied think about suicide, and 1 in 10 attempt it. 4500 kids commit suicide each year” according to The CyberBully Hotline. There is a lot more damage done to kids than the adults realize. When a someone reports another user as harassment or bullying, it should be taken into consideration and not brushed aside with the excuse “kids will be kids”. That phrase is wrong in multiple ways. As a kid myself, only sixteen years old, i can say i have never created a fake account to bully and harass another kid, i have never wanted to and i never will. I understand how wrong that is so when someone says “kids will be kids,” I call bull. These kids know exactly what they are doing, and the sad thing is, they have no shame in doing so. Most bullies are created through a harsh cycle. One person is bullied and they want to get revenge or they want someone else to feel the way they do so they begin to bully someone else, pushing that person over the edge. It is a harsh cycle that, unfortunately, never ends. There is no magical cure for bullies, there is only knowing the difference between right and wrong and not following the cycle. It is your choice and your choice alone if you want to bully someone. It is also much easier to bully and harass and mentally drain someone through a computer screen instead of face to face. When you are bullying someone over social media, you feel powerful and untouchable because there’s not really anything anyone can do. Sure, you can be reported, but until these apps take reports seriously, that isn’t going to fix anything. Bullies often push other people over the edge, draining someone of their will to live.

As you can see from my previously stated argument, anonymous should be banned, and in the least, you, being the creators, should consider taking your “report” button one step further and deactivating accounts and putting a block on new accounts from the IP addresses reported.