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Anonymity and bullying on line


retep

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May 25, 2007
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Thought I'd start this thread in the light of two disparate, but related, events from the last couple of days namely: an article by Carol Hunt in last Sundays indo and yet another teenage tragic suicicide purported to be connected to the website ask.fm, that of a 13 yr old girl, Erin Gallagher in Donegal.

One of the reasons the two issues are related, is that the both concern the issue of bullying and anonymity on Social media sites. It is all too easy to get down and dirty against other posters on social media, whilst hiding behind the mask of anonymity. The offenders are never really confronted by the real consequences of their actions and, much of the time, are actually blissfully or woefully ignorant or wilfully oblivious of the impact they have on the receiptant, as documented in the recent article "how I came face to face with my online troll"

The reality is that it is all to easy hurl dirt and the lowest of low insults at other pseudonymed (or fully identifiable, as the case may be) posters. I imagine few of the posts allegedly posted on ask.fm by angry, insecure teenagers would actually be said straight to the face of the victim, yet there are seemingly no holds barred on what one can direct at your rivals or victims on line.

I'm mindful that in posting this, I do so with a pseudonym of my own and a relative degree of anonymity (although it wouldn't take a great deal of research to identify me from my postings and assorted links)

But my pseudonym possibly also gives me a greater deal of latitude and freedom to express certain opinions than I might necessarily have if my entire background, work and such were blatantly evident. So in that it can be argued that any anonymity has its value, just so long as its not abused or misused as a shield to hide behind whilst attacking others.

I think the entire subject has relevance with regard to p.ie also in that some posters have a tendency to stoop very low in pursuit of "debate" so much so that many have been driven from the site entirely.

I guess the bottom line should probably be, with regard to whatever you are about to say about someone or in reply to another poster, would you have the guts or the audacity to say it to their face? If not, then it probably has no place on line either.

It's probably a consideration we should all contemplate from time to time as most of us have probably been guilty if transgression on more than one occasion.
 

shiel

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Feb 14, 2011
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16,898
Too many on this forum see taunting and scoffing and vomiting personalised abuse as their only contribution to debate.

Some have fascist or racist motives for their vindictiveness and they sometimes hunt in gangs. Some are just paranoid or high on something.

Their most pathetic characteristic is that there is a mutual arse-licking code among them and they back one another up.

They praise each other's bile and hate ordinary members of the human race having the temerity to express opinions.
 

wombat

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Jun 16, 2007
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32,041
Thought I'd start this thread in the light of two disparate, but related, events from the last couple of days namely: an article by Carol Hunt in last Sundays indo and yet another teenage tragic suicicide purported to be connected to the website ask.fm, that of a 13 yr old girl, Erin Gallagher in Donegal.
I was going to say that most posters here are adults but its obvious that a lot of them are 14 year old schoolboys and probably bring their skills from the junior websites. My concern is that kids are not able to ignore these twits. If websites are not willing to set rules of behaviour to protect children, its up to others to do so. There are enough computer whizes out there to devise a method of blocking such websites - how about some positive hacking?
 

Suttree

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Nov 7, 2011
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I've lost a great deal of faith in this site as a forum for reasonable discussion, given recent experiences of the lack of any coherent moderation policy.
 

Half Nelson

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Dec 12, 2009
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Parents have to get involved in what their children are doing online. There can be no such thing as privacy in this area, where children are concerned.

If they think you're a nosy bastard, then so be it.
 

Ruff says Flaherty

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Feb 18, 2011
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I think there are many factor that play into this. Improving and cheaper technology, including the boom in social networking has made it so much easier for anybody, including the young to be able to access and say what they want from behind a keyboard. Back a few years ago Facebook hadn't really taken off, phones still werent that advanced and alot of technology was still expensive. I think fast forward to 2012 and pretty much anyone can get onto facebook now and even basic phones can connect you to the world. I think this has resulted in a much wider sample of people out there expressing their views.

I've said it before, but I also think it has to do with sociological issues. Ireland has a lot of deprived areas and its obvious that educational standards are going to be lower than in other areas. There will be a disproportionately high number of the 'under-class' and so that will manifest itself in the lack of logical and analytical thinking, the spelling and grammar errors and the overuse of threatening language, swearing and aggressive behaviour. Coupled with a high rate of unemployment (so people having too much free time) and younger people getting access to the internet, I am not suprised we have seen a rise in trolling and anonymous attacks.

To back this up further,I heard about this story on the radio this morning-trolls abusing adele on twitter and threatening to kill her baby. Turns out most were children themselves, one girl who threatened to kill adeles baby was only 12. Real disturbing stuff, it scares me that children are either so detached from reality that they dont realise what they are doing or are so vicous that they think this is ok. I'm only 28 and far from uptight, and it genuinely shocks me.

Adele targeted by sick trolls threatening newborn baby | The Sun |Showbiz

I'm all for free speech but there has to be some accountability for this kind of stuff on the net. To protect those doing it from themselves more so. I can see here in Ireland a "Jeremy Kyle" class who are angry with everything and anyone, expect every handout they can yet, and contribute nothing but negativity to society. People should be held accountable for their actions online, even if it is from behind an anonymous avatar.
 
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Rural

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Apr 28, 2007
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27,927
As I said before on another similiar thread, the computer should be in a family room, where parents re passing to and fro and having a look at what is going on. Nurdsville Arizona up in a teenager's bedroom is bad policy.
 

Samell

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Jun 6, 2010
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1,103
Sorry but every week we get a new bulling story/scandal. WHAT has changed, I don't just mean the advent of social media sites, there is a new tv program coming up about a shrink helping bullied kids find their self confidence. It is nothing new schoolyard bullies, they have been around since schools started but teachers were allowed to punish these bullies, not now there are all sorts of rules protecting the 'poor misunderstood ickle baby' or thug in the making, and because he feels he can get away with it and continues that mindset into adulthood.

As for blaming a web site for bullying what crud, if you feel you are being bullied DON'T LOG ON. how simple is that? Parents blaming the Guards for not stopping the bullying of their daughter, although I sympathise with their loss, could have just as easily protected her themselves by blocking the site, just deleting her profile or just banning her from the site.

People are always looking to pin the blame on something or someone instead of looking in the mirror for the real culprit.
 

eoghanacht

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Apr 18, 2006
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33,340
Parents have to get involved in what their children are doing online. There can be no such thing as privacy in this area, where children are concerned.

If they think you're a nosy bastard, then so be it.

Nail and head...............
 

kerdasi amaq

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Aug 24, 2009
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4,690
The village idiots in Kildare Street don't care about children; what they want is the power to censor the web.
 

eoghanacht

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The village idiots in Kildare Street don't care about children; what they want is the power to censor the web.
How did you arrive at that conclusion?
 

wombat

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Jun 16, 2007
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People are always looking to pin the blame on something or someone instead of looking in the mirror for the real culprit.
Part of the problem is that kids know more about computers than their parents so I don't think blocking a website would work.
 

neiphin

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Aug 23, 2009
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5,588
The real culprit is the sicko bullying an actual person on line.

Why should the person being bullied not log on?

Why not, it's a free country.

Until these sickos are weeded out, and given a good harsh sentence irrespective of age, this will continue.

Screenshot the offensive stuff go to the school/cops and have them put away.

No use beating around the bush here.
what i cannot figure is annominity of it
i know we here have our avatars and psydonoms
but we also have a track back to our isp address

surely under either asault ( asault can be to put someone in fear for their wellbeing) or hate legislation
something can be done
it was never funny, it should never have been tolerated, it has gone to far
we are not far off epidemic proportions here
and the state, has a responsibility to act to defend some of the weakest in our society, and bring in and enforce legislation

the state has no problem, spending vast amounts on road safety, on drug enforcment or even bycycle lanes
but the reality is we are in the midst of terrible times, THE STATE MUST TAKE THE LEAD HERE
 

NewGoldDream

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There's deffo a few freaks on this site. And modding policy promotes it.

The standard policy of freedom of expression above everything else means that they get away with it. I can take abuse, but when posters start following you around and getting very personal in post after post after post after post it gets a bit weird. Particularly when the posts are really long thought out abusive pieces.

And no point reporting, a complete waste of time. Because, well nothing can get in the way of freedom of expression you know. You name it, the mods here have no time for it, trolling is expression, abuse is expression, stalking is expression.

Did put up a story recently enough about a man who confronted his cyberstalker. But it dawned on me after, if the posts were up on this site I suspect the mods would be irked by the efforts to curtail the abuser's freedom of speech.
 

neiphin

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People are always looking to pin the blame on something or someone instead of looking in the mirror for the real culprit.
try taking the mobile off a teen
 

Rural

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Part of the problem is that kids know more about computers than their parents so I don't think blocking a website would work.
Parents should go to a computer class BEFORE buying a computer (that's if they know nothing about them). I said this to my Brother-In-Law a good few years back, when he had invested €1,000 on a computer and software, he said that the children knew more than he did about it.

I always knew more than my lads, granted, I teach IT, but I also teach parents to hover around when their child is on-line, it's not being nosey, it's being about as nosey as checking what DVD they are watching, or what XBox game they are playing. Nosey is reading a diary.
 

neiphin

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Aug 23, 2009
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There's deffo a few freaks on this site. And modding policy promotes it.
i recall calling you a ff c--- once
for that i am sorry
it was not personall , it was because of the pro ff tripe you spout

however, i am not sure that young people can differentiate between slagging and abuse
it has to be hard to define context , in a text message
 

Rural

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Apr 28, 2007
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i recall calling you a ff c--- once
for that i am sorry
it was not personall , it was because of the pro ff tripe you spout

however, i am not sure that young people can differentiate between slagging and abuse
it has to be hard to define context , in a text message
Calling someone the C word, not personal? OoooKay!
 

neiphin

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Aug 23, 2009
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Nobody is talking about here dude, this is an internet forum.

What is at issue is real people bullying a real person.

Anyone who takes anything said or done in here even remotely seriously is a total idiot.


Complete headbanger.
i am told
on ask.fm you can be anonimus
 

NewGoldDream

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i recall calling you a ff c--- once
for that i am sorry
it was not personall , it was because of the pro ff tripe you spout

however, i am not sure that young people can differentiate between slagging and abuse
it has to be hard to define context , in a text message
Oh no, in fairness the stuff I was talking about went way beyond that.

I don't mind being called a FF c***. Frankly on this site it would be a standard enough post, I'd be worried if a day or two went by without a few digs! It's the campaigns by posters that just really go waaaaaay into the weird, where they post paragraph after paragraph of abuse and downright weird stuff. I've had a couple. I can't remember whether I bothered to report the second, both were untouched because I guess the abuser has their freedom of speech, can't touch that freedom of speech, freedom of speech trumps everything else.
 
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