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A news item in the Herald yesterday asks, "Will naming and shaming cyber-bullies help curb the problem? What do you think?


  • Tessa Gray

    You can see what the rest of the nation thinks @ http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10827027

  • Nathaniel Louwrens

    This is an interesting question. Having read some journal articles recently on cyberbullying, there is, as we know, a degree of anonymity in cyberbullying which has encouraged those who are not 'playground bullies' to begin to bully. Sometimes cyberbullying comes as retaliation to the playground bullies and therefore the 'victims' are becoming the 'bully'. Naming and shaming of these people may make things worse (not that I'm condoning what they are doing by turning the tables and retaliating).

    So it one respect, anonymity brings a sense of power - particularly to the traditional victim.

    On the other side of this is that the traditional playground bullies are also turning to cyberbullying and the anonymity here may be developing more power to the bullies. These bullies, in my experience will continue to bully regardless of being named and shamed as they bully anyway. We all know who the playground bullies are, and this hasn't changed them from being bullies.

  • CraigMcD

    Good point, Nathaniel. Some of the reading I've been doing recently has said the same thing. One article talked of the 'revenge of the nerds effect', where kids who have been on the receiving end discover a new kind of empowerment, or de-victimisation, by taking on a different role in a context where physical strength is not a factor.

    The EU Kids Online project in Europe found that the biggest predictor of being a cyberbully victim, is being a cyberbully itself. There was also a strong link between those involved in traditional bullying (as either victim or bully) and those involved in cyberbullying. So it seems there is certainly a cycle there, once you're involved as either a bully or victim, there's a good chance you'll end up being both!

    There might need to be some high profile examples before people really take notice of the new law.