Vigilante Trolls and Online Avengers: When ‘Anti-Bullies’ Become Bullies


For the NYTEmily Bazelon  writes:  One day last April, a 25-year-old named Ash smoked a cigarette in the garden of his London workplace and scrolled through the Twitter feed on his phone. He stopped at the headline “Who Failed Rehtaeh Parsons?” and clicked on the link, which took him to the website of  The Chronicle Herald, a Canadian newspaper. The article was an example of the kind of story, about a mistreated and suffering teenager, that Ash spends a considerable portion of his life searching for online, the kind that makes him feel, as he puts it, “very rustled up.”

bully-tall2Ash, who asked me to use only his first name because of his online activism, learned from the article that when Rehtaeh was 15, in September 2011, she started a new high school in Nova Scotia, where she knew hardly any of the students. On a Saturday night that fall, a new friend invited Rehtaeh to go with her to the home of a boy in their school. Three other boys were also there, and the group started drinking heavily. Rehtaeh would later say that she thought she had nine shots of vodka. The girl who invited Rehtaeh said later that she left after she got angry at Rehtaeh (apparently over one of the boys), but later returned to the house with her mother looking for her. They tried to get Rehtaeh dressed and make her leave, but say they couldn’t. They didn’t call her parents; the girl asked her mother not to get Rehtaeh in trouble. Rehtaeh didn’t remember any of that taking place. She woke up the next morning between two of the boys, without knowing how she got there, and got up and took the bus home.

Actually sorry just looked. You are clearly being harassed. Saw your screenshot. Would you like to DM?


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STUDY: Oops! Anti-Bullying Programs Not Only Fail, they Actually CAUSE MORE BULLYING

How to Supercharge your Bullying Skills in 5 Easy Steps!

How to Supercharge your Bullying Skills in 5 Easy Steps!

(CBSDFW.COM) – A lot of schools spend countless hours trying to stop bullying. But some question if they are sending the right message.

It started as a simple look at bullying. University of Texas at Arlington criminologist Seokjin Jeong analyzed data collected from 7,000 students from all 50 states.

He thought the results would be predictable and would show that anti-bullying programs curb bullying. Instead — he found the opposite.

Jeong said it was, “A very disappointing and a very surprising thing. Our anti-bullying programs, either intervention or prevention does not work.”

The study concluded that students at schools with anti-bullying programs might actually be more likely to become a victim of bullying. It also found that students at schools with no bullying programs were less likely to become victims.

The results were stunning for Jeong. “Usually people expect an anti-bullying program to have some impact — some positive impact.”

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