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5 Tips for Tackling Cyber Bullying

10/04/18

Our blogger Ray thinks that teachers should keep up-to-date with the newest technology and how it could be used to intimidate, manipulate and coerce others. Therefore, he offers some background information to social media and tips on tackling the biggest issues.

Teachers should be aware of different social media platforms and how they are used. These are the most popular ones:

Facebook:

A social sharing networking site.

YouTube:

The top website used for video uploading and viewing.

Twitter:

A Micro-blogging platform.

Instagram:

A photo and video sharing social networking.

Pinterest:

A popular photo sharing website.

Snapchat:

Send images and videos with a short life span over an app.

Tumblr:

A popular microblogging platform used to broadcast messages.

Vimeo:

A video uploading and sharing website.

Vine:

A mobile app used to record and share short, looping video clips.

Flickr:

An image hosting website used to showcase photography work.

Periscope:

Twitter's new live-streaming video app.

Bloglovin':

A blogging platform used by bloggers to gain awareness.

These websites themselves are innocuous but can be used for malicious intent including cyber bullying. As live streaming becomes popular within social media platforms and new ones are launched such as e.g. Periscope, Facebook Live etc. This is leading to an increase in 'live bullying'. On rare occasions even teachers have been victims to this type of 'live broadcasting' when there has been a loss of control in the classroom.

Cyber bullying has been recognised as a serious offense for many years and the following procedures have been implemented:

• Teachers are trained and instructed to report cyber bullying through their designated e-crime liaison officer, who can report it to the internet service provider (ISP) if the bullying happened online.

• They can advise parent(s)/ guardians to report bullying to the mobile phone provider (if they have received bullying texts or calls on their mobile).

• Suggest to the parent(s)/ guardian to change your number if their child is repeatedly bullied through their phone. Block instant messages and emails. Keep a diary of the bullying. Take snapshot of the wording in the offensive on-line article.

• Report serious, life threatening e-CRIME, such as physical or sexual threats, to the Police or the authorities.

Tips for your classroom

1.

If mobile phones or devices are allowed for use in the classroom, insist that the user keeps the phone/device on the desk with the screen facing upwards. This allows the teacher to see the content but more importantly it denies the user the ability to take photographs or videos in the classroom. Photographs/videos can be manipulated later and sent as a meme (an image/video or text that has been altered usually to ridicule or mock and distributed via the internet)

2.

Be aware of unusual pockets of silence, this can be an indication of covert audio recording taking place. I have experienced a form of bullying where the victim's conversation relating to her work was recorded and later edited out of context to imply that the student was racist in their views. The audio clip was shared by social media and fortunately it was brought to my attention by the victim, I was able to verify the original conversation and the culprit was severely dealt with. Interestingly, the bully’s preferred choice to share this audio clip was via Snapchat because it has a limited life before it disappears, making it harder to prove it was sent. In this case the victim had shown their Form tutor the offending post before it was deleted automatically.

3.

Any experienced teacher will know the student' tricks of placing a bag or pencil case in front of a device or on their lap. All bags should be on the floor under the desk or secured elsewhere in lockers and if phone use is prohibited, the mobile should be confiscated.

4.

It is worth remembering that it is illegal to record an individual without their consent and more and more laws are being put in place, to allow prosecution for trolling, digital stalking, identity cloning etc.

5.

Inform students that any form of bullying should always be reported including online bullying. 

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