Friday Fun with Fonetics
Colorado Springs – In the past couple of weeks, this blog has focused increasingly on freedom of speech, groupthink and cyberbullying. In fact, a few weeks ago, I was subjected to many forms of cyberbullying by a few Deaf people who sought to discredit me for having an opinion.
Earlier this week, news of a MySpace Missouri teenage girl killing herself over a relationship, and her town’s subsequent reaction – in which harassment of all types, from death threats to publishing personal information on the Internet of the woman accused of causing the teenager to kill herself – dominated Thanksgiving headlines on the Internet. The town of Dardenne Prairie in Missouri became the first in the United States to make it a crime to harass people over the Internet.
A definition of cyberbullying:
This may include projection, false criticism and patronising sarcasm whilst contributing nothing of any value. It may also include a common tactic of “a number of people have emailed me backchannel to agree with me”. This is standard bully-speak which I’ve experienced on several forums. In every case it’s a fabrication or a distortion – usually the former. It’s also a variant of the serial bully head teacher who says “a number of parents have complained to me about you…”. When challenged, the identity of the alleged complainants can’t be disclosed because it’s “confidential”. The purpose of this tactic is to wind people up. Don’t be fooled into believing it has any validity – it doesn’t.
So, I leave you with a few quotes to ruminate in your brain as you wind down this Thanksgiving weekend. And please remember, if you don’t agree with someone, it doesn’t mean you have to find their credit card number, or their place of employment, and publish it on the Internet to get even. Be an adult and act like one, okay? Bullies used to be a school-yard issue, but in modern society, bullying seems to become an acceptable form of anarchy by many people – damning all democratic processes in the name of democratic ideals.
- Bullies are always cowards at heart and may be credited with a pretty safe instinct in scenting their prey. – Anna Julia Cooper
- I found one day in school a boy of medium size ill-treating a smaller boy. I expostulated, but he replied: ‘The bigs hit me, so I hit the babies; that’s fair.’ In these words he epitomized the history of the human race. – Bertrand Russell
- If you bully someone face to face, and they get upset, you see them cry and be hurt. When it’s over the Internet, you can’t see the emotional reaction and go along thinking it’s no big deal. – Robin Kowalski
- They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security. – Benjamin Franklin
- If we are to achieve a richer culture, rich in contrasting values, we must recognize the whole gamut of human potentialities, and so weave a less arbitrary social fabric, one in which each diverse gift will find a fitting place. – Margaret Mead
Let’s stop this cyberbullying. It’s unnecessary and only serves to promote anarchy, in which anything goes for anyone at any time. If you want to live in the Wild West and tote a gun around, ready to kill people at a moment’s notice for disagreeing with you, then move to Somalia. Otherwise, let’s be adults and agree to disagree and stop cyberbulling.
Be good .. or be good at it.