Friday, May 8, 2015

Social Media Kills People


In 2014 a cyberbullying study found that an astounding 52 percent of teens reported being cyberbullied over social media. I believe that social media sites could be doing more to protect their users from being cyber bullied online by paying a little more attention to what teens say and do online. If social media sites prevented cyber bullying from continuing on, then the internet and home life would be a safer place because it would prevent suicides from happening. All that social media sites would have to do is restrict commenting or keep a closer eye on what teenagers are doing on their sites.

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Screenshot from Facebook
 Media sites have just now begun, in the past two years, cracking down on cyberbullying. Facebook has put new regulations on their site where teens can now report what is going on and Facebook will take a closer look on what has been reported. Unfortunately for one cyberbully victim, these changes came too late. October 16th 2013, two girls were arrested because they posted mean comments on Facebook about another girl. They drove her so mad that she killed herself by jumping off a silo in an abandoned concrete factory. The victim's name was Rebecca Sedwick. The two bullies were only twelve and fourteen years old. After Rebecca committed suicide, the fourteen year old girl said, “Yes, I bullied Rebecca, and she killed herself but I don't give a - and you can add the last word yourself.” Apparently, Rebecca and the fourteen year old girl had a little disagreement when Rebecca started dating the fourteen year old-s ex-boyfriend. That is when the cyberbullying and physical fights started to happen. Luckily her mom was smart and moved Rebecca to another school, but that didn’t help because the two girls could still attack her using social media online. This cyberbullying went on for over a year until Rebecca couldn’t take it anymore and she committed suicide. After Rebecca's death, Facebook still didn’t do anything; they just said that you can never get away from bullying now because of the internet. With the help of social media sites, we could make online a safer and better environment. There could be regulations on the cruel actions going on everyday around us. Social media could ban comments, they could check to see if people are following their community guidelines and terms of service and if they are not, then their account should be shut down as soon as possible.

"Shots of me" app logo
from "Wikimedia"
A popular social media site Ask.fm has anonymous commenting so if you post a nasty threat and send it to a person, they have no idea who you are. Ilija Terebin, who is the chef excetutive of Ask.fm, says that she understands that they need to take special care of their users and they say that they take that responsibility extremely seriously. Other anti-bullying groups say that there should be a restriction on social media where social media should be so restricted that it’s almost not there anymore. I don’t think that it should go that far, but social media sites do need to acknowledge the possibility that if you are posting anonymously, kids and teenagers can get emotionally scarred and might even take their own life. I think social media sites should go as far as disabling comments and not allowing anonymous commenting. For example, one social media site, called, “Shots of me” a photo posting app that disables commenting which is run by John Shahidi says that he disables it because it is better and has less drama for teens. This is a perfect example of a social media site that understand the problems of having comments enabled. They know that it can cause cyberbullying and suicide, so they disable it knowing that they might have saved a life.


In fact, people do disagree with my opinion that social media sites could do a better job of protecting teenagers from cyberbullying. They blame the kids for being immature and stupid, not the social media sites. Kate Harding author of “Lessons from the Fat-o-sphere” says that social networking should not to be blamed for cyber bullying because it is only a medium for teenagers to wage their wars. She blames the educators and parents who should teach students responsible online behavior. She believes that Facebook should not take the blame for cruel cyber bullying because they could not have done anything to stop the one-million children on Facebook alone were harassed in 2011 as reported by Consumer reports.

I disagree with these statements because in one of the major cases of cyberbullying history, a life could have been saved if Facebook got involved in helping find the killer. This major case was about Amanda Todd. The man started stalking her from Amanda’s webcam at just eleven years old. Then one night Amanda made a terrible mistake, she flashed in front of 200 people. The man that had been stalking her took a picture then proceeded to blackmail her with them over Facebook. He told her to flash again for him 2 times or he would leak these pictures to her friends and family over Facebook. She only flashed for him once, so he made a Facebook account of just her and her nudes and sent the link to everyone in Amanda's contact list on Facebook. If Facebook had made the report abuse button before this happened to Amanda, and actually paid attention to the things that people report abuse on, then this could have stopped immediately. It was only after Amanda's death on October 10th 2012, that Facebook tried to intervene and stop the man by contacting the police and showing them all the conversations Amanda and the man had before her death.

Over the years the Internet and social media have influenced suicide-related behavior, and if social media paid closer attention to the risks then maybe they could save a few lives and cyberbullying from continuing on. Then, the internet and home life would be a safer place because parents and kids could feel like they weren't being bullied 24/7. The only thing that social media sites would have to do is hire more people to check over their site to make sure there is no cruel and mean behavior going on. If they encounter this behavior, then they should talk to the owner of the account and make sure they know they are being watched.

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Conclusion, Updated May 28th, 2015

Internet and home life would be so much safer and happier if we all knew that kids were not being cyber bullying and bullied when parents aren't watching. So, If social media sites prevented cyber bullying from continuing on, then the internet and home life would be a safer place. I learned that cyber bullying really does affect others in their daily life even more than before. Many people agree with me that it should be taken more seriously and they are glad I wrote my blog about this topic to raise awareness in a student point of view. I think my argument was very deep and hit them hard and hopefully made them understand that I didn't just do this for a grade. I hope they realize that I really do care about the thousands of kids getting cyber bullied every day and not being cared for. With all the comments that my peer have left, I have discovered many links that I missed out on that would have fit in perfectly in my blog. Although, with those resources and new articles that I read, I learned a lot more and really understood my topic even more. My comments did not change my mind because everyone agreed with me and where I stood on my topic.They definitely clarified my thinking and made me look at my point of view in many different ways by asking me questions I had to really think and sometimes do further research, for an answer. Blogging was so much fun and really made me step into the shoes of some of the kids that don’t have a very fortunate life and I really enjoyed writing about how I could possibly make a difference in their lives by reinstating the issue at hand.

14 comments:

  1. I agree with many of your statements! Cyperbullying is intense right now, and adults don't know how to take care of this environment because its not something they are comfortable in. I think this is when students will have to begin using their leadership skills and begin to stand up tall and strong against the bully.

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  2. This is a well-written piece and an issue that can never receive too much attention.
    Where technology is concerned, cyberbullying consistently rates among the biggest issue facing school children today. I believe a school district must play a role in policing the gray area of social media in situations such as this, but many others disagree. Some say that such oversight should be the duty of parents at home. Unfortunately, many parents offer little oversight at all when it comes to their child's life and education. It's a tough battle.

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  3. Painful to read this post. However, the impact is vast. Local gossip is painful, but a viral image potentially reaches millions of people. It's horrifying.

    I think the problem requires kids, schools, and parents to work together, and as Mr. B. said, that's a tough battle.

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  4. I wholeheartedly agree with what you are saying. It is a problem that has been around ever since social media became popular. The only thing is that I would have to disagree with you about this problem is - Why don't you just turn off your phone? If some people threaten to track you down, turn off all location data to your phone so they can't. Why don't you just talk to your parents about this cyberbullying?
    On the other hand, I read a few months ago that Facebook created an "anti-suicidal" law that has stopped a few suicides.
    Overall I like the post and I thought it addressed the situation clearly.

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  5. Hey Gabi! You did an awesome job showing how big of an impact cyberbullying has on kids, and I liked how you connected the topic to current social media sites. In your blog, you said that home would be a safer place once social media sites began to secured harmful comments. Why isn't home already a safe place to bullied kids? Is there anything that parents could be doing to help their kids get through the bullying? I found a cyberbullying prevention site that you may be interested in. Great job!

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    1. Hey Mei! Thank you so much for writing a comment for me! To answer your first question, home is not a safe place for bullied kids because once they turn on any social media, they can just be bullied right back again. They no longer can feel safe in the one place where you're supposed to. To answer your other question, Yes parents could definitely help. They can do so by talking to their kids if they are being bullied and help them with a counselor. Also, they can not allow their kid to have a social media account if the parent knows their kid will be bullied on there. They can also send them to a different school if it's necessary. I really loved the website you wanted me to check out! It definitely answered some of my questions and hopefully your as well. Thank you so much for showing it to me and leaving a comment! Have a nice day!

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  6. Hello Gabi,
    You did an amazing job providing a way to prevent cyberbullying. You also did an amazing job at showing what has happened to kids in the past and what some social media sites have started to do to make sure these do not happen again. I agree that social media can do much more to prevent cyberbullying. Social media sites have not done much to help stop cyberbullying, and they need to start now because even though it is hard to track every single cyberbullying case, they can save a lot of lives just by getting rid of anonymous comments and monitoring what happens on their site. I found this article that talks about what social media sites have started to do to help prevent cyberbullying. While social media sites can do a lot to prevent cyberbullying, I also believe that communities can do a better job at helping victims of cyberbullying and teaching kids how to behave online. Do you think that communities can do a better job at preventing cyberbullying? You wrote about a very important topic that people need to be aware about. Great job!

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    1. Hello Dr. Ew,
      Thank you so much for writing a wonderful comment on my blog post. To clarify your question, I do think community could do a better job at preventing cyberbullying. They could have counseling to help the ones who have already been victims and they could also have classes on how to stop cyberbullying if you see it. I think kids, teens and adults just need to be more educated on what really happens during a cyberbully attack. Thank you so much for looking for a link for me. I love it so much because now I know that social media sites are finally starting to help a lot with cyberbullying. Have a great day!

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  7. Gabi, as you have learned through your research, cyberbullying is a complicated issue, and there does not seem to be consensus on how to deal with it. Your compassion and desire for change are clear in your writing, and I admire your conviction. We ALL need to do more, but your advocacy for social media sites to step up and enforce their own community guidelines is spot on. The steps that Facebook and Twitter have finally taken to address the problem are admirable, though long overdue. In my own research, I have learned that the best way to combat bullying is to start by helping kids develop empathy. There are schools where this approach is working, but how do we translate that to better behavior online? What could we be doing better at Charles Wright, for example? Thank you so much for voice on this topic.

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    1. Hi Ms. Gerla,
      Thank you so much for taking the time to write a comment for me. To answer your first question, I think if we educate kids and teens to learn how to translate better behavior not just only in person, but online, then our internet would be such a better place. I agree with you though, Twitter and Facebook's help is long overdue, but at least they are finally helping now. Since we have te help with major social media sites, now people who care can finally start and make protests everywhere to make the media a better place! To answer your second question, at Charles Wright I think we are doing very well. We are taking this digital citizenship class which really educates us 9th graders into the real world and better prepares us for what's in store. I love the article you attached because I totally agree that teaching kids empathy from the start would help them stop being mean to other kids online when they are older. It would make online and home life such a better place. Thank you again! Have a nice day.

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  8. Hello Gabi, You did a great job writing this blog. I like how your topic is a controversial topic about how Social media can kill people and also how the media and cyber bullying are so closely linked.I also found another interesting article on the topic that you may enjoy reading, Is the Internet Hurting Children. I think it is a interesting article and i think you would enjoy it because it is on your topic.

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    1. Hello BowdenE,
      Thank you so much for commenting on my blog! I checked out your link and I find it interesting on how many facts there are on this topic. Thank you so much for sharing and have a nice day!

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  9. I am regular reader of your blog and no doubt it all stuff is awesome. The best thing about your sharing and posting is that you always provide content that is helpful for both the newbie and experts. Looking for more stuff and tutorials.

    Love from Tech Solutions Desk

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  10. I will make sure to be reading your blog more. You made a good point but I can't help but wonder, what about the other side? THANKS!
    طراحی سایت

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