Of course, this weeks article has to target cyber-bullying. I do not want to detach it from bullying in general but knowing the target group and issues of my blog, cyber-bullying is virulent these days. If you spent the past weeks on a lonely island without network coverage and newspapers, this is what happened:
College freshman commits suicide because his roommate tapes him, engaged in sexual activities with a guy, and posts it online – and shows it in the dorm. The issue of bullying is raised and all the victims of the past few months and years are brought up again to demonstrate against it. Even the police here in the Philippines think that it wrong and issue a statement that Facebook and mobile phones are the reasons or a lot of cases of sexual abuse.
What is missing? The sense. The brains. The scrutiny. First of all, let me quote myself on the Philippine police statement:
Very poor assessment. Why is it, that governmental bodies always blame new media when the reason is themselves? Lack of education does that to the victims and nor social networking neither mobile phones. Do not dare to shift the responsibility from yourself to a scape goat. Sad.
Basically my point. If kids are not told that, when they engage in contact with people via social networks, they might end up with problems, can you really blame the social network?
If a guy who wants to abuse a girl buts an ad in a newspaper, the girl responds and everything gets out of control, can we please burn all newspapers and imprison the owner of the newspaper company?
If I drive a car and accidentally kill a number of people because I do not know how to drive, can we please blame the guys who assembled and sold that car to me?
Ah, now I am getting sarcastic, ha? No, I am not getting there… I am already! Seriously, the US case is bullying and not cyber-bullying. Taping someone and then showing it to other people in the dorm has nothing to do with cyber. Putting it on the Internet might have..but he could have also just copied it and sent it to news stations and friends via mail on a tape.
If you consider that as cyber-, than the next time you eat at McDonalds, it is cyber-eating because the food has been ordered digitally, your balance calculated by a electronic counter and the instructions how to prepare your burger delivered by email. Seriously guys, what the matter with adding cyber- and 2.0 everywhere? Ah, because you do not understand it… right.
I mean, I get it. His roommate was able to reach a lot of people and friends of the victim via the Internet. But did the victim really care about that after his whole university knew about his sexual activities because his roommate was showing it in the dorm?
I think you know now where I am coming from. Let me briefly close the circle, so that you can finally call me paranoid and prone to conspiracies: Why is it called “cyber-” and “2.0”? If you can blame it on something on the cyberspace for two reasons: First of all, people will less likely to think that it is the governmental educational system, respective you (the government) which sucks because you blame someone else. Secondly, and most importantly, the minister of inner affairs (or in Germany even our minister for families and social stuff) can impose policies how to regulate the Internet. Censorship is en vogue for politicians, and doing their work is not.