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gottaBKD

Today is “Stop Cyberbullying Day”

Posted by gottabkd on Friday, March 30, 2007

PBS Teachers think this issue is so important that they are calling Friday, March 30, 2007 Stop Cyberbullying Day and it has affected enough concerned bloggers to cause a wave throughout the blogging world.

All this due to a recent post on a respected bloggers site Kathy Sierra. Kathy is co-creator of the best selling books Head First series, blogger, public speaker and “is also the founder of one of the largest community web sites in the world, javaranch.com.” She was threatened this week with threats of death which she took seriously enough to prompt her to cancel all her public engagements until she “felt safe enough to leave her house again.” Which according to this article , may not happen anytime soon. Kathy is well known in the tech field and has won various awards for her Java writings, including two from Amazon.com: Head First Servlets was named an Amazon Top Ten Editors Choice for Best Computer Books of 2004 as was Head First Java named to the Top Ten Editor’s Choice for 2003.

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Prominent bloggers are speaking out. Scobleizer who runs a very successful tech blog has decided to take the week off, due to increasing uncomfortableness surrounding this situation. He knows Kathy personally and feels this is his way of supporting her. For him to not blog for a week is huge; as he usually posts several articles a day, while his blog receives thousands of hits.

Engtech another tech writer whose blog just reached 1 million hits speaks (congrats by the way) to the effects of adult cyberbullying and is quoted as saying this:

“….. Not being involved in the situation it’s impossible to know the context. Even if someones intent was to be annoying and offensive it doesn’t mean their actions aren’t threatening. I also think that insinuating sexual assault on a woman is one of those things that can’t be considered anything but threatening – especially if it is someone who peripherally knows you in real life.”

One By One Media has a very good response to this issue, as does Michelle Malkin who has detailed cyberbullying for years.

Of course the culprit or so-called offender has indicated that Cyber highjacking is what happen to him and Cyber highjacking is what all this is about. He claims, in no way knowingly to him, did he have any connection to the posts relating to Kathy.

I suppose that would be the smart/easy way out of this dilemma if in fact that is the truth, however this email seems like serious back paddling to me. If you follow the articles linked in those blogs, you will see he also started another site (which has been removed by the hoster) basically claiming, that if she can’t handle the heat, then she should not be in the spotlight.

Does that make this person any less guilty? I really do not know and cannot judge. It seems that in this day and age where the immediate gratification of expressing oneself becomes easier and easier, the Internet provides a scapegoat where online speech can and does get caustic, even for adults. Is the civil decline in discourse simply the price we pay for the advance in technology coupled with the ability to say what we want, to who we want in a fashion that normally we would think twice about if they were sitting face to face?

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If cyber highjacking is to be blamed here, then it begs to ask another question: how safe are our accounts, as we live more and more on the Internet?

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The icons presented here are courtesy of Scott McLeod with more are available at his site.

Till Next Time …Stay safe…Tags: , , , , ,

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