Cyber bullying reaches epidemic level

I read yet another report on how outrageous cyber bullying statistics have become and prevalent they are in schools globally. Here is an article covering the severity of cyber bullying in Sydney;

"Cyber bullying is reaching epidemic levels, says a Melbourne youth worker, amid new claims about young girls being pressured to provide pornographic images of themselves.

Police are investigating a case at St Joseph's College boys school in Geelong, in which it is believed a computer hacker stole an older student's Facebook identity and then pressured a grade five pupil to provide pornographic images of himself to a Facebook "friend".

A police spokeswoman confirmed the investigation but would not comment further.

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Youth worker Les Twentyman has also revealed that he was told about a girl in year eight at a school in Victoria's east recently being lured into performing sex acts with year 12 boys that were filmed and posted on the Internet.

Mr Twentyman will describe the problem as a "disease" when he speaks at a Department of Education conference on "challenging behaviours" on Tuesday.

"We are getting increasingly aggressive cyber bullying and I am becoming more worried that we have seen more of it in the past six months," he said.

"Every school I have visited this year - which is 30 - to speak about youth issues has the same problem. What is constantly expressed as the major problem is cyber bullying.

"It is a disease that is very distressing for our kids and has caused depression and suicides."

Mr Twentyman has worked to highlight cyber bullying with the family of 17-year-old Melbourne high school student Allem Halkik, who jumped to his death off the West Gate Bridge in February 2009 after reading death threats online.

Magistrate Peter Reardon pleaded with young people to think before sending hateful text messages, as he sentenced cyber bully Shane Gerada, 21, of Bacchus Marsh to a community-based order for stalking Halkik.

Mr Twentyman provided a long list of recent cases of cyber bullying in Victoria.

The most serious included a gang brawl at a football ground at outer suburban Diggers Rest last year, in which three people have already been found guilty of playing a role in the bashing death of Nathan Roberts-Nunan, 20.

"That started over two 14-year-olds greasy looks at each other, one boy took it further and they started harassing him on the telephone, computer and threatened to bomb his house and family," Mr Twentyman said.

Mr Twentyman called on the federal and state governments to give police greater powers to close down email account accounts and prosecute "cyber bullies", pointing out that youth gangs use the internet to recruit members.

"They should suspend access," he said.

He said police should be able to pull down online threats and arrest those responsible."

- The Sydney Morning News, by Greg Roberts, 9/13/10

ugh, horrible. It sickens me. And I thought being harassed on facebook was bad, I had no idea to what extreme, how disgusting some people can be.

Thanks for sharing that report.
xo, July

I'm sorry that you are harassed on Facebook, that's awful. I hope that it's still not going on.

I made my profile pretty private now, this was earlier when I first joined, had a lot of randoms stalking and harassing me. All is fine now.

Oh good! And, it's so smart to set lots of privacy settings to block the creepy people.