It might sound hard to believe for those of us who attended grade school back before broadband, cell phones, and the social networking phenomenon, but according to a new report , as many as 340,000 kids and teens are regular victims of cyberbullying, a term that didn't even exist not that long ago.
"We know the consequences of online bullying are just as traumatic as those of face-to-face bullying," said Emma-Jane Cross, chief executive of the charity Beatbullying. "We want all social networking sites, Internet service providers, and mobile phone companies to take measures to identify and remove offensive material."
Beatbully's survey pinged 2,094 respondents between the ages of 11 and 18, nearly two-thirds of which said they had been witness to some form of online bullying. About half of them said they know of people setting up fake profiles, and 20 percent said they had seen hate groups set up with the sole intention of bullying someone.
This raises the question of whether social networking sites are doing enough. Over half of the those who claim to have been bullied said the incident took place on MSN, now renamed Windows Live Messenger. But Microsoft contends that "as with any communication service, these online communication tools are misused by a tiny minority."
In other news, " O'Doyle rules! "
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