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article imageSchoolgirls bullied into stripping online

By Chris V. Thangham     Mar 29, 2007 in Crime
Canadian Researchers says that schoolgirls are easily bullied online.
Bullies are no longer content to taunt their victims in the playground but are turning to cyberspace, according to Canadian researchers.
They are using e-mail, text messaging and social networking sites in new forms of victimization.
Bullying behaviors are no longer confined just to school areas only, it is spreading to the net. The bullies in the Cyber world are forcing their girlfriends to undress in front ofwebcams and then sharing those images and videos with others online, sometimes they appear in video sites like YouTube, Metacafe and other sites.
Professor Faye Mishna from the University of Toronto is researching the cyber abuse of children. She said they are pressuring young girls to send pictures of themselves with their top offs. Girls send these images to their boyfriends thinking only he will see it, instead it is being sent every where. The images will be likely passed around if they break up after.
Misha headed a research team that had its focus group with 47 students in grades 5 to 12. The preliminary results for this research show that so-called computer geeks are becoming the new schoolyard bullies.
More results will be released from the study by June of this year.
"Traditional bullying is a power differential," Mishna said in an interview.
"The power before could have been age, size, smartness, popularity, ability. Now it's the perceived anonymous nature. We'd like to find out how anonymous it really is. The power now is you can put it all over (the place)."
The research also showed that these abuse victims don't share this abuse information with an adult because they are afraid their internet privileges will be lost. The victims also think it will be pointless to tell about the bully whose identity is not fully known. Some times they even give their passwords to bullies who they consider as friends first.
While cyber bullying is on the rise, one would expect traditional bullying in schools will be down, but that is not the case, it continues as strong ever in schools.
Parents have to be careful, if they have online video cameras for their children it is best to disable it, because kids can be easily tempted online by both kids of their own age and adults.
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