News
News
10/27/2006
10:50 PM
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Time To Teach Digital Etiquette, Experts Suggest

As cyberbullying increases, users on YouTube and elsewhere are trying to do something about it.

Cyberspace has become the breeding ground for a new type of bully. Rather than stealing a child's lunch money, the bullies are now taking pride, experts at Kansas State University said Friday.

Kansas State University Professor Mike Ribble said traditional bullies that get in the person's face must deal with the victim's body language and eye contact, but in cyberspace the bully benefits from the safety of isolation.

Ribble, who teaches a course known as Digital Citizenship in the 21st Century, defines "cyberbullying" as a person who anonymously ridicules or belittles another in conversations online in Internet chat rooms, bulletin boards, or social network sites, such as New Corp's MySpace.com or Google Inc.'s YouTube.com.

"It's too easy to write the first thing that comes into your head and then hit send before thinking of the long-term consequences," Ribble said.

Users forget even though they may delete a message, it's typically backed-up somewhere for future review. Ribble said it's an old school of thought, but people need to think about what they want to say before they write it.

On the YouTube Web site, company bloggers Maryrose and Mia posted a note earlier this week titled "Please Be Decent and Kind" to encourage those who visit the site to mind their manners.

"We've got thick skin, so we're not talking about the "wtf-why-is-this-featured" jabs at our (sniff, sniff) senses of humor and taste," the post reads. "We're talking about the hateful comments directed at users who've done nothing to hurt anyone. Comments about their sexual orientation or weight or looks or skin color; things that we all know don't count a bit toward what's really important."

The blog post stopped short of a full lecture, as the YouTube gang tried to encourage users to treat each other "decently and kindly." Still, it's not clear if the blog posted earlier this week has done any good.

But the problems go far deeper than being "decent and kind." Ribble suggests schools and educators need to start teach children digital etiquette because as more technology becomes deeply integrated with daily life.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
The Business of Going Digital
The Business of Going Digital
Digital business isn't about changing code; it's about changing what legacy sales, distribution, customer service, and product groups do in the new digital age. It's about bringing big data analytics, mobile, social, marketing automation, cloud computing, and the app economy together to launch new products and services. We're seeing new titles in this digital revolution, new responsibilities, new business models, and major shifts in technology spending.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest - July 22, 2014
Sophisticated attacks demand real-time risk management and continuous monitoring. Here's how federal agencies are meeting that challenge.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.