Emerging Tech

Pressure from cyberbullies to send nude photos


In a recent study conducted by Canadian researchers, cyberbullies are accused of forcing females to undress and take incriminating pictures and videos of themselves, which the cyberbullies then post online. Check out the news story: "Cyberbullies scare schoolgirls into stripping online."

According to Faye Mishna, a professor at the University of Toronto, "They're pressuring each other. This (pressure) is particularly for girls to send pictures of themselves with their tops off. [Sonja's side note: And this is something new? PUH-LEEZE!] Girls might send (a photograph) to their boyfriend (after being convinced that only he will see it). So she gives in, and the next thing you know, it's all over (the place). The images are even more likely to be passed on if the couple breaks up." [Sonja's side note: DUH!!!]      

What's so different about cyberbullies? Mishna explains, "Traditional bullying is a power differential. (Bullying) power before could have been age, size, smartness, popularity, ability. Now it's the perceived anonymous nature (of posting potentially damaging information online). We'd like to find out how anonymous it really is."  

This is truly one of the most ridiculous studies I have ever heard of. Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't think I lack common sense. If you take a nude photo of yourself and send it in an e-mail to someone, you're just asking for trouble. I don't care how much someone begs and manipulates, this particular woman actually has a will! If you agree that this study is stupid, don't blame me... blame Canada.

About

Sonja Thompson has worked for TechRepublic since October of 1999. She is currently a Senior Editor and the host of the Smartphones and Tablets blogs.

35 comments
the_webninja
the_webninja

The Objective of this Article is to get you to think "This is Terrible! What are we gonna DO about it?" Then of Course the Blind Sheep Pass "STRICTER LAWS" such as one Christian Sympathizer suggested; "Try This- We Should NEVER Photograph our Bodies unless the Surgeon needs them for Medical Reasons" So I guess you are ashamed of your own "God's" work then right? It is an embarrasment to you. You are embarrassed about your "God's" work right? This is how they WANT you to think. They WANT to CONTROL how you Think, so they can CONTROL Your Laws. The Christians do nothing but sit around and think about everyone else as some form of "Evil Demon" they need to Throw in Jail. They have only one Thought in their Minds, to Destroy others Lives as much as Possible. More than ONE THIRD OF THE ENTIRE WORLD POPULATION OF THE PLANET IS ALREADY IN US PRISONS, as recently reported by the American Justice TV Program. This means if you add up all the people that are in Prison all over the World, you can easily see how these Hateful Christians have Manipulated the Laws all over the World, until More than HALF THE WORLD POPULATION IS ALREADY IN JAIL! NOW! Sex is NOT EVIL! If you Believe that Sex is Evil, then ********! If you want to Protect the Teenage Girls, then Buy them a Gun. But Don't try to infringe on people's Liberties and FREEDOMS by Implying there is EVIL PEOPLE OUT TO GET YOU! OOoooo! SCARE Tactics. That's all the Christians know, FEAR, GUILT, HATRED AND CONTEMPT OF ALL OTHERS. How about a Little FREEDOM, TRUTH, AND JUSTICE for all. If a Woman is being Forced to do anything against her will, Yes this is Wrong. And a Woman or Girl can report these types of activities to the Police. But when you try to make the Internet itself as a Form of EVIL or implying such, is only making YOU the EVIL one. Not the Internet. Go Focus on Global Warming, and your Disasters of Revelations. Where are you going to run and hide when your God will not Save you from the Flash Freezes of the New Ice Age, the Hundreds of new diseases born of Temperature Changes, the Heat Waves that will kill Thousands, the Killer Typhoons, and Hurricanes, and Tornados one after another? And they are all Coming SOON to a Town Near you! Focus on the demise of your Species and your Society and the fact that your God is nowhere to be seen in the face of it all. That ought to keep your mind off the Porn on the web for a while. :) Message was edited by: beth.blakely@...

Tig2
Tig2

But can we get over ourselves??? How and what do we tell kids- there are bad people out there who look normal on the front side. How about this- Your body does not need to be photographed EVER unless your surgeon is working on a project in which he requests your permission and the photos do not carry your name- only your diagnosis. Bullies I get. Been there, had to deal with that. From an online perspective, I am missing something. They have no power- no matter what information they threaten to leak. What is missing that everyone thinks they are all that important. They would all be wrong. You should be an informed user.

vgascon
vgascon

The study is not all that dumb, if you really stop to think about it. The facts presented are very worrisome to anyone who has children. If you read the post, the study covers students in greades 5 through 12. Considering everything going on, I am glad someone is bringing these issues to light. As usual, it is up to parents to educate kids as to the proper and safe things to do. A child must have good values and strong self-esteem in order to avoid being taken advantage of.

TokyoPete
TokyoPete

this article is the best I've read against allowing children to have passwords that their parents cannot access. There needs to be a way to enable parents to always be able to access their kids mail whether or not the children want thewm to do so. These cyberjackels rely on the password system to stop interference by parents into their children's online activities. Parents should be the only ones who can prvide the password. This way, if anything does start, it can be nipped in the bud. We cannot continue to let wolves prey on youngsters with impunity.

LocoLobo
LocoLobo

The article didn't go in-depth. Try this one: http://www.cbc.ca/news/background/bullying/cyber_bullying.html It looks like the punks are getting something on these girls (passwords, personal info, etc) and pressuring them with that. So the youngsters already having been burned once aren't smart enough to apply the old rule; Fool me once, shame on you, Fool me twice, shame on me. It looks like this is school kids. Surely Canada has child porn laws?

pamcse
pamcse

I put this post right up there with the Canadian study!! Perhaps it is not a "will" these girls need, but rather a "won't". Thanks for your keen insight.

DownRightTired
DownRightTired

Yeh i went to your site. I personally hate building web pages, Im not creative or artistic in that way at all. BUT i have had to build a few. My only hope is that you didnt pay for any kid of formal web design education. And the fact that "half the world" knows you is not something to be proud of. THE WHOLE world knew of Hitler, his savagery, ignorance and narrow mindedness (good job, your half-way to infamy). You claim to hate religions because they all think they are the one truth yet your manner of expressing opinions relays the same sentiment. You speak of the hatred and contempt spread by christians and muslims. My guess is that given the opportunity you would gladly support the same terrors against these groups. How many christian dictators have impoverished their countries and built mass graves. And please dont be ignorant enough to resort back to the crusades. Many power hungry men have claimed one religion or the other over the centuries to gain following. What about all the run of the mill low life killers, rapist, thieves, crack addicted mothers. This is a result of false prophets such as yourself encouraging people to blame the problems of the world on someone else; abandon their morals and take up the burden of contempt for those that dont see things their way, The attitude you so proudly support. There are terrible christians, terrible muslims, terrible catholics and yes believe it or not just as many terrible atheist, people are selfish by nature. Just because someone calls themself a christian does not make it any more true than you calling yourself a web designer, sure you designed a web page but that doesnt make you a designer. BTW where are all the atheist missionaries? Ive traveled the world and seen desolation and poverty. Not once have I seen an atheist missionary sacrifice the comforts of home give up a six figure salary or their own thriving business, move away from the comforts of home and family and dedicate their lives to feeding and educating the poor. Overpriveledged, underedcucted, meth smoking philosophers such as yourself are the real problem with america these days. Anyway I dont have any more time to argue whith you. Theres an old saying: "When your arguing with a fool, Make sure he isnt doing the same"....

Why Me Worry?
Why Me Worry?

Did you not get what you wanted for Christmas?

bamyclouse
bamyclouse

Got any more? I offer this quote as a possible signoff for you based on your post: "Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you." Your attitude towards those who do not agree with your lack of religious conviction certainly seems a bit extreme. Take a deep breath. Calm down. Read BOTH linked articles - the original and the one in one of the earlier posts. In one of those articles, a kid's name was plastered all over a website that defamed his character and called him a pedophile, not in a chat room where the epithets are relatively transient, but on a website (relatively permanent) and posted where anyone could see it. As we know, it's very easy to make that kind of accusation, and even when it's proven false, the person's reputation is damaged for life. These days, that could get a kid who's done nothing wrong in jail or at the very least, arrested as a "person of interest" if something happened that a child in his neighborhood was molested. That's libel; it's in print; I don't care what the form is, it is not legal. Now to me, THAT'S worrisome. That's what we need to fight - strengthening laws against libel and slander both. And to me, since that is clearly not legal, there should be a way to trace the perpetrator and make that person accountable in criminal and civil court. You are stealing a kid's rep and their future with that sort of thing. The thing with girls too stupid or too much of an exhibitionist to keep their clothes on, well, I have a lot less sympathy for them. Sometimes loving your body means respecting it enough to keep yourself clothed. It isn't hating yourself to be modest and sensible. It isn't self hatred to be particular about your sexual expressions. It is the ultimate form of a solid sense of self esteem when you know that you don't have to show off your body and brag about your "sexploits" in order to consider yourself a valuable and worthwhile expression of the human condition, whether you believe in evolution or intelligent design.

DownRightTired
DownRightTired

"More than ONE THIRD OF THE ENTIRE WORLD POPULATION OF THE PLANET IS ALREADY IN US PRISONS" Are you serious???? This is the kind of ignorance that results from broke drug abusers. They have no cable and so resort to PBS specials while coming off a 4 day meth binge, remember one or 2 numbers (1/3 of some population), and reconstruct the story in their festering brain based on their paranoid notions of the world.Im not even going justify your religious remarks w/ a comment(other than this one). Your ignorance speeks louder than my most insightful words ever could.

boxfiddler
boxfiddler

that you have been watching too much "Out There TV."

daveo2000
daveo2000

I mean to "open discussion". I have seen a few of your posts and they all seem to be aimed at grabbing the [i]spirit of open discussion[/i] by the throat, throttling its oxygen and throwing its lifeless body in the gutter to be calously swept away by alternate side sweeping. Either that, or you are looking for that perfect mate that shares that same love of the CAPS LOCK key?

Tig2
Tig2

Ok, so I'm a Christian. But most of the Athiests on this site would agree that I am pretty balanced. I never said one word about passing stricter laws. I said "don't do it". You can choose to be photographed in a state of undress. I have admitted to doing it- for the reason I stated. I had a rare appearance of a common disease and allowed that appearance to be photographed for the purpose of education and study. The article was saying that young women were feeling pressured by people on the net to provide nude pictures of themselves. I was saying that is a choice. The photos will haunt much longer than the bully. I have little to no opinion on global warming and have not chosen to discuss the book of Revelations. I do, however, want to know what you have been smoking. Share with the class.

Why Me Worry?
Why Me Worry?

Back in the 80s', it was AOL and their pathetic chat rooms that brought teens and pedophiles together for illegal sexual encounters, now it's Myspace that is replacing this sickening and dangerous trend. From 15 and 16 year old catholic school girls who perform full blown stripteases on Myspace to punk ass gang members who use Myspace to proclaim their "toughness" and use it as a tool to intimidate and get into real life scuffles with rival gang members, it has gotten out of control. The stupidity in all of this is how naive these kids are in thinking that they are "anonymous" online, when all it takes is a quick subpoena of the ISP and Myspace provider to give up the IP address and track it down to a physical person and residential address. It's a sick world we live in and if parents don't wake up to the realities and dangers of cyberspace, then things will never improve. On that note, many parents don't think to oversee what their kids are doing online because they feel intimidated by the internet and don't think they will ever understand how it all works. Ignorance is bliss and if a parent is to be a parent, he or she will educate themselves on what they need to know in order to protect their children.

DownRightTired
DownRightTired

At first read I thought this was kind of stupid I mean cyber bullies? But i guess with the whole myspace scene I can understand. These kids have usually hundreds of contacts on their myspace lists, usually probably everyone at a high school is networked together. You know how we were as kids passing notes back and forth? well now this is done online. Judy sends Sally a message about how totally cute Jimmy is and how she totally would go all the way with him. Bobby the bully gets judys password along with all her juicy emails, threatens to tell jimmy or maybe her parents even. Next thing you know judys sendin naked pictures. Or something like that anyway. Point is kids keep alot of "sacred" information online now and like daveo said they dont realize many times how easily accessed that information is. I dunno, this is the first Ive heard of it but its feasible. Although I agree the article seems like it was written by a blonde haired nancy drew fan that heard some gossip from her niece.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

Granted it's about 20 years since my daughter entered her Teenage years but during her early teens she had absolutely no brains and was a perfect example of a Zombie following the trends. It took about 3 to 4 years for her to grow out of this but was hell while she was going through it. :( Now days instead of needing to be face to face they [i]and this is something that I do not understand one little bit[/i] as I see my nephews run away from strangers but for some reason think that it's perfectly safe to hand out information across the Internet without a second thought. Granted the eldest is about 10 or 11 but even down to the youngest who is just beginning to get past the basic games they just don't have a problem with sharing stuff with complete strangers who they have never meet and if they where to meet them in the street would probably run away from. They know all about [b]Stranger Danger[/b] which I'm in two minds about sometimes but accept that the original idea is the right one but then go and share private information over the net without a second thought probably because they think that they are talking to others their age and as every one of the fiends at school know their names & address so should the new friend that they have found on line. About the only thing that I can think of about Cyber Bulling is that the School Bully now has access to the Internet and all of their victims E-Mail addresses so they can continue their harassment while physically away from school or it's surroundings. Otherwise I can not see what the possible reason for this type of reaction would be. You'll probably like this one my little sister has 3 boys the oldest two are about 2 or 3 years apart and the youngest is about 5 years younger than the second child. The youngest is completely Feral as he needs to be to get any attention while the other two are around. He's just started Pre School this year while the other two have been in school for a few years now. When the oldest two are together they are always fighting over anything and heaven help anyone who tries to stop them. Well earlier this month at their Grand Mothers Birthday my sister waited till all of the kids where present and then made one of them give their Grandmother the gift. The youngest one couldn't hold it in and was about half way through telling his grandmother what the wrapped present was when the second child clobbered him in the mouth and knocked him to the floor. The oldest then to justify the seconds actions said well he had to do it or the young one would have told you what was inside. :0 This is the same kid that asked for Boiled Baby for dinner one night just after the youngest was brought home after being born and the same one who constantly insists that his younger brother the second one always does something wrong to get him into trouble. :0 Col

jmgarvin
jmgarvin

If you wouldn't do it in the meat world, why would you do it in the cyberworld? A prime example is the amount of naked pictures on Myspace. Somehow, those that post them, think that only the "right" people will see them, but the reality is that once they are posted, they might as well have just plastered their town with naked pictures of themselves. What is really boils down to is common sense, which seems to be lacking today...

Why Me Worry?
Why Me Worry?

where a master account has access over all subaccounts. The problem with Myspace is that anyone can go in and register an account and the password will be locked into that one username. Perhaps if Myspace were a paid service, it would require parental authority for minors to setup accounts. Myspace is just as responsible for creating a vehicle that allows online preadtors to target children as much as the children who are divulging too much information about themselves online.

daveo2000
daveo2000

The sorry truth about this as in most new technologies is that the children embrace what many parents cannot understand. It is unlikely that a parent that cannot even program the proverbial VCR clock would understand what is involved in the rather abstract nature of accounts and passwords. The fact that we are discussing this on a website immediately disqualifies us from a reasonable discussion of the issue because we are far more literate about these points than the average person. Picture, if you will, the one man with the most immediate power over the Internet: Former Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Ted Stevens. This man is [i]supposed[/i] to understand the topic and it appears that he [i]can't even string together a rational argument[/i]. http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/2006/06/your_own_person.html?entry_id=1512499 Expecting this generation of parents to embrace, let alone understand, this technology is not on my "Really likely to happen" list. I agree with your assertions that there are problems. I disagree that the answer is parents having access to them. I expect that, in most cases, either the parents won't know what to do with the passwords or the kids will figure out other ways of how to hide it from the parents. Do I offer an alternative? No. I don't know if there is one. What will I do about it? My kids are younger than this age. I have already started teaching them about who they are meeting "on-line" with kid friendly websites that don't allow chatting but do allow interaction. I am teaching them about the fact that there are good folks and bad folks. Is this [i]the[/i] answer? No. It will probably work for my kids but not for others. It might not even work for my kids. We won't know for a couple of generations, will we? Bottom line? I don't think this idea, alone, will work. Offer more. Think more. Post more. Maybe we will come up with something.

mad tabby
mad tabby

You know, this could be the latest and greatest industry. Your child's being cyberbullied? We will track down the perpetrators, hack their website and turn it on them, all for the low price of $$$ Hey, internet anonymity works both ways

Sonja Thompson
Sonja Thompson

My initial reaction to this news story was "Are you kidding me?" because it made women look like they have absolutely no will. But the target of most cyberbullying isn't women... it's girls. Most children (regardless of gender) are extremely influential, and peer pressure can be a powerful and terrifying thing. Believe me, I was talked into my share of stupid things when I was younger - and I may have even been the instigator a time or ten. One of my co-workers shared the following story with me, which helped put this news story in perspective. This excerpt is taken from the local newspaper in Louisville (The Courier Journal), on March 28, 2007: "More than 100 students left Bullitt Central High School in January after rumors swirled about a posting on MySpace.com in which a student threatened to beat up four other students. And in the fall, a student at Bullitt East High School committed suicide after numerous threats were made through MySpace." Cyberbullying isn't just in the big cities. It happening now, here, and maybe even to people you know. That's a pretty scary thought.

daveo2000
daveo2000

He actually provides a history as to why he calls himself "WebNinja". And it appears that he takes it seriously. :D

1PebKac
1PebKac

I can?t say I have seen such a display of negative Christianity from a topic so removed from it. I have to laugh, after reading the topic I thought a teen would have to be so stupid to fall for it that but I had to read it to satisfy my curiosity. As I read on, I thought yeah, I can see some Teen girl being teased or harassed into doing this because their fear is more of what the bully has on them than going to their parents/guardian and asking for help, or just changing their email addresses. My younger cousins change their email addresses like a meteorologist changes their forecast for next week. Then I get to this post by ?WebNinja?, WOW, it does take talent to be reading about teen girls being coerced into dumb stupid things by a cyber-bully to turn that into ?Look-out world it?s another Christian Tactic to rule the world!? Save your freedom and rights, act now. I would like to point out you would not even have those rights were it not for a Christian. But then it doesn?t take much thought to see where that conversation would be dragged so I will not even enter into it should you reply. I will end this to say, thanks for the laugh Ninja and do us a favor and let your personal grudges disappear and look at it for what it is. Teen girls ,or boys for that matter, can be put into a place where the fear of a bully?s threat overpowers their common sense. The question the Ninja is putting forth has some tinges of validity when looked upon in a certain light though. It is not a question or issue of being ashamed of the human body (created by him), but to what end it is being used for. There is nothing wrong with the human body, but to subject a teen?s momentary lapse of good judgment to an eternity of viewing by individual(s) starting as a prank or ending up as an image used improperly is the real issue. A girl who is truly ?in Love? (more likely infatuation) can be fooled into doing dumb things I have no doubt. You would say she should just laugh it off or be proud of her body parts and who knows what ?fame? it might bring her on the web. But as much as it is her Body, doesn?t she have the right to decide what should be done with the pictures of it and for what they would be used for? There are laws protecting children because they do not have an adult?s perspective. I guess the ?Adult perspective? is also then needed to be discussed but I don?t have the time for that either. They should be thinking about when she?s going for a job a, becoming president (what a scandal) or her kids/grand kids being sent the picture. The point is, do you really think that the 1st picture would be the end of it? No it is the same with physical or verbal abuse, once started the slope just gets more and more slippery.

daveo2000
daveo2000

At least the part that I read (I reserve the right to deny reading selected parts). Considering how many times kids have been influenced by random phone call pranks, this doesn't seem all that far fetched. Many people just don't understand the completely boundless nature of the web and sub-components (chat, e-mail, IM, etc). For instance, we converse in this forum and many of our posts are directed to one or two people (like me thinking of Col and Tig reading this) but, sure enough, there will be lots of others reading along that we never know about. Add to that, you will probably be able to find this very post in a couple of days by doing a google search for: * elmopalooza * Mary Poppins * The Beatles Now, you take somebody that thinks that the incoming communication is from somebody close to them who they don't know exactly who that is and things can get pretty surreal. Us old geek folks know the score. We have heard it over and over again. But with all the glossing over of privacy issues, confusion on the part of non-techs makes complete sense.

Why Me Worry?
Why Me Worry?

I'd say it's more like "uncommon sense" that is lacking in the majority of dumbasses we deal with on a daily basis.

boxfiddler
boxfiddler

What language are you speaking? ;)

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

Young Teenage Girls have any Common Sense are you? Having watched my daughter and her friends go through that age that is one thing that is totally lacking in their minds. Col

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

That was started off several years ago where the students who where the victims of bulling where encouraged to report the instances and the Bully was dealt with by the School. Now they have the ability to do the same thing will no longer on School grounds so the school has no control over their actions or any way to police and protect the other children. Whatever it's very sad that things like this are happening but only goes to show that no matter how much that legislation is brought in to protect children it has very little effect because as new technology gets developed the methods change and the Legislation currently in place may even be harming the kids by not teaching them to fight back. Col

daveo2000
daveo2000

just the front page of his website screams "I [i]Hate You[/i] [b]AND[/b] the horse you rode in on! That is, of course, unless you and the horse [b]completely[/b] agree with me then, um, never mind."

boxfiddler
boxfiddler

Check out his website... (posted in his profile)

daveo2000
daveo2000

Oh, not the "Web Ninja", some other guy. The web ninja just seems to be some anti-Christian, anti-Muslim Florida beach bum that likes threatening pictures of a laughing Buddah and telling everyone else that they are sick perverts.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

If you remember I posted photos of myself topless a while ago and those where taken for Medical Purposes. :D Sometimes depending on the injury you just have to show the face though you don't need to name them though in the case where those photos of me where taken My name was mentioned in the Medical Journal that the article was published in. But by that time I has seen about every medical student in SE Queensland as I was a novelty. They so very rarely see injuries like that and I survived just to make matters worse. :^0 What I find insulting is that I'm shown old copies of that Medical Journal by people that I've known for a very long time and they don't realise that the picture is of me they just say here's someone with the same name as you. I only laid there while the photos where taken I'm not responsible that the Photographer took lousy pictures. :_| OH incidentally I didn't read any of the above so you don't have to worry that you are agreeing with Dave and Me. :p Col ]:)

Tig2
Tig2

I guess I can't conceive of a situation where the fear level of the recipient would be so high as to comply with that kind of bullying. Maybe it is an age thing or a computer sophistication thing. I just can't see it. Of course, I am pretty clear on privacy and security issues also. Add to it that I don't scare easily and you see the source of my inability to really understand the problem. I just know that being photographed sans clothing is a bad plan. There have been a number of cases in which a person has lost or been denied a job because of just that issue. And it manages to rear its ugly head just when you DON'T want it to. I guess I was looking at it from a pretty narrow point of view. I appreciate the input. And I promise to not tell HAL that you supported him... :)

jmgarvin
jmgarvin

No wonder it's such a problem then...

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