Bullying on the Internet; Serious Business

By Victoria Greco and Austin Monheit

Victoria's Story:
"Although I do not have a really personal experience regarding bullying online, I do know of a story about an 11 year old girl from Japan who took hurtful comments made at her online very seriously. In 2004, this girl was the subject of bullying by a fellow classmate, Satomi Mitarai. Mitarai left bullying comments on the 11 year old’s website, calling her “fat” and a “goody-goody”. The next day, the 11 year old took Mitarai into another room during their lunch hour and killed her with a knife. The crime underlines how serious comments made on the internet can affect a child."
"The Killer" became infamously nicknamed "Nevada-tan" online, as ehr real name will not be released to the public.
"The Killer" became infamously nicknamed "Nevada-tan" online, as ehr real name will not be released to the public.

Austin's Story:
"When I was younger and was beginning to explore the Internet, through AOL, public chatrooms became a way to express my thoughts about almost anything. While my parental control level was set to “child”, it was the only supervision my parents had over me. They didn’t monitor what I was doing on the web or who I was talking to. I wasn’t going to inappropriate websites, but when I went into the chatrooms, it felt like I had no responsibilities and didn’t need to be mindful of what I said. When I went into chatrooms, I continuously would bully people by calling them names, cursing at them, and even a threat or two. One time, I was bullying another kid who I didn’t know by calling him names. I ended up getting into trouble, and it was only after I was disciplined that I realized what I had done was wrong and inappropriate. When you hear stories about children being bullied by others’ and then responding with real physical violence, it scares you a bit and makes you realize your words can affect other people even if you don’t mean them or are saying them through the Internet. "

Research Questions:

1. How is Internet bullying different from personal or face to face bullying?
2. Why are kids so affected by rumors that aren't true?
3. Should children be monitored during their Internet usage; and if so, until what age?

Possible Keywords:

Bullying, Cyberbullying Predators, Pedophile, Internet, MySpace, Facebook, Chatrooms, Kids, Children, Personal Websites,
Comments, Racism, Threats, Suicide

Database Search:

Our Database Search yielded these results on Academic Search Premier

Abstract: A study of students ranging from 10-18 years old involving how they interpret "cyberbullying" as "Internet Bullying", and the phenomena it creates in our world today.
Source Cite: Vandebosch, H, & Van Cleemput, K. (2008). Defining cyberbullying: a qualitative research into the perceptions of youngsters. CyberPsychology & Behavior, 11(4), doi: 10.1089/cpb.2007.0042

Abstract:The article comments on children and the effects of cyberbullying. The article also states that cyberbullying is so prominent because it allows the perpetrators to remain anonymous.
Source Cite:Editorial: cyber-bullying versus online privacy.. (2007, July 21). New Scientist, 195(2613)

Abstract: This article talks about Internet medium outlets and how they affect children and parents. Schools are facing challenges to eliminate the negative uses of the Internet and cell phones, while at the same time trying to preserve their (Internet and cell phone) contributions to education and social situations. Bullying and harassment are serious issues that schools are trying to eliminate; because schools are a hotspot for child bullying, they are of particular interest to researchers and parents.
Source Cite:
Greenfield, P. (2008, Spring). Online communication and adolescent relationships. The Future of Children, 18(1), 119-146.

Research Methodology:

We have decided that using a combination of Case Study and Survey.
First, we will conduct a survey from a large group of children and adults who have at one point experienced accounts of bullying and/ or harassment It is our belief that people, both young and old, will be willing to share their personal experiences with the hopes of being able to reduce bullying and to help young children overcome such problems through a case study. Kids will know that they are not alone in their struggling and that while bullying may not be completely eliminated, they should know that there are numerous ways to deal with bullying and to not let it affect them. Many children think that their bullying experience is singular and that other children don't have to deal with. That's untrue and with a survey, we will be able to gain a better understanding of what type of bullying children experience and through what mediums it occurs.