Show yourself - Online bullies

ANYONE raised in a time, and in the circumstances, when doilies, fish knives, and the practice of men taking off their hats during a moment’s silence to honour someone who has recently died, were routine, would be appalled by some of the aggression shaping so many online conversations.

Show yourself - Online bullies

This aggression is of course facilitated by anonymity, because many of the wild statements come from usual mild-mannered and thoroughly rational people. That anonymity is also at the root of dangerous online bullying, bullying that too often has the most lethal consequences.

An expert on anti-bullying, James O’Higgins Norman, director of the National Anti-Bullying Research and Resource Centre at DCU, has suggested that we need to re-educate our children about the appropriate use on online social media. This may seem a Sisyphean challenge, especially the internet’s evolution seems to offer more and more opportunities for individuals to remain anonymous.

A good first step would be treating sites that allow people to hide behind invented names with the greatest suspicion.

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