With internet bullying now endemic, there is merit in the claim by Google that putting digital literacy on the school curriculum could dramatically improve the safety of children online.
It goes without saying that teachers and vulnerable children alike could better cope with these cowardly attacks if they were more informed about the internet. It would also prepare children to cope with the threat of grooming by paedophiles.
There are, however, two sides to this argument. Following the suspension of 28 students from a Limerick secondary school, and the justifiable criticism of Facebook’s slow response in removing the offensive material involved, the issue will be raised in the Dáil. Ireland and other states should force companies to respond more swiftly to public concerns about unfettered internet bullying.
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