Thursday, February 26, 2015

Happy Slapping: Another Form of Cyberbullying

There is nothing happy about Happy Slapping. The term was coined for when a planned or unplanned assault is videotaped and posted online. Its roots seemingly originate in the United Kingdom.

This presentation provides a quick overview of what this entails.

This is a crime. It is also taking the act of physical bullying to the Internet. Whether you live in the United Kingdom or North America, there will be legislation that deals with this.

Another term used for a group of individuals who assault a person or group is called swarming. These incidents could end up online, too.

Of course, just because happy slapping and swarming are a crime, doesn't mean the victims will always receive justice. The laws have much catching up to do in order to reflect societal expectations.

This short film is a clear example of what happy slapping looks like.

Friday, February 20, 2015

40% Adults Are Targets of Cyberbullies: PEW


(At least) 75 percent of American adults have been witness to cyberbullying and (at least) 40 percent have experienced it first-hand. This is according to a 2014 PEW Research study.

The types of harassment between the sexes is the same, varying only slightly as to whether men or women experience a certain type more. Cyberbullies tend to engage in:

  • Name calling
  • Embarrassing someone
  • Physical threats
  • Long-term harassment
  • Stalking
  • Sexual harassment

The PEW results also show that about half of the targets didn't know their tormentors.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Being a Cyberbully is Easy

Look no further than the comment feed to any major source article, Facebook page post, or YouTube video. Vile and contempt are everywhere. 

It is almost as if there is real money in being as mean as you can on the Internet. 

In reality, when an adult business owner is the target of a cyberbully, it does involve real lost business. 

Being that bully is so easy to do that even the well-intentioned have worn those shoes at one time or the other.

This post by Stephen Hill of the Squamish Chief tells you how easy it is.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Bakery Example of Business Cyberbullying

A bully wakes up one day and decides to rain toxin at a small business establishment that is only trying to make good cupcakes. The only thing this business did to trigger this abuse was exist.

The bully takes to the Internet, initiates posts, trolls feeds, and engages a campaign of hate against the business and its owner.

This is the face of business cyberbullying. Sometimes the cyberbully is known to the target. Other times, the actual face may be hidden behind an anonymous avatar.

In the case of the Sweet Ambrosia Bake Shoppe, the campaign of hate has been at least two years in the making.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Canada's New Cyberbullying Law


On March 9, 2015, a new law will come into affect that will give law enforcement more teeth to charge cyberbullies in Canada. Bill C-13's controversy is that it will also give the government more surveillance powers.

+Allan Oziel describes the law: it will be an offence to knowingly publish, distribute, transmit, sell, make available or advertise an “intimate image” of a person without that person’s consent, where there was a reasonable expectation of privacy.

Under the new law, an +iPredator can be forced to remove content and stay off the Internet AND have their devices confiscated. Offenders can receive up to five years imprisonment.

The law only applies to images broadcast on all forms of media, whether it be photograph, print, or video. So if, say a cloud server was hacked and private unpublished nude photographs were shared publicly and subsequently reshared, the individuals posting and resharing could be prosecuted under this law.

There does not appear to be a statute of limitations with this act as there are with the other cyberbullying crimes, which fall under libel, harassment, and collection laws.

Here is a legislative summary of C-13.

In order to prosecute under any law, important for businesses and individuals to document their bully's trail of toxin.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

The Definition of an Adult Cyberbully

When cyberbullying happens to adults, it does more than affect a person's psyche. It seriously harms or destroys a business. Business cyberbullying is bigger than you might know.

+Michael Nuccitelli, Psy.D. describes a cyberbully as an +iPredator, someone engaging in cyber terrorism. If you think that is too harsh a description, try being on the receiving end.

Online predators can be anyone: a disgruntled client, someone who didn't get the job you advertised, a former employee, a family member, or someone you have never met who just decided that you would be their target for no reason whatsoever.

The Bullying Statistics website lists five character traits of an adult bully:

1. Narcissistic: lacks empathy and relishes in knowing they have caused you pain.
2. Impulsive: lacks impulse control and will troll on the fly when something sticks in their craw. Sometimes their behavior may be unintentional, but they are driven by their emotions.
3. Physical: they may physically harm their target or someone related to their target, or just the threat of physical harm lands them in this category.
4. Verbal: the predator demeans, humiliates, or uses verbal language to disparage their target. This form of bullying can be more devastating than physical bullying.
5. Secondary: the ones who do the piling on. They didn't initiate the post, but they keep it going with fervor.

Dr. Nuccitelli also lists 42 examples of cyberbullying.

If you are an adult who is the target, both personally and business, of an adult cyberbully, you are not alone and there are resources you can access for help.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Celebrity Phonegate

Did she or didn't she?

After a volatile episode of The Celebrity Apprentice, the question on viewer's lips is: Did Kenya steal Vivica's phone?

To fill you in, there has been tension between the women from the get-go. Suspicion comes in when before the team hits the boardroom to learn their fate in episode six. Circumstantial evidence was broadcast by Kenya herself when she looked into the camera and boasted, "Little do they know I have some tricks up my sleeve."

Is this tweet also an admission of guilt?

Sure, this all makes for good television drama on one of network television's most popular show. But seriously? If your coworker stole your phone and hinted about it in a boast, then suddenly a derogatory tweet showed up as seemingly posted by you, wouldn't you call your lawyer?

Kenya may not have stolen Vivica's phone and perhaps it's just a strange coincidence. But if she did, there is a term for this type of behavior and it does also come in the form of a hack: cyberbullying.

It is a crime. It may not be named as such in your state, provincial, or federal legislation. It will be dressed up as theft, harassment, and defamation libel, but it is still a crime.