Cyberbullying final




The cyber world is a relatively new invention which connects man across the world in ways that we never deemed possible. It has spread empathy, sharing, and incredible understanding through its platform. Unfortunately, bullying which has existed since the rise of man, coupled with cyberspace, empowers bullying to be scaled and deeply affective. I’d like to dive into the nuances of cyber bullying – how social media serves as a mask for bullies by creating alternative or false personas to hind behind, how the rise of social media has an equal correlation to the rise of cyberbullying, and how with handfuls of viral social media platforms existing today, how each medium has an idiosyncratic way to bully. I will then dive into how social media companies attempt to fight different cyberbullying cases by providing reporting or blocking functions on bullying. I will conclude with my personal recommendation.


In Florida, Tovonna Holton, a 15-year-old girl, committed suicide with her mother’s gun after a nude video of her in the shower was posted to Snapchat. Unfortunately, stories like Tovonna’s are becoming commonplace with social media as the enabler. Ever since the boom of technology, a new relationship between technology and bullying has formed where bullies are protected by alien accounts or this feeling of invincibility because they are sheltered from watching the reaction of those bullied. Before the internet boom, there was no mask for bullies to hide behind. They had to watch every reaction with their own eyes when they shattered someone’s soul. They had to welcome the association of being a bully. Cyberspace protects cyberbullies from the instant pain caused.


Tovonna’s story is not an one-off event but an example reflective of an epidemic.   According to Digital Trends, “ half of teens and young adults between ages 12 and 20 have been bullied and 17 percent experience bullying online”. One in almost five people have been cyberbullied. Unfortunately, this number is only increasing as platforms and their functions increase in the cyber world. The consequences are also brutal. According to Ditch the Label,  4000 deaths a year are caused by cyberbullying.


Bullies from the beginning of time have found vapid attributes to attack, and these platforms arm them; the more platforms exist, the more people are affected simply because people are different and now their identities are exposed at scale. The chart below reflects the attribute breakdown that bullies focus on:


(Image:Infengy. Titled: Attributes focused on by cyber bullies)



The mediums to target these attributes include bullies posting negative comments on social media accounts to revenge their peers, posting abusive posts on someone’s wall to torment them, or using pictures to deeply mock someone. The forms of mediums to post are endless: visuals, audio, recordings, words. And the formalization of grouping people by interest, gender, religion, disability, hobbies, opinions, etc formalize how bullies can penetrate at scale. The worst part – once these media are posted, they are almost impossible to truly erase. According to Ditch the Label, there are even some cyberbullies who will go as far as stalking and/or hacking an account in order to make posts as though they were someone else. One’s image can be tainted forever.

According to Digital Trends, Instagram has the highest rate of cyberbullying with 42 percent of its user base falling victim to cyberbullying.  With photos as the social platform’s main medium of sharing, it is no surprise that bullies on Instagram leverage the saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” for the worse.  In fact, according to, 11 percent of adolescents and teens report that embarrassing or damaging photographs have been taken of them without their knowledge or consent. Bullies not only post harmful pictures that can be deeply misconstrued to bolster their vulgarity but bullies can also comment horrifying comments like, “why did you need edits – too ugly or something?”


Facebook unfortunately does not fall short of Instagram with 37 percent of its user base also claiming they have been victimized by cyberbullying. Facebook, due to its popularity, has become one of the main hubs for cyberbullying. In fact according to Pew Internet in 2013, Facebook’s network declined in teens because of the increased amount of bullying. Moreover, according to Pew Internet, nine out of ten teen Facebook users have reported that they have witnessed bullying on the site. If only the cyber attacks stopped there; but Instagram and Facebook are not alone.


Twitter has 15,000 bullying tweets a day! Snapchat, in recent years has also been largely associated with teen suicides. For example, in California, a high schooler named Matthew B committed suicide after a 10-second video of him in a school bathroom stall emerged on Snapchat with a degrading sexual comment. Both Snapchat and Twitter are built upon in the moment, fleeting moments. When someone ill-tempered lacks that moment to think twice about the level of cruelty caused, bullying goes viral. Likewise, even a good-natured person is deprived of that conscious moment to re-think the consequences of their post. This essentially transforms non-bullies into bullies!


One layer to complicate this issue is how accessible the victims are.  90 percent of teens in the United States have access to a cell phone, tablet, or portable electronic device. This non stop access to social media creates a pathway for constant bullying. Children are inevitable victims. To further complicate things, one has to consider the freedom of speech when it comes to potentially taking away social media privileges and sharing.


All social media companies aim to navigate this maze. They have to constantly answer the question – how do we demolish cyberbullying while protecting our brand of positive connection, while also not infringing on users’ freedom of speech? There are ways to retroactively fight cyber bullying. Some social media platforms created “unfriending”, or “blocking” those who the victim wants to take further precautions against; and even “reporting” those people who are doing serious harm.


These forms of defense are crucial, but how impactful are they? They are simply defensive, and not offensive in their approach. At the end of the day, people have to protect people. Permanence of a post in the cyberworld may be seriously detrimental to a reputation, but it also leaves a clear path to the culprit. This provides proof to parents and educators where the bullying is stemming from.  As stated by the Huffington Post, “If parents are going to provide such access to their children, they must be held accountable for their online activities, including cyber-bullying.”  


If only tracking the culprit was so simple. The blog, Third Parent, writes that 30 percent of teens would not report it to anyone if they were being cyberbullied. This calls for a larger conversation, in my opinion, about the need to come together in order to strike bullies hard. If as a group, we all reported bullying, the culture as a whole would be anti-bullying.


90 percent of teens in the United States have access to a cell phone, tablet, or portable electronic devices” works both ways. Yes, it still means that 90% of our generation’s teens are vulnerable, but it also means that 90 percent of teens are armed to fight back. I personally have a cell phone, and have never seen any initiative formalized around the prevention of cyberbullying. According to the Huffington Post “If we’re going to have a zero-tolerance policy on this issue, then let’s really have one. We can’t be half-assed about it. Teens are committing suicide and we’re too often left scratching our heads wondering what could have been done to prevent it.”


We as active participants of society have to realize the detrimental effects that cyberbullying can have on kids and young adults such as, suicide, depression, anxiety, self harm, and the overall damage it can have to their well being. Like in the case of Tovanna, a nude photo at home can become viral. Social media has penetrated the intimacies of the home and unfortunately the safehaven of going home is no longer safe from bullying. This vulnerability is a loud pain point that adults need to recognize and take action. They must educate their kids on how to protect themselves from such an inevitable chilling reality. With cyberbullying having no physical fences, like that in recess or a playground, parents and educators alike must arm their children how to avoid bad “cyber playgrounds” and how to deal with the equivalent cyberbully.


Guardians, whether it be the parents or educators need to take the further offensive by explaining the deeply detrimental effects bullying can have on people.  And most of all, explain to the teens to simply think twice before they post. They should not post anything personal on social media that they would not want shared. It may be simple to us, but kids need to learn what we have been taught. Our elders armed us with how to defend ourselves and better understanding the consequences of our own actions. We need to do the same. Further explaining to them that their post would not only be relevant in their current stage in life, but also applicable to every future stage of life they will be facing, whether they understand that stage in life or not, is crucial.

Cyberbullying is not, and should never be tolerated. By learning more about cyberbullying, consumers, both young and old, will hopefully be able to navigate various potentially dangerous messages or people, and enjoy the platforms as they were intended, a positive digital environment in all its connective wonder.




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Autonomous Cars


For this weeks blog post, my teacher assigned us to choose a tipping point and blog about it. Im choosing to talk about driverless cars which are also known to be called autonomous cars. An autonomous car is a unmanned ground vehicle that is capable of knowing its surroundings and navigating without human input. These cars use gps and satellite to know what’s going on around them. In the article PlanetM, ARMA, is being tested on the University of Michigan’s Mcity. ARMA, the selfless driver shuttle, can hold up to 15 people and starting in 2017, the shuttle will be transferring Umich students, faculty and staff around their northern campus. In addition, The U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development, and Engineering Center (TARDEC) demonstrated its latest technology during a test drive between Port Huron, Michigan to Sarnia, Ontario. This technology includes “driver-warning features and semiautonomous driving that drives the vehicle along a pre-programmed path. TARDEC also tested their autonomous steering and leader-follower platooning technologies that enables the lead vehicle to “talk” and give instructions to the follower vehicles. This technology allows the vehicles to follow closely together, break, accelerate, and steer according to the lead truck’s actions” (PlanetM 2017). These autonomous cars can have a huge impact on the future of our military and civilians around the globe.

In addition, General motors came out with a statement saying “General Motors Co. expects to carry passengers and deliver goods with self-driving vehicles in big cities sometime in 2019”(GM 2017). The article talk more about how more and more civilians over time are also going to start using the autonomous cars. “The Detroit automaker made the announcement at an investor presentation in San Francisco Thursday, saying that based on its current rate of change, it autonomous vehicles within the next year or so. The vehicles would not have a human backup driver”. Also GM made a claim saying that the total market for autonomous cars can reach 1.6 trillion dollars and their starting price for one of their vehicles is going to be in the 30,000 dollar range.  Some though are concerned with how it can affect our economy because it will reduce the number of taxis, truck drivers and the car industry, thousands of jobs will be lost, and some are even concerned with hacking into the systems of these high-tech vehicles.


In my opinion, these cars can benefit many including the elderly and those who may be harmed by road rage. These cars can prevent many fatal deaths including the 60,000 people that died in the 60s all from fatal car crashes resulting from road rage or “the average weekend driver”. According to the Atlantic paper, 90 percent of traffic fatalities will be avoided (the Atlantic 2015)! Although there is a bright road ahead of us (get it?) for these autonomous cars, there is still a lot of work that has to be done to insure no harm for the future of civilians, and commercial workers.


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DA 10

For class, my teacher wanted us to make up our own Digital activity that would benefit our class. For this homework, I decided to talk about how to zone out distractions when trying to work. When students do work, they are bound to get distracted. With the different variety of social media in this world, student are bound to be distracted with social media. Students believe they can multitask and think that they are being just as productive. On the other hand, studies have shown that multitasking actually slows student down and in fact, they aren’t reaching their potential in school. In this Uconn study, “researchers found that students who multitasked while doing homework had to study longer, and those who frequently multitasked in class had lower grades on average than their peers who multitasked less often”.The only way to prevent these distractions, is to realize when students are using these social media platforms. For example, a student can be writing an essay, and have a game paused on another page, while texting their friend in messenger. This is a problem. Students need to learn ways to realize when they are being distracted from their work. As I learned in my media and society course, when you realize and think about the media around you, people automatically become more aware when their using media. This is a good tactic for students. As a student myself, I personally turn off all electronics and make sure I don’t go on any social media sites while I do work to be more efficient. Also, I rather be spending more of my free time doing what I really want then being on social media. I think having a digital activity on how to prevent students from being distracted could have been very beneficial for our class because it would have taught kids to be more efficient with their homework, and also can result in better grades.


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For class, my teacher instructed me to make an infographic and describe my experiences with it. I chose to build my graph on Piktochart. I honestly didn’t love my experiences with them. As you can see, I had long topic headings for the topics I wanted to graph, and since they were too long, piktochart cut it off. It’s not like I had so many headings to put that they would interfere with each other. How is anyone supposed to know what my graph is trying to say? Also, I watched the introduction video to piktochart and it showed many of the things that a designer can do if you have the pro version. For a lot of people, many aren’t using the pro version and want to just use the demo, so the demo video wasn’t helpful. In addition, Piktochart only lets people label the bar charts with three colors, for three different topics. There is no option to add more colors or add more colors for my headings. If it had this option, It would have made it easier for me to use, and would have a better looking, more developed graph. In summary, I didn’t love piktochart, but it helped me accomplish my assignment for this class.

Converse Versus Walmart

Lately in class, we’ve been discussing what copyright is and how it can affect people if not used correctly. In 2004, Converse, which is under the ownership of Nike, Sued Walmart and 31 other companies for copying their shoe and making fakes. According to the Constitution of the United States, “To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries.” As a result of the copycat shoes, Converse wants them to pay compensation for the trademark and unfair competition. But to be fair, Converse did send out 180 emails over the past few years to these companies asking them to stop selling these imitation shoes. As a result of these fake, “copycat” shoes, Nikes released that these retailers have caused “substantial and irreparable injury” by eroding its famous name and confusing its customers. In addition to seeking competition, Converse wants the retailers to be banned from making these “copycat” products and to destroy all that is left in their inventory. In addition, Converse filed 22 separate lawsuits against the companies. This is unfortunate to citizens of the U.S because many of these “Copycat” shoes were cheaper than the original and these are very popular shoes, over 1 billion pairs have been sold! Because of the constitutional right of copyright, I guess people will just have to spend more money on the original Converse sneaker.



For class this week, my teacher wanted us to talk about copyright. In short, Copyright is a United states law that says everything (most things) that’s created by a creator of original work has rights for its use and its distribution. Everything that is online is copyrighted, same with magazines, newspapers and books. If someone is caught “plagiarizing”, depending on the situation, people can get into serious trouble, especially students. Some students can get a failing grade, suspended for a semester, or even expelled from the school. And it doesn’t end their. If someone is caught plagiarizing, it can follow them for their whole life. For example, if applying for a job, it can show up on your record and your boss won’t want to see someone who is a dishonest worker. But it’s all for a good purpose, so people can get credited for their work. Here’s a scenario. Imagine writing a poem, posting it on your blog and thousands of people saw it, but you didn’t copyright it. Anyone is allowed to take that poem and make it their and take credit for it. Imagine that poem came along to sell for thousands of dollars… the original author would have no proof that it was theirs and they would take no credit. Instead of people complaining about how copyright is annoying… We as citizens should use it as a tool to make money. We have so many options. We can take pictures, write poems, essays and books, and have the potential to make a lot of money, all we need to do is copyright our work and get someone to like it. Also another bonus is that the copyrights can last up to 50 years! That means no headaches and annual fees. In addition, we can keep passing our work down to our family members, so they will be able to receive credit once we die. In my opinion, copywriting my work sounds like a good idea, and a good investment. It’s easy to do, makes easy money, and don’t have to do a lot to copyright my work, sounds like a win, win to me.

DA 7

Google Tool: Explore


I think the Explore tool in google docs can be used as a great resource for all google drive writers. Its quick and easy to use. It’s more like a shortcut. Instead of opening another page on your browser, you just click explore, and you have a tab on the side of screen pop up. I like that it pops up right next to where your writing so it’s very easy to navigate and you don’t have to search your whole computer, its right next to you.  It also allows you to save time by searching things you write about such as pictures, information, and other documents that you have written in the past because its right next to where your writing. I love to use it when I have another paper written on something similar and i’ll just type the heading right in and it’ll show up right there. Instead of having to open a whole new browser, reopening docs, and then have to find the other paper I was talking about. Explore can bring you insights, design tools, and research recommendations. It’s like having your own researcher, analyst, and designer, all you have to do is click.


Google Tool:  Keep notepad


This is a great resource for google writers. For me, Keep Notepad is very helpful because always before I write, i’ll make an outline and this is perfect for that. Instead of going back and forth from the outline to the paper, Keep Notepad allows us to take notes directly on the side of the paper, and literally drag our notes to the page. This can be very useful because it can save writers a ton of time and frustration. In addition, writers can search notes they’ve used in the past instantly, just type key words. This can be really helpful, because instead of going back through all of your notes, you can just search the topic and its there. Also, you can use notepad as a checklist. Writers can take notes on the side of their paper such as ideas, and check them off as they write about it so they wouldn’t forget. Its simple to use, not hard to find, and a great resource for writing a paper.


searcher; Network neutrality and Privacy Online

Network Neutrality


Privacy online


These links have to do with what I did in my writing class this past week. We have been talking a lot about Network Neutrality (which I explain in my most recent blog) and Privacy online and how they affect our lives on the Internet. If you want to learn more about Net Neutrality check out my recent blog post  Network Neutrality .  The first article is about Network Neutrality and what the problem is and how President Obama and the FCC solved some problems on the web. And the other two articles are about the scenario of privacy online, and how to protect yourself on the web such as, what looks like spam, what looks like a virus etc. In my opinion, these articles give good background information and solutions to these topics for people who don’t know much about the topics. I think people can gain a lot about these topics and how to protect themselves for the future.


Netwrok Neutrality


In 2002, the term Network Neutrality became a big word in US history and across the globe. Tim Wue, a law professor at Columbia University, coined this subject. Network Neutrality “is the principle that Internet service providers should enable access to all content and applications regardless of the source, and without favoring or blocking particular products or websites.” Wue, felt there were gatekeepers for certain sites and it wasn’t right. Something had to change. As a result, he brought it up to the United states government claiming there should be a  “rule that would ensure a level playing field among Internet applications.” This should only make sense because, according to President Obama, “Ever since the Internet was created, its been organized around basic principles, fairness, and freedom.” Isn’t using the Internet freely and without cost the whole point of the Internet especially in a country like ours where the American dream exists? The american dream is to be able to access the whole world at your fingertips, to do whatever you want, whenever you want, without any restrictions. The internet is a place where millions upon millions of people access unlimited information and if there is someone/something getting in the way of that, there will be problems. The scenario is, without network neutrality, there is no “american dream”, there is no freedom on the internet.  As seen in the article, “Cable companies might want to slow down services such as Netflix that compete with their paid television service.” This is an example of the Internet in 2002 and over 4 million people complained to the government about this issue. If I knew how to complain to the FCC about this, I would be part of these 4 million. I personally use the internet everyday, and if I was restricted to use certain sites, or wanted to start a new company, it would be difficult for me to handle and me and many other would be flat out frustrated. People need the Internet to be a free open market where anyone, anywhere, at any time can access whatever they want. As a result of this scenario, President Obama assigned Julius Genachowski to be chairman of the FCC, and announced regulations that “prohibited ISPs from blocking online content, prohibited “unreasonable” discrimination, and required ISPs to be more transparent about their policies.” Of course Verizon went to court to fight against this claim arguing that they went beyond the powers Congress had granted to the FCC. Shorty after, Verizon lost this case. Thankfully, the new chairman of the FCC, Tom Wheeler, proposed new, stricter network neutrality regulations, and the FCC’s Democratic majority approved them in February 2015. With Network Neutrality, statistics say Network Neutrality is a big reason there has been so much innovation on the internet over the last two decades and hopefully will only continue to grow and develop. Thanks to President Obama, the FCC, and to citizens across the globe, the Internet is now a free place to learn and explore.


Social Collaboration

In the past couple years, social collaboration has had many unfortunate problems. Lots of big businesses rely on these social collaboration companies to be simple and easy to use, but recently, not so much. In a recent article written by Bertrand Duperrin, he explains that these big businesses have struggled to use Facebook and other networks because they are simply not meant for social collaboration.” Collaboration moves to dedicated tools and businesses are asking for simple communication tools” He explains that they have too much going all the time that has nothing to do with social collaboration. For example, Facebook has messenger, but also has news feed, places to meet new friends, whats going on around you… all facebook has for social collaborators is messenger, therefore it makes it not a useful resource for social collaborators. Companies don’t like using these resources because their employees dislike complicated, general platforms. Employees want something that only has to do with social collaboration. Social collaboration companies have struggled to find a platform that would help them. Therefore, Immediate change has to take place. Social collaboration ideas according to Duperrin, are taken from multi-billion dollar companies, such as Microsoft, and try and base everything around them. If social collaboration companies were to come together and think of different ways they can produce a new kind of social collaboration platform, they would be more successful and productive than ever. Also, employees won’t have a hard time using these new platforms because they would be in great need in part of the development of the new platform, resulting in common knowledge of the new platform. If they can help businesses while help average people use these platforms, they would be way more successful and efficient. Businesses and people are looking for an easy to use, efficient platform used for everyday use and if social collaboration can happen, they can be extremely successful.