Further steps need to be taken on social networks to stop cyberbullying.
Debate Rounds (4)
I am pro, or for, having further steps taken on social networks to stop cyberbullying.
I will gladly wait for con's reply. Thank you.
First, a welcome to PartyHeart for joining DDO and putting forth a thoughtful and non-trivial debate. Second, some things need to be clarified to understand the rebuttal.
P1) Cyberbullying is harmful and needs to stop.
This is absolutely true, harassing other individuals, either in real life or through the internet is wrong. This would be defended because for one it is illegal and two it is immoral. It is illegal as there are quite a number of harassment laws and it is clearly causing suffering to a conscious agent and thus by the objective morality advocated by Sam Harris in "The Moral Landscape"it is obviously immoral .
Now if we both agree that cyberbullying it is illegal and immoral, or in short just wrong then how can it be advocated that social networks do not need to take further steps to stop it? In short, the rebuttal will consist of two main contentions :
C1) There is a huge difference between bullying in real life and over the internet.
On the internet you can close the web browser, you can block users, you can simply go to another site. This is not the case in real life where a child going to school can simply and trivially go to another class, or at work a co-worker getting harassed can just move to another project. In these cases the individuals are constrained to be where they are and have to endure the harassment. This needs to be kept in mind as in those cases the principal agents (school, employer, etc.) have to take a much more active role in securing the environment. However even in these cases the victim has to escape the mentality of being a victim and this leads directly to the second contention.
C2) The individuals need to take responsibility, understand what bullies are doing, why they are doing it and how to combat it. As Stephen Covey advocates in the "Seven Habits of Highly Successful People", the very first step is "Be Proactive". Recognize that if you let your happiness placed in the hands and more importantly decisions of another then it will be forever be beyond your grasp.
Specific to the topic at hand, consider the following blurb :
Bullies seek out victims who appear to:
Be unable to defend themselves;
Have little social support, few friends;
Be uninvolved in extra-curricular activities;
Be among the low achievers in academics or sports;
Not be popular or focused on by adults in the school;
Have less developed social skills;
Have difficulty communicating, especially in stressful situations; and
Avoid being noticed or be unassertive. 
Again to be clear the argument here is not that bullying is ok, but it is that the victim can act themselves to solve the problem by understanding what the bully is trying to achieve and act accordingly. The victims do not need to see themselves as powerless, they do not need to look always for others to solve this problem, they can take control of the situation and move forward themselves and resolve it.
Now what is the reason for taking this approach, why put the responsibility on the participants and not on the social networks? On the face of it this appears to be unfair, why make the victim the one that is responsible? The perspective is simply, that is the way that they gain, it is a way for them to turn the situation around, for them to make a positive and gain, to grow and develop character. Here is what Coral Milburn Curtis had to say, who has for 35 years been teaching kids in African townships and throughout rural England :
Children who are confident have a head start in life. They are:
Able to accept and learn from their own mistakes
Confident without being arrogant or conceited
Not demoralised by criticism or mild teasing
Able to deal with their own feelings
Not easily upset by setbacks or obstacles
Unlikely to feel a need to put others down
Assertive but not aggressive in communicating their needs
Not too worried about failing or looking foolish
More likely to resist peer pressure
Able to bounce back from disappointments and failures
Able to cope with change
Able to say 'No', without offending the other person
Bullies avoid people with a strong sense of character. Building up your child's self-esteem is going to impact on his/her ability to manage life's ups and downs, not only at school, but at work, in the family and in relationships. The earlier you start the better. Strengthen your child's self-confidence and you will be helping him/her along the path to success.
This method of strengthening the victim and in fact removing the victim mentality from the individual has been growing in momentum steadily through programs such as "Take a stand" as people have come to realize that adding more and more layers of engineering controls to the administration is simply not helping.
Again to be clear, this is not an approach to blame the victim, but it is simply an approach, even recognized and advocated by the Mayo Clynic to empower the individual, to show them that they can be more than the situation and in fact to even reverse the roles and put them in the position of power where they are the ones that are confident and secure.
In summary, websites which are used for social networking do obviously have to have reporting features, such as DDO has for reporting inappropriate behavior, and these need to be monitored and any illegal activity should be reacted to with appropriate measures. This would be done to protect the company from liability more so than anything else. However, to truly move out of the role of the victim, the individuals who are harassed need to take responsibility, come to understand why they are being so targeted, deal with than and take control of their lives.
 "Bullying at School - When Your Disabled Child is Targeted by School Bullying", Ann Logsdon
PartyHeart forfeited this round.
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1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by quarterexchange 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro forfeited repeatedly, Con had sources and actually formulated an argument
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