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Friday, 4 September 2009

Social Networks No Playground For Bullies

Interesting post by Yasmin Joomraty on 'cyber-bullying', arising from the Keely Houghton case.

It seems clear from this case and other instances I've heard about that if someone resorts to cyber-bullying it's just the tip of the iceberg. So 'cyber-bullying' doesn't really exist as some kind of distinct evil in itself. Moreover, the bully's use of a social networking site is self-defeating, in that it arms the victim with the evidence needed to successfully fight back.

So cases like this are actually good PR for social networking services, just as, say, Betfair's standing was helped by the utility of its audit trail for those trying to clean up corruption in sport.

However, such illustrations of how evidence from online services actually helps with the detection and prosecution of crime also suggest we need to remain vigilant against the potential for the abuse of civil liberties, privacy, personal data and so on when it comes to the access and use of online data by the authorities and others.
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