FOLLOW ALL THE INSTRUCTIONS IMPORTANT: When posting, you should thoughtfully explain a theme from lecture,


IMPORTANT: When posting, you should thoughtfully explain a theme from lecture,
then incorporate and cite at least one of your readings in your original response to the
prompt, including the author, title, publication date, and page if available. Best form is
to include that information at the end of your narrative response/as a footnote. You may
even relate current events, ask a question about a “hazy” concept, or share a personal
experience related to the topic. The goal is to demonstrate you have read and reflected on the
lessons, readings, and considered the perspectives of your classmates.
Generating responses using AI/Chat GPT is a violation of the course academic policies.
 You should aim to post an original response to my prompt and reply to two of your
classmate’s posts on the discussion board each week

May is “Mental Health Awareness Month,” and a good time to acknowledge a rising form of offending: cyberbullying and its’ potentially lethal impacts. The Pew Research Center recently published a survey report,  (Vogels, Dec. 15, 2022), finding that nearly half of teens have been bullied or harassed online. There are several , including trends by gender, race, and type of online behavior (cyberflashing, online harassment, physical threats). There are various organizations devoted to digital abuse, from victim resources, digital literacy, and research, like the , with content and programs for 2023, or the . The non-profit organization  is focused on wellness for kids and teens with a goal to educate, reduce, and prevent various forms of digital abuse and hate, which alarmingly escalated during the pandemic. With an increase of suicides related to cyberbullying among teens, STOMP has  This aligns with , to offer person-to-person support for cyberbullying, revenge porn, and suicidal ideation. CyberSmile serves the U.S., the U.K., Australia, and Canada.

Do you know what “” is as a form of digital abuse?

But where does and how should the law fit in, given real harms and the complexity of social relations?

Although it is not specifically about cyberbullying, the  (Mahanoy Area School District v. B.L. 2021) to clarify whether, given cyberspace and social media, schools can punish students for speech that occurs off-campus. Dubbed the “Mean girls meet the First Amendment” case, it was brought by Brandi Levy, age 14, a disgruntled teen who let loose on social media when rejected for varsity cheer. Tough questions included “where” exactly is the speech occurring, how do we assess the content of speech, and who has jurisdiction to regulate this speech and punish with discipline? Although 47 states now require schools to enforce anti-bullying policies, Levy’s case is the only one in which an appeals court and the U.S. Supreme Court have ruled that a student’s off-campus speech is not subject to school discipline. (Note that formal  are distinct from anti-cyberbullying policies).

Question: In light of this week’s materials and lessons, highlight the challenges of regulating cyberbullying and managing social media. What is the balance between First Amendment constitutional protections for free expression and speech, and the types of harassing, hateful conduct experienced by young victims? In what ways do you think the Levy case will (or should) impact regulation of cyberbullying, or how is it distinguishable? Given Brandi’s win, how may it have a “chilling effect” on the ability to regulate cyberbullying?

You have ample freedom to respond to the above in light of this week’s materials, as you analyze and comment on the challenges of managing cyberbullying and the era of social media.

Additional materials

  • CDF, Ch 9 “Cyberbullying, Online Harassment, Cyberstalking” (339-370)
  • National Bullying Prevention Center,  and
  • Pew Research Center,  (2018)

FOLLOW ALL THE INSTRUCTIONS IMPORTANT: When posting, you should thoughtfully explain a theme from lecture,

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