In response to the terrible death threats against amazing blogger Kathy Sierra, Andy Carvin has suggested that we declare today Stop Cyberbullying Day. He has started a social network on Ning called Stop Cyberbullying to serve as a portal for collecting resources and a forum where people can discuss ideas. I have joined, although I haven’t actually spent that much time exploring it.
I prefer the idea of doing something to the “blog fast” idea that others have proposed. My one issue with this group and with other calls to action is the focus on just cyberbullying and not bullying in general or the broader cultural issues.
Stephen Downes summed it up well:
The problem is that it is still socially acceptable to demean women, still socially acceptable to casually propose violent acts, still socially acceptable to engage in character assassination, and still socially acceptable to attack certain minorities…
If these threats against Kathy Sierra get us motivated to look at it and see what we can change, great. I just don’t want to pretend that any approach that addresses only cyberbullying as an isolated issue is going to fix the problem; it will just change the medium or technology used for the same actions.
Here are some quotes to consider. Bullying isn’t a new problem.
“Courage is fire, and bullying is smoke.”
–Benjamin Disraeli (British Prime Minister and Novelist. 1804-1881)
“When a resolute young fellow steps up to the great bully, the world, and takes him boldly by the beard, he is often surprised to find it comes off in his hand, and that it was only tied on to scare away the timid adventurers.”
— Ralph Waldo Emerson quotes (American Poet, Lecturer and Essayist, 1803-1882)
“Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life, but define yourself.”
–Harvey S. Firestone (American industrialist founder of the Firestone Tire & Rubber Co.,1868-1938)
Quotes as cited in ThinkExist