Teens Are Being Bullied ‘Constantly’ on Instagram

A woman stares at her phone in bed.

Excerpt from this article:

Because bullying on your main feed is seen by many as aggressive and uncool, many teens create hate pages: separate Instagram accounts, purpose-built and solely dedicated to trashing one person, created by teens alone or in a group. They’ll post bad photos of their target, expose her secrets, post screenshots of texts from people saying mean things about her, and any other terrible stuff they can find.

Sometimes teens, many of whom run several Instagram accounts, will take an old page with a high amount of followers and transform it into a hate page to turn it against someone they don’t like. “One girl took a former meme page that was over 15,000 followers, took screencaps from my Story, and Photoshopped my nose bigger and posted it, tagging me being like, ‘Hey guys, this is my new account,’” Annie said. “I had to send a formal cease and desist. I went to one of those lawyer websites and just filled it out. Then she did the same thing to my friend.”

 

Teens & Digital Self-Harm

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…there’s also a relatively new form of online bullying that’s beginning to flourish among teens called ‘digital self-harm.’ Digital self-harm is the act of secretly posting hurtful or bullying comments about yourself online. The reasons why teens engage in such behaviors are complicated but simply stated, digital self-harm gives teens an outlet for all the insecurities and self-loathing emotions they have been keeping in their heads.

In a way, it is a safety valve for teen emotions and insecurities. When teens use an alias to self-bullying on social media, they are using it as a way to reconcile their internal thoughts with the external perceptions of what others think of them. Digital self-harm, a form of non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI), is a way for teens to safely garner attention and receive messages of validation and emotional support from friends (Klonsky, et al., 2014).

 

How One Tweet About Nicki Minaj Spiraled Into Internet Chaos

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In the week since publicizing the acidic messages she received directly from Ms. Minaj, whose next album, “Queen,” is scheduled for release in August, Ms. Thompson said she has received thousands of vicious, derogatory missives across Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, email and even her personal cellphone, calling her every variation of stupid and ugly, or worse. Some of the anonymous horde included pictures Ms. Thompson once posted on Instagram of her 4-year-old daughter, while others told her to kill herself. Ms. Thompson also lost her internship at an entertainment blog in the chaotic days that followed, and she is now considering seeing a therapist.

Such are the risks of the new media playing field, which may look level from afar, but still tilts toward the powerful. As social media has knocked down barriers between stars and their faithful (or their critics), direct communication among the uber-famous and practically anonymous has become the norm. But while mutual praise can cause both sides to feel warm and tingly, more charged interactions can leave those who have earned a star’s ire, like Ms. Thompson, reeling as eager followers take up the celebrity’s cause.

‘I felt relieved’ – What happens when you ditch social media

Instagram likes

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They both had negative experiences online and a new survey has found that they are not alone.

Charity Ditch the Label asked 12-20 year olds about cyber-bulling and anxiety from using the networks.

The survey of 10,000 people suggests Instagram and Facebook were the worst for bullying.

The survey suggested nearly 70% of people admitting they had been abusive to another person online and 17% saying they had been bullied themselves.

One in three said they lived in fear of being bullied online, and most thought they’d get abuse for how they looked.

Did trolls cost Twitter $3.5bn and its sale?

Twitter’s market cap is down $3.5bn from its peak at the height of the buyout rumours

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Twitter might have finally found some motivation to deal with its troll problem. Three and a half billion motivations, really.

The company has spent the past few months courting potential buyouts from companies including Google, Disney, and enterprise software firm Salesforce.

That last suitor came closest of them all to actually making an offer, apparently driven by the potential of Twitter to provide an in-house social network that could be mined for data, used as a casual communication channel between customers and corporations, and tweaked into a passable professional networking service.

But in the end, it passed. And part of the reason, according to CNBC’s Jim Cramer, is the company’s long-running problem dealing with trolls. “What’s happened is, a lot of the bidders are looking at people with lots of followers and seeing the hatred,” Cramer said. “Twitter says ‘listen, we have a filter’. I mean, the filter filters out a very small amount of the haters, and I know that the haters reduce the value of the company.”

 

The Latest Celebrity Diet? Cyberbullying

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Lately, celebrity feuds have taken on the contours of cyberbullying, with famous rivals integrating the tactics of online harassers into their P.R. offensives. What looks like a public display of immaturity can actually be part of a sophisticated image management strategy. Retweet counts and Instagram followers are the new Billboard 100, and celebrities can gin up their numbers by instigating feuds with one another in increasingly nasty or technologically intriguing ways. But the game can have a dark side, especially for the losers.

The modern celebrity arsenal incorporates these other digital bullying tools:

SECRET RECORDINGS…SEXUAL HUMILIATION …REVENGE PORN 

…MOB DEPLOYMENT For celebrities with the most rabid fandoms, even an oblique nod from the star can set off a fan stampede. After Ms. Kardashian West posted the Snapchat video of Ms. Swift’s phone call, Kanye fans and allies — many aligned with her spurned ex-boyfriend Calvin Harris — gathered under the #KimExposedTaylorParty hashtag to shovel out cruelly exultant GIFs and memes.

 

Q. and A.: Secret’s Founder on the Problems With Anonymity

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Secret, a social messaging start-up that let people post messages anonymously until it shut down, was the talk of the technology world.

The start-up had raised more than $25 million in venture capital and was valued at $100 million in 2014, at less than a year old. For a while, Secret grew like a weed, as people swapped gossip and other tidbits on the service without revealing their identities.

Yet secrecy, it turned out, was not enough to guarantee that the company would remain a hit. The anonymity that Secret afforded let the service be used as a playground for bullies. So 16 months after Secret opened for business, the founders shut down the company and returned the bulk of the money to investors.

David Byttow, one of the founders and the former chief executive of Secret, discussed some of the lessons he learned in building the anonymous social service, how things went wrong and what he plans to do differently as he builds his next company. This interview has been edited and condensed.

Fight Online Hate with Awesomeness

it-is-ok-to-be-awesome

Excerpt from this article on OgilvyDO:

…A Google Chrome plug-in which shields users from potentially upsetting content. Designed by Verve Search and inspired by ‘Everything Is Awesome’, Tegan & Sara’s infectious soundtrack to The Lego Movie, the app transforms text it deems inappropriate or insulting into the word ‘awesome’, spelled out in rainbow colours.

As a means of taking away cyber-bullies’ power, it’s a novel notion. The most obvious utility here would be as a parental tool, to protect younger and more vulnerable internet users from stumbling across language they’re not quite ready to process. It might even take off among grown-ups who have been cyber-shamed; I’m sure Justine Sacco, or Tim Hunt, or whichever poor soul Twitter targets next, would be thrilled with this pleasing-to-the-eye censor.

There’s no doubt that the trolls will be up in arms over this rainbow-hued infringement of free expression, and even some consumers may be concerned, especially after we all got so outraged when Facebook tried to moderate the content in our feeds. The difference here, of course, is that users have to opt in.

Coke’s Super Bowl Ad Puts Spotlight On Cyberbullying – UPDATED

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With this ad Coca-Cola launches its #MakeItHappy campaign, which the company describes as a “movement to add more happiness to the Web and offset negativity.”

 Internet negativity is not news to anyone, and at the extreme end of this negativity, cyberbullying has had tragic effects on the lives of many. According to StopBullying.gov, a 2013 study revealed that 15 percent of high school students have experienced electronic bullying. But the Coca-Cola ad, addressing Internet negativity, and criticizing it, takes a step into the corporate mainstream.

UPDATE: Tricked Into Quoting Hitler, Coca-Cola Suspends Automated Tweet Campaign

The debacle illustrates that major brands like Coke can’t make campaigns featuring automatic tweets without the expectation that it will likely get highjacked…