Friday, October 11, 2013

#1 Films/TV: Cyberbully (ABC Family Movie, released 2011)

The movie Cyberbully is about a teen girl named Taylor who is given new freedom on the Internet when she is given a laptop for her birthday. She goes online and joins a social site much like Facebook and soon starts to learn what it is to be bullied online and that once it’s online you can’t take it back. Things go from bad to worse when her best friends drop her to safe their own reputations and she breaks. Her mother has to watch has her daughter spirals out of control and almost loses her. When she goes to the school and local police station she learns there are no laws to against cyber bullying. This movie is very realistic and at the ends tells of the results of a real parents’ efforts to get laws passed to convict cyberbullies against minors.

+ The movie is very realistic and helps the viewers relate with the victims and other characters in the movie.
+ Viewers see and in some ways experience the effects cyberbullying causes its victims. They learn the hard way as they watch that the phrase ‘sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me’ is so far from the truth.
+ The issues in this movie led a mother and father to fight for the victims of cyberbullying after the death of their daughter. When this movie aired there were laws in 34 states against cyberbullies.
+ People can grasp that cyberbullying is real and it affects so many people. They are now aware that there are support groups and websites cyberbullies can be reported to and accounts can be deleted. They also learn that they aren’t alone in their battle against their bullies, there is help they just need to speak up.
- As viewers watch the movie they learn that the three key players in the starting of the cyberbullying that occurs against Taylor. The first is her younger brother who, with the help of a friend, hacks her account and changes her status to a dirty one so people start to post nasty comments on Taylor’s page. The second is a mysterious guy named James who starts off nice only to start posting lies that he slept with Taylor and got an STD from her. The third is a school bully named Lindsay. She eggs on anything insulting and adds her own comments to add fuel to the fire.
- As viewers watch they learn that the mysterious James is actually a false account created by one of Taylor’s best friends Samantha. She created the account with the intent to protect Taylor from a guy she thought was bad for her and instead she sends Taylor on a downward spiral as she starts nasty rumors about Taylor.
- This movie shows the lack of protection people; mainly minors have on the Internet. Anyone could be bullying them and for a while nothing was being done.
- Viewers learn that the most common cyberbullies for minors are other minors. They also learn that often times the bully’s own parents won’t do anything to punish their child as they see them having done nothing wrong.
~ Some Parents and some of the older generation still have problems understanding the depths and dangers that cyberbullying presents. Most times these cyberbullies are also attacking the victims at school, work, clubs etc. If it’s something a person is being told constantly then eventually they are going to start believing it.
~ Adults get in on the bullying of minors as well but often times its with their child who was associated with the victim at one time as occurred in the Megan Meier story that fought for the Cyberbully prevention laws. Adults, better than kids, know right from wrong and what is good graces and what isn’t so why do they get in on the bullying of children? Some children fight back yes but only in defense of self.
~ Why is it bullies keep saying they didn’t cause the dead of a victim that committed suicide? No they didn’t hand them the rope, knife, pills etc but they used words that would trigger a break in the victim. Yet at the same time why don’t victims ask for help? Someone will be there to help them they just have to seek it out.
~ Sometimes parents are too trusting of their kids activates online. While they don’t need to hover or stalk their kids actions they need to be aware of what they are up too, especially on social sites. In the movie it too Taylor’s friend’s dad calling her mom before she new what was happening and to what extent.
Would Like:
* Better laws against Cyberbullying and them to actually be enforced.
* People to stop saying you can’t prove who was on the Cyberbully account. Only partly true, all events and clicks are tracked with a computer IP address and time stamp leading right to the user’s home. The bully is the user that was on during that time.
* Better awareness on cyberbullying. Not enough is being done in the schools, libraries or open Internet areas to raise awareness and warn people of the laws and punishment if they partake in cyberbullying.
* The older generation to realize this is the technology age; everything is done through the Internet. Avoiding bullies isn’t as simple as ignoring them or turning off the computer or phone. It follows victims everywhere.

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