Web bullying dangers highlighted

Staff Reporter

Reporter:

Staff Reporter

Web bullying dangers highlighted
Calls for stricter controls and regulations on social media have been called for in an effort to stop online bullying.

Calls for stricter controls and regulations on social media have been called for in an effort to stop online bullying.

They come from Sinn Fein’s education spokesman’s following the death in England last week of a school girl who took her own life.

It has been claimed she was the victim cyber bullying.

Deputy Jonathan O’Brien, says he believes the circumstances that led to the suicide of 14-year-Hannah Smith have many similarities with teenagers Erin Gallagher from the Twin Towns and Ciara Pugsle from Leitrim.

He alleges online bullying was a factor in their deaths.

Deputy O’Brien said: “The very sad suicide of English teenager, Hannah Smith, has been directly attributed to the abuse she suffered through the posting of anonymous messages via Ask.fm.

“Despite this, social media sites such as Ask.fm afford its users complete anonymity regardless of what they post through their website. The failure of the Ask.fm administrators to regulate its online content and provide adequate safeguards is very worrying.

“Stricter controls are needed in tandem with creating greater awareness amongst young people of the possible consequences if social media is misused to bully their peers.

“Recent attempts to raise Irish internet safety with the launch of the Watch Your Space campaign, devoted to providing a portal for young people to show their support for victims of cyberbullying, and the introduction of a new module in schools calledConnect with Respect, aimed at helping students understand the impact of cyber-bullying, are steps in the right direction.

“More must be done to educate pupils, teachers and parents of the dangers that can arise from this type of behaviour,” he siad.