Officer Marcus Humber Officer Matt Frydryk Amherst Police Department CYBERBULLYING What is Bullying? According to the Massachusetts Attorney General, bullying typically involves intense or continuous aggression which can be direct or indirect and which may be physical, verbal, gestural or non-verbal. The intent is always negative and malicious and there is frequently a power imbalance between the parties involved. The impact on targets can be substantial, resulting in negative long term emotional, physical and academic consequences. What Is Cyberbullying? The U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources defines Cyberbullying, as bullying that takes place using electronic technology. Electronic technology includes devices and equipment such as cell phones, computers, and tablets as well as communication tools including social media sites, text messages, chat, and websites. Why is Cyberbullying Different? Cyberbullying can happen 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and can reach a kid even when he or she is alone. It can happen any time of the day or night. Cyberbullying messages and images can be posted anonymously and distributed quickly to a very wide audience. It can be difficult and sometimes impossible to trace the source. Due to this anonymity, kids are more apt to harass people online, rather than to their face. Deleting inappropriate or harassing messages, texts, and pictures is extremely difficult after they have been posted or sent. Why Cyberbully? It allows people to avoid facing their victim. The National Councils on Crime Prevention reported that 81% of teens cyberbully because they think its funny. Don’t have to see the victims reactions Don’t realize how much damage they are doing Why Cyberbully? Popular kids They see it as a way to stay popular. Hurting others makes them feel powerful. Kids with less social success, Cope with their low self-esteem. Help fit in with their peers. Trouble empathizing with those they hurt Some Effects of Cyberbullying Although technology and social media can be used for many positive activities such as connecting with friends and entertainment, it can also be used as a very negative tool by bullies…. Effects… Although sometimes harmless, Cyberbullying can lead to serious effects. According to stopbullying.gov, kids who are cyberbullied are more likely to: Use alcohol and drugs Skip school Experience in-person bullying Be unwilling to attend school Receive poor grades Have lower self-esteem Have more health problems Cyberbullying Studies According to a report by CNN, as many as 25% of teens have experience cyberbullying. Of these cases, it was rare that the bully was a stranger. USA Today reports that females tend to mock others for their physical appearance. Males are more apt to make sexually explicit comments. A majority of these reports come from social networks and online gaming. Although research for this type of bullying is growing, technology is rapidly changing it is difficult for these numbers to be portrayed accurately. Technology is Evolving Reasons For Not Reporting Feel ashamed and embarrassed. Afraid of retaliation. Feel pressure to be quiet. Concerned no one will believe them. Worried about being labeled a snitch. Feel like they deserve it. Assume adults expect them to deal with it. Fear adults will restrict their digital access. How to Avoid Becoming a Victim Remember: Never post anything you wouldn’t want to share with the rest of the world. Discuss what personal information is appropriate to tell others, and what is not. Learn to develop realistic expectations for both personal and on-line relationships Rule of Thumb: Whatever goes online is forever… Prevention Be private. Keep passwords, pictures and secrets to yourself. Take five- Don’t reply in anger. Stop, block and tell-don’t reply, block the sender, tell someone. Save the evidence on your computer or print it out. Take a screen shot. Be aware of what your kids are doing. Establish rules about technology use. Know school rules. Be a parent NOT a friend. Block certain content Set limits for time spent on technology. Signs of Being a Victim Unexpectedly stop using computer. Appears nervous when a text and email appears. Appears uneasy about going to school or outside. Appears angry, depressed, or frustrated after using the computer. Avoids discussions about what they were doing on the computer. Becomes withdrawn from friends and family. Don’t Be The Bully Avoid sending email messages, instant messages or text messages to others pretending to be another person. Don’t spread rumors or false information. Don’t send rude, harassing or threatening email messages, instant messages or text messages; Don’t create websites that ridicule, humiliate, or intimidate others. Do not post on websites or disseminating embarrassing or inappropriate pictures or images of others. This type of behavior will stay with you and can result in criminal charges! Effects on The Bully When it comes to Cyberbullying, EVERYONE loses! Stress to your child the importance of not following the crowd with cyberbullying. Although it may seem as a joke at the time the internet is a written record and words can be forwarded, reposted, blogged, and listed anywhere a million times over. These actions can come back to haunt you. Many employers now use the internet and social media to help perform background checks. Signs of a Cyberbully Quickly switches screens of closes programs when you walk by. Uses computer at all hours of the night. Gets unusually upset if he/she cannot us the computer. Laughs excessively while using the computer. Avoids discussions about what they are doing on the computer. Uses multiple online accounts or using an account that is not their own. It’s the Law! Possessing and/or distributing inappropriate pictures of anyone under the age of 18 IS considered Child Pornography. Even inappropriate pictures of someone that are sent as a joke is considered a Felony and can result in very serious repercussions. “Whoever, with lascivious intent, disseminates any visual material that contains a representation or reproduction of any posture or exhibition in a state of nudity involving the use of a child who is under eighteen years of age, knowing the contents of such visual material or having sufficient facts in his possession to have knowledge of the contents thereof, or has in his possession any such visual material knowing the contents or having sufficient facts in his possession to have knowledge of the contents thereof, with the intent to disseminate the same, shall be punished in the state prison for a term of not less than ten nor more than twenty years or by a fine of not less than ten thousand nor more than fifty thousand dollars or three times the monetary value of any economic gain derived from said dissemination, whichever is greater, or by both such fine and imprisonment.” Ex: Sexting, “Revenge Sites,” Etc. Talk to your children about the dangers of taking part in this type of dangerous activity. Even pictures sent through apps such as “Snapchat” can be saved! Criminal Harassment What is Criminal Harassment? “Whoever willfully and maliciously engages in a knowing pattern of conduct or series of acts over a period of time directed at a specific person, which seriously alarms that person and would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress, shall be guilty of the crime of criminal harassment and shall be punished by imprisonment in a house of correction for not more than 21/2 years or by a fine of not more than $1,000, or by both such fine and imprisonment. The conduct or acts described in this paragraph shall include, but not be limited to, conduct or acts conducted by mail or by use of a telephonic or telecommunication device or electronic communication device including, but not limited to, any device that transfers signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data or intelligence of any nature transmitted in whole or in part by a wire, radio, electromagnetic, photo-electronic or photo-optical system, including, but not limited to, electronic mail, internet communications, instant messages or facsimile communications. Pattern = Three Documented Events Electronically-communicated threats are a crime in the same way that a face-toface or written threats can generate a criminal charge. What To Do If You Become a Victim- First Steps Once you determine if cyberbullying is actually going on: Save the evidence. Record the dates, times, and descriptions of instances when cyberbullying has occurred. Save and print screenshots, emails, and text messages. Use this evidence to report cyberbullying to web and cell phone service providers. Do not “fuel the fire.” Don’t respond. Block the person What Else to Do Identify the sender. Contact your ISP (Internet Service Provider) if necessary. Contact the offender’s parents, who may or may not be supportive. Document conversation. Contact your school. If warranted, contact an attorney. Threats, extortion, sexual harassment should be reported to the police. Use Specific Websites to Assist You Nearly every website has a place to report inappropriate content. Websites such as, Google, Youtube, Instagram, Facebook, twitter, etc lists their terms and conditions of what they consider is appropriate. This can help you deter cyberbullying and remove harmful content. Cyberbullying often violates the terms of service established by social media sites and internet service providers. Refer to these websites on how to report this harmful content. Visit social media safety centers to learn how to block users and change settings to control who can contact you Resources The Internet Education Foundation Getnetwise.org Database of software tools available to help parents guide their children to safe and rewarding online experiences. Filter sexually explicit material Monitor online activity Block times of day when internet can be used Block personal information from being posted or emailed Browers for kids. Kid-oriented search engines. Comcast/Xfinity Parental Controls Constant Guard® Free for Xfinity Customers Parental controls: Comcast offer Norton Security Suite to help filter out inappropriate content and also monitor Internet activity to help prevent identity theft. These controls can log where children surf, monitor chat sessions and provide age-based web access in addition to filtering offensive content. When to Report to Law Enforcement When a weapons is involved. There are threats of physical safety There are threats of hate-motivated violence, such as racism or homophobia. Threats of serious bodily harm. There is sexual abuse. Anyone is accused of an illegal act, such as robbery or extortion—using force to get money, property, or services. Report Bullying Online to APD As of May 3, 2010 the Anti Bullying law requires each school district to develop and implement a plan to address bullying and intervention. The law instructs principals or their designee to report instances of bullying where they believe it amounts to a criminal offense. APD has adopted a software program developed by Coplogic to meet the new regulations. Bullying reported online will be facilitated utilizing the Coplogic/Anti-bullying software. Online reporting cont. All school principals and/or their designee have been assigned a profile within the antibullying software so they can directly report and track incidents to APD. Reports of bullying from parents, guardians or children will be documented in our standard system. A community member will not be referred to report the incident online. Online Reporting Cont. Det. David Foster receives all online reports of bullying. Det. Foster will review each complaint and determine if further investigation is necessary. Reports that necessitate further investigation will be assigned by Det. Lt. Ron Young. When appropriate charges will be filed.