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Psychology & human behavior science fair project:
An effective way to prevent malicious cyber bullying on social media




Science Fair Project Information
Title: An effective way to prevent malicious cyberbullying on social media
Subject: Psychology / Human Behavior
Subcategory: Social Media
Grade level: Middle School - Grades 7-9
Academic Level: Ordinary
Project Type: Experimental
Cost: Low
Awards: Google Science Fair Finalist
Affiliation: Google Science Fair
Year: 2014
Concepts: Cyberbullying
Description: Test the idea that if adolescents (ages 12-18) were provided an alert mechanism that suggested them to re-think their decision if they expressed willingness to post a mean message on social media, the number of mean messages would decrease. This project consists of two systems. 1. The baseline system that presents adolescents with hurtful messages and measures whether or not they would be willing to post these messages on social media. 2. The "rethink" system that measures willingness to post the same set of hurtful messages by offering adolescents a chance to review and rethink their decision before posting hurtful message on social media. Results are compared.
Link: https://www.googlesciencefair.com/projects/en/2014/f4b320
Short Background

Cyberbullying on Social Media

Cyberbullying is the use of social networks to repeatedly harm or harass other people in a deliberate manner. According to U.S. Legal Definitions, "cyber-bullying could be limited to posting rumors or gossips about a person in the internet bringing about hatred in other’s minds; or it may go to the extent of personally identifying victims and publishing materials severely defaming and humiliating them".

Cyberstalking is the use of the Internet or other electronic means to stalk or harass an individual, a group, or an organization. It may include false accusations, defamation, slander and libel. It may also include monitoring, identity theft, threats, vandalism, solicitation for sex, or gathering information that may be used to threaten or harass.

Sexual harassment as a form of cyberbullying is common in video game culture. A study by the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology suggests that this harassment is due in part to the portrayal of women in video games. This harassment generally involves slurs directed towards women, sex role stereotyping, and overaggressive language.

Cyberbullying can take place on social media sites such as Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter. “By 2008, 93% of young people between the ages of 12 and 17 were online. In fact, youth spend more time with media than any single other activity besides sleeping.” There are many risks attached to social media sites, and cyberbullying is one of the larger risks. One million children were harassed, threatened or subjected to other forms of cyberbullying on Facebook during the past year, while 90 percent of social-media-using teens who have witnessed online cruelty say they have ignored mean behavior on social media, and 35 percent have done this frequently. 95 percent of social-media-using teens who have witnessed cruel behavior on social networking sites say they have seen others ignoring the mean behavior, and 55 percent witness this frequently. ”The most recent case of cyber-bullying and illegal activity on Facebook involved a memorial page for the young boys who lost their lives to suicide due to anti-gay bullying. The page quickly turned into a virtual grave desecration and platform condoning gay teen suicide and the murdering of homosexuals. Photos were posted of executed homosexuals, desecrated photos of the boys who died and supposed snuff photos of gays who have been murdered. Along with this were thousands of comments encouraging murder sprees against gays, encouragement of gay teen suicide, death threats etc. In addition, the page continually exhibited pornography to minors.”

A majority of states have laws that explicitly include electronic forms of communication within stalking or harassment laws. Most law enforcement agencies have cyber-crime units and often Internet stalking is treated with more seriousness than reports of physical stalking.

See also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyberbullying

Source: Wikipedia (All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License and Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.)

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