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Posts Tagged ‘ bullying ’

Hurling Star Cusack Reveals Battle With Depression

conorcusack

Former Cork hurler Conor Cusack has opened up about his battle with depression on his personal online blog.

Cloyne forward Cusack, brother of heroic rebel county goalkeeper Dónal Óg, revealed his story to the world in the wake of Galway hurler Niall Donoghue’s death. Continue reading

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Notorious Cyber Bullying Site Blamed For Another Death

erin-shannon-galla_1139163tA 14-year-old girl English schoolgirl killed herself after being abused by trolls on a social networking site that caused the deaths of two Irish schoolgirls last year.

Hannah Smith died on Friday in in Leicestershire after being cyber-bullied on  ask.fm, which was also responsible for the deaths of Leitrim native Ciara Pugsley (15) and Donegal native Erin Gallagher (13) . Erin’s death was so heartbreaking for her family that it led to her sister Shannon (15) also taking her own life. Continue reading

Technology Does Not Bully Others, People Do.

me at afterpartyLast August I was asked to join the cast of hit TV show Tallafornia for a few days. While chatting to fellow cast member Jay on the phone, he told me there was a heat wave in Santa Ponsa and the villa we would be staying in had a swimming pool. The villa also had its own private walk-way down to a stone balcony which had an amazing view of the ocean.  I couldn’t wait to get over there, Jay was having a great time and I thought I may as well have some fun in the sun. Continue reading

Landmark Occasion Offers an Important Reminder

dgThe online world has often been held up by a great deal of those who use it as the last true bastion of freedom of speech, a domain in which people can say what they want and when they want, without fear of retribution and recrimination. As a result of the perceived anonymity when we log on (you’re never truly anonymous online) some strange beast seems to awaken inside the minds of numerous surfers, turning ordinary people into hate filled, curse spewing individuals. Just play any computer game online and have a listen to some of the things the other gamers come out with, or log on to any message board across the web and you’ll see this in action, day after day. But these people, in Ireland at any rate, often don’t understand the significance of their actions, and fail to understand the very real connection between what goes on online and the real world where their actions will now have serious consequences.

Believed to be the first incident of its kind, a Twitter user has come to a settlement following an allegation he had damaged the name of businessman Declan Ganley of Libertas political fame, and was forced to apologise and make a ‘sizeable’ donation to a charity as a testament to his regret for his actions. Blogger Kevin Barrington was held to account for a number of Tweets in which he apparently defamed Declan Ganley on the popular social media site. Word is that other public figures have taken note of the verdict, and will pursue their own campaigns against their online abusers in the weeks and months to come.

Freedom on the internet is a hotly contested issue, and the decision will unsurprisingly upset a great many people who have been used to saying whatever they like. But curbing people’s freedom of speech in an era which has seen the meteoric rise, not only in popularity but also in influence, of social media in Ireland isn’t what’s at stake here, it is simply a long overdue notice reminding everyone that just because you say something defamatory on Facebook or Twitter rather than in the media or some other public podium doesn’t make it any less hurtful, any less damaging or just as importantly, any less illegal. The fact is that too many people have been hiding behind screen names and abusing the privilege that the internet gives to its users to propagate their views instantaneously to a potentially huge audience, and who don’t often understand that it is not a God-given right to do so, as they casually respond to the latest stories without really caring what they say and the impact it could have. From harassment and name calling to verbal threats, bullying has plagued the message boards and social media over the past few years, and its about time that a legal precedent was laid in place for when the next victim finally decides they have had enough and say ‘no more’. It’s been a long time coming. Suicides, particularly amongst the younger age group, have been needlessly rising over the past number of years, fuelled, in part, by reckless abuse across sites like Facebook and Ask.fm. And perhaps now, some people might understand that their online actions have real life consequences while those that realise this but act anyway will find themselves in very hot water.

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