MySpace Australia has launched new cyber bullying safety tips and announced a partnership with Girlfriend Magazine and Boost Mobile to promote a new online ‘Code of Conduct: ‘Untag, Block, Delete’’ to combat cyber bullying.
The Internet Safety Technical Task Force’s Research’s Advisory Board, based in the US, recently produced an extensive report which highlighted that more parental intervention and guidance is needed, as cyber bullying usually happens between persons already known to each other and that technology alone is unlikely to solve the problem of bullying.
The phenomenon of bullying is not unique to the online world, it has existed for decades in the physical world, however on MySpace there are a series of steps users, and their parents can take against bullying.
Top MySpace Cyber Bullying Safety Tips
- The technology on MySpace allows users to block other users, they simply need to click “Block User” to prevent a known bully from contacting them. It also allows users to conceal their ‘Online Now’ status, so users can be on MySpace but it doesn’t have to be known to the wider community.
- Protecting your privacy is a great way to prevent cyber bullying as it reduces the avenues by which malicious people can contact you. MySpace profiles can either be public or private spaces in their entirety or users can select some parts of their profile to be public and parts to be private. To secure your privacy, select “Customize Profile” from the Profile dropdown menu and set the Privacy level for each Module individually (Comments, Friends, Blog, etc.) or select it for all Profile Modules in one go. Please note, all under 16 year olds automatically have their profile set to private, so only their designated friends can be within their network.
- At MySpace, we encourage users to use wider identifiers, for instance, such as their suburb as opposed to their street number/name when entering public details into their MySpace profile, this will make it harder for school yard bullies to track people down online. If users have a public profile they need to view their profile as a window to the world, and refrain from posting any information or images they wouldn’t want the world to see.
- Reporting a cyber bullying incident on MySpace has been made easy, simply click on the “Contact MySpace” link which is advertised at the bottom of every MySpace.com page. Users should select the topic “Report Abuse” and the sub-topic “Cyber bullying” from the drop down menus and follow the prompts to report an incident.
MySpace has also partnered with Girlfriend Magazine and Boost Mobile to launch the new Code of Conduct: ‘Untag, Block, Delete’.
MySpace is recommending users delete, untag, block and report people who:
- Send: threatening messages, emails and texts.
- Harass or threaten the people in my network.
- Tamper with or otherwise alter another person’s online profile/blog/email with the specific intent to damage their reputations.
- Pressure me to give out personal and private information, with the intent of forwarding it on to others.
- Post images, videos, or text that is seen to be offensive, whether on their own profile or the profile of others.
- Film or post images or videos (doctored or otherwise) with the purpose of degrading others (especially if it was filmed or photographed without their knowledge or consent).
- Spread rumours or false information about others online or via text message.
- Mask or hide their identity or adopt someone else’s identity with the intent to humiliate, intimidate or harass.
- Forward false information or offensive or humiliating images, video or text, even if they didn’t create the original content.
- Stand by and watch any of these things go on without acting.
The technology on MySpace allows users to proactively combat cyber bullying, for example all under 16 year olds automatically have their profile set to private, so only their friends can be within their network. MySpace is encouraging anyone who has been bullied to set their MySpace profile to private, block other users who have bullied them and to conceal their online now status, three tactics which can considerably minimise the occurrence of cyber bullying on MySpace.
For more information on cyber bullying go to MySpace Australia’s official “Aussie Hub”