March 17th, 2015 | Cyber, Privacy, Security | 0 Comments
March 17, 2015
By Stephanie Kent
Investigative Research Assistant
Former Red Sox pitcher, Curt Schilling, found himself “trembling with rage” last week at the sight of heinous tweets directed towards himself and his 17 year-old daughter, Gabby Schilling. When Gabby had been accepted into Salve Regina University — where she will join the softball team — Curt posted a tweet publicly congratulating her. In response, he received a number of abominable and abusive tweets sexualizing and harassing his daughter. Despite my discomfort quoting such abhorrent words, I must do so in support of Schilling’s fight against these soulless Web users. Society needs to feel how deeply disturbing these words are, and take action against this malicious online behavior.
“how far is Salve Regina from Jersey? I wanna come and play but Gabby wants me to cum and stay”
“teach me your knuckle ball technique so I can shove my fist in your daughter”
“I’m sure she could fit a nice Easton in there as well for some DP”
“I’d put my 32oz Louisville slugger between your daughters tits” (accompanying an obscene graphic)
“curt bleeds more from his sock than gabby does from her pussy when she’s on her period”
“throw me a meatball curt so I can take it deep in your daughter”
“he doesn’t like answering. Might have to slide back in Gabs DMs like last week”¹
After reading these nauseating comments (amongst others), it’s easy to dismiss this as a unique attack made by a few disturbed people lacking intelligence, class and basic humanity. However, it’s time for the public to take action and fight this serious behavior as Curt Schilling has done. We must realize that this is merely one example of a grave cyber bullying issue that continues to worsen in the modern age. As in all cases like this, there is no explanation that could warrant such malicious behavior. This inexcusable online activity shouldn’t affect the intended targets alone; it should affect each and every one of us. How did we create a society in which “people” feel proud to bully innocent victims? We need to get the message through to everyone that cyber bullying will have detrimental consequences not only to their targets, but to themselves both legally and socially!
Legally, we are making progress as a nation. Each state has already passed some type of bullying law or policy. All states but Montana have passed at least one law defining “bullying” and entitling authorities or school officials to act appropriately to stop the phenomenon. Although anti-bullying laws vary on the state level, they typically list the distinct behaviors that constitute bullying. Among these behaviors are generally “teasing, threats, intimidation, stalking, harassment, physical violence, theft, and public humiliation. States may also identify certain characteristics or traits of students who are often targeted for bullying, as well as provide guidance to school staff regarding how to address bullying issues.”² The term “cyber bullying” refers to harassment or intimidation by means of mobile devices or internet. While no federal laws addressing bullying have been passed, certain civil rights and nondiscrimination laws may mandate schools to intervene with specific kinds of bullying.
While we’re creating laws to abolish cyber bullying, we must also hold ourselves to a much higher standard as a society. We need more people to take a public stand against bullying of any sort — whether or not it involves us directly. What can you do to strengthen the fight against cyber bullying?
1. Be aware of signs of bullying. As stated above, teasing, threats, intimidation, stalking, harassment, physical violence, theft, public humiliation and embarrassment can all be considered bullying. And that is according to most laws!
2. If you witness any type of bullying, report it to an authority immediately. Do not let time pass. The following are authorities to whom you may report a case of bullying: school administrator (teacher, principal, dean, guidance counselor or academic adviser), coach, police officer, lawyer, even your parents if you are a minor! Informing someone who may have more insight and authority to act on the matter is extremely important.
3. If you are being targeted by a cyber bully, do not engage yourself with that person. No matter how tempting it is to rebut and stand your ground, do not respond to aggressive chats, posts or emails sent by the bully. Do not give them fuel for their behavior.
4. Keep a record of everything. Collect and document every piece of cyber bullying evidence you have received. Save every post, every message, every missed call, and record every word (if he or she bullies verbally as well).
5. If you see social media posts that are inappropriate, even if they’re irrelevant to you, report it to that social media network. Online cyber bullying can take place on many public sites, not just Twitter. Keep an eye out, and be ready to act.
6. Do not “follow” cyber bullies or add them as friends on any social media networks. Do not “like” any of their inappropriate comments. Don’t be a bystander who stoops to this level to see what else that person may post. Peer support enables cyber bullies, and if they feel that their heinous comments are gaining publicity and followers then they feel supported to proudly say such things in our society. Take the high road and do something about it, do not stand by and watch as they bully more victims.
7. Avoid posting any material that could be used against you by a cyber bully. This means no provocative photos, no evidence of illegal or inappropriate activity, no status updates that you wouldn’t feel comfortable sharing with the world (including parents, children, employers, etc.). A common case of cyber bullying is an ex targeting his or her former partner. If during a relationship, you send explicit photos of yourself to your significant other, realize that he or she will still have those photos when you break up! In many cases, photos like this have been publicized out of jealousy or to get revenge after a break-up.
If you or your child has been a victim of cyber bullying, contact Jennings Smith Associates toll-free today at 866-629-3757 for a free consultation, or visit us online at www.jsainvestigations.com. All inquiries are strictly confidential.