I am not hopeful. We collectively feel sad when tragedy like Amanda Todd’s death happens.
We search for reasons and vow to do more.
In spite of the various initiatives, the situation hasn’t gotten better. The anonymity provided by the Internet has made it far easier to bully and has seemingly made us feel helpless.
We wonder what’s come over some kids who engage in such activities. In my view, the kids are mirroring what the adults are doing.
We have become mean-spirited, very angry, short-tempered, vengeful, intolerant and selfish.
One of the main factors in all this is the inequality between the upper and lower segments of the society.
I asked me sociologist friend about level of bullying and resulting suicides in Scandinavia. He did research there for one year.
He said it is the inequality. He said the inequality gap in Scandinavia is lot narrower compared to the U.S. Bullying happens a lot less, as do suicides. He even said homicide rates are a lot lower.
At the core is the collective decision of societies to ensure well-being for all.
In contrast, we saw last year right-wingers in the U.S. heckling and mocking a guy on the curb telling him go get a job.
He had Parkinson’s disease.
So, are we going to be changing our behaviours towards each other anytime soon? I can’t see it.
Therein lies the problem of expecting children to behave differently than ourselves.
Dave Bains, Surrey
Where’s the accountability?
Perhaps just as frightening as the bullying epidemic itself is the extremely irresponsible “cyber-outing” of a man by totally unaccountable Anonymous, which claims the man is the lead cyber-stalker who bullied teen Amanda Todd to death.
The man was literally fully identified – including name, address, phone number, etc. – all except for any possible identifying birth marks.
Although the man denies Anonymous’ claims against him, for the sake of justice, I truly hope Anonymous is completely accurate with its research. Already a different man coincidently with the same name as the “outed” guy has been cleared of any confusion regarding his unfortunate name-match.
At the very least, Anonymous should perform the ethical act of making transparent how they can accurately declare someone whom they’ve identified online as guilty – especially of such a politically and socially sensitive crime.
Frank G. Sterle, Jr.