UK Facebook Ruling Helps Fight Against Cyberbullying
US courts may soon be looking to a recent UK ruling against Facebook in the fight against cyberbullying. The men with the funny hair pieces may finally be on to something besides a fashion faux pas!
In a recent UK High Court case, the Court ruled that Facebook had to divulge the IP address and subscriber information of individuals who were harassing Nicola Brookes, who brought the suit. According to a US attorney with whom I consulted on this matter, US courts often look to UK courts when forming rulings because they have the same law basis, providing there is no US legislation that conflicts. US courts frequently look outside the US especially in areas where there are few US-based cases that can be used as precedents, or where international experience with an issue is farther along than the US.
This is good news for US citizens who are being victimized by faceless and nameless thugs who use the anonymity of Facebook, and other social media sites to sling insults, falsehoods and to spread fear, pain and suffering to their victims. Hopefully US courts will look to the UK for guidance in helping thwart the spread of cyberbullying.
Steps Schools Can Take in Response to Cyberbullying
By: Paul Langhorst
School response to cyberbullying is impacted by student’s First-Amendment right and the fact that much of cyberbullying occurs not at school or during school hours, but after school and off campus. However, a recent article on BusinessRisk.com suggest some simple steps that school administration can take to respond appropriately to cyberbullying. The steps are:
- Develop clear rules and policies to prohibit the use of school technologies to bully others.
- Educate students and staff members about what types of behavior constitute cyber bullying and how the school district’s policies apply to them.
- Provide adequate supervision and monitoring of student use of technology.
- Establish systems for reporting cyber bullying or misuse of technology.
- Establish effective responses to reports of cyber bullying.
In addition we recommend that you speak with your district or school attorney, and your state attorney general to get a clear understanding of where your authority starts and stops over the matter of cyberbullying.
What steps is your school or district taking to respond to cyberbullying?