KCBS In Depth: Cyberbullying

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(CBS)

(CBS)

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – The combination of school and social media has become troublesome for millions of children as cyberbullying is becoming a bigger issue in the United States.

James Steyer, CEO and Founder of Common Sense Media, an organization focused on helping kids and families manage the new world of media and technology, said the anonymous nature in cyberbullying is playing a big role in why it has become such a problem.

KCBS Interviews James Steyer and Larry Magid About Cyberbullying:

“Cyberbullying is a very different form of bullying because it’s impersonal and it frequently is facilitated by anonymity,” he said. “It’s very different to say something mean and push a little button on a cellphone or on your Facebook page than it is to have to confront someone on the playground.”

But KCBS Technology Analyst Larry Magid, who is also very involved in cyber issues involving kids, said there is a correlation between cyberbullying and physical bullying.

“We have seen that most kids who are cyberbullied are also physically bullied and often by the same kids. It’s an extension of the bullying experience,” said Magid. “For whatever reason, you stand out. People are piling on you. And then they follow it up on the cellphone or on the web.”

Both Steyer and Magid said this problem does not only involve children but adults as well. And while it is very difficult to legislate, Steyer said education is key.

“Education (on cyberbullying) is critical in every school in the United States. Parents need to become aware and the industry has a very important ongoing role to play in developing an agreed upon set of social norms or rules of the road that kids need to follow and adults need to follow,” said Steyer.

Magid and Steyer agree that the problem is starting earlier and earlier and parents, teachers and legislators need to be aware of the problem for those even in their early teens.

You can hear KCBS In Depth, a weekly half-hour news interview, Saturdays at 5:30a.m. and Sundays at 8:30 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. on KCBS All News 740AM and 106.9FM.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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