Horrible

Boy Commits Suicide After Being Bullied for Alleged Masturbation Video

Mr. Burdette. (Facebook)

This week in horrible news, a California teen has committed suicide after a video of him allegedly masturbating went viral on social media.

Matthew Burdette, 14, reportedly killed himself on November 29 — not long after a classmate secretly filmed him over the top of a bathroom stall, and shared the video on Snapchat and Vine. The video, which appeared to depict Mr. Burdette masturbating, went viral, and allegedly led other kids to bully him intensely. Now, Mr. Burdette’s parents are suing his school district for not doing enough to prevent the bullying. Read More

Kids These Days

Kids Aren’t Reporting Cyberbullying Because They Don’t Want Their Phones Confiscated

Screen shot 2014-04-14 at 3.30.41 PM

Today in really, really sad news, kids these days would apparently rather endure cyberbullying than not have a smartphone or laptop, Ireland’s Independent reports.

The theory belongs to Dr. Conor McGuckin, an assistant professor in education psychology at Trinity College, Dublin. According to Dr. McGuckin, who spoke at a recent Cyber-Ethics Public Forum, kids are often scared to report cases of cyberbullying to their parents because they don’t want them to confiscate their smartphones, tablets and laptops. Instead, they’d rather suffer the torment in silence. Read More

Viral Video

Video of Russian Teens Brutally Bullying Peer Goes Viral

A screencap from the video. (Photo: Red Hot Russia)

It starts with a young blonde boy, who looks to be in his early teens, his face covered in dirt and bruises, bent over on his knees kissing the pink sandals of a teen girl. The video, which was filmed in Novomoskovsk–a city in western Russia–and depicts three teens violently bullying and abusing one of their peers, has gone viral on the Russian Internet. Read More

Good Intentions

New York Lawmakers Surprised That Some People Think Anonymous Comments Are Free Speech

(Image: flickr.com/jbcurio)

New York legislators involved with the proposed Internet Protection Act are getting a lot of calls today, and they’re not quite sure why. The bill was introduced weeks ago to a quiet reception but seems to have become controversial overnight.

“Assemblyman Jim Conte is just a co-sponsor on the bill,” an exasperated aide answered when Betabeat called for a quote about the proposed law, which would require online publishers to remove anonymous comments upon request. “I don’t know why today’s the day, but today’s the day that everyone is calling on this,” Republican Tom O’Mara, who introduced the bill in the senate, told Betabeat. “Something was posted somewhere, I guess.”

It must have been that Wired story; or maybe it was the pickup on Slashdot. But the proposed legislation, “in relation to protecting a person’s right to know who is behind an anonymous internet posting,” has provoked chagrin, to say the least, in the blogosphere. Read More