Our View: Good digital citizens our best hope

The internet was supposed to give us all new ways to connect and to access a limitless amount of information.

It did that, along with giving us as many cat photos as we could possibly need.

But the dark side of the internet has turned up as well. Early on, there were predictions of privacy issues and hackers, and those have come true. But very few people predicted the rise of cyberbullying and online harassment.

A new report from the province’s Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner and the Representative for Children and Youth suggests a provincial strategy is needed to prevent and mitigate the effects of cyberbullying for B.C.’s young people.

“Children and youth spend so much of their lives online and on social media, which means cyberbullying has the potential to affect thousands of young lives in a variety of negative ways,” said representative Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond.

She’s not wrong. For those who haven’t been harassed online, it may be hard to understand how horrifying it can be.

Imagine if everywhere you went – in school or at work, on the street, in your home – random people walked up and insulted you in the vilest language, threatened you with rape or death, or told you to kill yourself.

We would never tolerate that kind of behaviour in the physical world.

But in many cases, those facing serious online harassment have to deal with those kinds of comments invading their lives through email, Facebook, Twitter, and the other social networking sites where we spend much of our day-to-day lives now.

The report points out that any response to online bullying has to be multifaceted.

One thing the report emphasizes is the need to teach young people how to behave online in ways that are respectful of others.

That sounds like a pretty good lesson for students across this province. And also for a lot of adults.

It might be too late for the older generation, but maybe the next generation can build a better online community.

– M.C.

 

 

Just Posted

VIDEO: Walking to fight MS

Annual event draws 150 participants

VIDEO: Langley walk to fight Alzheimer’s took place outdoors and in

Second annual fundraiser at Chartwell Langley Gardens Retirement Community

VIDEO: Inaugural township-wide garage sale rated a success

‘It went extremely well,’ said veteran garage sale participant

REPLAY: The best videos from across B.C. this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week in the province

Wildfire crews watching for dangerous wind shift in High Level, Alta.

The Chuckegg Creek fire is raging out of control about three kilometres southwest of the town

UN urges Canada to take more vulnerable Mexican migrants from Central America

The request comes as the United States takes a harder line on its Mexican border

Mistrial declared in Jamie Bacon murder plot trial

Bacon was on trial for counselling to commit the murder of Person X

B.C. VIEWS: Money-laundering melodrama made for TV

Public inquiry staged to point fingers before 2021 election

Canadian homebuyers escaping high housing costs by moving to secondary cities

In British Columbia, exurbs have grown in the Hope Valley and Kamloops

Feds lay out proposed new rules for voice, video recorders in locomotives

Transport Canada wants to limit use of recorders to if a crew’s actions led to a crash

Raptors beat Bucks 100-94 to advance to franchise’s first-ever NBA Finals

Leonard has 27 points, 17 boards to lead Toronto past Milwaukee

Third person charged in death of B.C. teen found in torched SUV

Inderdeep Kaur Deo facing charge of accessory after the fact to murder

Most Read