Tag Archive | Cyber Slander

Face to Face – Talking Online – Taking it Off Line

facetoface1Source: ReputationDefender Blog

 

Taking it Offline: The Lingering Importance of Face-to-Face Networking in a Digital World

With the rise and blossoming of online networking sites like LinkedIn and ClaimID, many people, especially younger people, are doing the majority of their business networking online. This phenomenon is not anything new, and it has been covered in this blog and elsewhere.

 

But while it may be easier to sit in front of the computer screen and interact with your peers, it is hard to think that interpersonal relationships can ever be fully fleshed out (if you will) in the digital sphere. Face-to-face networking will never go away. The information on the Internet is not always accurate (although that doesn’t mean it isn’t relevant, according to Google’s algorithms), and there is a lot to be said for looking someone in the eyes.

 

Today people should try to balance their “new school” digital networking with the “old school” tried and true methods. The approach will literally double the amount of chances a person has to make an impact with a potential employer, and the effort required to do so is not unreasonable (point of fact, until a few years the “old school” method was the only game in town).

 

LinkedIn and other popular business networking sites thrive because they offer an alternative to actually speaking with a fellow networker. The information you put in the profile becomes the equivalent of a hand shake and a greeting. Thus, a user profile, for business purposes, should be looked at as an opportunity to distinguish yourself as someone others want to know and be connected to.

 

There are small and effective steps one can take to achieve this. Focus on brevity. 100 words is enough to grab someone’s attention and establish a positive image. If done correctly, a LinkedIn profile can, for practical purposes, be the difference between just another interview and a job offer. Conversely, a poorly written profile can have you knocked out of the running before you even get started.

 

Many employers look at LinkedIn as a sort of research tool. A resume can only say so much about a person, and employers are always looking to find out the little bits about a potential employee that are not immediately apparent. This fact has had disastrous consequences for some people whose Facebook and MySpace profiles contain otherwise unflattering images/language/etc. We’ve blogged that story here more than once.

 

Online business networking profiles are still just a piece of the puzzle, though. A successful blend of the old and the new networking techniques will counteract the deficiencies inherent in both approaches. A human touch in the new digital landscape goes a long way towards maintaining awareness and crafting image, while drawing in more localized business and opening channels previously untapped.

Advertisements

Sue Scheff: Teen Internet Addiction

cyberbulliesFinding a Healthy Balance

Warning Signs your Teen May Be Addicted

Psychological and Physical Signs and Symptoms

If you are worried that your teen may be suffering from an unhealthy addiction to the Internet, there are many physical and mental warning signs to watch for. Many of these symptoms are very similar to those of depression and anxiety, another very serious condition affecting teens today. If you feel your teen is suffering from depression, please visit my website resource on teen depression and anxiety.

  • Feelings of intense happiness and euphoria while using the Internet, and feelings of depression, anxiety or irritability if away from the computer
  • Cravings for the Internet – Never having enough time with it
  • Neglecting family and friends – spending more time with the computer and less time doing activities previously enjoyed.
  • Getting behind on homework or school activities
  • Lying about what they are doing while online
  • Complains of dry eyes
  • Complains of Headaches
  • Complains of Backaches
  • Changes in eating habits such as skipping meals or over eating
  • Neglect of personal hygiene
  • Problems with sleep

What Should Parents Do?

  • Examine your Internet habits. Do you spend too much time in front of the screen? The habits of you and your family impact your teen. Be a good role model!
  • Look for the above warning signs, and take action if you feel your teen may be at risk. Seek professional help.
  • Always keep the computer in a common area of the home where it can be monitored by you.
  • DO NOT BAN THE INTERNET. Instead, work with your teen on a time schedule that feels fair to the both of you.
  • Encourage social activity outside of the Internet. Because chatting, emails, and other online social media make it easy for teens to stay at home, open the door to more outside activity. Plan events with friends and family.
  • Learn more click here.

Dozier Internet Law: Wikipedia’s Death Is Greatly Exaggerated

I am always fascinated by what one of the leading Internet Lawyer, John Dozier, Blogs about. I have to share it on my Blog – hoping that more and more people will see that there will be positive changes eventually online – the wild, wild web is growing. What is fact and what is fiction? It can be hard to determine with a click of a mouse!

 

Source: Dozier Internet Law

 
Eric Goldman blogged yesterday on “why Wikipedia will fail“. This the same day Wikipedia’s plans to start policing its content more aggressively was widely publicized in the wake of some quack editing biographies to reflect the death of prominent politicians. The reports of their deaths were greatly exaggerated…borrowing for a moment from Mark Twain. The Dozier Internet Law blog entry on Wikipedia and Section 230 yesterday pointed out the admirable intent and the inherent risks involved. It’s a good example of why the immunity provisions of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act need to be changed.

 
So the response from the other side, through Eric Goldman, a law professor and one of the group of online legal warriors intent on trying to protect netizens so they can say whatever they want, when they want, where they want, seemingly without regard to how uncivil, inappropriate, defamatory and damaging the comments might be, is unfortunately not unexpected. This type of attack journalism comes with the support of a small ring of lawyers online who try to protect free speech by constantly attacking the speech of those who disagree. The irony does not escape us at Dozier Internet Law .

 
Wikipedia wants to edit. A more civil environment is a noble cause, to be sure. Instead of debating the issue of Section 230’s application and how it prevents self policing and self regulation by those legitimately concerned about creating a more civil online society, attack journalism 101 begins.

 
These free speech expansionists, under the guise of “legal scholars”, know that as major players in the online world begin to realize the wayward nature of online scofflaws and the need to do something about it, like amend Section 230 to empower self governance, the dialogue moves to a place they don’t want to be. Sanity will eventually be restored once this path is pursued, and their constituencies will lose. In the name of free speech, they say, if you disagree with our position, we will not respond.

 
Except to attack the speaker…put into question the viability of a business that dares to offend their notions of how the web should be governed. Come on, can’t you come up with something a bit more original? Free speechers are all for free speech, until they don’t agree with it. Then they abandon the notion of a engaging robustly in the “marketplace of ideas”, and go on the attack.

Sue Scheff: Cyberbullying Prevention

cyberbulprevVanessa Van Petten continues to bring valuable information for parents with today’s teens.  This week she has dedicated to helping prevent cyberbullying.

Partners for CyberBully Awareness Campaign:


Thank you to everyone who is already offered to join and spread the word about our anti-cyberbullying campaign here at On Teens Today:

Angeline of MomStyleNews

Vivien Bruss of Cool Moms Rule

 

Brenda Preston of Safewave


Sue Scheff of Help Your Teens

Myrna of TangerineTimes.com

Tara Paterson of the Mom’s Choice Awards and Just for Mom

Karen Pease

 

Parents Universal Resource Experts (Sue Scheff) Bullies in Cyberspace

By www.Education.com

Everyone remembers the school bully in their lives. Maybe they stole your bike, or bloodied your nose, or spread a nasty rumor that had you hiding out in the bathroom. Whatever they did, they made life miserable. But as bad as they were, you could identify them, predict their behavior and try to steer clear.

Unfortunately for your kids, that may no longer be the case. That’s because bullies can still be on the school grounds, but they can also be in cyberspace, lurking where no one can see them.

Cyberbullying is on the rise, and the bad guys are not always who you think. A bully can be a girl spreading rumors about a former friend, or a student trying to get revenge on a teacher who gave them a bad grade, or a group of kids playing a prank on an unsuspecting schoolmate. Cyberbullying is a complex beast. Often it starts with otherwise nice kids from nice families who go online to “have a little fun” at someone else’s expense. But it can get out of hand very quickly.

Bullies are resourceful. With all the high-tech tools out there, they can take their pick from cell phones, pagers, websites, blogs, chat rooms, IMs, or emails. They can go on a site and invite other people in to help bully their victim – by asking them to comment on their picture. They can create a webpage that looks like it belongs to the person being bullied, but is malicious. They can enter an email address and have their victim spammed with messages from websites they’ve never visited. They can put up embarrassing pictures, or even use a tool like Photoshop to adjust a picture and make it look different.

Read entire article here: http://www.education.com/magazine/article/Ed_Bullies_Cyberspace_2/

Sue Scheff: Top Ten Blogger Personas: The Mobosphere Unveiled by John Dozier, Esq.

This has been one of my favorite Blogs and Articles describing a variety of personalities of people that simply have nothing better to do than harm others with their evil keystrokes.

Top Ten Blogger Personas: The Mobosphere Unveiled by John Dozier, Esq.

Ever since Congress passed Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act giving immunity to interactive service providers for publishing the defamation of others, a wide range of characters has arisen and infiltrated the mainstream blogosphere. Instead of becoming a source for obtaining reliable information, the blogosphere, and user generated content, is at risk of becoming a less credible information source. Dozier Internet Law defamation lawyers are constantly battling these “black hat” forces and over the past several years we have acquired quite an insight into this underworld; an anonymous and covert society bent on terrorizing businesses. These are our internal thoughts on the matter, and not scientific analyses. We are not psychiatrists; just defamation lawyers and trial lawyers trained for almost fifty years to figure out the human nature of clients, witnesses, and juries.

All too often blog attacks are simply protection rackets and extortion schemes in disguise. We have been working on documenting the organizational structure and operational methodologies used by these racketeers. For now, let’s take a look at the entire panoply of characters we seem, as business defamation lawyers, to run into. For those businesses under attack, it is essential that you first identify the publisher’s persona and motivation before beginning to identify the proper strategies for addressing his often seemingly legitimate posts. We don’t go into details on how we work with clients to deal with each type of personality, but the tools vary considerably from being passive, to utilizing SEO services, to implementing reputation management initiatives, to pre-litigation and lawsuit actions.

Defamation Lawyers Pursue Bloggers

Pickpocket

This is the guy who used to wait on street corners for elderly ladies to pass. He enjoys attacking defenseless people and stealing covertly using deception. This type of blogger will steal your copyright protected content, have the search engines push your prospective clients to his site, and then run ads and otherwise direct the traffic to your competitors. He could be an affiliate marketer for a competitor getting a share of the revenue, or he could simply be running Google or Yahoo ads on his site. Pickpockets also take great pleasure in stealing your trademarks…surreptitiously using your mark in hidden tags, meta tags, hidden redirect pages, or through a myriad of search engine optimization techniques, all in the hopes of re-directing your prospects to a competitor and taking money from you.

Wacko

We usually identify a wacko situation quickly. There are distinctive characteristics of his communications. The wacko is usually a “follower”, someone looking to gain attention and recognition, but escalates what may have started as fair criticism into more and more outrageous claims. Most sophisticated business people immediately view the poster as a “nut case”, particularly when an excessive amount of time or energy disproportionate to the merits of the subject is expended. But it is not easy for the typical browser on the web to see the pattern, usually spread over multiple web properties.

Druggie

Or, maybe “liquid courage” would be more appropriate. This guy is exactly what comes to mind. During the day this blogger is a normal guy, but at night he returns to the sanctity of his home, gets drunk or high, and goes out on the web looking for “hook-ups” and blogging on his “hang-ups”. This guy is hard to detect as a fraudster, and sometimes won’t recall what he said online the next day while under the influence. He posts aggressive, false and arbitrary attacks on whatever issue of the day (or night) catches his fancy.

Alien

No, not from another world. But from overseas. In a far, far away place, without any treaty with the US, in a country without an effective legal system and no notion of business or personal property ownership rights. Many of these types operate out of certain Russian provinces, but the blogs, postings and communications appear to be from the customer down the street. This individual usually has an ulterior motive, often working with the criminal discussed below. He has no fear, until he takes a vacation to Turkey and US federal agents grab him for extradition, which is exactly what happened on a case in the not so recent past.

Nerd

This is the guy who is scared to talk with a girl, but behind the keyboard, all alone, morphs into a Casanova. This empowerment of anonymity creates an omnipotent persona, and for the first time the nerd feels the effect of power and control, gets an adrenaline buzz when he exercises it, and he exercises it often, usually creating or perpetuating a volatile situation in which he feels he can outsmart the “opposition”. There is no principle involved. His blog postings are all about the adrenaline. It is hard to know if you are dealing with this type online…his posts are intelligent and on their face credible. But, once you identify the nerd blogger, he cowers and goes away, usually forever.

Rookie
Enjoy debating a thirteen year old? They are out on the net acting like adults, posting statements and play-acting like a grown-up. The challenge, of course, is that most people reading the posts have no idea these are coming from a kid. The tip off can be the utter immaturity of the posts, but most often the kids can sound credible criticizing, for instance, a CPA’s method of calculating RIO on REIT holdings, because they can mimic earlier posts. There is no insidious motive here; just kids having fun as the hormones kick in. But the readers of the blog posting don’t know that.

Sadist

This person attacks others, causes pain, and revels in the results in ways not worthy of mention. He loves to create, direct, control, and unleash a firestorm of criticism about a company just to create pain and damage. This type of person may often by the prime instigator of the online attacks, and tightens the noose by escalating the attack rapidly, almost as if in an obsessive state. You will find a sadist going to many sites and blogging, and he usually lets you know it was him because he uses his real moniker. He has characteristics of a stalker, and he is most likely to be the one that starts recommending direct physical violence against the executives of a company. This person is not motivated by money, but by the pure enjoyment of pain being visited upon innocent parties.

Bankrupt

No, not morally bankrupt. Actually bankrupt…no money, no assets, no prospects for work, and nothing to lose. These bloggers post without fear of the consequences or any regard for the truth because you “can’t get blood out of a turnip”, you “can’t get water from a rock”, and all these other sayings handed down, we surmise, through his generations. This is usually not a smart guy, but his postings are damaging and inflammatory. Many will own and control blogs without any concern about the consequences of liabilities that might arise through the perpetuation and “enhancement” of posts, and sometimes will post to their own blog and act like it was from a third party.

Criminal

Career criminals, no less. Like the convicted felon running a sophisticated extortion scheme against a very prominent business. Or the owner of an open blog avoiding service of process with guard dogs protecting his compound. The thieves and crooks of the world are online today; and the criminals often have both an organization and a highly effective and surprisingly coordinated operational plan in place to target a business. Rumors of $500,000 a year payoffs seem to promote this problem, which emanates from more of a “mobosphere” than the blogosphere.

Mis-Leader

This person is in no manner a leader. This blogger has a hidden agenda, but he just makes it sound like he is a totally objective commentator. He can create an appearance of authority and the casual visitor to his blog does not question the legitimacy. This type of persona is hard to figure out. One of the most pervasive practices is to control a blog and allow negative posts against all except his generous advertisers. Another common technique involves omission; not disclosing conflicts of interest or the existence of a business or personal relationship because the readers of the blog would totally discount the commentator’s posts as unreliable and biased.

Dozier Internet Law Defamation Lawyers

In closing, most of the blogosphere is legitimate, offers honest opinions and comments that add value to an open dialogue, and is an excellent example of the exercise of constitutionally protected free speech. As business defamation lawyers, we seen another side. The “mobosphere”, on the other hand, operates outside of the spotlight and often uses reckless, irresponsible, false and defamatory statements for personal or professional gain, all too often focused on self gratification and pecuniary benefits. As businesses attempt to leverage user generated content (“UGC”) into a valuable tool in the Web 2.0 environment, the proliferation of the scofflaws interrupting the free flow of credible speech in the online world puts at risk the reputation and integrity of UGC and raises the very real risk that consumers will begin viewing web content with disdain and suspicion.

Dozier Internet Law defamation lawyers offer a free consultation to qualified businesses and professionals undergoing attacks from the scofflaws of the web.

Sue Scheff: Internet Gossip by Connect with Kids

“Sure enough, I had a parent come to my door and say, ‘Your daughter has been saying some rather nasty things about my daughter on this website.’”

– Patti Thrift, Mother

High school students have always spread gossip in the halls, on the walls and on the phone.  Now, it’s on the Internet, too.  On various message boards specific to communities around the country, kids write about whom they hate, whom they think is pregnant or has an STD and record other often hurtful rumors that may or may not be true.

Sixteen-year-old Jessica remembers once when some kids at her school wrote cruel things about her on the Web.

“They were just making fun of me,” she says.  “You know, she’s really ugly, she’s this, she’s that, ba-ba-ba.”

Jessica’s 11-year-old sister, Emma, admits she’s used the Web to write nasty things about another girl, though she regrets it now. 

“After a while, you’re like, how could I have been so mean?  Like, why did I do that?” she says. 

The other girl’s father eventually became so frustrated with what Emma had said that he came to her door and demanded her mother make her stop.

Experts say gossip on the Internet can be more harmful than the old-fashioned kind.  It’s often anonymous because kids use fake screen names.  It has the power of the written word, so it lasts longer and is taken more seriously.  And, unlikely ugly words on the bathroom wall, there’s no way to scratch it out. 

“Online gossip is to hearsay gossip probably what nukes are to dynamite,” says Dr. Ramah Commanday, a school psychologist.  “It can get EXTREMELY raunchy.”

If your kids are victims of online gossip, Dr. Commanday suggests putting the gossip into perspective.

“Point out to them how what’s being said on the screen differs from what everyone knows about you as a person,” Dr. Commanday says.

You can also try what worked for Emma:  Keep your kids off the offensive website! 

“When she was using it all the time, her name was on there all the time.  People were writing things about her,” explains Patti Thrift, Emma’s mother.  “Since she has no longer had access to that, she’s no longer a topic of conversation.”

Experts say that any time your child is on the Internet, you should know what he or she is doing there.  Online gossip is just another reason why.

Tips for Parents

Most of us remember passing notes during class or swapping stories over lunch with our friends in middle and high school.  But with more teens accessing the Internet these days, it appears that gossip has gone high-tech.  Teens are using message boards, instant messaging and even email to air out their frustrations – often in hurtful language – about their teachers and peers.

According to an Internet Report from the UCLA Center for Communication Policy, 97% of kids aged 12 to 18 access the Internet on a regular basis.  What they’re doing on the Internet, however, may be surprising.  The U.S. Department of Justice reports that approximately one in every 17 kids is threatened or harassed while using the Internet.  In fact, most don’t tell their parents or other adults, and if they do, the adults often don’t know how to stop the online teasing.

Gossiping, whether it’s in the halls or on a message board, more often than not leads to hurt feelings.  According to the Nemours Foundation, if teens spend enough time gossiping and passing on stories they don’t know are true, eventually no one will believe anything they say, even when it is the truth.  Teens who gossip shouldn’t expect to be trusted ever again.  Once friends learn that a peer can’t resist spreading secrets around, they won’t tell him or her anything personal.  And if a teen gossips about personal or important issues, he or she could even end up in trouble at school and at home.  Teachers don’t appreciate students who make it tough for other students to learn, and parents won’t be happy to hear that their child is causing trouble in school.

If you’ve heard your teen taking teasing and gossiping to a hurtful level, it’s time to remedy the situation.  The experts at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota offer the following advice for curbing your teen’s gossiping and teasing:

  • Cultivate your teen’s compassion.  Talk to him or her about feelings – how emotional blows can hurt as much as physical ones.  “You wouldn’t throw a rock at that boy, would you?  So you shouldn’t call him a ‘zit-face’ either.”
  • Give your teen a simple test he or she can use to judge if his or her teasing is playful or hurtful:  “How would I feel if someone said this about me?”
  • Talk to your teen about the when and where of playful teasing.  He or she shouldn’t always resort to sarcasm or jokes at someone else’s expense in order to get a laugh.
  • Examine your own behavior and that of other family members.  Do you rib your children at length, even after they plead with you to stop?  Do you tease inappropriately, that is, about the way people look or the habits they have?  Are you confusing razzing with teaching and discipline – for instance, do you communicate your frustration about your teen’s messy room by calling him “Mr. Slob”?  Make sure that your own teasing (and that of everyone else in your household) is good-natured, not aggressive or manipulative.

As a parent, it is also important to regulate how your teen uses the Internet.  If you know what your teen is doing while online, you can better prevent him or her from visiting message boards where the temptation to gossip exists.  The Media Awareness Network suggests considering the following questions concerning how your teen surfs the Net:

Are you involved in your teen’s online activities?  Do you know what he or she is doing and whom your teen is talking to when he or she is on the Internet?
Does your family have a set of rules or an agreement for appropriate Internet use?
Do you make Internet use a family activity by guiding your teen to good sites and teaching him or her how to do safe, effective searches?
Have you taught your teen not to believe everything he or she reads online and to check online information with an adult or with another source?
If your teen has her or his own website, have you checked to make sure it doesn’t contain harmful or hurtful information?
Have you talked to your teen about responsible online behavior?  Does he or she understand that making threats or harassing others online can be considered illegal activities?

References

  • Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota
  • Media Awareness Network
  • Nemours Foundation
  • UCLA Center for Communication Policy
  • U.S. Department of Justice