Remember Formspring.me? Three years ago some terrible trolling that reportedly involved teens in New Jersey made the site, which announced it was shutting down* last month, a national news story in the US. Teens' viral adoption of Formspring and its format (ask a question, get an anonymous answer) reportedly took the site by surprise. Disturbing news coverage and letters sent home by school … [Read more...] about Social cruelty on Ask.fm & the whack-a-mole tendency
A just-published observation by social media researcher danah boyd is important for two reasons I can think of right now: 1) it strongly confirms the importance of adults not reacting too quickly to "cyberbullying" incidents or of not acting without calm communication and investigation, and 2) it starts an important discussion about the online versions of self-destructive behavior. Let's look at … [Read more...] about Teens’ digital self-abuse: New insight
Last week I wrote about what's going on at Formspring. This week: what's going on around it. The problem we, all of us, are dealing with isn't mainly a Web site whose business plan did not include teens using the site for their own purposes, some harmful. I think everyone can agree that the basic problem is the nasty behavior on it. What those of us who grew up in the mass-media era struggle over … [Read more...] about Formspring: What’s going on around it
Nobody's completely sure – even social-media researchers who talk to teens a lot – but it is clear that the Formspring phenomenon didn't come out of nowhere. Remember those personality tests and fashion-sense quizzes in teen magazines? In the digital-age versions, danah boyd writes in DMLcentral.net, teens would – through questions and answers in pre-Web public online spaces like Usenet; "chain … [Read more...] about Formspring: What’s really going on?
It was an interesting pair of education news stories to break in a single week: a principal urging his students' parents to ban their kids' use of Facebook and the Teacher of the Year being honored for teaching with, among other things, Facebook (see this). In an email to parents, Anthony Orsini, principal of Benjamin Franklin Middle School in Ridgeway, NJ, said that "the main problem is that … [Read more...] about Principal’s anti-Facebook plan: Is banning Web sites the fix?