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Social networking sites can help protect youngsters from cyber bullying

Sydney, May 12 (ANI): An inquiry into cyber bullying has revealed that young victims can use friendships on social networking websites to help protect themselves.

Gillian Calvert, the NSW Commissioner for Children and Young People, told the inquiry that cyber bullying should not be viewed as a new phenomenon.

“We see cyber bullying as an extension of bullying rather than a new threat,” the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Calvert as saying.

“It’s behaviour that’s been around for a long time that’s just got a new platform, if you like, or a new environment,” she added.

The commission’s survey showed that youngsters were against online filtering to curb the problem, as it could stop them from accessing Internet sites for homework and socialising.

“They said that filtering can have unintended consequences on their use of the Internet. Overall, the advantages and benefits of the internet far outweighed the bullying costs for them,” Calvert said.

She said that children had spoken of the value of social networking sites in giving them “the connection and friendship network that the kids identified were the things that were often protecting against bullying.” (ANI)

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