Sunday, November 3, 2013

Text bombing - A must for every parent!

Most of my blogs focus on email Netiquette. However, upon reading this article on Cyberbullying, I found it far too compelling not to share it.

The following is taken from an article published by Ann Brenhoff,  The Huffington Post, 11/03/2013. The rest of this great article can be viewed at the link above.

At the end of last year, a mom pulled my son over and asked him to stop sending gibberish text messages to her kid. The two boys were fooling around, copying and pasting nonsensical messages and texting them back and forth. It was a duel of annoyance, something 12-year-old boys specialize in.

For my family (with an unlimited texting plan), it was an issue of my son just fooling around and wasting time when he perhaps could have been doing something more productive like his homework. But for this other family, it was that, but also an expensive way to use up their texting plan's limits. The boys' fooling around had a price tag attached to it for this family. I got it and put a stop to the practice post haste.

What I didn't realize at the time was that my son and this boy were practicing a primitive form of text bombing, a cyber bullying technique that has blossomed because of apps that enable you to torment your target with up to 10,000 text messages.
Internet safety expert Sedgrid Lewis, who runs, called text bombing a "serious underground problem that is about to burst into the mainstream scene" and urges parents to educate themselves about it. In an interview with The Huffington Post, he said, "Imagine getting 10,000 text messages to your phone telling you that you are an ugly slut and should die?" He added, "That's what some kids are doing to each other."

In 2011, the suicide of Haley "Danielle" Cox, a 15-year-old Louisiana girl, was blamed on text bombing. According to KSLA News, one of the girl's schoolmates used the web site to set up more than 100 taunting text with messages like "I won't miss you", "You're not important" and "Just end it all." Danielle was treated and released from the hospital on her first suicide attempt, but her parents say she was so troubled by the text bombing that several months later, she took her own life. Danielle's mother is suing the parents of the 17-year-old who text bombed her daughter for not adequately supervising his use of their computer.

Spyparent's Lewis says he regularly sees calls for "revenge" text bombing on Twitter. "If someone ends a relationship, people will put their ex's cell number out there and tell people to text bomb it," he said.

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