Backgrounder

A Word About (N)ethics

Backgrounder

In the course of the activities in this lesson, students will develop rules of online conduct. These rules can be grouped under a term such as “(N)ethics” or “Golden Rules.” They share the goal of avoiding, dealing with and speaking out against cyberbullying.

Here is a relatively complete list that can be adapted to suit the students’ age level:

In the course of the activities in this lesson, students will develop rules of online conduct. These rules can be grouped under a term such as “(N)ethics” or “Golden Rules.” They share the goal of avoiding, dealing with and speaking out against cyberbullying.

Here is a relatively complete list that can be adapted to suit the students’ age level:

  1. Respect the private lives of other people online; don’t spread rumours, don’t share information about or photos of someone without getting his or her permission.
  2. Respect other people’s virtual space: don’t go into someone else’s files or computer.
  3. In the online world, just like the offline world, never try to exclude other people.
  4. Don’t try to turn people against one another; making someone else be a bully is no different from being a bully yourself.
  5. Follow the same values in the virtual world as in the physical world: never write to anyone something you wouldn’t be willing to say face-to-face. If you feel an urge to write something angry, sleep on it.

If you witness cyberbullying:

  1. Refuse to do it if someone asks you to pass on an insulting or embarrassing message, photo or video.
  2. Take action against the perpetrator: react when your friends get involved in cyberbullying, and speak up every time you witness online harassment. Most young people are more sensitive to criticism from their peers than from their parents.

If you are a target of cyberbullying:

  1. Stop: immediately leave the online environment or activity where the bullying is happening (chat room, newsgroup, game, IM, etc.)
  2. Block all e-mails or instant messages from the perpetrator, and never reply.
  3. Record all harassing messages and forward them to your Internet Service Provider. Most ISPs have policies against harassing messages
  4. Talk: tell a trusted adult, such as a parent or teacher.