However, I deal with specific instances of cyberbullying and Greer used a very good example of what we, the authors of Cyberslammed define as a "Rating Site"-- when someone uploads a photo to Facebook, Instagram, Vine or a site like "Hot Or Not" and polls others to rate the person in the photo as the fattest, ugliest etc.
"The most common story I get is centered around these beauty pageants (or other like-contests/polls) that are happening all over social networking sites such as Instagram or Ask.fm. Kids know these contests/polls are riddled with negativity and admit to seeing some pretty nasty ones, so many say they have created ones with the intent to make their friends feel good about themselves. One group of 7th graders told me that a contest was set up on Instagram pinning 4 girls against each other, asking people to tag the ugliest of the four. Their friend received the most tags in this mean contest, so they decided to set up one with a positive tone, asking people to vote for and tag the prettiest. All these girls banded together to get their friend the most votes -- not realizing in the process they were unintentionally hurting the three others involved in this contest."
So what is happening is, as kids are flocking to Instagram, Snapchat, Vine and Twitter to get away from the hovering parents on Facebook, they are using the same tactics, but on different platforms. The Rating Site on Instagram pits someone as the "ugliest." We've seen that before. What Greer is talking about is sort of a Reverse Rating Site, where the girls were trying to balance the wrongs by setting up a poll on Instagram to rate the prettiest girl--not realizing that by doing so, the unspoken assumption was that the other three were not pretty.
Anyway, yes, that is accidental. Is it cyberbullying? Some who don't know the whole story would definitely see it that way. That's why we need to approach every cyberbullying situation with an open mind and a willingness to gather ALL the various perspectives and facts. It's not black and white--never was, and by educating yourselves on this ever-shifting landscape, you will be educating the kids in your life who may not always understand the difference.
Get all of the tactics in one book and prepare your child to recognize and defuse certain types of cyberbullying. Sale: $12.50 Buy The Book