Week 7: Cyber Victims: Feeling the Effects

Social media provides people with quick and easy access to friends, family, and acquaintances, as well as strangers. Unfortunately, the Internet also provides people with a means to attack others. Since the advent of social media, dozens of school-aged children have committed suicide as a result of cyber shaming and cyberbullying. Parents are often unaware of the effects of these cyberattacks on their children until it is too late.

Active cyberbullies are far more prevalent than active shooters on college campuses and school grounds. Many of them stay “under the radar” while continuing to attack others online. A forensic psychology professional must understand the role of social media in people doing harm to others. You must also understand the role of parents in protecting their children from such attacks, as well as how to educate school officials and others in cyberbullying prevention.

This week, you will focus on the effects of social media on individuals and families who are victims of cyberbullying and shaming.  

Learning Objectives

Students will:
  • Analyze effects of cyber shaming 
  • Evaluate criminality of cyber shaming 
  • Evaluate potential for cyber shaming becoming illegal 
  • Analyze a forensic psychology professional’s role in helping victims of cyber shaming 
  • Analyze illustrations of a threat via social media 
  • Evaluate social media’s contribution to threat assessment 
  • Analyze parents’ and schools’ roles in the prevention of social media victimization
  • Learning Resources
    Required Readings
    Borum, R., Cornell, D. G., Modzeleski, W., & Jimerson, S. R. (2010). What can be done about school shootings? A review of the evidence. Educational Researcher, 39, 27–37. Retrieved from What can be done about school shootings? A review of the evidence by Borum, R., et al, in Educational Researcher, 39(27). Copyright 2010 by Sage Publications, Inc. Reprinted by permission of Sage Publications, Inc., via the Copyright Clearance Center.
    Reyns, B. W., Henson, B., & Fisher, B. S. (2016). Guardians of the cyber galaxy: An empirical and theoretical analysis of the guardianship concept from routine activity theory as it applies to online forms of victimization. Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice, 32(2), 148–168. doi:10.1177/1043986215621378
    Vakhitova, Z. I., Reynald, D. M., & Townsley, M. (2016). Toward the adaptation of routine activity and lifestyle exposure theories to account for cyber abuse victimization. Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice, 32(2), 169–188. doi:10.1177/1043986215621379
    West, L. (2015). What happened when I confronted my cruellest troll. The Guardian. Retrieved from…
    Whittaker, E., & Kowalski, R. M. (2014). Cyberbullying via social media. Journal of School Violence, 14(1), 11–29. doi:10.1080/15388220.2014.949377
    Wright, M. F. (2016). Cyber victimization on college campuses. Criminal Justice Review (Sage Publications), 41(2), 190–203. doi:10.1177/0734016816634785Note: You will access this article from the Walden Library databases.
    Hinduja, S., & Patchin, J. W. (2016). State cyberbullying laws: A brief review of state cyberbullying laws and policies. Retrieved from…
    Assignment: School Shooting Risk Assessment
    Consider the Nowhere to Hide podcast in your Learning Resources. In this scenario, a specific threat is present, and multiple targets are identified. These things alone can cause fear and anger, but when they are presented in a public venue with the opportunity for others to comment, the situation can intensify exponentially.In this Assignment, you will assess a scenario involving a threat made on social media and the chaos that ensued. What could be done to mitigate the negative effects of social media? Are parents solely responsible for the online actions of their children, or do schools hold some responsibility, as well? To prepare for this Assignment:

    • Listen to the Nowhere to Hide podcast, focusing on those parts that deal with social media. 
    • Review the Learning Resources pertaining to school shootings and cyberbullying.
    • The Assignment: Write a 2- to 3-page paper that includes the following:
    • How does social media illustrate a threat in the school shooting case? How does that illustration affect the victim? Give specific examples.
    • In what ways is intensification of the threat evident in the case? 
    • How does social media contribute to threat assessment? In what ways is it both helpful and obstructive? Use examples from scholarly literature as well as from the podcast.
    • What is the role of the parent or caregiver in preventing social media victimization? Should schools play a part in the prevention of social media victimization? Support your response with appropriate sources.

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