18 January 2007

Sublime intimidation

I am not sure if I heard correctly, but while driving back from the shops yesterday, a representative of the guards on the news was talking about “sublime intimidation” , and chuckled to myself at this not so subtle slip of the tongue… Strangely enough, it was not about young people and the Internet, the coverage of which seems to be getting more and more sensationalist. Online predators have long been a favourite subject of the media; danah boyd thankfully has a great post on moral panic, and other bloggers seem to feel the same irritation at sensationalist covering of online youth. And now for bullying, which so far has always popped up in questions when I gave a presentation, or indeed when I was asked the 50 million euro question “what do you actually do?”. Blogging and young people? Oh, what about bullying? I know bullying exists, hey, it already existed in the dark ages of my youth, and I know it is hurtful and soul-destroying. I know it happens on Bebo, but I have not so far seen instances of bullying on blogs. Fights, yes. OK Corral type of let’s-sort-this-out-once-and-for-all, sure. But not bullying. The space is not conducive to that behaviour.

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