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A little local story

February 17, 2010

While reading the last pages of Mark Pegrum???s book and thinking about week 5 task, my daughter tells me this

story that I???d like to share here:

End of the match. A boy cries after the defeat of his football team, which leaves it out of the fight for the coveted cup. Nothing unusual in this town where football awakes strong feelings in many. But??? the scene is captured by the TV cameras of a highly reputed sports channel (traditional media gatekeepers, aren???t they?) that dwell on the image of the disconsolate boy. How does this story continue? In no time, enter the supporters of the boy???s archrival local team: videos are uploaded on YouTube and groups are created on Facebook and other social networks making the boy the target of cruel mockery and fun-making. The boy???s father sues FB, YouTube and other networks, demanding the videos and pictures be removed, which a judge finally orders. And so the story ends. But not for the boy, who is reported to be under psychological treatment after this huge ruthless exposure.

And neither does the story end for us, educators and members of an increasingly public society. This story evidences the urgent need to develop literacies that are crucial to protect ourselves: moral and ethical values that involve respect for the other???s privacy, image, feelings and dignity. Not an easy task, certainly, but one we can???t escape.


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  1. Vance Stevens permalink

    I really like Joyce Valenza’s take on this issue, making kids aware of their digital footprints and those of others: <a href="; target="_blank"></a><br><br>Presentation Title: The Wizard of Apps or Will they have an app for that? or What we are learning and loading along the road

  2. Nina Liakos permalink

    Kids have always been cruel, and social media allow them to be cruel in a big way. On the other hand, kids have always been great, and social media allow them to be great in a big way. The thing about the internet is that it is so easy to multiply the impact because the audience has the potential to be so large, and it doesn’t cost any (more/thing) to reach huge numbers.

  3. Berta permalink

    Thanks for sharing, Mary. An important issue to reflect upon. As Psychologist Michael Thompson expresses in this <a rel="nofollow" href="; target="_blank">site</a>, ???There will always be bullying and teasing, because children naturally discover that they have power over one another??? . Thompson and others who???ve researched cruelty among children, says the issue is how that anger, power and competitiveness get expressed." I agree with you in that teachers -and parents at home- must guide and model behavior and help children channel their reactions in different media, especially in the social networks they are involved in.

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