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The True Cost of Cyber-Bullying and Baseless Online Claims

The case of Tyler Clementi, a freshman at Rutgers University who recently took his own life as a result of a ruthless prank perpetrated on the Internet by his roommate has captured the nation and cause many for the first time to deeply access the impact of words spoken with malace and intent to inflict harm on another person or entity. Tyler Clementi was in fact a victim of “cyber-bullying” and this practice can have a dramatic impact on people, brands, and companies and regardless if the hostle attacks are make at individuals or companies, they are wreck-less and we should all do our part to thwart the indentions of those casting the stones.

Here are a few facts courtesy of CNN and Dr. Phil McGraw:

“More than 40 percent of kids in this country say they’ve been bullied on the internet, and 35 percent say they have received online threats. According to the Cyber-bullying Research Center, cyber-bullying victims are almosttwice as likely to attempt suicide compared to those who have not endured such bullying. Since 2003, at least a dozen young people between the ages of 11 and 18 have killed themselves after some form of cyberbullying.”

Dr. Jeffrey Lant, CEO of Worldprofit has written an excellent article on this subject with valuable lesson for all to internalize and act upon with thoughtfulness and good intent.

Here is the article in full:

by Dr. Jeffrey Lant

The words come easily about a thoughtless incident
engineered  by unthinking adolescents


The facts have flashed around the world.

A freshman at Rutgers University, Tyler Clementi, literally just days into his first term, had an encounter with another student, a  male student.

His peeping tom roommates, one male, one female, had the bright idea of posting live feed of the tryst on the net for the titillation and second-hand  jollies of a world that can’t seem to get enough of the intrusive and lascivious, no matter how invasive the source.

All this was bad enough, thoroughly, unequivocally wrong.

But worse was quick to come.

A young man in a new, strange environment learning what had been done, faced in his mind a future replete with embarrassing
confessions at home, taunts from bigoted classmates, ridicule and recriminations for what was no more than a private act of consensual love at a great liberal institution.

Tyler, literally helpless, saw only one way to cope, and so at the very dawn of adult life he took that life, by leaping into eternity from the George Washington Bridge, a premature statistic with stillborn potential.

Not the net but its misusers at fault

For those who dislike and mistrust the Internet, the Clementi case has been a godsend. Now here is an opportunity to lambast and to deprecate the Internet as a hotbed of lying, prevarication, deception, malice aforethought, and unfathomable immorality. These vociferous folk say the Internet must be hobbled, controlled, contained, regulated and eviscerated of its almost satanic power for mayhem and evil.

But such critics are wrong.

The Internet is neither good nor bad; it is only what the minds of men have made it.

As such we must look into ourselves to find solutions to a problem that threatens to engulf and destroy the great institution the Internet has become.

The solution starts with you, and it starts today from your computer. Here is what must be done by all of us, without a moment’s delay, lest we tarry too long and lose this race for the soul of the Internet.

1) Never post anonymous comments about anyone. If you have something to say, have the courage of your convictions, not the dutch courage
of anonymity. Yes, anonymity has its benefits, but these are dwarfed by the hurtful and malicious comments which  are bold only because unclaimed by their perpetrators.

2) Tell owners of sites publishing anonymous comments that what they are doing is reprehensible, dishonorable, cowardly and injudicious.  One such comment from just one person may cause a shrug from the site owners and publishers. But one comment launches the forces of
outraged morality which have ignored, evaded, and winked too long at these abuses.

3) Boycott sites which publish and condone the malice and pain of anonymous comments. Boycott advertisers on such sites. And tell them you
are doing so. Money talks, especially when it walks.

4) Use the majesty of fair play to rout those who present and sustain the dedicated, premeditated evil of anonymous commentary.  Post a comment whenever you see anonymity used for destruction. Remind readers that the one attacked has not been asked for rebuttal and fair response.

5) Be honest in describing acts of anonymous commentary, films, video, etc which set out to hurt and malign. These are not “pranks” (as the Rudgers perpetrators claim); they are deliberate acts of hate, violence, and vicious destruction and must be regarded and dealt with accordingly.

6) Don’t regard the publication and posting of intimate personal business as anything other than a clear violation of an individual’s essential
right to privacy. You must be quite clear on this!

7) Assume that the people publishing anonymous comments have an axe to grind, a personal motive behind their remarks, an arriere pensee   They wish to be perceived as delivering the truth, while in reality cloaking their own objectives behind the shield of anonymity. This allows them to lie, cloak, run, hide, deceive and avoid any responsibility whatsoever while the gullible and credulous are manipulated.

See if the site publishing the hurtful anonymous commentary has a listed owner, address, phone, e-mail etc.; someone in a responsible position who can remove comments clearly designed to agitate, calumniate, and besmirch — or is the site impervious and inhospitable to the need for accuracy and fairness.

Above all, recognize this: all that must happen for evil to prevail is for men of good will and progressive outlook to do nothing. The time is here for these good people, including you, to use your powers for goodness, before a handful of malicious, hateful, mean-spirited people of unrelenting negativity and disguised motive cause the Internet to stumble and fall, brought down by a bacillus which can and must be
eradicated now.

This all comes too late of course for Tyler Clementi, young, confused, who died alone and who might have left no footprint here at all. But this lad gone too soon is instead a source for cosmic change of the utmost importance to the myriad activities and communications of mankind universal on the Information Highway.  His death, tragic as it is, does have meaning for he has helped cleanse the Internet of a great evil. Sleep well, young Tyler for we shall not forget you, victim of malice, inspiration for reform. You have done your work and it is good.


About The Author

Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is CEO of  Worldprofit, Inc., where small and home-based businesses learn how to profit online. Attend Dr. Lant’s live webcast TODAY and receive 50,000 free guaranteed visitors to the website of your choice! For details on Dr. Lant’s 18 best-selling business books.


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  • Elysse

    Thank you for addressing this sensitive subject. It is a real concern as I have a daughter in college, and life is very different for her from the perserspective she sees it happening on her campus. She has become active with a group of students to empower themselves to stand up and speak out against such horrific acts.

  • JamesHolmes

    Hello Elysse –

    Thank you so much for you comments – they are always meaningful and welcomed. My kids are just finishing up with their college education and I know there are pressures associated with the adjustments that must be made. This serves as a true wake-up call to the sensitivities related to cyber-bullying for both young people and adults.

    Have a blessed day!