Blog and Articles.

Model Sexting Law

In my last post, I discussed what I learned in reviewing all of the state sexting laws across the U.S. Some states have comprehensive sexting laws while many others—23 to be exact—have no sexting specific law whatsoever. As noted in my post, this is problematic for a number of reasons, including the risk that minors…

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Cyberbullying Activity: Word Scramble

Use this Word Scramble activity to introduce students to important concepts related to cyberbullying and Internet safety. Patchin, J. W. & Hinduja, S. (2022). Cyberbullying Activity: Word Scramble. Cyberbullying Research Center. Download PDF

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The Status of Sexting Laws Across the United States

As of July 1, 2022, 23 states in the U.S. do not have laws specific to teen sexting. Our research shows that approximately 14% of middle and high school students have sent explicit images to others, while about 23% have received similar images from others. Likewise, a 2022 meta-analysis of 28 studies published between 2016…

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Teen Sexting: A Brief Guide for Educators and Parents

This research summary reviews what is currently known about teen sexting. Research from across the United States is discussed, along with practical solutions for parents, educators, and other adults to prevent and respond to teen sexting. Citation information: Hinduja, S. & Patchin, J. W. (2022). Sexting – A Brief Guide for Educators and Parents. Cyberbullying…

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Digital Self-Harm and Suicidality among Middle and High School Students

Sameer and I have been interested in digital self-harm for almost a decade now. We first became aware of it when we learned of the suicide of Hannah Smith, a 14-year-old girl from England who ended her own life after being mistreated online. It was ultimately determined that many of the hurtful comments directed to…

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Can Empathy Reduce Cyberbullying Based on Race or Religion?

I have been increasing concerned about rising levels of hate speech, hate crimes, racist bullying, and xenophobia – especially when considering how these behaviors online are linked to violence offline against marginalized groups. It isn’t just alarming, it’s frightening – especially being a minority and considering what my children may have to deal with while…

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Child Grooming and the Metaverse – Issues and Solutions

Arguably one of the biggest concerns of the metaverse, especially to law enforcement, parents, guardians, and caregivers of children, is the potential for pedophilia, online grooming, and child sexual exploitation. To be sure, the media is quick to focus on this hazard with any new environment (offline or online) that allows for adults and youth […]

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Summary of Our Cyberbullying Research (2007-2021)

At the Cyberbullying Research Center we have been collecting data from middle and high school students since 2002. We have surveyed more than 30,000 students from middle and high schools from across the United States in fourteen unique projects. The following two charts show the percent of respondents who have experienced cyberbullying at some point […]

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ReThink the Internet: How to Make the Digital World a LOT LESS SUCKY

I recently visited with Trisha Prabhu, Internet Safety advocate and social entrepreneur, to discuss her new book intended to help youth stop hate, lead with kindness, be an upstander, and enjoy their online experiences. I also read an advance copy, and I highly recommend it. Let’s get to our conversation! Trisha, it is so good […]

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The Metaverse: Opportunities, Risks, and Harms

We have all been hearing about the metaverse much more frequently over the last few years, and consideration of its promises and perils has picked up tremendous pace in recent months. It is being designed by multiple companies to further connect us to each other and to the experiences we love. And it’s doing so […]

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Michigan Teen Latest Casualty of Sextortion

Seventeen-year-old Jordan DeMay seemed to have it all going for him: he was handsome, athletic, and was finishing his senior year at Marquette Senior High School in Marquette, Michigan. He was Homecoming King. When a pretty girl he didn’t know messaged him on Instagram and asked to exchange intimate images, he was skeptical. After a […]

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Vicarious Supervision: Preventing Problematic Behaviors Online through Positive Parent-Child Relationships

Lately we’ve been more directly exploring the role of parenting in preventing cyberbullying and other online problem behaviors. To be sure, parents* have a responsibility to be directly involved in monitoring and influencing the early online activities of their children. This could mean occasionally reviewing messages and regularly checking security settings, but should also include…

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Forgot to Cancel? Pay Attention to Recent Auto-Renewal Law Changes

As subscription models have gained exponential traction, legislatures are clamoring to ensure that their auto-renewal laws keep up with novel consumer protection issues. Several states have introduced or revised their auto-renewal laws, and the Federal Trade Commission has affirmed its commitment to enforce against unlawful offers. Perhaps most notably, California—already a leader in state auto-renewal…

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The Role of Parents in Preventing Bullying and Cyberbullying

Parents and guardians have always had a powerful influence on the behaviors of children, while research is clear that peers tend to have more sway during the teenage years. That said, our new research published in the Journal of Child and Family Studies identifies that certain positive parenting practices have a strong effect on both…

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Facebook rebrands as “Meta;” disables facial recognition capabilities

In late October, Facebook announced that it would change its name to Meta, signaling a shift of the social media giant’s focus toward the metaverse, a virtual space where social media, gaming, augmented reality, virtual reality, and cryptocurrencies converge and allow people to interact virtually with one another. It’s a relatively new concept in technology…

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