Cyberbullying hurts – regardless of age, profession, experience // some wise words from Ryan Heath
This Blog is our main communication tool for the #DeleteCyberbullying project, but is also a platform to share news, ideas, stories, and to express our common Goal: to Delete Cyberbullying.
Here is a fantastic guest Blog post from Ryan Heath, showing his commitment to make the internet a more friendly place:
“I care about cyberbullying because I know how easy it is to hurt people with words.
Every day I use words to make a point or win an argument in my job as a spokesperson for the European Commission.
But words can hurt, often without people realising it. And we are all capable of going too far with our words.
Even as a strong person who has seen it many times before, I still feel uncomfortable when attacked online. I have been called corrupt, people have threatened to hit me with weapons if they ever see me in person, other spread lies about my motives or intentions in doing my job.
It can be years later, and I can still remember some of the insults. We tell ourselves that that doesn’t matter. We tell ourselves that “what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.” That is partly true. But it is also true that mean, offensive and false words hurt our confidence, they lead us to censor our legitimate opinions, and they make the online world a less open place.
When I think of the internet, I think of an open space where everyone can express themselves; ensuring that freedom means respecting others. It means debating without insulting. It means looking for evidence before jumping to conclusions. It means remembering that the person you are writing to is also a human being with feeling and fears.
So me the key words are respect and courtesy and humanity. If we always keep those in mind – whether we are 9 or 90 years old – we will be a lot closer to our aim to #deletecyberbullying.”
(Ryan is spokesperson to Commissioner Neelie Kroes)
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