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9840Re: [WWWEDU] Any thoughts on how I should respond to Wired?

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  • Bob Hirshon
    Aug 29, 2007
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      First off, definitely write a guilt-inducing letter to the editor.
      They're good about printing those. If you can strike the right tone
      (sarcastic, with a little humor, but some serious-as-a-heart-attack
      statistics on the effects of bullying) you will win points.

      But, of course, it won't appear for months, and many of the original
      people who saw the original story won't see your letter. You could put
      your response, and a don't you have something better to do than
      vandalize my site? note on your site, and also post your response on
      your blog.

      Again I think the key is to get the tone right, and not sound too
      scolding or whiney about it. That would be a real red flag to them, and
      just bring on more vandalism.

      Bob Hirshon

      >>>andycarvin@... 08/29 3:04 pm >>>
      Hi everyone,

      I'm in a bit of a quandary. Late last week, there was
      a flurry of activity on the social network site I set
      up, Stop Cyberbullying
      (http://stopcyberbullying.ning.com), which I created
      to give teachers a place to share best practices on
      bullying education. In a matter of hours we were
      flooded with a number of new users who were
      vandalizing the community in extremely obnoxious ways.

      The reason for the vandalism? Well, it turns out the
      latest issue of Wired Magazine decided to name the
      Stop Cyberbullying community as one of the six lamest
      social networks on the Internet.


      Here's what they had to say about us:

      Stop Cyberbullying (stopcyberbullying.ning.com)
      What it is: A safe place for frank discussions on the
      topic of Internet bullying
      Who you'll meet: Pussies
      What's annoying: Dare to call them pussies, and
      they'll gang up on you mercilessly.

      Now I know this was intended as a joke, but the
      consequences have been very serious. We had no choice
      but to lock down the community, making it private and
      invite-only, and work with the site host, ning.com, to
      expel all the vandals. So needless to say, I'm pretty
      annoyed, but I don't want to make the situation worse.
      My gut is telling me to call them out and write an
      open letter to Wired on my blog, telling them that
      they're a part of the problem - eg, Wired mocks
      educators for combating cyberbullying - but I fear
      that doing so will lead to more vandals and bullies
      attacking the site, and Wired basically saying we
      told you so.

      Any thoughts on what should I do?


      Andy Carvin
      andycarvin at yahoo com

      WWWEDU, The Web and Education Discussion Group

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