Cyber-harassment in our Communities

Addressing Public Safety in the Digital Age

RMRC’s inaugural conference took place on December 14th 2012 at Whitebrooke Theatre, with keynote speakers delivering exceptional and inspirational talks. A write up of the days events with excerpts from the speakers presentations and further resources will be posted during January. Subscribe to the website using the form on the right to receive updates.

Cyber-harassment in our Communities

Addressing Public Safety in the Digital Age

9.15am – 3pm Friday 14th December 2012,
Whitebrook Theatre, Southern Cross University,
Military Road, East Lismore, NSW
Hosted by the Southern Cross University School of Law and Justice

ENTRY IS FREE

ALL MEMBERS OF THE COMMUNITY ARE WELCOME as cyber-harassment is an increasing phenomenon affecting the whole community – in businesses, learning institutions, government organisations, the workplace and at home.

Cyber-harassment (often referred to as ‘cyber-bullying’) is ‘the use of information and communication technologies to support deliberate, repeated, and hostile behaviour by an individual or group, that is intended to harm others’.

It can be as simple as continuing to send e-mails to someone who has said they want no further contact with the sender, but may also include making false accusations, threats, sexual remarks, and using pejorative labels (i.e., hate speech). Examples include harassment via a mobile phone, setting up a defamatory personal website, ganging up on victims by making them the subject of ridicule in forums, and posting false statements as fact aimed at humiliation. A repeated pattern of such behaviours towards a target by an adult, including gathering information in order to harass, constitutes cyber-stalking. The prevalence of this increasingly common behavior online is affecting people and communities globally.

Victims of bullying of any kind typically feel powerless to repel or fight back against their aggressors. Cyber-harassment adds a new dimension to this powerlessness with its ability to reach the target 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Now a target cannot even rely on his or her home as a safe haven from bullying behaviour.

RMRC’s 2012 inaugural conference aims to explore a ‘collaborative approach’ to address the issue of cyber-harassment from a community, Police, education, media, business and legal perspective.

The government is understandably aware that this is an issue which needs immediate and comprehensive attention – and is currently engaged in a process of review and evaluation of potential strategies to address this situation. This conference aims to contribute to this review and evaluation, providing recommendations to ensure ‘Public Safety in the Digital Age’.

The audience will include representatives from law, media, education, University, research, social media, parents, teachers, and concerned public. With an official opening by Mayor Jenny Dowell, speakers from across the country will come together to discuss:

What is it?
Cyber-bullying; harassment; stalking: understanding the issues
A collaborative view: School, Community, Police, Social Media, Research perspective
What is the law? Current law which can protect you and new law being proposed
Challenges:
Anonymity; Responsibility; Accountability; Upholding the law
What is being done?
‘Staying safe’ online: Research, Resources, Program and Review
Managing risk in social media: Case studies for individuals and organisations
Cyber-literacy and Cyber-citizenship: Education and Support
Recommendations:
A collaborative approach to moving forward

Confirmed Speakers include: Mayor Jenny Dowell, Mayor of Lismore; Christopher Dibb, Lawyer who set a recent world precedent which identified Google and Yahoo as publishing platforms accountable for defamation. After a few late changes to the bill we also have a number of new speakers who will cover a broad range of topics relevant to all — including businesses looking to develop a social media policy, Teachers and Principals looking to address issues of cyber-bullying in schools and speakers looking at general public safety when it comes to a largely unregulated online environment.

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