Christopher DibbChristopher Dibb is a barrister specialising in defamation and media law. He recently appeared as Counsel for Michael Trkulja, in which the search engines operated by Yahoo and Google were held liable for defamatory material distributed through their Web search services. Christopher shares with RMRC his experience of bullying and the internet, and what he hopes to offer as being part of RMRC’s inaugural conference.

What drew you to your field? (Psychology, Law, Research, Journalism, Social Media...)
I was first drawn to the law by watching Boyd QC on television as a boy. It seemed to me, even then, that the law was the fundamental profession. It defends our liberty; it protects our personal and social security; and it provides the framework on which prosperity depends. Many years later, I am pleased to find that I was right.

Do you feel that there is a culture of bullying within Australia/world generally that needs addressing, if so how?
 It is not my experience of the world that there is a culture of bullying, either in Australia or anywhere else. There is bullying, of course, both here and overseas, but it has never seemed to me to be the norm. That doesn’t make it any less hurtful when it happens.

What concerns you most about cyber-harassment?
The nature of the Internet gives every bully a very loud voice and one that seems to echo indefinitely. That, combined, very often, with anonymity can make an individual feel powerless in the face of what is happening to them.

This conference looks at Cyber-harassment as a relevant issue for the whole community – not just youth. Can you comment on this.
Denigration and ridicule are painful and damaging at any stage of life.   

Have you personally experienced Cyber-harassment?
Not of me. I have certainly had clients who were being harassed in ways that were very damaging and distressing.

From the collaborative approach of this conference, what do you hope to offer?
I hope to offer some practical advice about what can be done to shift the balance of power back to the person being targeted.

What do you hope to get out of being involved at this conference?
I am sure I will learn from the other participants. I don’t have a clear picture of what I will learn, exactly, but that’s part of the fun.

 

To see Christopher Dibb and many others speak on this important issue register for the Real Media Real Change Conference on Cyber-harassment in our Communities:  Addressing Public Safety in the Digital Age held on Friday 14th December at SCU, Lismore.

It’s free of charge, and welcomes many highly esteemed and deeply committed speakers, bringing a wealth of understanding and experience to the issue of Cyber-harassment.  Register now.

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