Impact of Trolls in Online Gaming

Parents less aware of impact of trolls* in online gaming According to Canadian statistics, Canadian girls grades 4-11 face stricter rules about their online activities than boys do. At the same time, boys (60%) are more likely than girls (27%) to access the internet through gaming platforms. (Reference) While it is true that online environments in general ARE more hostile to girls and women (Wikipedia) and that may justify having stricter rules for girls, SafeOnline advocates paying more attention to what the boys are doing online and applying the same level of boundaries for boys as girls. Boys require as much support, education and protection about online safety as our girls. Because boys are more likely to access the internet through a gaming platform, they may be less supervised. This means parents and caregivers are less aware of the recreational trolling (Wikipedia) and unhealthy culture (Time) their boys are exposed to while gaming. While your daughter may pop up in your Facebook feed or come to you to talk about online drama, boys are less likely to consult with an adult when they are distressed about online abuse. Online gaming does not appear to be on parents' and educators' radar as much as social media. Did You Know? There are YouTube channels that feature trolling videos to watch other people  tease, torment and taunt other players in games? Much of trolling happens to children playing games that are rated well above their actual age—the most notorious places to be trolled include 17+ games like Grand Theft Auto and Call of Duty. Many social media companies are working on technological solutions to trolling.   *In internet slang, a troll (/ˈtroʊl/, /ˈtrɒl/) is a person who sows [...]

March 20th, 2017|General|

Check out the stats!!

"In 2012/2013, we delivered 140 presentations to 17,927 people in various regions of British Columbia including: Brackendale, Victoria, Port Alberni, Kelowna, Penticton, Sorrento, Salmon Arm, Summerland, Revelstoke, Prince George and the Lower Mainland, Greater Vancouver areas."   Click to read Solos 2013 Annual Report Post AGM

September 19th, 2014|General|

TELUS Wise Program Launch

Last Friday, TELUS launched an ambitious education initiative aimed at parents and students. I was happy to attend and meet with the movers and shakers behind this great project and applaud their support for internet safety education.   Strathcona Elementary School accepts donations from TELUS I also wrote a blog post about this initiative and the anniversary of Amanda Todd's death here.

October 10th, 2013|Events, General, Online Safety|

Merlyn Horton writes for Platform for Good

When 'A Platform for Good' asked me to write a post for their blog, we were thrilled. Choosing a topic wasn't easy though. So many worthy subjects that we could choose from in our field - Internet Safety. I chose to write about our Youth-2-youth Program, one near and dear to my heart, especially because it incorporates so nicely restorative justice principles.

May 30th, 2013|General|

Life Online in the Nineties was Fluid

Life online in the late-nineteen-nineties was fluid. I could be anyone, i could talk to anyone, argue any point of view. They called it the "information superhighway" then and I was working with 'street kids'. My frustration as a youth worker then was that the only people youth seemed to meet online were predators or or pedophiles. The people who care most about youth where NOT the early adopters of the Internet.

April 30th, 2013|General|

It’s still not too late.

I spent fifteen years as a youth worker and when I wrote my first article about children, youth and the internet, the prevailing concerns were about online sexual exploitation and the vulnerabilities inherent in letting children loose in the un-restricted wild west show that was the internet. Then, we were concerned about MSN instant messaging and pedophiles who might lure young people out of their homes to be sexually assaulted.

April 30th, 2013|General|

Bullies will wear pink shirts too!

Amongst the sincere sentiments today will be some girls and boys who know that they have sent hurtful or untrue text or humiliated someone online or forwarded a personal message to the whole school or re-shared nude pictures of one of the girls in their school. They too will wear their pink shirts.

February 27th, 2013|General|

Ain’t That a Shame

And right on cue after that last post, here's another reason to be concerned about this recent trend of outing bad behaviour online, this time right here in Canada. Turns out some teens are mad at their teachers. Um, this is news? Apparently, yes.

November 22nd, 2012|Facebook, General, Media and News|