Wednesday, September 8, 2010

''Digirata'' making waves worldwide in struggle against cyberbullying

Writer calls it 'classroom tool' for teachers, students

NEW YORK -- September 1, 2010


As online life gets complicated in the digital age, a freelance writer who says he penned "Digirata" hopes the text will speak loud and clear -- to millions around the world.

Preferring to remain unidentified here and claiming that his role in the process is to remain in the background and let the text speak for itself, the author says he's concerned about the abuse of the internet by cyberbullies and cyberstalkers.

So, in memory of teenagers like Megan Meir and Phoebe Prince and countless others who committed suicide after being bullied and harassed online, the author says he put cobbled the "Digiratga" together with input from several scholars and internet experts.

"I didn't write this myself," he says. "It wrote itself. I merely helped push the story to the media, and I hope the media will use the story to help foster more national discussions about these issues."

"Digirata" is a tool for teachers and administrators and counsellors to use around the world, he says. "It's just a small, minor contribution to the struggle against cyberbullying and cyberstalking, in the hopes of helping to push forward laws with teeth in them. We need legal documents, written into law, to take down and take care of cyberbullies. The internet has become a very dangerous -- and unpoliced -- place."

Words have power, the author told this reporter in a recent email interview. Words can hurt, but words can heal, he also says. Words can destroy, words can also educate. So "Digirata"
was born, he says.

"Digirata" is just 89 words long. But the man behind the text hopes the words can go out and reach the world, influence legislators and politicians, and help teachers and students get a handle on better uses of the internet, while at the same time putting an end of unmoderated interent abuse.

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