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Online Game Takes a Bite Out of Cyberbullying

8/2/2005:   Today, young people are using the Internet more than ever, particularly at home. For these children, the Internet isn't just a convenient way to do research or have fun after school--it is a big part of their social life.

Unfortunately, bullies have come online too. Cyberbullies use new technology to bully through e-mail, instant messages, and websites. Examples of cyberbullying include sending someone mean or threatening e-mails, excluding someone from an instant messenger buddy list, tricking someone into revealing embarrassing information and sending it to others, and creating websites to make fun of a classmate or to rate them as ugliest or least popular. Cyberbullying can appear more threatening to victims because it occurs in a child's home, it can be harsher and far reaching, it's anonymous, and it may seem inescapable.

To help kids deal with this new danger, the National Crime Prevention Council has introduced the online game, Shrink the Cyberbully. As part of the game, players respond to instant messages from a bully--correct answers shrink the bully, and incorrect answers make her grow. At the end, players receive tips on dealing with online bullies.

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