Snark Free Zone Here

I have mixed emotions.

Last night,  I watched Harry’s Law. The topic of the show was Harry’s defending of a teenager with a snark blog whose bullying of a schoolmate led to suicide. They took a very hot topic, and while I think they handled it well, bringing out an awareness, especially talking about the suicide from bullying topics that have been going around, I was left with mixed feelings.

I have been a victim of online bullying–flaming, name calling, pictures defamed, etc, even so far as having my blog attacked 3 years after I had left the forum–and I will admit that I cried through most of the show.

The problem was that I sympathized with the girl doing the bullying too. I didn’t want to see her go to jail for manslaughter because of her blog. She was bullied and in return she became a bully. She was wrong to do what she did, and she knew it, and it would have been a better ending for the girl to have said she would give up the blog, but she didn’t say that. Harry got her off, though the case was presented very well by the opposing attorney.

In the end, it really made you think. How many of us enjoy the Huffington Post or Perez Hilton? Harry made some valuable points to ponder. As long as the cruel blogs are cool, people are going to read them. As long as people read them, people aspire to write them.

Why? Because it makes you popular. As the girl stated on the witness stand, her blog started as just a way for her to vent off frustrations at being a nobody at school. Then she quickly got more and more readers, and stepped up what she was doing as a result to keep her readers happy.

Isn’t that what we all do? We post what we think our readers will want to read to keep them coming? To get their attention? To revel in the numbers?

How do we stop this cycle?

So, I’m making a commitment. Again.

I made it once before, but it needs to be reminded.

I am committed to the Mom Pledge, but it means more to me than just wiping out mom to mom bullying. I am a mom, so I am taking it one step further.

I am committing to watching and being actively involved in all things my children do on the internet, including what they post and what they read. I am committing to banning those harmful snark blogs, no matter how funny, from my house, from my internet, from my children’s eyes.

Won’t you take The Mom Pledge today? Will you take my commitment with me and ban snark blogs from your computer? Maybe if we don’t read them, they will lose their power.

I can dream, can’t I?

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10 thoughts on “Snark Free Zone Here

  1. I won’t lie…this week I came across a blog post that was very offensive to not only me bit to peoplewith mental illnesses. I had to do something. So I commented then tweeted.
    What happened after she apologized to me then removed the blog post…but it didn’t end there…people still visited her blog to bash her.
    I feel sick to my stomach even thinking of it.
    I started it.
    I didn’t indent for it to go anywhere other than for her to realize what she did is wrong.
    Now her blog is set to private.
    I am so ashamed of what I did.
    I’m never that girl…yet I became her.

    • Kimberly, unless you directly told them to bash her (and I’m pretty sure you didn’t), you are not responsible for what they said. They are.

      ((hugs)) Everyone has their moments. It’s what you do in the aftermath that matters.

  2. I appreciate your discussion of these topics…bullying is never healthy–for the bully or the victim. When I taught in a private high school, it was very clear that many students did not understand the fullest implications of the internet…postings of threats, inappropriate pictures… I don’t know, really, how to reach that age range, to help them understand the implications, the severity, the reality of it all. I think that might be another important consideration for all of us. Our children will read what we wrote one day…it’s there forever…we do need to be mindful of that fact. Thank you for the wonderful reminder. (And, don’t you love this TV show?!)

    • The show is refreshing though I think Harry is a little flat in her performance sometimes. It begins at home, I think. If we as parents take better charge over what we say and how we treat people, that’s what our kids learn.

  3. You make a really thought provoking point! This post sure would’ve made me join The Mom Pledge but thankfully made that pledge when I started blogging. Best wishes to you and I hope you’re never targeted like that again!!!

  4. This is superbly written, Stephanie! You make some really great points and ask excellent questions. I was particularly touched by your sensitivity toward bullies, given your experience. But you are right. In many cases they have been victims. And some may not realize how much their actions hurt others. Anderson Cooper had a special on bullying last week on AC360, and Dr. Phil made the same point about bullies that you do here. And, he said, in many cases the bullies need attention and support as well as victims.

    I believe the verdict in the show (which I have not seen) was true to life. The fact is, the current laws in our country do not address cyber bullying behavior. Even if a real-life jury felt she was responsible, there would be no criminal behavior to convict her of. A civil trial might have a different outcome. But we need to look at the if and how to address cyber bullying in terms of the law.

    As always, thank you for your participation in and support of The Mom Pledge Community!

  5. Great topic! You know I’ve seen a lot of that same online bullying. Very, very cruel, even among adults.

    Unfortunately I don’t think there’s much they could do to the blogger because of free speech, but a very tough subject.

    • Oh I understand that, but as a tv show, they could have gone one step further IMO. But I guess since the focus is Harry and the law firm, they just left it alone.

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