Obama takes on cyber bullies

Posted by Starr Keshet

The eastern world is exploding with violence flaring, bullets loading and gasoline fast approaching $5 a gallon.

Luckily, President Obama will be taking time out of his busy golfing schedule to address the issue of cyber bullying on March 10.

Yes, digital bullying may not be as headline grabbing as say the bloody civil war in Libya, but it is still a major problem plaguing American youth today.  

"Out of 15 million children's IM accounts analyzed we found that 5.6 million children received cyber bullying messages," Crisp Thinking CEO Adam Hildreth told TG Daily in an e-mailed statement.

"This conference [on March 10] is a vital step towards a greater understanding of the issues and a chance to work together to put a stop to this insidious and dangerous form of abuse."

According to Hildreth, Crisp Thinking helps over 70 global brands like Sony, Turner Broadcasting and Electronic Arts protect children from cyber-bullying - whether they are in an online game or social networking environment.

"[Our] platform uses a combination of machine learning heuristics to detect long-term behaviors, concept analysis, filtering technology and reputation analysis," he explained.

"When the Crisp Platform detects bullying, it kicks the offending user out of the virtual world they are in."

While such an approach may seem heavy-handed, it is certainly worth noting that cyber bullying has seriously traumatized many children as well as young adults across the United States. 

In fact, eighteen-year-old Rutgers University student Tyler Clementi was brutally harassed (online) by his roommate over a sexual encounter with a man before jumping off the George Washington Bridge on September 22, 2010.

Understandably, Clementi’s suicide shocked the nation and prompted Ellen Degeneres to issue an official statement condemning the events leading up to his death.

"Something must be done... There has been a shocking number of news stories about teens who have been teased and bullied and then committed suicide; like 13-year-old Seth Walsh in Tehachapi, California; Asher Brown, 13, of Cypress, Texas; and 15-year-old Billy Lucas in Greensberg, Indiana.

“This needs to be a wake-up call to everyone: teenage bullying and teasing is an epidemic in this country, and the death rate is climbing."