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Bullying Definition

Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Both kids who are bullied and who bully others may have serious, lasting problems. In order to be considered bullying, the behavior must be aggressive and include:

An Imbalance of Power: Kids who bully use their powersuch as physical strength, access to embarrassing information, or popularityto control or harm others. Power imbalances can change over time and in different situations, even if they involve the same people. Repetition: Bullying behaviors happen more than once or have the potential to happen more than once.

Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose.

Types of Bullying Where and When Bullying Happens Frequency of Bullying

Types of Bullying
There are three types of bullying:

Verbal bullying is saying or writing mean things. Verbal bullying includes: o Teasing
o o o o

Name-calling Inappropriate sexual comments Taunting Threatening to cause harm

Social bullying, sometimes referred to as relational bullying, involves hurting someones reputation or relationships. Social bullying includes:

Leaving someone out on purpose

o o o

Telling other children not to be friends with someone Spreading rumors about someone Embarrassing someone in public

Physical bullying involves hurting a persons body or possessions. Physical bullying includes:
o o o o o

Hitting/kicking/pinching Spitting Tripping/pushing Taking or breaking someones things Making mean or rude hand gestures

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Where and When Bullying Happens

Bullying can occur during or after school hours. While most reported bullying happens in the school building, a significant percentage also happens in places like on the playground or the bus. It can also happen travelling to or from school, in the youths neighborhood, or on the Internet. Back to top

Frequency of Bullying
There are two sources of federally collected data on youth bullying:

The 2011 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) indicates that, nationwide, 20% of students in grades 912 experienced bullying. The 20082009 School Crime Supplement (National Center for Education Statistics and Bureau of Justice Statistics) indicates that, nationwide, 28% of students in grades 612 experienced bullying.

Bullying in Schools
Print Collect It! Email By Ron Banks Educational Resource Information Center (U.S. Department of Education)

Bullying in schools is a worldwide problem that can have negative consequences for the general school climate and for the right of students to learn in a safe environment without fear. Bullying can also have negative lifelong consequences--both for students who bully and for their victims. Although much of the formal research on bullying has taken place in the Scandinavian countries, Great Britain, and Japan, the problems associated with bullying have been noted and discussed wherever formal schooling environments exist. Bullying is comprised of direct behaviors such as teasing, taunting, threatening, hitting, and stealing that are initiated by one or more students against a victim. In addition to direct attacks, bullying may also be more indirect by causing a student to be socially isolated through intentional exclusion. While boys typically engage in direct bullying methods, girls who bully are more apt to utilize these more subtle indirect strategies, such as spreading rumors and enforcing social isolation (Ahmad & Smith, 1994; Smith & Sharp, 1994). Whether the bullying is direct or indirect, the key component of bullying is that the physical or psychological intimidation occurs repeatedly over time to create an ongoing pattern of harassment and abuse (Batsche & Knoff, 1994; Olweus, 1993).

Extent of the Problem

Various reports and studies have established that approximately 15% of students are either bullied regularly or are initiators of bullying behavior (Olweus, 1993). Direct bullying seems to increase through the elementary years, peak in the middle school/junior high school years, and decline during the high school years. However, while direct physical assault seems to decrease with age, verbal abuse appears to remain constant. School size, racial composition, and school setting (rural, suburban, or urban) do not seem to be distinguishing factors in predicting the occurrence of bullying. Finally, boys engage in bullying behavior and are victims of bullies more frequently than girls (Batsche & Knoff, 1994; Nolin, Davies, & Chandler, 1995; Olweus, 1993; Whitney & Smith, 1993).

Chracteristics of Bullies and Victims

Students who engage in bullying behaviors seem to have a need to feel powerful and in control. They appear to derive satisfaction from inflicting injury and suffering on others, seem to have little empathy for their victims, and often defend their actions by saying that their victims provoked them in some way. Studies indicate that bullies often come from homes where physical punishment is used, where the children are taught to strike back physically as a way to handle problems, and where parental involvement and warmth are frequently lacking. Students who regularly display bullying behaviors are generally defiant or oppositional toward adults, antisocial, and apt to break school rules. In contrast to prevailing myths, bullies appear to have little anxiety and to possess strong self-esteem. There is little evidence to support the contention that they victimize others because they feel bad about themselves (Batsche & Knoff, 1994; Olweus, 1993). Students who are victims of bullying are typically anxious, insecure, cautious, and suffer from low self-esteem, rarely defending themselves or retaliating when confronted by students who bully them. They may lack social skills and friends, and they are often socially isolated. Victims tend to be close to their parents and may have parents who can be described as overprotective. The major defining physical characteristic of victims is that they tend to be physically weaker than their peers--other physical characteristics such as weight, dress, or

wearing eyeglasses do not appear to be significant factors that can be correlated with victimization (Batsche & Knoff, 1994; Olweus, 1993).

Consequences of Bullying
As established by studies in Scandinavian countries, a strong correlation appears to exist between bullying other students during the school years and experiencing legal or criminal troubles as adults. In one study, 60% of those characterized as bullies in grades 6-9 had at least one criminal conviction by age 24 (Olweus, 1993). Chronic bullies seem to maintain their behaviors into adulthood, negatively influencing their ability to develop and maintain positive relationships (Oliver, Hoover, & Hazler, 1994). Victims often fear school and consider school to be an unsafe and unhappy place. As many as 7% of America's eighth-graders stay home at least once a month because of bullies. The act of being bullied tends to increase some students' isolation because their peers do not want to lose status by associating with them or because they do not want to increase the risks of being bullied themselves. Being bullied leads to depression and low self-esteem, problems that can carry into adulthood (Olweus, 1993; Batsche & Knoff, 1994).

Perceptions of Bullying
Oliver, Hoover, and Hazler (1994) surveyed students in the Midwest and found that a clear majority felt that victims were at least partially responsible for bringing the bullying on themselves. Students surveyed tended to agree that bullying toughened a weak person, and some felt that bullying "taught" victims appropriate behavior. Charach, Pepler, and Ziegler (1995) found that students considered victims to be "weak," "nerds," and "afraid to fight back." However, 43% of the students in this study said that they try to help the victim, 33% said that they should help but do not, and only 24% said that bullying was none of their business. Parents are often unaware of the bullying problem and talk about it with their children only to a limited extent (Olweus, 1993). Student surveys reveal that a low percentage of students seem to believe that adults will help. Students feel that adult intervention is infrequent and ineffective, and that telling adults will only bring more harassment from bullies. Students report that teachers seldom or never talk to their classes about bullying (Charach, Pepler, & Ziegler, 1995). School personnel may view bullying as a harmless right of passage that is best ignored unless verbal and psychological intimidation crosses the line into physical assault or theft.

Intervention Programs
Bullying is a problem that occurs in the social environment as a whole. The bullies' aggression occurs in social contexts in which teachers and parents are generally unaware of the extent of the problem and other children are either reluctant to get involved or simply do not know how to help (Charach, Pepler, & Ziegler, 1995). Given this situation, effective interventions must involve the entire school community rather than focus on the perpetrators and victims alone. Smith and Sharp (1994) emphasize the need to develop whole-school bullying policies, implement curricular measures, improve the schoolground environment, and empower students through conflict resolution, peer counseling, and assertiveness

training. Olweus (1993) details an approach that involves interventions at the school, class, and individual levels. It includes the following components: An initial questionnaire can be distributed to students and adults. The questionnaire helps both adults and students become aware of the extent of the problem, helps to justify intervention efforts, and serves as a benchmark to measure the impact of improvements in school climate once other intervention components are in place.

A parental awareness campaign can be conducted during parent-teacher conference days, through parent newsletters, and at PTA meetings. The goal is to increase parental awareness of the problem, point out the importance of parental involvement for program success, and encourage parental support of program goals. Questionnaire results are publicized.

Teachers can work with students at the class level to develop class rules against bullying. Many programs engage students in a series of formal role-playing exercises and related assignments that can teach those students directly involved in bullying alternative methods of interaction. These programs can also show other students how they can assist victims and how everyone can work together to create a school climate where bullying is not tolerated (Sjostrom & Stein, 1996).

Other components of anti-bullying programs include individualized interventions with the bullies and victims, the implementation of cooperative learning activities to reduce social isolation, and increasing adult supervision at key times (e.g., recess or lunch). Schools that have implemented Olweus's program have reported a 50% reduction in bullying.

Bullying is a serious problem that can dramatically affect the ability of students to progress academically and socially. A comprehensive intervention plan that involves all students, parents, and school staff is required to ensure that all students can learn in a safe and fear-free environment. References Ahmad, Y., & Smith, P. K. (1994). Bullying in schools and the issue of sex differences. In John Archer (Ed.), MALE VIOLENCE. London: Routledge. Batsche, G. M., & Knoff, H. M. (1994). Bullies and their victims: Understanding a pervasive problem in the schools. School PSYCHOLOGY REVIEW, 23 (2), 165-174. EJ 490 574. Charach, A., Pepler, D., & Ziegler, S. (1995). Bullying at school--a Canadian perspective: A survey of problems and suggestions for intervention. EDUCATION CANADA, 35 (1), 1218. EJ 502 058.

Nolin, M. J., Davies, E., & Chandler, K. (1995). STUDENT VICTIMIZATION AT SCHOOL. National Center for Education Statistics--Statistics in Brief (NCES 95-204). ED 388 439. Oliver, R., Hoover, J. H., & Hazler, R. (1994). The perceived roles of bullying in small-town Midwestern schools. JOURNAL OF COUNSELING AND DEVELOPMENT, 72 (4), 416419. EJ 489 169. Olweus, D. (1993). BULLYING AT SCHOOL: WHAT WE KNOW AND WHAT WE CAN DO. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell. ED 384 437. Sjostrom, Lisa, & Stein, Nan. (1996). BULLY PROOF: A TEACHER'S GUIDE ON TEASING AND BULLYING FOR USE WITH FOURTH AND FIFTH GRADE STUDENTS. Boston, MA: Wellesley College Center for Research on Women and the NEA Professional Library. PS 024 450. Smith, P. K., & Sharp, S. (1994). SCHOOL BULLYING: INSIGHTS AND PERSPECTIVES. London : Routledge. ED 387 223. Whitney, I., & Smith, P. K. (1993). A survey of the nature and extent of bullying in junior/middle and secondary schools. EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH, 35 (1), 3-25. EJ 460 708.

Good and Bad Bullying PSAs: How to Tell the Difference

By Rosalind Wiseman April 20th, 2011

When you work in bullying prevention like I do, you are repeatedly asked if there is a bullying epidemic. Sometimes its said as a statement of fact. An epidemic is a sudden, widespread occurrence of a particular undesirable phenomenon. Since conflict and abuse of power are inevitable between people and bullying is the abuse of power in a conflict, we have always had it. There is no epidemic. But the fact that bullying has existed forever doesnt make it right and it doesnt make it less painful when someone you love is experiencing it. What we are experiencing is an epidemic of ineffective bullying prevention educational programs and public service announcements (PSAs). In the wake of the medias recent focus on a handful of high-profile bullying cases that ended in a victims suicide, many organizations responded with multi-media anti bullying campaigns. Unfortunately these programs are often unrealistic and many ultimately give kids greater cause to dismiss adults as clueless and unable to help them solve the problem. While its important to formally evaluate these programs, those studies can take years and our children cant wait. We all need to agree on common sense criteria to differentiate messages that are laughable and easily dismissed, irresponsible or inaccurate, or realistic, relatable, and inspirational. With the goal of starting the conversation, heres what I think.

A bad bullying prevention program or PSA:

1. Relies on gimmicks, like anti-bullying T-shirts, useless slogans like, Bullying isnt cool. Dont do it, bracelets, pledges, and celebrity appearances as the principle educational strategy. 2. Depicts stereotyped situations. 3. Shows all white people at the center of the plot, or has token racial diversity. For example, the Queen Bee white girl with her backup Black and Asian friends. 4. Presents suicide as a natural consequence of being bullied and as a revenge fantasy against the bullies. Kids dont have to have suicide thrown in their face to take bullying seriously. Emphasizing suicide will make children think that any feelings less than that arent worth reporting. 5. Portrays no realistic and comforting adult presence. 6. Provides no skills or strategies to stop bullying beyond, Tell an adult and doesnt acknowledge that telling an adult often doesnt help at all. 7. Assumes that bullying is always one-way. 8. Gives the primary motivations to not bully as that you will be punished or feel guilty. 9. Emphasizes blame. 10. Ignores the fact that most bullies think theyre defending themselves or are at least justified; e.g. the victim deserves it. This is one of the primary reasons why a bully wont see themselves in these types of campaigns. Some Examples: A particularly poignant example of an ineffective and irresponsible PSA is the American Bar Association Antitrust Law Sections cyberbulling video. Like many, I have been extremely critical of this PSA. In response to criticisms of their original video, the ABA reedited it to the version below, which is no longer irresponsible but still ridiculous.

I am highlighting this PSA because Mr. Allan Van Fleet, the Chair of the Antitrust Law Section, defends their actions by saying that the video was a rough cut that [sic we] never intended be released to the public (Quoted from his comments on this Slate article). The ABA posted something online that they never intended other people to see? Somehow they dont realize the irony of this response given the subject matter. Its what teens say after theyve posted something inappropriate online and cant believe it went public. More unbelievably, in researching for this article I found that Mr. Van Fleet, who as the chair, must have some supervision over this project, has no privacy settings on his Facebook page. That means I was able to see all of the personal information he posted on line. From his personal postings, it is clear that Mr. Van Fleet is a decent person who means the best. But good intentions are not enough; you actually have to know what youre doing. And what is the first thing you tell children when they begin to use social networking? Set your privacy settings so only people you know and trust can see your information. I understand that the next video the ABA is doing is about sexting. Seriously. And they were asked to do it by the United States Department of Education. I am not joking about this. The National Crime Prevention Councils cyberbullying PSAs were done in conjunction with the National Ad Council and US Department of Justice. Entitled, In the Kitchen with Megan and Rant with McGruff, both use the classic outdated advice of, Just delete the bad messages you get and If you wouldnt say it in person, dont send it on line. If you work in schools you know there are plenty of kids who will say it and send it. The NCPCs radio PSAs, click the titles to listen: In the Kitchen With Megan Rant With McGruff

A Good Bullying Prevention PSA and Campaign:

1. Depicts realistic scenarios, knowing that if presented realistically the topic will hold the viewers attention. (T-shirts, bracelets and celebrities are unnecessary) 2. Incorporates the power, negative or positive, of the by-stander. 3. Clarifies, age appropriately, the difference between snitching and reporting. 4. Reflects young peoples understanding and experience of race dynamics. i.e. while racism can be a weapon to bully, children have a nuanced perspective on race. 5. Understands how homophobia is tied to bullying. 6. Has an adult (maybe a parent) comforting a child. 7. Doesnt patronize the viewer. 8. Provides skills and inspiration in equal proportion to depicting the problem. 9. Is willing to acknowledge that adults can be part of the problem as well as help solve or improve the situation. 10. Inspires people to take the risk to publicly support victims and responsibly confront bullies. Examples: For tweens:

Adinas Deck: Adinas Deck is a new Internet Safety DVD series designed for the classroom. In each episode, savvy characters solve contemporary problems including: cyber bullying, online predators, and plagiarism.

Why it's not always bad to be bullied: Learning to fight back helps children mature, says study
By David Derbyshire UPDATED: 09:01 GMT, 24 May 2010

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It is considered one of the most stressful experiences of childhood. But standing up to bullies and classroom enemies can help children develop, psychologists claim. A study has shown that youngsters are more popular and more admired by teachers and friends if they return schoolyard hostility in kind.

Tormentor: Harry Potter faces off with his nemesis Draco Malfoy. Research has found children who stand up to bullies can be more popular and mature Although the researchers accept that bullying can be damaging to children, leading to depression and anxiety, those who are not afraid to stand up for themselves can benefit from being picked on. 'Mutual dislike' can help students develop healthy social and emotional skills - and can sometimes have a bigger impact on their development than friendships, the researchers claim. In a study of American children aged 11 and 12, researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles, compared those who stood up to aggressors with those who did not. Children who returned hostility with hostility appeared to be the most mature, the researchers found. Boys who stood up to bullies and schoolyard enemies were judged more socially competent by their teachers.

Girls who did the same were more popular and more admired by teachers and peers, the researchers found. While the study did not suggest that it was healthy to be the victim of bullying, it found negative experiences could teach children about conflict resolution. It could also give them an early lesson that not everybody in life is going to like them, the researchers said. Psychologist Melissa Witkow, who is now at Willamette University in Oregon, said: 'The study backs up research from academic Helene Guldberg, child development expert at the Open University, who said teachers should not protect pupils from playground spats as they can help them handle difficult events in the future.' However, anti-bullying campaigners condemned her remarks at the time, saying teachers needed to be vigilant about the problem. Some celebrities have reflected on how fighting back against bullies helped define their childhood. Comedian Eddie Izzard said he became a 'rock' after fighting off bullies at the six boarding schools he attended. 'No one was going to give me a hard time because I was going to give them a hard time,' he said. 'I was already built to resist any problems that would come up.'

Michelle Heaton, the former Liberty X singer, was bullied at school because she was overweight. 'It was horrible but it made me a better person,' she revealed in an interview. Read more: Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

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The Good, the Bad & the Ugly About Bullying Prevention in Schools
Marsha 1 Comment May 8, 2013 The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Humane Education website at Share on facebookShare on twitterShare on emailShare on pinterest_shareMore Sharing Services3

Were fans of the pro-hero approach, rather than using an anti-bullying framework, but given that most educational institutions still think and act in terms of anti-bullying, this recent study by the American Educational Research Association (AERA) is relevant to anyone concerned about bullying in schools and universities. Prevention of Bullying in Schools, Colleges, and Universities: Research Report and Recommendations offers a series of 11 briefs addressing policy and practical strategies for the prevention of bullying in schools. As the report says, Bullying presents one of the greatest health risks to children, youth, and young adults in U.S. society. It is pernicious in its impact even if often less visible and less

readily identifiable than other public health concerns. Its effects on victims, perpetrators, and even bystanders are both immediate and longterm and can affect the development and functioning of individuals across generations. Here are the topics of the 11 briefs: 1. Looking beyond the traditional definition of bullying. (Bullying comes in many forms & there is currently no clear consensus on what bullying looks like.) 2. Bullying is a pervasive problem. (Bullying is everywhere and affects pretty much everyone in some way; it is greatly detrimental to health and well-being.) 3. More targeted research is needed about bullying of certain populations. (Certain groups of individuals are especially vulnerable to bullying, including students of color, students with disabilities, and students who identify as LGBTQ.) 4. Gender-based bullying is growing. (Sexual harassment, homophobic and transphobic harassment, and harassment for gender non-conformity are on the rise and need to be addressed.) 5. Knowing when bullying becomes legal harassment. (Types and forms of bullying cross the line into legal harassment. Schools need to know the legal implications and have policies and procedures in place to deal with such issues.) 6. A positive school climate reduces bullying. (Its important for schools to take steps to create a positive, safe school climate for everyone.) 7. Everyone needs to be involved. (Schools where students, staff, and parents are all involved in addressing bullying are able to realize sustainable reductions in victimization.) 8. Bullying at colleges & universities is misunderstood and underaddressed. (The unique elements of the structures of higher education lead to different kinds of bullying and harassment problems, which need to be addressed.) 9. Schools should use evidence-based programs to help them. (Its important to be able to assess how much bullying is occurring and how well it is being effectively reduced.) 10. Bullying prevention should be a core part of teacher prep programs. (Programs to train teachers, administrators, social workers, etc., should integrate instruction in harassment, intimidation, and bullying (HIB) prevention and school safety education.) 11. Bullying prevention programs and research need state and federal support. (Current methods are fragmented; financial and other support from state and federal agencies is essential to learning more about and reducing bullying and enhancing school climate.) Read the complete report. While a lot of recommendations in the report are sound, we think it would be even more productive to reframe the entire issue to focus on helping nurture students to become compassionate, conscientious citizens throughout all stages of schooling.

Imagine if from the beginning, students were taught how to be solutionaries and ordinary heroes. Imagine if humane education were infused throughout every subject at every grade level and were the overarching purpose of schooling. As Matt Langdon says in his TEDx talk, Ditching Anti-Bullying Programs to Build ProHero Schools: If you build a school of heroes, youre not going to deal with kids vandalizing the toilets, youre not doing to deal with kids beating each other up, youre not going to deal with people insulting each other or calling people names or sending naked texts of each other. And that stuff is going to just disappear, because the heroes take care of it themselves. ~ Marsha

Is it Bullying, or Bad Behavior?

May 29, 2013 by Andrea Bennett

Many argue that labeling all bad behavior bullying does no good.
Brought to you by Liberty Mutual's The Responsibility Project 1. The Responsibility Project 2. Relationships 3. Is it Bullying, or Bad Behavior? It seems the nations bully population is exploding; at least, according to anecdotal evidence from my Facebook page and article after article about bullies on the loose. Its so unfair that I am getting bullied like this! complained one friend on Facebook, who is, by anyones standards, privileged, beautiful and probably more likely the target of gardenvariety rudeness. Why make the distinction between bullying and rudeness? A recent New York Times op-ed piece by Slate senior editor Emily Bazelon, author of Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy, suggests that misdiagnosing bullying makes a real but limited problem impossible to solve. If every aggressive act is bullying, how can we stop it? The definition of bullying adopted by psychologists is physical or verbal abuse, repeated over time, and involving a power imbalance, Bazelon writes. In other words, its about one person with more social status lording it over another person, over and over again, to make him miserable. Equally vexing, writes Susan Eva Porter in the Los Angeles Times, is that once we label both bullies and victims, its awfully hard for either to shake their monikers down the line. Though shes speaking specifically about children, the logic holds for adults: As soon as children are

labeled bullies, this seems to give us permission to unleash on them a degree of anger and scorn that is frightening. As for the ones we label victims, we keep them identified with their pain and deny them the opportunity to develop true resilience. Likewise, labeling every aggressive act the work of a bully dilutes the important work of reducing actual cases of bullying harmful at the very least, and ultimately fatal in the worst cases. The way to identify real bullying, Bazelon suggests, is to listen to how teenagers (and, I would suggest, all of us) describe their interpersonal conflicts. Most teenagers can identify bullying, but they can also distinguish it from what they often call drama. In fact, its drama thats common, and bullying, properly defined, thats less so, Bazelon writes. What do you think about the importance in making a distinction between bullying and rude behavior: just a matter of semantics, or a crucial step for reducing future cases?

Bullying as a criminal offence - there's good and bad

Comments (7) RMcCarty-OKane 27th May 2013 8:27 AM

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Kids gorging on social media 13-year-old apologises for racist taunt agains Goodes Brave bully victim tells - there's light at end of tunnel

THE Australian Independents Party's call for bullying to be made a criminal offence has received a mixed reaction from the Coast's legal fraternity. With 74% of 500 people polled across three Coast electorates apparently supporting the move, party leader Dr Patricia Petersen said we should follow in the footsteps of the Victorian government, which passed the Crimes Amendment (Bullying) Bill in 2011. The Bill, known as Brodie's Law, after teenager Brodie Panlocktook her own life following a period of sustained workplace bullying, amends the state's Crimes Act 1958 to include bullying as a criminal offence. But prominent defence lawyer Travis Schultz, of Schultz Toomey O'Brien, said it could be difficult to enforce the legislation in courts. "It's fair to say that I have no problem with the criminalisation of deliberate bullying that is perpetrated with the intention of harming someone else," he said. "But if we are talking about trying to protect our children from bullying, I doubt that criminalising the conduct is the answer. "We need education and a change in culture." In Queensland, the age at which a person is charged as an adult is 17, while those under 14 are deemed incapable of criminal conduct. "Outlawing bullying, whilst difficult to define, is something which is laudable but will be problematic in the context of teens and kids," Mr Schultz said. State Attorney General and Kawana MP, Jarrod Bleijie, said the time had come for social media organisations to comply with governments across jurisdictions. "I have seen some very disturbing cases of cyber bullying, leading me to support law reform in this space," he said.

Mr Bleijie said ministers at the most recent Standing Council of Law and Justice meeting in Darwin agreed to work with their Police Minister counterparts through the equivalent Standing Council for a co-ordinated response to cybercrime issues.