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Long Island Youth Summit Cyber-bullying workshop

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Long Island Youth Summit

Social Networking workshop was moderated by Dr. Rashesh Dholakia, Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Fellow at the North Shore LIJ Health System. Students in the workshop discussed the fact that the use of social media has many advantages such as connecting with family and friends, motivating and inspiring people for a cause, or doing business. Using social media can also pose risks, including cyber-bullying and privacy invasion. Participants noted that minimizing the negative risks related to social media could be achieved through advancing the education of site users regarding a site’s privacy policy and its potential security risks. Users can learn not to post anything that can compromise their reputation or can be considered an act of cyber-bullying. Education about social media and cyber-bullying should start early and include all stakeholders: students, parents, teachers, and policy makers.

It is important to think about cyber-bullying pro-actively and urge legislators to pass cyber-bullying laws. Students discussed the need to legislate aspects of accountability and responsibility of social media companies to make sure that privacy policies are more accessible and understandable; to ensure that reporting abuse online is straight forward and user friendly; and to eliminate or penalize websites that permit posting on-line content anonymously as this can foster an environment conducive to cyber-bullying.

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