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Cyber space bullying must stop

The full force of the law must be used in the battle against cyber bullies. That was the message delivered to legislators at a conference on the issue in Newry. Revealing that he himself had been a victim of bullying while at school, sponsor and organiser of Thursday’s Growing Up in a Digital World Conference SDLP councillor Connaire McGreevy described the growing threat of online abuse as “an epidemic or cruelty and hatred.” Mr McGreevy added that  Northern Ireland Justice Minister David Ford should learn from and respond positively to the experiences of other jurisdictions in terms of confronting cyber bullying tactics. “In Canada legislation is being introduced to make cyber bullying illegal,” he said. “The Canadian Justice Minister will be able to authorise the seizure of computers and mobile telephones as well as forcing the removal of images and text from the internet. Our neighbours in the Republic of Ireland have enhanced legislation to tackle top tackle cyber bullying. A year ago England and Wales also tightened up a number of loopholes surrounding internet abuse. But in Northern Ireland there appears to be practically no legislative appetite to face down the posters of hate messages.” Speaking after the event which also featured Warrenpoint based cyber safety expert Wayne Denner and media lawyer Paul McDonnell, key-note speaker Dr Emma Short praised Mr McGreevy saying he had “created an occasion for the Newry community in which experts in law, social networks and psychology spoke about the opportunities and risks our young people face in cyber space,”


Newry Democrat

26th November 2013