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Police Warn against Online Bullying: Comments can be Criminal

Norwegian police is concerned about the development of cyberbullying, and reminds that it is a criminal offense to harrass people digitally.
Police Warn against Online Bullying: Comments can be Criminal
Photo : Franco Bouly

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Epithets like "whore" and "ugly" abound among Norwegian children online. Several schools warn against the social media Ask.fm. Now the police is concerned over developments.

- We are concerned about the children who are experiencing these comments, especially if they are alone, "the head of the youth section of Hordaland police district, Tone Loftesnes Kornli said to TV 2

When children do not share this with their parents or any adult, it is harder to end bullying. When bullying takes place anonymously, as on ask.fm, the follow up for the police is a little harder.

- It requires more resources to investigate these matters, says Kornli. But anonymous messages can be traced through technical means. Therefore it is important that people who are exposed to such digital harassment save chat logs, or take screen shots that can be used as evidence.

The youth section leader also notes that parents have little control over what their children are doing on social media. Parents need to to teach their kids netiquette.

Before the children create profiles on various social media, Kornli urges parents to carefully review the pages and to have their children’s passwords to user accounts.

- You have to make sure they are aware that what is posted online will remain there forever. It’s easier for young people to write or post something online when parents are not present, says she.

Police encourage both children and parents to contact police if they experience bullying online.

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