The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the students, administration, staff, or faculty of duPont Manual High School.
The Internet is a cornerstone of our society. Due to advancements in technology, we are able to relay information at increasingly fast rates, work remotely, and enjoy a better quality of life. All for a price. The notion that such a vast network of information could exist without abuse is naive. However, when does abuse infringe upon the realm of unadulterated cruelty?
The events leading to the recent attention on cyberbullying at Manual are, to say the very least, disturbing. The website highschoolcb.com (high school confession board), recently removed by one of its founders, Alex Zeltser, was an Internet forum created that allowed students to post anonymous comments about other students at their school. Comments ranged from harmless bickering about the superiority of magnet programs to direct personal attacks on classmates. Many of the comments were, by definition, libelous. The fact that the website was created by a Manual alumni, with the intent of capitalizing on a forum that led to the defamation of former classmates, is disconcerting. It is beyond comprehension as to why someone so talented would use his abilities to create something so harmful.
High school is a time of social development for students. It is inherent in the nature of adolescents to seek approval from their peers. The last thing they need is to be anonymously bullied on a public website. The Internet is not meant to be treated as a perverse fantasy world in which the things one says and does have no repercussions.
In the past ten years the national teen suicide rate has increased, while an ever expanding number of teens are being victimized online. The Pew Research Center, a Washington D.C. based think tank company wrote that in 2010, 32% of teens had been victim to online harassment. Words spoken, written or typed all have consequences. Mr. Zeltser made the right decision in removing his website. by Nash Whaley