Teachers’ newest online worry: ‘cyberbaiting’

A new report indicates that the more time children spend online, the more negative situations they are likely to encounter.

A new report sheds light on an emerging trend known as “cyberbaiting,” a phenomenon where students taunt their teachers to the point of outburst, then capture the teachers’ reactions via cell phone videos and post those videos online for all to see.

Cyberbaiting is the latest example of using social networking for bad behavior, and one in five teachers across the globe has personally experienced cyberbaiting or knows another teacher who has, according to the Norton Online Family Report, a global survey of more than 19,000 students, parents, and teachers in 24 countries.

Perhaps due to the emergence of cyberbaiting, 67 percent of teachers across the world say being friends with students on social networks exposes them to risks. Still, 34 percent of global teachers continue to “friend” their students.

In the United States, 15 percent of teachers are friends with students on social networking sites, 90 percent of teachers think that being friends with students exposes them to risks, and 11 percent of teachers know a fellow teacher who has experienced cyberbaiting.

Only 51 percent of teachers say their school has a code of conduct for how teachers and students communicate with each other through social media, according to the Norton survey.

Eighty-two percent of U.S. teachers think their school should be doing more to educate students about online safety–on par with 80 percent of global teachers. Sixty-five percent of U.S. parents believe schools should do more to educate kids about online safety, compared with 70 percent of global parents. Twenty-six percent of U.S. students think they receive too little online safety education at school.

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