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DIGITAL DISRESPECT: WHAT IS IT?

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Spreading negative or embarrassing dirt (true, untrue, or unknown, via text, pic or video) about someone behind their back or to their face.



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    3 QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF ABOUT DIGITAL DISRESPECT

    3 QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF ABOUT DIGITAL DISRESPECT
    1. Would it be okay if this was happening offline?

      As in, would you walk up to a group of people you barely know and announce that you heard that one of them cheated on their bf at Battle of the Bands with that hot bass player? Then why would you post it online? Here's your chance to be the bigger man or woman. Opt out and call it out when you see it.

    2. Will spreading this information come back to haunt me?

      Assume that if you're spreading rumors, gossip or lies about somebody online, someone will kindly return the favor. Call it digital karma.

    3. Isn't it just harmless fun?

      In the moment, sure—but since online comments can roll way farther than you mean them to, your random comment about someone else's private life could end up blowing their big break someday, when a prospective employer digs up old dirt. So why shovel it in the first place?

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    WHAT COULD HAPPEN?
    • The rumor going around about you and the cheerleader's boyfriend turns into an online war—and you're a prisoner. You fail half your classes cause you're preoccupied and stressed out. So long, scholarship!
    • The rumor that you started about the cheerleader's boyfriend comes back to haunt you--you get defriended by most of your network. So long, social life.
    • The cheerleader's boyfriend, who's a great friend of yours, gets trashed online (and dumped by her) even though the rumors aren't true, and he's so depressed he quits the team and stops going out. Bummer.
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    DRAW YOUR LINE
    • Unhide. If you wouldn't say it to a person's face, don't say it online or text it.
    • Disengage. If someone's talking about you, don't respond—everything you say just fuels the fire. In this case, silence is golden.
    • Secure your stuff. Find the privacy settings for all the networks you're part of, and use them. They're there for a reason.
    • Save everything. If you're being harassed online, save the messages, posts, comments, etc. so that you can back up requests for blocking or even a protective order (should it come to that).
    • Know your legal rights
    • Use your voice. A site administrator, parent, teacher, or other authority figure you trust can help you deal with nasty stuff happening online — but you have to let them know it's happening.
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