reported news this morning that the education secretary, Alan Johnson, was determined to tackle online bullying in schools -- whether targeted at students or teachers.
Mr Johnson believes that the way to tackle this 'cyber-bullying' is to force websites like YouTube
and Rate My Teachers
to take a moral responsibility for the content posted by their users, who may post videos or other content of their victims.
Mr Johnson believes cyber-bullying is a major problem for schools and is causing many teachers to seek new jobs.
"The online harassment of teachers is causing some to consider leaving the profession because of the defamation and humiliation they are forced to suffer."
Cyber-bullies will often video their victims using mobile phones or digital cameras and then upload the video for others to view. As such, Mr Johnson has also highlighted the new powers teachers have to confiscate phones and MP3 players from students.
This is obviously a step forward in tackling cyber-bullying, though websites like YouTube are already struggling to monitor their content to ensure it conforms to the site's terms and conditions. It will also be interesting to see where the line is finally drawn between the personal responsibility of the bullies and the wider responsibilities of websites.
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