Washington State A.G. Partners with ESA on Cyber Safety

Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna (left) has partnered with game publishers’ lobbying group ESA and Web Wise kids on an educational program aimed at keeping children safe online.

A press release issued by McKenna’s office quotes the A.G. on the initiative:

The devices that kids love, from smartphones to computers, are also being used to subject them to cyberbullying, scams and online stalkers. This program deploys a technology that’s very familiar to kids – video games – to teach   important lessons about staying safe in cyberspace.

ESA boss Michael Gallagher was on hand for the announcement, along with Web Wise Kids president Judi Westburg Warren and Washington’s Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn. Gallagher offered his comment:

The ESA Foundation is proud to provide the resources to launch this cutting-edge initiative. With the industry presence of Microsoft, Nintendo and other leading video game companies, Washington is a natural fit for launching this program. Working together, we believe the Web Wise Kids program will help educators teach Washington’s youth how to stay safe online…

A.G. McKenna, a Republican, has previously endorsed the ESRB rating system.

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  1. 0
    F__ked up says:

    1) is usually harmless, not always. Worst Case they completely ruin your experience online. For Instance, since we are on a gaming site, People who used to hang out in spawn zones or Players in the old online games that used to kill the newbies. It wasnt until Designers have implemented protection methods (block / ignore / lawful / Moderators / Report systems / etc) but there is always a few that pass buy. Just look at the comments on here some of them get personal.

    2) I wouldnt generalize it as "lazy man’s identity theif", there is more than just stealing an identity, sometimes the identity is created, or sometimes they dont need an identity. For the most part it is similar instances of framing someone for a crime, the easy targets are celebrites but that doesnt mean they dont do it to others. They have enough information about you to make it seem like you committed the act. I believe it is only illegal in Missouri at the moment, I havent seen more. But that is only way to cyberbully a person in this scenario, people have also impersonated criminals. There were the cases of cyber bullies pretending to be a pedophile and People posting Death Threats. I think those are quite damaging. In General the internet has become damaging for people looking for a jobs or people that already have jobs. So then nothing happens because of fake profiles? (parts of the links have stores that also pertain to scenario 3, I think I misplace some links)

    3) Scenario 3 a rare occurance? See some of the links from Scenario 2, it more common than you think. I used the Lori Drew Cases since that is the case everyone knows about. If you think that Lori Drew didnt have to dig, i believe you are mistaken since she had her daughter to help her. Basically it was, do something online, check to see how she reacted in real life, and repeat. We can go all through what ifs (what if Bush …? what if Chaney…? what if Iraq…? what if katrina…?) Hindsight is 20 / 20 after all but thats does not change the fact that it happened and similar situations will happen again.

    4)The scenario you described is probably the best case scenario for scenario 4, almost America’s Home Video (I love how u ignored my example). The scenario I describe is probably one of the worst case scenario where the Real Life bullying made worst thanks the public available nature of the internet. As I said in my example before person X is bullies at school, Locked naked in the locker where the person is filmed and / or photographed. The videos and pictures are place online where everyone can view and see. The links are then spread around school via email, twitter, myspace, facebook. Also the pictures / vids shared via cell phones. It now out for the whole world to see. Instead before the cyber age the pictures and vids could only be seen due to the limitations of physical medium. Yes people could have made photocopies and duplicates tapes but those have a physical limitation and way harder to distribute compared to the internet. I remember reading about a case I think 1 year ago where this happend but I cant find the article.

    As I said before and Will say it again the main difference between cyber bullying is that the bullying is no longer localized it now made public for everyone. It used to be that people would only get bullied in a specific area but now people are being bullied at all times of the day. Yeah its easy to say turn it off but then how long can you keep ur phone off or even your house phone (check out internet relay service)? stop checking your email? stop trying to keep connected with friends on social sites or instant messanger? The same technology we use to keep in touch with friends and families are used by the cyberbullies, so if you turn it off u turn off friends and family as well.

    After reading over your comment and other comments, it is really easy to draw the conclusion you lack critical thinking ablities and seclude yourself to your own little world. If you did a little research on the topic before "screaming" your head off you would do your self a favor.


    I am a critical thinker not a dumb ass inbred conservative or a jackass liberal

    Pedophiles are the new Nazi / Communist. Labeling someone a Pedophile will get them blacklisted even though there is no evidence.

    Murder is not a crime when done in self defense, a time of war, or when done by court order (death penalty). People cry murder when fetus are aborted. How about when the mother could die? The mother is 13 years old? The mother was raped? The child is a product of incest? Is foster care really the best answer for children who’s parents cant take of them? How many children actually end up in foster care when their parents are dead beats?

    A 14 year old is child when they have sex but is an adult when they commit murder?

  2. 0
    Austin_Lewis says:

    Alright, we’ll discard scenario 1, the most common scenario, because, as you said, no harm comes of it (except for ridiculously emotionally or mentally weak people).

    2. I wouldn’t call Y ‘dangerous’, it’s basically the lazy man’s identity theft.  Barely dangerous, more of an inconvenience/mid-level douchebaggery.  Also, illegal (for the same reason as the Lori Drew’s actions Re: Megan Meier were illegal).

    3. Scenario 3 is the VERY rarest of occurences.  Megan Meier’s case is an amazing case (strange by all accounts), but also the exception, rather than the rule, for cyberbullying.  I met one of the lawyers involved in the lawsuit at the 2008 ACJS annual conference in Cincinnati, and no part of the story wasn’t weird (and all parts smacked of Lori Drew being a helicopter parent).  Also, Lori Drew (the ‘person X’ in your scenario) didn’t ‘dig’ for anything; the suicide was triggered when Lori Drew’s myspace personality (Josh, if memory serves), basically told Megan that nobody liked her.  Megan’s mom, instead of comforting her distraught child, told her that it wouldn’t have happened if she had gotten off the computer when she was told.  Megan then goes upstairs and hangs herself in her closet. 

    4. Scenario 4 sucks, but its just the same as spreading around a school a picture of the head cheerleader waxing her moustache.  There’s no real ‘danger’, just humiliation, which is basically the same as that achieved by bullying (which is basically what this instance is, whether they use the internet or not). It also very rarely happens.

  3. 0
    F__ked up says:

    Cyberbullying is not bullshit. It is bullying that starts involving the whole world not just the local community. You need to taken into account the types of cyberbullying that is going on in the world.

    Scenario 1

    Anonymous person X cyberbullies Anonymous person Y on some online chatroom. Yes this cyberbullying is rather weak. There is really no harm done since both the people are anomyous. But Anonymous person X can use there friends to constantly cyberbully person Y. People ganging up on other people in chatrooms (I used to see a lot) or to use a video game example, Everyone playing on Halo multiplayer teamed up to kill only one person, I seen this only once while playing halo online, where I was playing a team game and even the persons own teammates were killing the person.

    Scenario 2 (Cyberbullying starts becomes dangerous)

    Anonymous Person X cyberbullies person Y, person Y has personal information posted online, eg Myspace, Facebook, twitter, iphoto, etc. This is where cyberbullying starts becoming dangerous. Peson X can use cyberbully by inviting friends but Person X (and Company) now has information about person Y, pictures, facebooks, myspace, Acquaintances, email address and etc. With pictures Person X can now start posting Adult Ads on Craigslist, Create fake accounts on Social sites or Adult Meeting sites, Photoshop pictures and post them online, Posting them on sites like http://www.uglypeople.com then sending all their friends links, search engines will now point to those pages when people ‘Google’ others, and etc. People in Person Y’s life (employers, new people (freshmen college roommate), etc) see Person X’s work on line. Ask person Y about it.

    Scenario 3

    Anonymous Person X cyberbullies person Y, Anonymous Person X and person Y live in the same area, person Y has personal information posted. Person X can do all that is described in Scenario 2 and then start taking into the real world and breaking other laws, such as stalking, harassment, and so forth. They also are no longer relying on person Y to give them fodder but are able to create their own fodder like pretend to be a pedophile.  They can dig up information on Person Y and use it against them. (See the Myspace Suicide Case).

    Scenario 4

    Person X cyberbullies person Y, person X and person Y know each other. This is where it really gets dangerous. Not only can they do what is decribed in all above Scenarios they can really damage person Y because they also can bully in real life. For example Person X bullies Person Y, Locks person Y in a locker naked while in gym class, takes a picture, sends the picture to people around school, then posts it online. Now person Y’s humilation is no long within the local community it has spread world wide where everyone can see it. It could go viral and everyone in the whole world can see it (Similar to LightSaber Kid). People who dont even know person Y, now get share in person Y’s humilating moment.

    Cyberbullying is not bullshit. It can hurt people, most cyberbullying instances fall under Scenario 1 but Scenario 2 – 4 can still occur.

    I am a critical thinker not a dumb ass inbred conservative or a jackass liberal

    Pedophiles are the new Nazi / Communist. Labeling someone a Pedophile will get them blacklisted even though there is no evidence.

    Murder is not a crime when done in self defense, a time of war, or when done by court order (death penalty). People cry murder when fetus are aborted. How about when the mother could die? The mother is 13 years old? The mother was raped? The child is a product of incest? Is foster care really the best answer for children who’s parents cant take of them? How many children actually end up in foster care when their parents are dead beats?

    A 14 year old is child when they have sex but is an adult when they commit murder?

  4. 0
    Neeneko says:

    Cyberbullying is not the same as trash talk, nor is making fun of someone in a thread or two.

    Cyberbullying is persistant harrassing of someone using electronic methods.  For a kid it can actually be pretty scary since usually it is someon they know IRL but they do not identify themselves.  And just like offline bullying sure it would be great if everyone could just shrug it off, but the bodycount from yearly suicides you get from the offline stuff is a good indication that there are plenty of people who can’t.

    I am also guessing you have never been on the loosing end of off-line ostraziation.  It can mean the differnce between getting by and having to leave the school.

  5. 0
    Austin_Lewis says:

    I think that we need to drop this ‘cyberbullying’ bullshit.  I’m sorry, but if you can’t take being mocked online, you need to disconnect your ethernet.  Trashtalking in video games is a time honored tradition that goes back to when someone first realized we could play games across the internet, and then figured out we could communicate across it via text.  That’s evolved to now, where we can hear 12 year old kids call us faggots between rounds of CoD4. 

    I have no problem with a program about how to identify stalkers, save that it is a VERY rare occurence.  But the cyberbullying thing is ridiculous.  What next?  Maybe a link at whitehouse.gov where they can report people who are ‘cyberbullying’?  Maybe Obama’s civilian paramilitary force will break into your house and beat your ass for making fun of that jackass who spent his whole time as a Tank in L4D smacking a wall? 

    In conclusion, teaching about stalkers good, cyberbullying is bullshit, etc.

  6. 0
    jedidethfreak says:

    As opposed to Democrats, who’d take the money for themselves and not pay their taxes.

    Go ahead and take a fake shot at conservatives, I’ll answer them with a real one about liberals.

    He was dead when I got here.

  7. 0
    Bennett Beeny says:

    If he’s a republican, then (positive story or not) he is by definition up to no good.

    The program probably includes funds for a bridge to one of his donors’ private islands, or a way to divert funds to his secret gay lover in Acapulco.

  8. 0
    hellfire7885 says:

    Cyberbullying can in cases get even worse. Where normal bullying can end once the two are far apart enough, cyberbullying can be pretty persistent. Sure the banhammer can get dropped but nothing will stop the truly persisent. They can gather pictures and such online and alter them and repost them in places, and the oen being harassed likely wouldn’t know until they find out a day later and many more know.



  9. 0
    Neeneko says:


    Educational games like this always have to be very careful.  While they can be useful in letting kids know about real dangers, if you overdo the threat you run the risk of, when they discover things are not as bad as they have been lead to believe, they question the rest of it and swing too far the other way.

    One saw a lot of that with the anti-pot ads that were runing a while back.  They showed all sorts of horrible people and consequences revolving around pot.. that if you smoked even a single joint you would spirl into a horrible life and loose all your friends and sit around and do nothing.  Big scare tactics.

    However, when kids looked around at pot smokers and saw that reality did not match the ads, they completly disregarded anything the agency had to say.  Harmless for pot, but it runs the risk of them ALSO ignoring warnings about harder drugs that really do have significant spiral problems.  For instance, the warnings that are put out about how, say, crystal meth can mess you up, have some significant truth to them.  But if they come from the same source that was caught being less then honest on softer drugs like pot, well, they are not going to be believed… so kids might be more willing to try things that are real dangers.

    Anyway…. my original point is that educational warning stuff can actually make things worse if you try to use it to scare people into avoiding something.

  10. 0
    Neeneko says:

    The frequency of them is a myth, but the actual action is not.  Stalking and grooming do happen, just not as frequently as the nightly news trys to warn you about.

    Though a more common form of ‘stalking’ would actually be a version of cyberbullying and involves someone using anonimity to harrass someone on-line that they already know in real life.

  11. 0
    Bennett Beeny says:

    Cyberbullying and online scams are real, but online stalkers are an urban myth.  While the internet is a great tool for bullies and scams, it’s about the worst possible tool a stalker could use.  Heck, most of the ‘kids’ a stalker would find online are actually fat balding 50 year-olds.  The rest are probably living so far away from the stalker that he may as well not bother.

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