Cyberbullying – Italian Ministry of Economic Developement promotes providers’ ethical code

8 January 2014 – Good news on Cyberbullying, bad news for cyberbullies.

The Italian Ministero dello Sviluppo Economico has published a consultation document that is the initial draft version of a code of ethics for Service Providers aiming at protecting young people from cyberbullying. “Cyberbullying is the use of Information Technology to harm or harass other people in a deliberate, repeated, and hostile manner” (cfr Wikipedia), and is one of the worrying sides of the present decay of public speech over Internet.

The document establishes a Committee made of experts taken from the stakeholders of the project : institutions (The Ministry, Agcom, Polizia postale e delle comunicazioni, Autorità per la privacy, Garante per l’infanzia e Comitato media e minori), industrial syndication (Confindustria digitale, Assoprovider ecc.) and operators(Google, Microsoft ecc.) and a principle of easy and quick reaction from qualified personnel in case of cyberbullying episodes.

This initiative is highly welcome, as this phenomenon is increasingly scary. Since 2008, 41 teenagers committed suicide admittedly due to mobbing and stalking episodes occurred while living a normal web-life (see enquiry –> here). It is hard to decide whether these (unjustifiable) deaths are “more” or “less” tragic than the effects this type of “mala educacion” is inducing in adults’ behaviours, such as the recent political mobbing cases emerged on Mr Bersani’s health conditions, or than plain religious censorship (as happened in Iran yesterday –>here).