Back when Debbie Heimowitz was a middle schooler in Castro Valley, if you wanted to cut somebody down you talked behind her back. Now you post your putdowns on the Internet. Heimowitz, a 26-year-old grad student at Stanford, has made a film about this online cruelty.
“Cyber bullying is harassing someone using the Internet, cell phones and any sort of digital technology. A common scenario is they will find somebody’s picture on the Internet that they know from school. Let’s say it’s ‘Amy.’ I download the picture, Photoshop it, go to MySpace, create a new account, create a new e-mail address and display this whole ‘I Hate Amy’ MySpace page. Then I have everybody at school write mean things about Amy in the comments section. Amy finds out that now everybody at the school hates her and has no clue who started this page.