Oh, dear. A big piece by Emily Bazelon on that pet topic du jour, bullying, advocating more and more encroachment by social media networks and more and more empowerment for net-nannies -- and worse, the vigilantes in Anonymous.
Everything you're saying here is all wrong, Emily, and it will empower unaccountable corporations who don't use due process in their "governance," and worse, will enable and abet vigilante groups like Anonymous.
My God, how could you justify doxing people and having unaccountable, anonymous hackers bully and harass people suspected of bullying? Aren't you getting how this form of anonymous bullying ends up worse for society than the original crime? Use the abuse report button. And don't follow people who are nasty and block them and don't look them up. Do that instead of justifying wild-west posses!
It's truly awful. Can't you see that by advocating an endless chase after millions and millions of pieces of context-free speech with only 30 seconds of adjudication, not only are you not going to stop bullying -- as you effectively showed by tracking the one complaint that got two rejections from Facebook personnel -- you will create an over-controlled chilled atmosphere on these platforms that are increasingly taking the place of the town hall and the town square? They simply can't be contorted into net-nanny statelets imposing political correctness because of the problems of some teenagers. FB is ducking its corporate responsibility by deflecting people back to "real life," but there often are only distracted parents parking kids on the Internet to babysit them in real life, no "there there". So we have to develop other strategies. And that means ranges of services -- some that have First-Amendment strength full services with 18 and only and license, credit card or passport required to join, or some with kids that have live, hands-on monitors like MMORPGs do.
And hey, a little more perspective on the need to get kids to get off the Internet and solve problems in person is also in order.
No twelve-year-old should be on Twitter or any service tracking 17-year-old boys. Where are her parents? As my children were growing up, I kept their computers in the living room and supervised their time spent and their social networking. There were many rocky times when I helped them both avoid bullying when they were in tears and when I prompted them to stop joining in with bully parties easily started. Every parent should be right in the face of these services with their kids when they are in formative years. Their retreat to separate rooms or the gifting of laptops and cell phones should be privileges they earn after they can be trusted to behave and not get into trouble or cause trouble for others -- and then still monitored until they are 18.
You are putting too much reliance on these services to fix things. Good Lord, Facebook got its start as Mark Zuckerberg's lecherous "Hot or Not" app that he and his college buddies leered at as they eventually made "The Facebook". And you're expecting with founders like that, that users will be any different? It's also human nature. So supervise your children. Parents need to get behind LGBT children in real life and insist that the high school have inclusive prom polices, and if their parents won't do it, teachers must step up -- don't lead it to some ridiculous social network that is merely graphing bullying like the flu.
What you're failing to see is how the 60-second warnings and hobbles get in the way of adult political speech among peers when they are part of a vast net-nannying system, like this:
We can't have that. It's not good for us. It's not good for kids, either.
What we might debate is whether or not people should have the right to remove pictures of themselves, regardless of whether they took them, in which they are tagged, or whether they can remove references to themselves by other people they aren't comfortable with. In my sixth grade in the 1960s, nasty girls passed around "slam books" with anonymous gossip about each other, often cruel. Teachers confiscated them when they found them because fights broke out and feelings were hurt. So why can't we confiscate the slambooks on Facebook?
Have your kids defriend the haters like this, too, rather than gawk at them -- that will help to get them less attraction.
As for Anonymous, you've been seriously misled here. Anonymous is engaged in a fake reputational laundering effort right now to distract from their horrid roots in 4chan, where they spent a decade harassing and bullying other people, particularly young girls, with some of the most violent and misogynous porn on the Internet. And they are still bullies, as you can see if you try to call out their vigilante tactics around Steubenville, as I have personally discovered ---- and merely for questioning their own bullying tactics posing as anti-bullying activists, I've been severely harassed with "doxing", hacking attempts of all my accounts, spam attacks of my website, etc.:
Anonymous is engaged now in a sinister massive recruiting effort to criminal hacking operations by bringing in flocks of teens under the guise of "helping them" with bullying, LGBT, rape, suicide, etc. They are the worst possible people to be doing this, as in fact they create a climate of incitement and hysteria and deliberately inflame a victim mentality and a rage that there are bullies everywhere, when in fact there is sometimes merely criticism and legitimate speech, even within the TOS, let alone the First Amendment.
Take a big breath and ask yourself: who is really served by all this flocking to social media and hysteria about controlling speech on it?