NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A new campaign has been launched to fight Internet harassment which has got a lot of people talking.
CBS2’s Cindy Hsu reported a new video called “More Than Mean” shows men reading actual comments posted online directed at two female sportscasters – Julie DiCaro and Sarah Spain.
Some of the comments included calling them a “c***” and saying “I hope your dog gets hit by a car, you b****.”
The goal of the video is to show people what it’s like to actually say these things to someone’s face, instead of hiding behind an anonymous name.
“I think it’s great to release a video like that to show the reality of what’s actually going on behind the scenes,” Julia Tepel said. “It brings front the real problems that people face when they’re harassed on the Internet, and how it can affect people’s lives.”
Dr. Judy Kuriansky, a psychologist, said Internet harassment is no joke.
“Those adults who don’t think it’s a problem really need some psychological help, this is a serious problem. It is abuse,” Kuriansky said.
Kuriansky said the abuse can turn deadly.
“It creates shame. It creates embarrassment. It creates depression and at worst, in some cases, it can even lead to suicide,” Kuriansky said.
Mesgana Asmelash said parents need to teach kids how to tune out the garbage and recognize their self-worth.
“Self-esteem should be based on the relationships you have with people, your school and your social life and not really based on someone says on your photo, or what someone says on Twitter,” Asmelash said.
The men – who did not write the comments – apologized to the female sportscasters for what was said to them on social media.
“I’m sorry on behalf of people everywhere that you’ve had to deal with this,” one man said.
Kuriansky said it’s important for parents to stay on top of their children when it comes to what’s appropriate and safe to post on the Internet, and to know what to do if they become a target of cyberbullying.