Teenager's Beating Raises Cyberbully Fears

Bizarre confrontation triggered by MySpace trash-talking
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 10, 2008 5:20 AM CDT
Six Florida girls aged between 14 and 17 viciously beat up one of their classmates and filmed the attack. The girl lost part of her sight and hearing.   (yorleDoweL)
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(Newser) – Parents and educators are still puzzling over how a dispute among girls got so out of hand that it ended with six Florida cheerleaders giving a high school classmate a concussion in a vicious beating. Teen bullying is nothing new but the fact that the feud started on MySpace and ended up with a video posted on You Tube highlights new worries about cyberbullying, the Lakeland Ledger writes.

Police say the vicious attack happened after "trash-talking" by the victim on MySpace. One internet expert warned that the nature of online communication can lead to intense conflicts because teens tend to post far more hurtful comments than they might say to someone's face. Resulting consequences "sometimes explode," she said. More than a third of teenagers reported being a victim of cyberbullying in a recent study. (Read more Florida stories.)