Comment: Cyber-bullying is growing problem

The suicide of a 15-year old girl in Leitrim, because of cyber bullying, highlights one of the darker manifestations of technology and its effect on young and sometimes vulnerable people.

The suicide of a 15-year old girl in Leitrim, because of cyber bullying, highlights one of the darker manifestations of technology and its effect on young and sometimes vulnerable people.

Cyber bullying has become a grim and merciless phenomenon, a form of bullying effectively by remote control in which the lack of face to face interaction, and anonymity, is a major factor.

The vitriol and vehemence of some of the comments posted on social websites amongst teenagers almost defies description.

Many individuals have found themselves subjected to a sustained torrent of intense abuse.

And the problem is growing.

Children as young as seven or eight now have online access, through one medium or other, and the number of chat websites is increasing and becoming more sophisticated.

For parents, it is very difficult to police, because of the huge number of websites and their transient nature.

Equipping kids to use the internet responsibly and to deal with these sites has to be a priority.

Greater public awareness is one step, but it is truly tragic that it takes the death of a young person to highlight it.