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Topic # 40761 3-Sep-2009 09:49 Send private message

A reporter asked me yesterday how I drew a link between the technolgy environment and the increase in abusive behaviour using cell phones. This is what we notice happening.


The cost of our text service in Youthline continues to grow. Based on this we of course would value the cost of text going down. However there is a downside to the lowing of costs. As we enter a time where there is a throw away nature to the purchase of sim cards we create an ability for unanimous traffic.

Bullying has always been an awful part of young people’s lives and this behaviour spills over into the digital community. Youthline has some concern about the throw away nature of sims cards as they create an unanimous doorway for perpetrators to hide and unleash their attacks on young people.

In additions help lines have always been subjected to a small number of abusive callers who ring up to masturbate whilst talking with young women and abusive texters. We have no hesitation in referring these men to the police. It is now getting harder to trace callers or texters. Regulators need to be aware of these issues building solutions as we move forward.




Stephen Bell

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  Reply # 252885 3-Sep-2009 11:37 Send private message

Anonymous?

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  Reply # 252887 3-Sep-2009 11:44 Send private message

Basically you are saying that reducing the price of an item (SIM card) is bad because it lowers the barriers for sad low life people to get their communications means. You also say that cheaper SMS services are bad because some people may find it easier to bully others.

In reality technology provides ways around this. For example someone might use a free SIM card to play those phone calls, remove the SIM and put his other SIM card back.

Every single call in the system provides the cell site with the SIM card number, plus the handset number (IMEI). Police investigating abuse could simply ask for a warrant so that the operators could provide them all accounts who used the same handset. At some point those accounts are post paid - with valid, account verified information - or recharged either via credit card or bank link.

At this point the police can conduct their enquiries with the person responsible for this handset. Or the operator could block that handset from their network, which means automatically the abusive caller would have a much higher economical barrier to overcome - buying a new handset is not cheap and these days require some form of id - payment via credit card or EFTPOS for example.

You see? Bringing down prices doesn't mean abuse is lurking.





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  Reply # 252893 3-Sep-2009 12:06 Send private message

Completely agree with freitasm here.

The argument that lower prices will cause more cyber bullying, so therefore we shouldn't lower prices, is a relatively amusing attempt to keep prices high.

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  Reply # 252900 3-Sep-2009 12:47 Send private message

Just because Vodafone is a Youth line sponsor and have educated you on MTR's it doesn't mean what they say has to be true.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/2828501/More-mobile-spamming-sparring




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  Reply # 252902 3-Sep-2009 12:58 Send private message

Perhaps the government should do the following:

- Place a $5 levy on SMS messages
- Place a $5 levy on emails
- Place a $5 levy on instant messages via MSN/GTalk etc
- Increase the price of a postage stamp to $5
- Charge 50 cents per word spoken - this would require placing CCTV cameras everywhere including peoples' homes, yes it's an invasion of privacy but won't somebody think of the children?

That'll sort out the bullying.

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  Reply # 252905 3-Sep-2009 13:01 Send private message

If the cost to send a text message is lower than 20c, then more cyber bullying will occur (according to Vodafone)

Vodafone fail to mention that they currently sell 2000 text for $10, which = .5c per text.

To me, these arguments are making Vodafone look stupid....

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  Reply # 252910 3-Sep-2009 13:35 Send private message

browned: Just because Vodafone is a Youth line sponsor and have educated you on MTR's it doesn't mean what they say has to be true.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/2828501/More-mobile-spamming-sparring


There's a wee thing called the Unsolicited Electronic Messages Act that's in place to stop the kind of spamming that they're talking about. How much spam actually originates in NZ (email anyway)? Very little I'd guess.



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  Reply # 252914 3-Sep-2009 13:54 Send private message

Actualy youthline pays over 150K to telcos each year!

The issue is how the environment we and young people operate in is sharply effected by the rules created both by regulator and by commercial operators.

I think I pointed out that we would like to pay less for texts and I appreciated the explanation about tracing calls. we do not always get that level of response when there are abusive texters.

I had a good conversation with a IT person today about how to make access for families better across providers which I will follow up.

And by the way these posting are from my concern from someone who has worked with young people for 25 years not because of any sponsor link.




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  Reply # 252968 3-Sep-2009 18:14 Send private message

If being able to buy a $2 sim card promotes bullying, then look at the flipside, someone being bullied can buy a new sim with a new number if it is "that bad" for only $2.

As far as price goes, what bs.

If I wanted to bully someone I could use the following actions free:

- put a note in their letterbox (schoolbag)
- use msn, yahoo im etc.
- ring their landline phone (provided they are local)
- facebook, bebo etc.

Let's put the cost up to $10 per SMS so the kids can just go back to beating the crap outta each other like they did when I went to school.

Kids will always find an alternate means to bully someone.

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  Reply # 253071 4-Sep-2009 07:53 Send private message

I'm quite frankly amazed that Vodafone has stooped so low as to get charities that they sponsor to speak up on their behalf. All it does is say to me "Vodafone really does depend on these MTR's as a revenue stream, so they will do anything in their power to keep the status quo".



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  Reply # 253105 4-Sep-2009 10:41 Send private message

It amazes me the how passionate people get about these issues. The issue is about how conscious people are about the link to how regulations and commercial decsions effect the lives of people in very real ways.

I take exception to the comments about vodafone "getting" charities to speak up. We are substantial businesses that speak up because we deal with the down sides of these decisions all the time.

And yes we do get information from those that we have a commercial relationship with. That is one good thing about the environment we work in. For the first time in 40 years we have had a choice about who we do business with and that has resulted in substantial savings.

Perhaps we need to move away from the dualistic thinking we there are good guys and bad guys and ponder the effects of decsions.

some of the comments have been very uesful in unpacking the issues others are just simplistic insults.




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  Reply # 253118 4-Sep-2009 11:18 Send private message

Stephen1: It amazes me the how passionate people get about these issues. The issue is about how conscious people are about the link to how regulations and commercial decsions effect the lives of people in very real ways.

I take exception to the comments about vodafone "getting" charities to speak up. We are substantial businesses that speak up because we deal with the down sides of these decisions all the time.

And yes we do get information from those that we have a commercial relationship with. That is one good thing about the environment we work in. For the first time in 40 years we have had a choice about who we do business with and that has resulted in substantial savings.

Perhaps we need to move away from the dualistic thinking we there are good guys and bad guys and ponder the effects of decsions.

some of the comments have been very uesful in unpacking the issues others are just simplistic insults.


And imagine how it looks to us. Suddenly Vodafone is confronted with a threat to their inflated earnings and the charities meant to be there for the good of the people start using their voice to support companies that help them financially with a pretty weak argument supporting them (in my opinion), in my eyes you've lost credibility.

Can I ask if Vodafone didn't get you to speak up, how did you first come to the idea that cheap texts = more bullying and what prompted you to speak up?

Have you spoken to Vodafone about their 2000 texts for $10 plan? Surely this must be concerning you if you believe the argument that cheap texts = more bullying? You worry about texts yet communication across the internet costs nothing and arguably it's more anonymous that texts, and with mobile internet becoming more commonplace they can do this from anywhere. Text messages in the US can cost US20c per message (to both send & receive), which is more expensive that here, yet bullying still happens there.




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  Reply # 253122 4-Sep-2009 11:39 Send private message

The people I have meet at Vodafone impress me as New Zealand parents who also wish to make a difference in their local communities. In 40 years of service this is the first telco that has stepped up to support Youthline. And yes we listen to them but in all environments the people who you work with provide you with information. It is the same when I worked in a commercial environment.
However what I have written is not directed by Vodafone but by the ongoing challenge to deal with the downsides of the digital world.

I am not saying increase the costs of texting I am saying beware of what it means and Vodafone are investing in ensuring young people who are affected can be supported!

It is also true that if the press release was not sent out I probably would not have been compelled to write these notes.

It?s the black and white nature of your argument I have difficulty with. What I have been shown and what I know from managing over 200,000 text a year in our service is that there must be steps that can be taken that assist in mitigating the downsides of the text environment.

Rarely has these issues been talked about except for the occasional hysteria about text bullying. As I said there are powerful protective factors in the connectedness of young people and there are equally many problematic issues.




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  Reply # 253128 4-Sep-2009 11:56 Send private message

Stephen1:
It is also true that if the press release was not sent out I probably would not have been compelled to write these notes.

It?s the black and white nature of your argument I have difficulty with. What I have been shown and what I know from managing over 200,000 text a year in our service is that there must be steps that can be taken that assist in mitigating the downsides of the text environment.



Black & white nature of my argument? You're the one suggesting cheap texts = more bullying, I'm just showing there's much more easy & anonymous avenues for bullying. I quote from your press release:

Both Parents Inc. and Youthline are concerned about the other unintended consequences of regulation, such as the potential for an increase in text spam and text bullying. When a service is very cheap or free, it increases the risk of abuse.

You still haven't answered my question regarding Vodafone's 2000 texts for $10, do you believe they should remove this plan? They also don't charge for receiving twitter messages, surely this is another avenue for bullying?

I believe you also should have put a disclaimer in your original message that you receive funding from a telco that has a financial interest in this subject, it took another forum member to make people aware of this fact.

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  Reply # 253130 4-Sep-2009 12:02 Send private message

meesham:

You still haven't answered my question regarding Vodafone's 2000 texts for $10, do you believe they should remove this plan? They also don't charge for receiving twitter messages, surely this is another avenue for bullying?

I believe you also should have put a disclaimer in your original message that you receive funding from a telco that has a financial interest in this subject, it took another forum member to make people aware of this fact.



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