Schools ban Facebook over cyber mobbing increase

An increasing number of Austrian schools are banning access to social network platforms as more and more students become victims of online mobbing.Schools in the province of Styria have blocked access to websites such as Facebook and MySpace for two years, while dozens of schools in Lower Austria and other provinces recently followed the example.Studies have revealed that around 20 per cent of Austrian teenagers have become victims of mobbing in the World Wide Web.Bernhard Jungwirth, head coordinator of the platform “Safer Internet”, said yesterday (Weds): “The main different to mobbing at school is that teenagers are confronted with attacks on the internet 24 hours a day and that everyone can see and read all kinds of accusations and abuses.”The federal education ministry supports schoolsÂ’ initiatives to prevent access to social network sites by providing a special software programme.Recent research has shown that an overall 1.3 million of the eight million Austrians are registered Facebook members.