From one of Canada''s foremost investigative writers, a
groundbreaking exposé on the motives and machinations behind
cyberabuse - tormenting, trolling, harassment, cyberbullying,
stalking, and sexual extortion - and the toll it is taking on
children, youth, and adults around the world.
It seems as if each week our news broadcasts, newspaper headlines,
Twitter feeds, and Facebook timelines are dominated by stories of
cyberbullying and other digital abuse. This isn''t the playground
teasing and name-calling of generations before the Internet. This
new abuse''s unique characteristics - anonymity, permanence, and
viral audience - can relentlessly exacerbate the humiliation, pain,
and danger of its victims.
Ugly rumours that once snaked through school hallways and around
the office water cooler are now delivered at lightning speed to the
world, while sexual extortion and revenge-porn sites target those
who''ve shared intimate images or had them stolen by hackers.
Cyberstalkers who target adults destroy reputations and careers.
And the splendid connectivity of social media, such as Facebook and
Twitter, also makes us vulnerable to "interpersonal terrorism,"
while apps that promise privacy and rapid deletion are ridden with
With vivid reportage, Paula Todd goes deep into the world of
"extreme mean," uncovering the people who use the Internet to
undermine lives rather than improve them. Through exclusive
personal stories of online abuse from around the world, including
the suicide of Amanda Todd and the untold costs of Rebecca Black''s
experience as "the most hated girl on the Internet," as well as
interviews with troll-tormentors, accidental abusers, victimized
kids, and adults, Extreme Mean explores the often
surprising roots of online abuse, challenges current academic
thinking, and offers new ways of understanding the nasty and the
nefarious who erode humanity and threaten Internet
Provocative, astute and compelling, Extreme Mean is a
shocking yet inspiring illustration of behaviour that affects all
of us. It''s a call-to-arms for change, and a search for ways to
turn a moral panic into a moral possibility.