Infographic: Degrees of Meanness

Conceived of and created by summer interns, this graphic draws on the metaphor of the thermometer as a way to contextualize and frame the relationship between distinct but related forms of youth meanness: pranking/punking, gossip, drama, bullying, and extreme harassment. The graphic places each of these along the spectrum of a thermometer and provides textual (and research-based) explanations and examples of each. By reading this graphic, youth (and in fact, other adults) can learn more about the academic definitions of each of these terms, which often bleed together in popular discourse.

Download full size image.

Report: Bullying in a Networked Era

The Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University is pleased to share a new literature review by the Youth and Media team, contributing to The Kinder & Braver World Project led by danah boyd and John Palfrey:

Bullying in a Networked Era: A Literature Review“, by Nathaniel Levy, Sandra Cortesi, Urs Gasser, Edward Crowley, Meredith Beaton, June Casey, and Caroline Nolan, presents an aggregation and summary of recent academic literature on youth bullying and seeks to make scholarly work on this important topic more broadly accessible to a concerned public audience, including parents, caregivers, educators, and practitioners.

The document is guided by two questions: “What is bullying?” and “What can be done about bullying?” and focuses on the online and offline contexts in which bullying occurs. Although the medium or means through which bullying takes place influence bullying dynamics, as previous research demonstrates, online and offline bullying are more similar than different. This dynamic is especially true as a result of the increasing convergence of technologies. Looking broadly at the commonalities as well as the differences between offline and online phenomena fosters greater understanding of the overall system of which each is a part and highlights both the off- and online experiences of young people – whose involvement is not typically limited to one end of the spectrum.

The authors wish to thank all the collaborators at the Berkman Center, especially danah boyd and John Palfrey, for encouragement, guidance, and help. Thanks also to Dewey Cornell, Mia Doces, Dorothy Espelage, David Finkelhor, Lisa Jones, Amanda Lenhart, Mary Madden, Susan Swearer, and Michele Ybarra for their contributions and important work in the field. Further, we are deeply grateful for the invaluable research assistance provided by all the Youth and Media Lab team members.

The Youth and Media project at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University encompasses an array of research, advocacy, and development initiatives around youth and technology. To learn more, visit:

The Kinder & Braver World Project (KBW) is co-presented by the Born This Way Foundation (BTWF) and generously supported by the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The authors would like to thank Connie Yowell for her leadership and support. To learn more about the KBW Project and to access all publications in the KBW research series, visit:

Born This Way Foundation Partnership

The Born This Way Foundation (BTWF) has partnered with the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, The California Endowment and The Berkman Klein Center at Harvard to explore the best ways to reach youth and create a new culture of kindness, bravery, acceptance and empowerment. BTWF, a non-profit charitable organization, will address issues like self-confidence, well-being, anti-bullying, mentoring and career development and advocacy. With a focus on digital mobilization to create positive change, BTWF will lead youth into a braver new society where each individual is accepted and loved as the person they were born to be.