The Thanet Gazette has done its readers a service by drawing their attention to the news of violence and intimidation involving Thanet teenagers at www.bebo.com .
It’s bad enough when adults hide behind the anonymity of the web but imagine the impact on young people when threatening and abusive language is used against them and even camera-phone photographs of them being beaten-up.
What strikes is how helpless the police are to deal with this kind of behaviour from the internet. It’s the same everywhere in Europe, young people are using new technology to run rings around the authorities, where legislation can take years to implement and action is slow to non-existent because politicians fail to realise the implications and law-enforcement has other, more pressing priorities.
“Digital” tension is an expression I used at the EU conference in Lyon over the last three days to describe the relationship between Europe, the United States and China but it also has a place in describing the relationship between the generations where the internet is concerned.