TODAY   |  October 22, 2013

Should mom ID Twitter bully?

TODAY’s Willie Geist, Al Roker and Natalie Morales talk about the stories of the day including the Nevada school shooting and whether one mom should be able to learn the real identity of a Twitter bully.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> welcome to today on a tuesday morning. october 22nd , 2013 . it's a good, crisp fall day out there.

>> yes it is.

>> really feels like it.

>> willie geist with al roker and natalie morales . talking this morning about the shooting in nevada. another school shooting . another heroic teacher. authorities trying to figure out what motivated a student to bring a gun to a school opening fire, killing a teacher.

>> this is a middle school .

>> yeah, and wounded other students before taking his own life. witnesses say sparks middle school math teacher, mark landsberry.

>> former marine.

>> yeah. quickly stepped forward to try to stop the teenage shooter, indeed, sacrificing his own life. both of the students wounded are expected to survive. the students were arriving for glas class.

>> how many times do we have to see the pictures? it's so unbelievable. it's heartbreaking to see this is becoming a monthly occurrence it seems.

>> in 2013 , 12 mass shootings so far. the year isn't over yet.

>> eric holder spoke about this yesterday and he pointed out that number and it tells you, we have a real problem here in this country and it's so tragic.

>> and the question is what to do about it? we have this giant national discussionn the wake of sandy hook and the outcome wasn't much.

>> nothing.

>> nothing happened.

>> it almost seems like this is just -- well, this is what we're going to see.

>> yeah.

>> and that's really disturbing.

>> and the answers are never simple. it's not just guns it's mental health . it's families. it's all kinds of things.

>> when you have middle schoolers showing up to a school with a loaded weapon.

>> which begs the question, how did he get it?

>> exactly. lots of questions there and we'll be following that story but another heartbreaking one.

>> and again another story we're following, cyber bullying , this seems to be an all too common occurrence.

>> this is a growing problem. chicago sun times reporting that a chicago mother petitioned twitter, the company twitter to reveal the identities between two social media accounts that have been bullying her daughter. on thursday, the mother filed a discovery motion against twitter that say it posted her daughter's photograph without her permission, the phone number , name, city where she lives. one posed as her daughter and published tweets writing things like my passion is being fat and encouraging other users to sext her. now can she have the identities revealed or does twitter have the obligation to keep them private?

>> the legal question is a huge one. there's questions like this about facebook. but a twitter spokesperson said we do not comment on individual cases or accounts for security or privacy reasons. they do have on twitter rules. in an area where you can rept if there are cases of abuse. so they do refer people to that if there is an instant where people are being defamed or abused. but the question is if you set that precedent then what? you have to look at every single case that comes up.

>> but, you know, one of the things that is the problem with facebook or, especially twitter, is that people can beanonymous.

>> right.

>> would they say these things if their identities were revealed?

>> never.

>> if people knew who they were, what they looked like.

>> right.

>> as they bully and castigate people anonymously, would they be so quick to do it if we knew who they were?

>> go to the comment section of any story on the web it's all anonymous and if you ever confront someone on twitter and you take an approach and respond to them, nine times out of ten.

>> if you just say -- just approach them, suddenly when they know their identity is revealed, nine times out of ten they step back.

>> most of the people doing this are cowards.

>> that's right.

>> well, this is an interesting case. tell us what you think. do you think this mother should have the access to the identities of these kids or whoever it is bullying her daughter?

>> # orange room , should people be able to get information about people who are bullying their kids?

>> right.

>> they have to make it stop.

>> how should twitter react? what should they do?

>> we get this story every year about somebody is banning halloween . some schools ban costumes and candy on their campuses. the excuses for this range from safety concerns to specific worries about food allergies to fears of breaching the wall of separation between church and state .

>> we like to worship satan. we don't want to have that happen.

>> our schools in our town, they're pretty much like don't wear costumes to school. we'll celebrate and afterwards the town has a great parade for the kids and all the vendors get out on the street and give out candy.

>> right.

>> but i do think -- it's one thing to encourage kids to celebrate, you know, a holiday or whatever. but halloween is not necessary a holiday. it's a fun, you know, public celebration.

>> how fun letting kids wear their costumes.

>> some people do see it as celebrating something less than wholesome, a pagan holiday.

>> i think it puts pressure on parents to have to find costumes for their kids. some kids, my costume wasn't as good as sally's. there's that element there.

>> let them duke it out.

>> with all the peanut allergies .

>> there are non-peanut candies.

>> yes but there's one reason to be cautious.

>> a school in pennsylvania sent parents a note saying that wearing halloween costumes was cancelled because safety was a top priority. another one tried to ban halloween activities due to a mix of dietary and constitutional concerns.

>> some of these costumes look really realistic.

>> there might be a zombie at the school. then what would you do.

>> there was a saturday night live sketch where he says the flaming torch costume. oily rags and zippo lighter .

>> that's one of the greatest sketches of all time. the plastic bag with a rubber band . trust me. it's great.

>> check it out on youtube.

>> no plastic bags over the head.

>> so i heard we were clues on a game show .

>> on millionaire.

>> who wants to be a millionaire. let's see it.

>> for the first time in his 39 years of morning tv, which host overslept and ironically missed the taping of his weather channel show "wake up"?

>> was it willie geist , matt lauer , george, al roker .

>> i know al roker does the weather for the "today" show and also has wake up with al on the weather channel . so i'll make d my final answer.

>> and you are right.

>> well done.

>> how about that guy's knowledge of the roker portfolio.

>> he knows the whole deal.

>> "wake up with al." he knows what i have for breakfast. he's wearing an orange shirt.

>> just hope he doesn't have your pin codes or anything.

>> oh, man.

>> the day before you did that i overslept for my show too but i got off the hook because you came in and stole the thunder.

>> that's what i'm here for.

>> remember we were talking about manflunecing.

>> the wall street journal says they're starting to market to men with larger portion sizes and different packaging.

>> we are going to have a segment coming up. which gender does most of the grocery shopping and meal preparation in your home.

>> we cleared out the orange room .

>> carson bolts at 9:00.

>> i'll be in there reading some of your --

>> that's a sad room right now.

>> yeah, daily has to go -- because he sits there after the show but plus he has to maintain the three day growth.

>> he works on that.

>> he's got the tie coming down now. looks like he's on a bender.

>> he works it.

>> al roker , you got a check of the weather, right?