Cyberbullying

By Sangam

July 12, 2020

In the present era of rampant growth of internet, Cyberbullying is the biggest challenge for the legislators to deal with. Cyberbullying or Cyber harassment is actually texting or posting unwanted and repeated comments and including any threatening, insulting, nudity, dehumanizing gestures, rumors, sexual remarks or victim’s personal information;  or pejorative labels, by a student or an adult, that is pervasive enough to create victim’s lower self-esteem; intimidating and hostile behavior; increased suicidal thoughts and attempts; cause discomfort or humiliation and a variety of emotional responses.

Cyberbullying is a common form of bullying over the internet in any online community like Facebook, the second most visited website and now acting as an internet’s portal. The last decade has witnessed a surge of Cyberbullying via E-mail, Twitter, Myspace, instant messaging, online gaming, etc.Teenagers are more affected from its outbreak than adults. By 2008, 93% of people between the ages of 12 and 17 were online. One million children were harassed, threatened or subjected to other forms of Cyberbullying on Facebook during the past year, while 90% of social-media-using teens who have countersigned wired savagery.  

The Different Kinds of Cyberbullying

  • Anonymity: This is the condition when bully is unknown which makes it harder for the victim to find out the person who is threatening him.
  • Flaming or Chatroom Bullying: The bullies use bad languages in messages to insert and use emotional pressure.
  • Cyberstalking:  In this form of Cyberbullying, perpetrator use electronic communications to stalk a victim.
  • Trolling: Internet trolls intentionally try to stimulate or distress someone in order to trigger a reaction. Trolls are not always Cyberbullying. 
  • Exclusion: In this, someone is excluded from an online group intentionally.
  • Denigration: It is sending or posting cruel rumors or falsehoods to damage reputation and friendships.

Types of Cyberbullying

  • Nude photo sharing
  • Encouraging self-harm or suicide
  • Lies and false accusations
  • Bullied for being gay or lesbian
  • Bullied for being economically or physically challenged
  • Jealousy bullying
  • False identity profile
  • Doxing over online gaming

20% of teens experience Cyberbullying at the present time out of which 25% girls and 16% boys are affected. One way or another they themselves are responsible for some of the kinds of bullying. According to a Pew Research study, eight out of ten teens who use social media now share more information about themselves than they have earlier. 

In order to protect children, it is important for them to keep their personal information completely confidential. Moreover, posts and texts should be examined before sending or posting. Every parents should have at least one offline resource for face-to-face contact and few online resources for accurate age specific cyberbullying information. It is an good idea to keep the evidence of bullying and block the bully. Notably, fewer than 15% of victims told an adult about the incident. So, it is important to talk to parents, guardians or teachers. There should be no sharing of passwords among friends and it is significant to make privacy setting more strong.

Legislation should also gear up against Cyberbullying since internet world has no boundaries. It is trapping millions of teenagers into depression and suicidal thoughts. In India, there is no specific legislation which deals with Cyberbullying but there are provisions like Article 67 of IT Act which partially deals with such matters.

Online Resources About Cyberbullying

  • WiredSafety.org : This website helps victims of all tyes of cyber crimes including cyberbullying.                                                                                                    http://www.wiredsafety.org/youth.html
  • Internet Super heroes Website :It renders smart, safe and responsible surfing messages to children, teens, schools and parents both online and offline.            http://www.internetsuperheroes.org/
  • Cyberbullying Website : It was created by Bill Belsey as a partner site to http://bullying.org/ http://cyberbullying.org/
  • Educator’s Guide to Cyberbullying : It is a center for safe and responsible Internet use and explains cyberbullying and ways to stop it.                                     http://cyberbully.org/docs/cbcteducator.pdf
  • News reports about Cyberbullying                                                                                 http://cyberbully.org/newsreports.html
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