By Author – Faizan Haider
Cyberbullying or Cyber harassment is a form of bullying or harassment using electronic means. It has become increasingly common, especially among teenagers. Harmful bullying behavior can include posting rumors, threats, sexual remarks, a victims’ personal information, or pejorative labels (i.e., hate speech). Bullying or harassment can be identified by repeated behavior and an intent to harm. Victims may have lower self-esteem, increased suicidal ideation, and a variety of emotional responses, including being scared, frustrated, angry, and depressed. Cyberbullying may be more harmful than traditional bullying.
Internet trolling is a common form of bullying over the Internet in an online community (such as in online gaming or social media) in order to elicit a reaction, disruption, or for someone’s own personal amusement. Cyberstalking is another form of bullying or harassment that uses electronic communications to stalk a victim; this may pose a credible threat to the victim.
Not all negative interaction online or on social media can be attributed to cyberbullying. Research suggests that there are also interactions online that result in pressure, which can have a negative, positive, or neutral impact on those involved.
Cyberbullying is often similar to traditional bullying, with some notable distinctions. Victims of cyberbullying may not know the identity of their bully, or why the bully is targeting them. The harassment can have wide-reaching effects on the victim, as the content used to harass the victim can be spread and shared easily among many people and often remains accessible long after the initial incident.
Internet trolls intentionally try to provoke or offend others in order to elicit a reaction. Trolls and cyberbullies do not always have the same goals: while some trolls engage in cyberbullying, others may be engaged in comparatively harmless mischief. A troll may be disrupted either for their own amusement or because they are genuinely a combative person.
Effects of cyberbullying:
- Feel overwhelmed: It can feel at times like the entire world knows what it is going on. Sometimes the stress of dealing with cyber-bullying can cause kids to feel like the situation is more than they can handle.
- Feel powerless: Victims of cyberbullying often find it difficult to feel safe. Typically, this is because the bullying can invade their home through a computer or cell phone at any time of day. They no longer have a place where they can escape. To a victim, it feels like the bullying is everywhere.
- Feel expose and humiliated: cyberbullying occurs in cyberspace, online bullying feels permanent. Kids know that once something is out there, it will always be out there. When cyberbullying occurs, the nasty posts, messages or texts can be shared with multitudes of people. The sheer volume of people that know about the bullying can lead to intense feelings of humiliation.
- Feel suicidal: Cyberbullying increases the risk of suicide. Kids that are constantly tormented by peers through text messages, instant messaging, social media, and other outlets, often begin to feel hopeless. They may even begin to feel like the only way to escape the pain is through suicide. As a result, they may fantasize about ending their life in order to escape their tormentors. If your child is being cyberbullied, do not dismiss their feelings. Be sure you communicate daily, take steps to help end the torment and keep close tabs on changes in mood and behavior. Get your child evaluated by a healthcare professional if notice any personality changes at all.
There are two kinds of Cyber Bullying:
1. Direct Attacks: messages sent directly to the victim.
- Instant Messaging
- Text Messaging
- Emailing Pictures
- Stealing Passwords
- Internet Polling- Hot or Not!
- Hacking or sending spyware
2. Proxy: Using someone else to cyber bully a victim, this proxy may know they are cyberbullying and they may not.
- Someone else does the dirty work for the main cyber bully.
- Bullies may hack into the victim’s account or steal their password. They may set up a new account pretending to be the victim.
- Friends get angry with the victim.
- This form of cyberbullying is very dangerous because many people are involved, not just the bully and the victim.
Bullying V/S Cyber Bullying
- Physical: Hitting, Punching & Shoving.
- Verbal: Teasing, Name calling & Gossip.
- Non-verbal: Use of gestures & Exclusion.
2. Cyber Bullying:
- Harassing text messages or emails.
- Spreading rumours on social networks.
- Emotional reactions cannot be determined.
Why anyone does children Cyber Bullying?
- To get Laughs or Reactions
- Power Hungry
- Because all motives for bullying are different so are the solutions and responses.
Consequences of Cyber Bullying:
- Stress-Related Disorders
- Withdrawal from Friends and Activities
- Changes in mood, behavior and appetite
- Emotional Distress during and after using technology
The research we had collected had made us think about what we can do to stop bullying in schools and in the areas. People, mainly teenagers, have trouble with cyber-bullying and find it hard to communicate with others about the problem they are facing. We decided that this needed to be stopped. People are getting hurt and lives are being lost, they are also suffering long-term effects such as depression and anxiety. It is more common for girls to be cyber-bullied then it is in guys and it is more common that girls cyber-bully more than boys.
To help this problem we have decided to either make the bullies informed about what they are doing by setting up a website that people can upload their screenshots of a cyber-bully so we can trace the culprit and make that person stop, the downside is that people can get more hate by this.
Create a website that famous people for being supportive to one another and for bullies themselves to read and get the idea that it makes peoples lives better. Same steps as the Informing bullies but the only screenshot those who are supporting others, whether in a game or on social networking.