what is Cyber-Bullying
“Cyber bullying“ can be classed as any behavior with the intent to harass, embarrass, abuse or threaten another person via technologies used for social communication. These are technologies such as mobile phones, online blogs, social networking sites with the examples of Facebook and Bebo, through the use of forums, online chat software like MSN Messenger and Skype, private email and even during online gaming.
The term “cyber bullying” is generally applied to teenagers or even younger and yet in cases where adults are involved it is commonly referred to as “cyber-harassment” or “cyber-stalking”. The posting of someone’s personal details (phone numbers, addresses, email addresses etc) without the persons consent, sending insulting messages, physical threats and in extreme cases death threats are just some examples of cyber-bullying/harassment/stalking.
Another way of cyber bullying is through the use of Fan pages created
with fake profiles on sites like Facebook and other social networks. These fan pages are set up generally targeting a single person where anyone is able to write comments about that person. Can you imagine the fear kids must feel when they find a fan page about them and it is full of nasty comments like, “he’s dead if we see him at school” or “what a loser” or “everyone hates you and your going to get bashed after school you piece of s..t”. The number of comments like these aimed at a single kid can be in the range of hundreds or even thousands.
What damage to a child’s emotional development must this cause? No one could blame a kid for not wanting to go to school after reading hundreds of degrading, abusive and threatening messages directed entirely towards him or her. The emotional turmoil and fear that any child as a victim of such a cowardly and thoughtless attack must feel is incomprehensive and if not dealt with appropriately or early enough can lead to the child believing that suicide is the only way out. This is true, sadly proven by past instances.
Cyber bullying and the rate at which the severity can escalate from simple name calling to a more complex and disturbing type of attack as described previously is of somewhat almost unbelievable. Emails can be sent at anytime of the day or night, therefore it gives a cyber bully the ability to harass someone in their personal life 24/7. News of a fan page being created on a social networking site can be learned by literally millions of people over night and is probably the fastest way of spreading word in all of history. With this being the case and the anonymity one can keep, social networking sites are a cyber bully’s preferred playground.
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