Cyberbullying and its effects: A cyberbully is defined in California as someone who transmits any online message with the intent to intentionally scare, humiliate, harass, or otherwise target another person.
Also, cyberbullying is defined as “willful and repetitive damage perpetrated via the use of computers, mobile phones, and other electronic devices,” according to the Cyberbullying Research Center.
Cyberbullying and its effects
With schools gone for a year and just now returning, memories of “traditional” face-to-face schoolyard bullying may have faded in the minds of children who feared going to school every day only to encounter their tormentors.
Remote education, along with additional hours spent online, has only increased their vulnerability to social media abuse and other forms of cyberbullying.
Many bullies feel more emboldened than ever to harass children and adults of all hues, thanks to recent more uncivil political practices and the ease with which one may stay anonymous online. In any event, 95% of teenagers are online, and the vast majority of them utilize social media, which is where the bulk of cyberbullying happens.
Cyber bullying affects a large percentage of children:
About a third of American children have been subjected to cyberbullying. • Nearly two-thirds of teenagers have been victims of cyberbullying. • Nearly three-quarters of teenagers say someone has circulated rumors about them online. • Approximately one-sixth of teenagers confess to cyberbullying others. • Nearly half of LGBTQ teenagers have been victims of cyberbullying.
So, what’s the point? Isn’t it true that we are meant to be able to express ourselves freely?
While we think that freedom of speech is protected in the United States, it is only guaranteed on government platforms, not on private sites like Twitter and Facebook. Even yet, not all forms of speech are allowed under the banner of freedom of expression. For example, hate speech and fighting language are not guaranteed modes of expression.
Many kinds of cyberbullying constitute, without a doubt, hate speech. And cyberbullying has repercussions:
Cyberbullying victims are almost twice as likely to commit suicide. • Bullying perpetrators are also more likely to commit suicide – approximately 70% more probable than the overall population. • Two-thirds of children who have been bullied online have had mental health problems. • Cyberbullying has an impact on two-thirds of children’s capacity to study and feel secure at school.
Isn’t it against the law to do anything like this?
There are currently laws explicitly addressing cyberbullying, but no such legislation exists at the federal level (although there are civil rights laws for certain groups). The vast majority of accusations of cyberbullying and cyberstalking are add-ons to previous offenses.
Schools may punish students who harass at school, but their options were limited until recently when the bullying occurred outside school hours.
What options do we have?
Experts advise that you ignore offensive postings, comments, texts, calls, messages, and the like – in other words, don’t react. But, of course, this is difficult counsel to follow. Bullies are searching for a response, therefore telling the cyberbullied kid that they are winning by not reacting is helpful. And their internet tormentor is likely to just vanish.
Simultaneously, it’s a good idea to preserve copies of all of these emails, messages, postings, comments, and so on, in case further action is required. Keep the evidence safe. There is no evidence without it.
If a sexual image of a minor is sent, it must be removed otherwise the receiver may be charged with possessing child pornography. They must not transmit it to anybody else, since this may result in a distribution fee. It bears repeating: Remove any pornographic pictures of children from your computer and do not transmit them to anyone.
Cyberbullying and its effects: You may report bullying to the school, the social networking sites where it happened or started, and the ISP that provided your child’s or the tormentor’s email addresses. Include copies of the offending content in your report, with the exception of pornographic pictures of children, as stated above.
Threats of violence or death, stalking, or encouragement to self-harm or even suicide should all be reported to the authorities. Save copies of the incriminating information and submit them with your police complaint. Include everything, but keep your story to a minimum in order to be considered seriously.
Keep in mind that children connect with one another through technological gadgets. Taking away a victim’s capacity to connect with their friends because they are being bullied punishes them and may encourage them to keep silent while they are being tormented.
Assist your kid in staying away from being a cyberbully.
Cyberbullying and its effects: Teach netiquette, or recognized norms of online conduct, to youngsters as soon as they begin to interact online. Except that online conduct may be anonymous, they are similar to recognized norms of in-person behavior. It may be difficult to teach civility in the midst of what we frequently perceive as political uncivil conduct, but modeling the behavior you want to see in your children is, of course, the greatest teacher.
The Basics of Netiquette
- Make an effort to avoid hurting people’s emotions.
- Respect the rights of others.
- Don’t write anything you wouldn’t say out loud.
- Be cool if someone insults you.
- They’re just looking for a response, and if you refuse to engage the insulter, you’ll win.
- Respect the privacy of others and use polite language, which does not include using ALL CAPS.
- This may be intended for older users, but double-check your facts before publishing. It’s simple to do, and it dispels damaging rumors.
While cyberbullying is a plague, its consequences, and even its inception may be minimized by listening to your children, modeling civil conduct, and discussing netiquette and expectations with them early on. We can become engaged in supporting legislation and school rules intended to deter perpetrators, and we can make sure to publicize resources like hotlines run by wonderful individuals who are ready to help those who have been abused.