what is cyberbullying?
Cyberbullying is an intentional, repeated and unwanted negative behaviour act that is carried out by one or several people, using electronic devices and the Internet, against a victim.
Cyberbullying can be considered as different to bullying. Cyberbullying can become a 24/7 offense, and the bully(ies) can hide their identities using anonymity to attack known victims.
Their are different ways that the power imbalance can be seen in cyberbullying.
In one way, victims can feel overpowered by cyberbullies using multiple technologies (e.g. setting up fake profiles on Facebook and targeting the same victim in WhatsApp groups).
In another way, cyberbullies can “continue” the bullying online with the use threatening and intimidation messages and encouraging others to join in.
Some methods of cyberbullying include; phone calls, text messages, emails, instant messaging (IMs), and direct messaging (DMSs), using text, picture or video and on social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat etc.
What are some of the ways people are cyber bullied?
- Exclusion: Indirectly sending a hurtful message to the victim to let them know that they are not welcome to participate or attend a event.
- Flaming: Passionate online arguments often include vulgar language. Intended to assert power over the victim in a public forum.
- Exposure: Includes public display, posting/forwarding personal communication, images and video from bully to victim.
- Intimidation: Sending threatening messages via cyber means e.g
- Cyber-Harassment: Sending negative hurtful, pervasive, severe and persistent messages to someone.
- Phishing: Tricking, persuading and manipulating the victim to disclose financial information.
- Impersonation: Impersonating the victim and contacting the victim’s friends to damage the victims reputation.
- Denigration ‘dissing’: Spreading rumours, gossip online about someone else.
- Cyber-stalking: Includes threats of harm, intimidation and offensive comments.
How can I prevent cyberbullying?
Stopping cyberbullying might seem like an overwhelming task at first. But there are really effective ways to stop it from happening. It is always recommended to inform a parent/ guardian/ teacher if you are being cyberbullied or suspect that somebody you know is being cyberbullied.
Remember… cyberbullying will only stop once you do something about it. Here are some ways you can stop it:
- Refuse to pass on bullying messages.
- Report harmful messages to the social network or content moderators.
- Provide support to the victim.
- Block people who bully online and encourage victims to do the same.
- Seek support from an adult or teacher.
- Change your passwords at least every 3 months.
- Have the highest security and privacy settings. Default settings are usually not good enough.