In a world that’s becoming increasingly dependent on technology for education, recreational fun, work, and communication purposes, the internet has become an effective way of attacking others due to its easy accessibility, public setting (all of your “followers” will be able to see you fight your “ex best friend”), and powerful feelings it gives to a cyber-bully.
Cyberbullying is a form of bu Ilying through electronic technology. Bullying takes place on popular social media websites, such as twitter, every single day. A student can be jeered at through “subtweeting”, which is the act oftyping a tweet about someone without actually tagging them in it, or using their name at all. With smartphones, it is easy to take screenshots of pictures, texts and messages. These screenshots may be used for harmful purposes.
There are also anonymous social media websites, such as “Gaggle-Local Message Board” which was used by students in West port Public Schools in Connecticut and Katy ISD in Texas (DeNisc01) , to post embarrassing pictures and statements about other students and teachers, all while remaining discrete. Text messaging is also used as a way to nflict pain on others, by enabling users to quickly spread gossip and create group messages to talk low of someone else. Since the internet is a public place, it allows other internet users to see every photo and status a student posts. So why use it to attack someone?
Sites like the “Gaggle-Local Message Board” and ask. fm allow students to post virtually anything anonymously. ” Unfortunately, the students are posting extremely hateful speech, photos and drawings of students and staff members,”(DeNisco 1) was Ted Vierling’s, a principal within Katy ISD, response to the matter of students at his high school using the previously said sites. It is much easier to confront someone through media rather than to their face, when it is just one on one. Not only this, confronting a peer publicly allows others to jump into the dispute, taking sides and instigating further persecution.
This can give the bully a type of power high that makes them feel “cool” or “rebellious”. This feeling can be furthered by the amount of “likes” and “retweets” the student could receive. The effects of Cyberbullying are quite similar to that of bullying. Research reported by NewsRx journals stated statistical evidence of the effects of bullying on the psychological health of students. 31. % of girls in the survey reported bullying whether cyber or in school, while 22. 9% of boys reported the same. However, not everyone who was bullied reported it, and 4. % of the students who claimed to not have been bullied had attempted suicide. Being a victim of bullying increased the risk of depression and suicidality among the students. It was determined interventions were needed to prevent Cyberbullying as well as school bullying. (Researches 1) However, Cyberbullying often does not have an effect on the victim, and they are able to ignore the offender and continue with their daily lives, even though it is not always the case. The bully often has a different reaction to the situation, in which he either feels guilt or power.
A student at Cohoes High School (Albany County) created a Facebook page called “Cohoes Name,” (Court 1) where he proceeded to post classmates sexual practices, partners, personal information and photographs. The posts were graphic and resulted in a negative response from the victims of the creator of the webpage. When charged with the crime, the defendant claimed that the statute went against the First Amendment, the right to free speech. Cyberbullying does not only affect the victim and bully, but also others around them.
A study determined hat 18% of boys and 25% of girls reported Cyberbullying in the past year, and that Cyberbullying was directly tied to low self-esteem and physiological distress. There are permanent conseq uences to Cyberbullying, such as the victim falling into depression, and committing suicide, which is not uncommon. (Cenal 1) If a bully is caught in action, they can face criminal charges for hate crimes, and can have their social media accounts terminated. Not only this, more and more school districts are revoking access to social media websites on their campus wifi’s, to prevent students from abusing the websites during the school day.
If it comes to a parent’s attention, they can take internet privileges away from their children or put child restrictions on their internet browsers.