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Cyberbullying can be defined as the use of information and communication technologies to support deliberate, repeated, and hostile behavior by an individual or group that is intended to harm others. Cyberbullying is mostly conducted by kids that have very early authority to these technologies. The problem is boosted more by the truth that a bully can hide behind a fake name, disguising his or her true identity while carrying out these crimes. This anonymity makes it very hard to track the bully which encourages the bullies to further elevate their actions.
Cyberbullying is distinct from regular physical bullying due to the anonymity that the Internet provides. Cyberbullies do not have to admit their actions publicly due to the anonymity they gain and cyberbullying is mostly beyond the legal reach of school boards since it mostly takes place outside of the school premises. Cyberbullying comes in various forms some of them include flaming, persecution, disparagement, imitation, cyberstalking, and threats.
Cyberbullying consists of acts as making personal threats, sending provoking insults or racial insults, trying to inject the victim’s computer with viruses, and spamming his/her inbox with emails. The victim can deal with cyberbullying up to some extent by limiting his/her computer connection time, ignoring threatening or defamatory messages, and ignoring emails from unknown sources. More effective and high-tech measures include the blacklisting or whitelisting of e-mail accounts, changing e-mail addresses frequently, switching ISPs, switching cell phone accounts, and trying to trace the source. The use of communication technology is comparatively new so stern laws against cyberbullying are yet to be effectively implemented.
As for the time period, the crime is covered by the existing laws against threats and harassment. In some cases, it may be suitable to take help from the local police department or to seek an attorney. Retaliation in these cases isn’t an option since this can increase the level of threats and upscale the situation.
Cyberbullying on social media is linked to depression in teenagers, according to new research that analyzed multiple studies of the online phenomenon. Cyberbullying has received a high level of inspection because of a series of high-profile suicides of teenagers that were bullied across various social sites daily. In 2013, for example, a bunch of suicides was associated to the social network Ask.fm, which is a site where users can ask questions anonymously. The deaths of teens who had been subject to abuse on the site prompted Ask.fm (which was acquired by Ask.com in 2014) to launch new safety efforts.
Despite the fact that tons of investigation have yet to be done to help fully understand the consequences of cyberbullying, researchers have concluded that, victims of cyberbullying show negative reactions which are also common among the victims of traditional bullying. In fact, it could be stated that cyberbullying has even more serious ill effects that of traditional because victims are not able to escape the grasp or their bullies easily, since these cyber attacks turn permanent after they get introduced to the virtual online universe, students may also experience a long-lasting sense of victimization because of continually revisiting the incident, thus resulting in depression and various types of mental malfunctions.
Cyberbullying has been linked to multiple maladaptive emotional, psychological, and behavioral outcomes. The physical and metal effects of cyberbullying vary depending on the victim, but the consequences include low self-esteem, anxiety, feeling sad, being scared, feeling embarrassed, depression, anger, truancy, decreased academic achievement, an increased tendency to violate others, school violence, and suicide. There is a relationship between Internet harassment and depressive symptomatology, with targets of online harassment reporting more frequent cases than non-targets.
Attempt to identify the cause. Some bullies start out as a friend, an ex, or someone else you know well. If it seems possible to have a reasonable discussion with the person, consider asking him or her to stop. Have the conversation in person, not through email or text.
Stop responding to the bully’s messages. If talking it out won’t work, don’t directly respond to the text messages, instant messages, emails, or other communications you may have received from the bully. Bullies want to elicit a reaction from their targets, so firing back a text will only make things worse.
Block the bully. Immediately put an end to the bully’s most invasive threats by blocking that person from direct communication with you. Once you’ve made sure all prior messages have been saved.
Change your account settings. Prevent the person from finding a new way to contact you by limiting the amount of personal information you make available online
Don’t wait too long to ask for help. You might be tempted to let the bullying run its course instead of bringing attention to the problem, but if you do that the bully will get the message that there’s no penalty for putting someone else in danger. Don’t assume the problem will go away on its own; speak up immediately to put a stop to it
Report the bully to your service providers. Cyberbullying usually violates the terms of service laid out by social media sites, cell phone providers, and other service providers. Read up on your providers’ policies and take steps to report threatening behavior.
Get law enforcement involved. In some cases cyberbullying may be classified as a crime, which places it beyond the jurisdiction of schools and service providers. If the cyberbullying involves one of the following elements, call your local police department
Cyberbullying is a big problem in many teen’s worlds today. It is one of the many ways in which teens are being bullied and it is causing problems for many teens and even their families and loved ones. Kids have killed each other and committed suicide after being involved in a cyberbullying incident. It may even be a bigger problem than we know. The information I found online from the experts says that 1 in 3 teens are cyberbullied.
Parents, law enforcement, and educators all need to take caution with watching over children in order to prevent cyberbullying. If everyone comes together including educators, law enforcement, and the biggest role, the parents, then cyberbullying can be stopped. The next time these 12 to 17-year-olds log onto the internet, maybe they won’t be affected by cyberbullying if everyone begins to work together.
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