When Online bullying Doesn’t Switch Off
For most of us without experiencing cyber bullying, we will never be able to appreciate the effects and even the consequences of being bullied online. To some, they believe just switching off the internet connectivity solves the problem of harassment .
Unfortunately, it’s not so simple. Digital connectivity has become very much of our day to day DNA and we need to manage the problem before it consumes us. Unmasking online bullies requires expertise to collate insensitive actions and digital proof of malicious behavior to stop cyber bullying.
While the law creates the framework to make cyber bullies accountable for their actions, the extent of framework may fall short to reflect the severity of the cruelty.
Private investigators are starting to see an increase of calls for their assistance. The investigators are equipped to investigate cyber bullying and to the extend expose the bully.
The internet connects us to a plethora of fact-filled articles, the latest news, recipes and online shopping. With one click of a mouse, millions of anonymous users share a variety of personal information – from credit card numbers, to family photographs. With fresh waves of social media platforms available at anyone’s fingertips, the growth rate of cyberbullying climbs with each online exchange.
What is Cyber bullying?
Cyber bullying occurs when someone uses internet technology to threaten, humiliate and/or harass another individual. Each social media platform builds the groundwork for intimidation to exist: from inappropriate photo sharing to degrading status updates. The ease of access to the internet globally makes online bullying an international problem.
The Classifications of Cyber bullying
Alias exists when an unidentified user posts harassing, rude or humiliating comments through internet platforms such as chatrooms, blog comments, or text message. An alias cyberbully will post anonymously, and are nearly impossible to track or contact.
Harassment is the most common form of cyber bullying found online, and consists of rude, derogatory, sexual and/or teasing posts made at another’s expense. Internet harassment can occur through comments, updates, photo sharing and blogging.
Impersonation consists of someone intentionally masquerading themselves as another person online in order to lure, harass and bully others. Impersonators will often pretend to be love interests, celebrities, or completely fictional individuals in order to disguise their true identity – allowing them to be brutal and harassing with little threat to their personal lives.
Cyberstalking is a form of cyber bullying where direct and consistent harassment is implemented onto a single victim. As the name indicates, a cyber stalker will “stalk” someone through threatening or sensitive posts, comments and text messaging on an on-going basis. The exclusivity of cyber stalking makes it one of the most dangerous forms of cyber bullying.
Flaming or heated cyber bullying breeds mostly in chatrooms and comment feeds where the chance for an argument resides. As the conversation escalates, rude and derogatory comments are lashed out in anger to win the conversation.
Outing occurs when an individual lures confidential and secretive information from another person with malicious intent. Personal information will then be exposed online through pictures, videos and messages at the victim’s expense.
When Cowards Feel Brave Behind Their Insecurities
The internet can sometimes take the concept of free speech to an entirely new level. People can comment and post whatever they want, directed and whom ever they want – all behind the safety of a computer screen. Some cyberbullies are insecure people who project their insecurities onto others online. Every person struggles with an insecurity of some kind – but not everyone knows how to deal with them responsibly. A timid person may use the internet as a place to post angry and hateful comments to express what they cannot verbally. Lastly, due to the global accessibility of the internet, it is exceedingly easy to join forces with like minded people and gang up on opposition through social media. The satisfaction of being rude, threatening and harassing online while living a potentially civil life offline can be tempting for some.
Effects and Consequences of Cyber bullying
Bullying someone online can be vastly different than in person. As mentioned before, the internet is an international tool accessed by million globally at the same time – meaning anyone can actively take part in a heated argument or contribute to online harassment. Instead of one-on-one confrontation in person, the internet gives the opportunity for large groups of strangers to break into heated fights. The victim’s self-esteem can take a hit due to the high volume of harassment. Ironically, harassment victims can turn into online bullies themselves in order to get even. Within the past few years, we have seen cyber bullying reach national news channels where legal action has been taken on bullies. Cyberbullies have been fired from their workplaces, teenagers have been suspended from school, and individuals have been sued due to defamation of character. In extreme cases, cyber bullying has contributed to victims committing suicide.
When Common Sense Prevails
Be Mindful – Whatever personal information is posted on the internet can be seen by millions, and therefore can open doors for cyber bullying. If you have a picture, video or piece of information that you do not wish for the public to know, keep it offline.
Take Charge – Social media platforms all come with a set of privacy controls. If someone is rudely commenting on your blog, delete the comment and block them. Report people who consistently share inappropriate material. Minimizing the invitation for strangers to access your profile will lessen the chance of cyber bullying.
Be the Bigger Person – If you find yourself involved in a flaming conversation, or the victim of harassment, do not get even. The biggest prevention of cyber bullying is to avoid contributing to the problem.
Seek Help and Be Help – With the uprising of cyber bullying, there are several hotlines and websites that aids harassment victims. If you feel unsafe online, reach out to a hotline or contact the police if things worsen. Lastly, be a helping hand to both victims and cyberbullies in your offline life. Listening to another’s problems could help save a life, and end the plague of being bullied online for good.
Best Approach and Second Option
As with all negatives, prevention is always the first and best approach. Unfortunately, not all of us may not be able to prevent it from happening. So dealing with cases of cyber bullying, would be the second best option. While the legal framework might offer some respite, it may not have the far reaching result you hoped for. Approaching a private detective agency would still be your best advice.
For Further Information on Cyber Bullying Laws In Singapore
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