by Matej Nekvinda, 2011
"Cyberbullying" is when a child, preteen or teen is tormented, threatened, harassed, humiliated, embarrassed or otherwise targeted by another child, preteen or teen using the Internet, interactive and digital technologies or mobile phones. Adult cyber-harassment or cyberstalking is NEVER called cyberbullying.
Kinds of cyberbullying
The methods used are limited only by the child's imagination and access to technology. So there are a lot of kinds generally named as a device used to the kind of bullying.
The basic kinds are:
1) cell phone bullying which can be done by sending a text message or making phone calls
2) email bullying which is done by sending a torturing or threating email
3) bullying on social networks
4) posting some embarassing files on the internet
The most common case of cyberbullying is sending some embarassing pictures or coments to the victim or publishing the victims embrassing pictures or videos. According to the psychologist cyberbullying is for victims even worse than normal bullying and the can go through it harder with serious consequences. Children have also commited a suicide after having been involved in a cyberbullying incident (called bullycide). Cyberbullying is usually not a one time communication, it lasts longer time – weeks, months even years.
Solving and punishment for cyberbullying
Very important point of fighting against cyberbullying is prevention. That means explaining children, preteens and teens what cyberbullying is and what is its consequences. Another point is to set a person in school or another institution, who will help the victims of cyberbullying in his/her surrounding. Punishment of cyberbullying is a bit complicated because most of the time the cyberbullying does not go that far to be punnished by criminal charges.
Known cases of cyberbullying
- 14 years old british guy Carney Bonne was being sent threating messages on facebook for almost a year and because of that he started to cut his wrist
- 14 years old polish girl Anna from Gdaňk commited a suicide after her schoolmates had published a video of her having sex with her boyfriend
My own oppinion
Cyberbullying is new kind of bullying and is a very serious problem. It appeared with the birth of the internet and cell phones.
Its worse than normal bullying because more people are capable of doing that. They does not have to to be stronger than their victims and they are usually not so scared of the punishment because they can stay in anonymity. They just press the keybord and a mouse few times and a cyberbullying has come to world. What could be easier than write an email or an sms. In my oppinion the people do not even realize they are hurting somebody. They can think its just fun. Its also very hard to fight against it. When the person bullying us cares about staying in anonymity we are, in most of cases, not capable of spotting him. And when we do, we still can hardly punish him. Most of the time cyberbullying is not too serious to be punished by a criminal charge. On the other hand recieving some threatening messages is not as bad as be hit by our schoolmates at school every day. We can just erase the message and forget it, turn off our phone or change our email adress or phone number. Another thing we can do to avoid cyberbullying is to keep our personal data in safe. That means not telling anybody our phone number. Its the same with the passports for our internet acconts which can easily be misused.
Cyberbullying is a PROBLEM which, when it comes to it, is very hard to solve. But it can be preceded easier than normal bullying. It can also be easier ignored. I think normal bullying is a bigger problem and has worse consequences.
Matěj Nekvinda ©