In simplest terms, cyberbullying is harassing someone through the Internet medium. Teens and children are especially prone to bullying on the web. Scroll down to find the various types of cyberbullying.
A lot has changed since the advent of communication technology. The development of technology has had both a positive and negative impact on the society. The positive points in support of technology include, it provided an easy platform for communication and also promoted exchange of knowledge and thoughts. Whereas, the negative impact of technology includes the following points – lack of face to face social interaction which hampers interpersonal skills of the person and increase in the frequency of crimes, among many others. One serious threat that each one of us faces on the Internet is cyberbullying. It is a serious issue that needs to be dealt with care and seriousness. Teenagers and children are more prone to this type of bullying than adults. Children generally are soft targets for bullies on the web.
Each of you must be familiar and must have basic knowledge of the term cyberbullying. However, for the understanding of a layman, a cyberbully abuses on the web, through media like the Internet and cell phones. The word ‘abuse’ in this context is a very broad term because there are many forms of abuse a cyberbully indulges in. The desire to do something different or some frustration can make a person bully someone. Bullying on the Internet, sometimes, is also an outcome of revenge by a person who was the subject of bullying in the past or whose friends were bullied. Internet and cell phones are the most common means used to bully people and in these mediums too, there are many ways a person can be harassed by bullies.
In our present Internet age we all use emails, social networking sites, and not to mention, mobile phones. In a gist, a major percentage amongst us are active users of the Internet, and use it for some purpose or the other. This also means our basic details are available and stored somewhere in the vast pool of information on the Internet. Cyberbullies take the help of this information to harass the victims. The most prevalent forms of cyber abuse are – Impersonation, stalking, degradation, and flaming. Apart from these four types there are many other techniques that cyberbullies use to bully a person. The types of cyberbullying have been discussed in detail below. All these bullying techniques have malicious motives and tend to harass individuals.
Any cyberbully would never reveal his/her true identity and in case of impersonation he/she uses the name of the victim for fulfilling his malicious motives. Password theft comes under impersonation, and using hacking techniques, bullies obtain the password of the victim and then use it for their ulterior motives. They will stalk people through the victim’s name. If the victim finds this it will obviously cause mental trouble and agony to the victim.
A cyberbully works anonymously and sends threatening mails and messages to the victim. Anonymity includes the use of pseudo names that is using vulgar names and then threatening the victims through abusive language.
More than the social harassing, cyber stalking is done personally through emailing the person or through mobiles. Bullies may harass their victims through abusive and filthy language which can also include making derogatory remarks on the person. Serious and continuous stalking can lead to suicidal thoughts in a person and may hamper his life in a negative way.
In degradation, the bully may create rumors about the victim and spread it to the cyber world. This may also include spreading the private, but wrong details of a victim on the Internet.
Flaming generally takes place in chat rooms where people chat in groups. In case of an argument over some issue the bully may resort to using abusive language, like use of capital letters, abusive language and filthy emoticons. This sudden abuse in public can unnerve the victim and lead to depression and suicidal thoughts.
Photos and images
Using the photos and videos of the victims for their own mean motives also comes under cyberbullying. The bully can change and alter the photos of the victim to fulfill his/her ulterior motives.
Cyberbullying is a serious crime that often causes mental trouble to the person who gets bullied. There have been many severe cases of cyber bullying that involved children and teenagers. Severe cases have also led to suicides amongst teenagers and it can also take a person into depression. Cyberbullying hampers the mental state of the victim and thus the role of parents in treating it cannot be ignored. Children, from a young age should be taught the safe use of computers and Internet. The movements of children using the Internet should be monitored and parents should keep a close watch that their children do not fall victims to the ill-effects.
Thus you see, cyberbullying is a serious issue that in the severest of cases needs attention of the cyber police. Good ethics should be inculcated into children to keep them away from indulging in cyber bullying. Only then can it be controlled.