What is Cyber Bullying ?

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The simplest definition is “Cyber-bullying is bullying with the use of digital technologies”.  Cyber-bullying takes place over digital devices like Cell phones, Computers, and Tablets. Cyber-bullying can occur through SMS, Text, and apps, or online in social media forums, or Online gaming etc. where people can view, participate in, or share content. Cyber-bullying includes sending, posting, or sharing negative, harmful, false, or mean content about someone else. It can include sharing personal or private information about someone else causing embarrassment or humiliation. Some Cyber bullying crosses the line into unlawful or criminal behavior.

Forms of Cyber Bullying

1) Exclusion: This can happen in several ways. A victim might be deliberately excluded from online activities conversations or social media tags. Victims who don’t have the latest technology or gadgets such as a mobile phone or gaming devices are prone to exclusion.

2) Harassment: This is sustained and intentional bullying comprised of abusive or threatening messages sent to victim or to a group. This can severely affect victim’s mental well-being.

3) Outing: This is the act of publicly humiliating a child or group through the online posting of private or embarrassing information; without consent of the targeted victim.

4) Cyber Stalking: This is a dangerous form of Cyber-bullying in which attackers harass victims through online communications like email or social media. It also refers to adults using the Internet to contact and meet young people for abusive purposes.

5) Fraping: A ‘Frape’ or ‘Fraping’ (a combination of ‘Facebook’ and ‘rape’) is when someone uses victim’s Facebook account without permission and destroys comments or pictures, or created new and offensive comments and pictures pretending to be the victim. It’s when an attacker uses victim’s social media account and impersonates them posting inappropriate content in their name. Remember everything rude or otherwise posted online may never be fully gone even if deleted.

6) Fake Profiles: Can be created by someone to hide their real identity with the intention of Cyber-bullying the victim. The Cyber bully may also use someone else’s email or mobile phone to harass victim.

7) Dissing: is sending or posting cruel information about the victim online to damage their reputation or friendships. It also includes posting damaging photos screenshots, videos online.

8) Trickery: Involves gaining victim’s trust so that secrets can be shared publicly online. A Cyber-bully will befriend the victim leading them into a false sense of security before sending their private information to others.

9) Trolling: means deliberately provoking a response through the use of insults on online forums and social media sites. A troll will personally attack the victim aiming to make them angry and provoke a response.

10) Cat fishing: involves stealing online identities and recreating social networking profiles for deceptive purposes. Cat fissures often copy or mimic victims profile and take information to create a fake persona similar to victim. This could involve using personal information potentially damaging victim’s online reputation.

Cyber bullying places:

  • Text messaging and messaging apps on mobile, tablet or similar devices.
  • Instant messaging, direct messaging, and online chatting over the internet.
  • Online forums, chat rooms, and message boards, such as Reddit.
  • Social Media, such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Tik Tok.
  • Online gaming communities.

Effects of Cyber Bulling:

Cyber bullying affects people from any age or walk of life, including children, teens and adults who all feel very distressed and alone when being bullied online.  Cyber bullying can make victims  feel totally overwhelmed which can result in victim feeling embarrassed that they are go through such a devastating time, and not knowing what support is available to them.  Many children feel unable to confide in an adult because they feel ashamed and wonder whether they will be judged, told to ignore it or close their account which they might not want to do. For many Cyber bullying affects their everyday lives and is a constant source of distress and worry.  With mobile technology being so freely available it is an ongoing issue and one that is relentless.  Not only does it go on after school, college or work has finished, but it then carries through into the next day and the cycle continues. The Cyber bullying  effects can last a long time and affect a person in following ways:

  • Mentally — feeling upset, embarrassed, stupid, even angry
  • Emotionally — feeling ashamed or losing interest in the things users love
  • Physically — tired (loss of sleep), or experiencing symptoms like stomach aches and headaches