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Cyber Bullying

Cyber Bullying

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Published by campuscanine89

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Published by: campuscanine89 on Feb 03, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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By: Tony Dillett
(xiii) Cyber-bullying
Bullying is aggressive behavior that is intentional and involves the exercise of power byan individual over someone that is weaker. This behavior is not a one time occurrence but is repeated over time until the person being victimized becomes totally helpless andfearful of the person who is intimidating him/her. Traditionally, schoolyard bullying took several forms that included physical and verbal abuse. It also took the form of intimidation and social isolation. That type of bullying still goes on but another moredangerous form has come on the scene with the advent of the Internet. This type of  bullying can be even more dangerous because the perpetrator can do damage and remainanonymous. Sometimes it is more difficult to identify the culprit. However, help is only amouse click away by employing a monitoring software that can be accessed by clickingon the following linksSpectorSoft for Windowsor SpectorSofr for Macintosh. Cyber-bullying is when someone repeatedly makes fun of another person onlineor repeatedly picks on another person through emails or text messages, or uses onlineforums and postings online intended to harm, damage, humiliate or isolate another personthat they don¶t like. (Wikipedia) The National Crime Prevention Council also weighedin on this matter and stipulated that cyber-bullying is when a person uses an electronicdevice such as the Internet, cell phone, email, post text or images to embarrass, hurt or harm another person. Whatever form bullying takes, whether it is the old fashioned kindor the technologically advanced cyber-bullying, this type of behavior is not to betolerated and must be stamped out no matter where it originates.Schoolyard bullying and cyber bullying are different and experts in the former type of bullying might not be able to understand fully the insidious nature of puttingthings out there in cyberspace that are not as tangible as the bully in the schoolyard. Asmentioned above cyber bullying can be done anonymously. The bully in the schoolyard is
seen and is known by all who suffer at his or her hands. Schools can and should beactively involved in bullying on school premises and on busses as they transport childrento and from school. However, it would be difficult, if not impossible, for them to beinvolved in cyber bullying that takes place outside of school hours. If schools becomeinvolved in cyber bullying that takes place off school premises, they could be criticized,or worse sued, for exceeding their authority and for violating the child¶s freedom of speech.One of the themes throughout this e-book is the critical involvement of parents intheir children¶s cyberspace experience. Parents¶ involvement in this area is no exception.Children must be aware that their parents are their first line of defense against anyonewho would do them harm and this includes the cyber bully. Parents must learn to be lessreactive to perceived wrong doing on the part of our children, be more supportive andlisten to what they have to say. Sometime parents must just listen and not be quick tointerject their thought on any given subject. Ask ³Do you want to hear what I think?¶,rather than give opinions or answers to questions that have not even been asked. Parentswill be pleasantly surprised at how much good will they will establish with their children.This will eventually lead to trust and openness particularly when children are afraid andunsure of action they should take in a given circumstance. Assure your child that you arethere to help and not to make things worse for them.Cyber bullying usually takes two forms -- direct attacks and cyber bullying by proxy:Direct Attacks encompasses action aimed directly at an individual and includes suchdirect communication methods as:
Instant messaging (IM) sending hurtful or threatening messages to other children
Blogs: online journals that may be used maliciously to spread rumors about other children
Internet Polling: Sending out messages to other children in the same school askingwho is the prettiest, ugliest, who is dumb, etc
Sexting: Sending nude, semi nude or degrading pictures of children. This type of direct attack is punishable by law and may carry the stigma of branding theoffender as a child molester. (refer tos cribd.comfor a more detailed coverage of this subject)Cyber bullying by Proxy: The bully gets someone else to do their work. Even parentsmay be caught up in this web without realizing that they are being used.
Internet account: The bully gets hold of a victim¶s account and sends outemails in the victim¶s name
Parents may be duped into thinking their child is doing something wrong and punishes the child.
The Cyber bully can post information about a victim in hate group¶s chatrooms or in child molester¶s chat rooms. All the bully has to do is provide thescreen name and/or cell phone number in the chat rooms.According to Common Sense Media (www.commonsensemedia.org), some 24%of teens they polled admitted that they had ³hacked into someone else¶s social network,giving them the ability to communicate as that person.´ This information confirms thevery serious threat and actuality of bullies using their computer savvy to intimidate andharass other teens. Common Sense Media has also pointed out that parents are out of theloop and really underestimate how much time their children are spending in socialnetworks. ³Families need to keep up regular conversations about life in a digital worldand what it means to be a safe, smart digital citizen -- including ethical behavior, privacy, bullying, and reputation management.´It cannot be overstressed that parents must be involved in the lives of their children, not in an overbearing manner or in any way infringe on their privacy. This is avery delicate road to travel in dealing with teenagers but bear in mind that their safety isof paramount importance. It is very important that your children are aware of your 

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