What is Cyber-Bullying?
Cyber-bullying uses the new forms of digital communication technologies to repeatedly harass others. A cyber-bully is someone who uses technology to harass, embarrass, intimidate, or stalk someone else.
The methods used can include emails, instant messaging, text-messages, digital photos and all other means of electronic communications.
Statistics have shown:
• 42 percent of kids have been bullied while online.
• 35 percent of kids have been threatened online.
• 53 percent of kids admit to having said something mean or hurtful to another person online.
• 58 percent have not told their parents or an adult about something mean or hurtful that happened to them online.
The cyber-bully can send:
• Angry and vulgar argumentative messages
• Cruel, offensive, and insulting messages
• Threats and false promises
The cyber-bully can:
• Post secrets or embarrassing information, including pictures, for everyone to see
• Post gossip or rumors for the explicit purpose of damaging the person’s reputation
• Send out messages pretending to be the victim in an attempt to damage that person’s friendships
• Alienate the victim from online groups
Recent cyber-bullying story
Jan. 13 2011 – Two teenage girls in Florida are facing serious criminal charges for a Facebook prank they played on a classmate. The girls, aged 15 and 16, created a fake Facebook profile in the name of another student—a girl they were no longer friends with—and added photos doctored to make it look like their victim was engaged in sexually explicit acts.
The fake account racked up 181 “friends” and the victim was “subjected to numerous incidents of teasing and ridicule for an ongoing period of time.
The girls have been charged with aggravated stalking of a minor under 16 and have been ordered to have 21 days home detention before a hearing next month.
Possible Signs of a Child being Cyber-Bullied
A cyber bullying victim may stop using the computer or cell phone all of a sudden, they may also act nervous when receiving an email, instant messages, text messages or phone calls. Furthermore, they may be uneasy about going to school, withdraw from friends, family and activities they normally like to participate in.
What should a Child do if they are being Cyber-Bullied?
The victim should never respond to the person or persons conducting the cyber bully activities and they should save all messages that have been sent to them. They should immediately tell a parent, guardian or teacher about the situation as well as consider blocking information from the cyber bully. They may also consider creating new computer accounts too as another option. If you feel like the child’s safety is in danger through threatening messages, then you should involve law enforcement immediately.
For more information on cyber-bullying as well as how to prevent and report it. Check out the links below:
Our goal is to interact, inform and instruct our kids and parents to make smart decisions about their Internet usage and safety.