The prevalence of social media, digital mediums, and online forums has made life easier for people around the world. Almost every household has a connection with the online world; in fact, you could say that we cannot even fathom life without the internet these days. This is all thanks to technological advancements and availability of high-speed internet such as that comes with AT&T internet packages that we are dependent on internet for even menial tasks.
While life is way easier than ever, there is a dark underside of the internet as well. We are, of course, referring to cyberbullying.
Cyberbullying refers to the kind of bullying that takes place over digital platforms and devices such as phones, tablets, and computers. It can be in the form of an SMS, app, or a social media post, but the end goal is the same— to spread harmful and malicious content about someone online.
What makes cyberbullying troublesome is the fact that its proponents are anonymous. Moreover, the content posted on online platforms is available for the whole world to see.
The content posted becomes a part of a person’s public record and affects their reputation in public. In some cases, cyberbullying can also lead to victims taking extreme steps such as self-harm. Consider the following facts related to cyberbullying to understand how harmful cyberbullying truly is.
Facts Related to Cyberbullying
According to research, 37% of young people between ages 12 and 17 have been victims of cyberbullying. In the case of 30% of these cases, bullying has occurred more than once.
23% of students accepted that they had posted something mean or malicious about someone else on social media, and out of this, 27% of students admitted that they had experienced similar treatment at the hands of others.
Research also shows that a large number of cyberbullying victims include people who belong to the LGBTQ community and most of them faced bullying on Instagram. The research results also show that girls are more susceptible to cyberbullying than boys.
These facts are alarming but what’s even more shocking is that only 1 in 10 teen victims inform a trusted adult about the abuse they are suffering!
Common Concerns Related to Cyberbullying
There are unique concerns related to cyberbullying that make it a threatening problem. These include:
Digital mediums and devices allow you to stay connected throughout the day. Since there is no way to unplug, victims don’t get relief from cyberbullying
The information shared on digital platforms is public and is permanent as long as someone doesn’t report it. It’s not just harmful for victims, it is also dangerous for bullies since cyberbullying becomes a part of their public record, and it can prevent them from getting employment or admission to an educational institute.
3. Not Easy To Detect
The biggest concern regarding cyberbullying is that it’s not easy to detect if someone’s a victim of it. A lot of people don’t even realize someone is suffering from this issue unless it’s communicated to them.
How does one help a person suffering from a serious issue if they don’t even know what the problem is? That’s a dilemma that a lot of adults face.
It’s a valid concern, and to address, we suggest that people start with educating themselves with regards to what constitutes cyberbullying. It can take various forms, and all of these are equally harmful to victims. Let’s now take a look at the different types of cyberbullying:
Exclusion refers to the act of leaving someone out intentionally. This problem is more commonly seen in the case of in-person bullying but also rears up its ugly head in the online world.
In cyberbullying, exclusion refers to situations where someone is deliberately left out of message forums or uninvited from groups. It happens even when the rest of their peers are a part of such groups.
Harassment, in general, refers to a sustained and constant pattern of hurting someone or threatening them online with messages. It’s a broad category that can include various other actions as well.
One such activity is cyberstalking. Cyberstalking refers to the practice of using digital mediums to keep track of everything that a person is doing. The actions of a stalker can fill the victim with fear, anxiety, and humiliation. It’s a violation of a person’s private space, and that makes it especially dangerous.
Cyber-mob attacks are another form of online harassment. Since people can stay anonymous on social media, therefore, they have no qualms about being aggressive and abusive to others, especially when those other people have a different point of view.
The scary part about cyber-mob attacks is that sometimes they can even have severe consequences offline. Take Bethany Mandel’s example. The Ricochet editor experienced anti-Semitic trolling from White Nationalists upon criticizing Donald Trump.
Doxing, also known as outing, refers to the act of revealing someone’s sensitive or private information publically without their consent. The goal is to cause damage to a person’s reputation.
Doxing started as a revenge tactic among hackers back in the 90s, but since then has gone on to become a severe issue. Activities that constitute doxing include sharing someone’s private and personal photos or documents and private messages without their permission.
Trickery is similar to doxing with one key difference. In Trickery, the bully directly comes in contact with the victim. They befriend the victim and lull them into a false sense of security only to betray their trust once they have gained access to private information.
Once they have access to the information, they share it without the permission of their victim and in-process ruin their reputation. It’s especially dangerous because of the mental and emotional abuse that a victim suffers in the process.
Fraping has its roots in hacking. It refers to the practice of hacking a person’s social media account and using it to share inappropriate content with the victim’s name.
It can be harmless if the account has been accessed by a person’s friends who are using it to post funny content, but it can also be dangerous if the content posted from the account is offensive.
Online impersonation refers to a strategy in which a bully creates a fake profile of the victim and uses it to post offensive content. The goal of the harasser is to defame the victim. They achieve this goal by convincing others that the content reflects opinions and beliefs of the victim. It can also lead to additional harassment in the future.
Trolling is that one term that all of us have heard at some point in our lives but most of us aren’t aware of the actual meaning of this term. People on the internet use this term to denote everything from hate speech to playful memes and comments posted on social media.
When it comes to cyberbullying, trolling refers to hateful comments that people receive in the comments section on social media. It can include body shaming, racism, and homophobia.
Trolling in itself has various types. For example, concern trolling involves people writing hateful and offensive comments under the guise of offering constructive feedback.
Dogpiling, on the other hand, refers to the trolling where a group of people works together to shame, silence, or discredit the victim using slurs, insults, and threats.
The last kind of trolling is bot trolling. It incorporates automated accounts that are controlled by a code or an app. The aim is to further a specific agenda. Bot trolling can also refer to a person who develops accounts designed to mimic real users.
Such accounts aim to promote hate speech and propaganda or defame a person. Account creators use stolen images to mimic real accounts and usually are targeting one specific individual 24/7.
What You Can Do?
Now that you have an idea regarding what constitutes cyberbullying, you can take appropriate steps to determine if someone close to you is a victim. Start with talking to those people. Communicating with a person helps solve a lot of problems.
Victims are in a vulnerable state, and reaching out to them at the right time can prevent them from taking any serious steps.
Baldwin Jackson is a successful digital marketer with expertise in search engine optimization and content marketing. The perfect balance of his analytical ability and creative thinking is what sets him apart from other practitioners in the digital marketing realm. He has helped a lot of small and medium-sized businesses in crafting their digital marketing strategies that are not only cost-effective but delivers results as well.
Baldwin is also a proud father of two kids and a Sports enthusiast. When he is not working, you will find him watching ESPN and NFL network. He has been able to get an amazing package on his favorite channels from Buytvinternetphone.com.