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Cyber Bullying

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By Kyomuhendo Esther Diana

What Is Cyberbullying |

One in three young people in 30 countries said they have been a victim of online bullying, with one in five reporting having skipped school due to cyberbullying and violence, in a new poll released today by UNICEF and the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) on Violence against Children. 

Almost three-quarters of young people also said social networks, including Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter, are the most common place for online bullying. 

“Connected classrooms mean school no longer ends once a student leaves class, and, unfortunately, neither does schoolyard bullying,” said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore. “Improving young people’s education experience means accounting for the environment they encounter online as well as offline.” 

Through a certain poll, young people were asked via SMS and instant messaging technology a series of questions relating to their experiences of online bullying and violence, where it most frequently happens, and who they think is responsible for ending it. Some 32% of those polled believe governments should be responsible for ending cyberbullying, 31% said young people and 29% said internet companies.

Though many parents believe that they are purchasing a cell phone for their child for protective reasons, the opposite may be true as many youths admit to utilizing their phones as an instrument for cyberbullying.

Technological bullying, known today as CYBERBULLYING, has allowed the problem of bullying to expand, become more elusive, and even harder to define. A thorough analysis of various case studies, statistical research, law cases, and news articles was conducted to understand the issue of cyberbullying and to find preventative measures that should be taken.

Online publication of personal information is dangerous because it allows many people to see a side of a person more often kept private in a face-to-face interaction. This vulnerability puts many teens in a position as either the victim or active offender partaking in cyberbullying actions.

Another aspect of social media that can be misleading and hazardous is the ability to create alias profiles. The ability for teens to mask their identities provides them with an opportunity to say anything to another individual without the worry of any repercussions. Social media sites, such as Facebook and Google+, are prone to abuses like cyberbullying.

The power to assume multiple identities and create different virtual lives can tempt the individual into a false sense of invincibility that can and has proven to be dangerous. Although people have some discretion over what they share about their lives, they do not have control over what others do.

“It does not take much to break down a person. Most bullies are experienced in touching the individual’s weakest points. They use body shaming, they make up stories that have potential to damage your reputation and career while safely hiding behind fake accounts. Once something is out there, it is difficult to change people’s mindsets, it is a seed planted forever,” Judith Heard a one Ugandan musician stated.

Read More: Preventing CyberBullying