I ran across this story at WebProNews – it appears that there is a lot of cyber bullying going on these days. In other words, bullies pushing their weight around as usual, but doing so online.
Now, bullies have always been around. I was bullied myself up to the first grade when I finally decided to stick up for myself. After that, I was bullied no more. The fact that bullies have moved to the online front is interesting to say the least.
An excerpt from the WebProNews story:
Around two-thirds of children who say they have been bullied online have not received any previous form of harassment according to research from the University of California at Riverside published in the Journal of Adolescent Health.
“Internet bullying has emerged as a new and growing form of social cruelty,” Kirk Williams and Nancy Guerra of the University of California wrote in the report. The researchers said that schools and parents need to work together to prevent such behavior without depriving children and teens of Internet access.
The story goes on to make an interesting point – “The anonymity provided by new technology limits a victim from responding in a way that may ordinarily stop a peer’s aggressive behavior or influence the probability of future acts, which provides an advantage to the perpetrator.”
I’m thinking right now of The Christmas Story (just saw it the other day) where young Ralphie, who was having a very bad day, had enough of the two bullies continuous taunting of him and took to giving the bigger one an ass whooping he wouldn’t soon forget. That’s how one stands up to bullies in the real world. However, how does one do it online?
First of all if the bullying is anonymous, I would think, “who cares?” I mean unless it is someone you know, someone who can confront you in real life, then what harm can it really do? I guess there would be scenarios where this can occur such as in the atmosphere of a web forum for example, but in most cases I would imagine a victim of online bullying would know his aggressor.
This leads me to my second point – I would think it would be much easier to catch and punish a cyber bully as the very act of their bullying would be documented in writing. So if one is the victim of cyber bullying and they know who their perpetrator is, common sense would be to document everything and turn it over to the proper authorities. That should stop the bully dead in their tracks, would it not?