Help! Stop Cyberbullying!

 

A recent BBC article highlights the failure to manage cyberbullying on social media and the mental health risks that come with this.

“Almost half of 1,089 11 to 25-year-olds questioned for the Safety Net report had experienced threatening or nasty social media messages, emails or texts.”

“Two-thirds said they would not tell their parents if they experienced something upsetting online.”

“However 83% want social media companies to do more to tackle the problem.”

Due in large part to the lure and addictive potential of social media, left unchecked with ineffective or zero consequences by social media companies, cyberbullying will continue to devastate young lives.

Cyberbullying is so common and out of control, some students even expect that it will happen at some point in their school career. Piggybacking on this offensive behavior is the glaring lack of consequences for people who engage in online bullying behavior.

Cyberbullying Generally Happens In One Of Two Ways – direct attacks or intimidation through messages, images, photos or videos sent directly to a child OR cyberbullying by proxy done by using groups of friends, with or without their knowledge or consent, to help target their victim.

Social Media Can Be Positive for family and friends interested in chatting, playing games, sharing photos and funny stories, and staying in touch. Sadly, some people choose to use social media to intimidate, taunt, and bully others.

How Cyberbullying Works

Using social networking sites to bully, cyberbullies can create stress and feelings of helplessness in a victim’s life by posting abusive or embarrassing messages on a victim’s profile wall, attaching rude comments to videos or photos the victim has uploaded, designing a site for the purpose of making fun of someone, or hacking into a victims personal accounts and harassing them. Cyberbullies may feel braver because they can’t be seen but cyberbullying can often be traced.

Parents Can Get Involved By

>becoming familiar with how various social networking websites work.
>asking your child to show you their profile pages.
>encouraging your child to come to you for anything inappropriate or upsetting online.
>discussing with your child the importance of not responding to any threats or comments online.
>saving and printing all bullying messages for use in proving cyberbullying has taken place.
>supporting tough consequences on those who cyberbully and break the rules set in place by social media companies.
> demanding social networks publicly report cyberbullying data

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