The term cyber bullying refers to bullying someone by using electronic devices and equipment for instances computers, mobile phones, tablets etc. Cyber bullying involves the use of communication tools such as text messages, social media sites, chats and websites. Hurtful text messages or emails, false rumors either sent by emails or posted on social networking sites, humiliating videos, pictures, fake profiles and websites fall in the category of cyber bullying.
Cyber bullying is different and more harmful than conventional bullying as it brings humiliation to its victims on an extremely bigger scale with potentially thousands of viewers. Incidents of cyber bullying may occur 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Threatening or insulting cyber bullying messages posted by unidentified individuals can spread swiftly attracting an extremely wide audience. One of the many disadvantages of cyber bullying is that at times tracing the sources of cyber bullying becomes next to impossible. Furthermore once harassing or humiliating messages, texts and pictures are posted or sent then it is extremely difficult to delete them. The social media websites have emerged as useful communicating tools connecting people. However it can also bring some serious issues as it is quite often used for bullying. There are several ways in which cyber bullying occurs on the social media for instance, by posting negative remarks on pictures, sending abusive comments on a user’s wall etc. It has been witnessed that humiliating others by posting their pictures and videos has become quite a common practice. At times social media is used to stalk others furthermore the instigators can hack an account and post any kind of deceiving message pretending to be the user. Furthermore there are numerous bullying tweets shared around the world every day.
It is advisable for all young individuals victimized by cyber bullying to stopping considering themselves as victims. It has been noticed that at times children are reluctant to report incidents of cyber bullying to their parents fearing that their electronic devices for instance, computer, cellphone or tablets would be taken away from them.
Young individuals after becoming targets of cyber bullying often lose self –esteem and become disinterested in life. There have been incidents of suicide by teenagers after being victimized by cyber bullying.
How to appropriately respond to cyber bullying remains a difficult question? A lot of youngsters have this mistaken idea that they have to retaliate. It is advisable that the person targeted by cyber bully should immediately disengage. It is important to print out the evidence or download copies of inappropriate videos from You Tube before it gets removed. It is prudent to report the matter to the site or network on which bullying occurs by doing so the concerned site or network may deactivate the instigators account. According to Dawn News the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Bill 2016 declares“forcing a person for immoral activity, or publishing an individual’s picture without consent, sending obscene messages or unnecessary cyber interference” is punishable. The accused person will have to face one year punishment and fine up to PKR 1 million. Cyber bullying is a crime hence the society at large should work together to stop it.
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