Cyberbullying – Importance of Saving Evidence!

Albert Einstein rightly said many years ago that “it has become appalling obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity.” The modern technology in spite of all its benefits has some devastating effects on our social, mental and physical health. One of the many negative effects of technology is Cyber bullying which is now no more confined to schools and street corners. It has been witnessed that victims of cyber bullying are left angry, frustrated and often tempted to commit suicide.

Unlike conventional bullying cyber bullying neither involves physical power nor does it requires face-to –face communication hence it can occur in various forms.  Technology has made our lives easier; almost every person nowadays has access to the internet. The wireless internet access points are available at airports, restaurants and other public places. Unfortunately, the flip side of this readily available technology is that sins and vices such as cyber bullying have also increased. Victims of cyber bullying are tormented because of the disgrace observed by potentially thousands of people online with just a few clicks. Many young individuals victimized by receiving taunting or threatening text messages are often perplexed about how to respond.  It is advisable not to respond to cyber bullying but it is also important to report the incident to a sensible adult. Teenagers and children should not respond to the instigators as the cyber bullies expect a reaction. Responding to cyber bully only makes the situation worse. It has been witnessed that many young individuals delete all evidence of cyber bullying in order to ignore embarrassment. It is important to realize that by deleting the evidence, the target has no proof of cyber bullying. It is advisable to save all messages, comments and posts as evidence against the instigator.

A recent research from a handful of studies suggests that victims of cyber bullying are more often tormented with suicidal thought as compared to targets of traditional bullying. However, the latest studies cannot prove whether bullying gives rise to suicidal thoughts or suicidal attempts. William Copeland, after conducting a research on bullying at the Duke University School of Medicine in Durham, North California asserts that bulling is not harmless. According to Van Geel an author from Institute of Education and Child Studies at Leiden University in the Netherlands most parents consider bullying relatively harmless. It is generally believed that bullying helps in building a strong character but on the contrary it can lead to depression and psychosomatic problems.

Incidents of suicides by youngsters due to cyber bullying have fairly increased in South Asia with the inclusion of Pakistan.  A teenaged girl committed suicide in Kolkata India after her morphed picture was uploaded on a social networking site by a friend. An article carried in Dawn, a few years back informed that five teenagers had committed suicide within a period of two weeks.  The article further informed that one reason for increase in teenage suicides was cyber bullying besides, use of drugs, academic problems and discord with parents etc.  Nevertheless the good news is that now cybercrimes are punishable in Pakistan therefore victims of cyber-crimes including cyber bullying must report to NR3C. A person whose name has been used to make false face book account or Twitter ID’s can now file a report against the instigator. Complaint against cybercrimes can be filled by submitting an online application by visiting the URL http://www.nr3c.gov.pk/creport.php. It is advisable for the victims to provide maximum details regarding the offense, furthermore they should attach any available evidence to plead their case.  Therefore, saving up evidence such as downloading inappropriate videos from You Tube or taking print outs of offensive emails is extremely prudent.

Cyberbullying is a crime and it must be stopped as it has ruined a lot of young lives in the past many years. Therefore, earnest efforts should be made to inform young individuals to report cybercrimes including cyber bullying instead of becoming victims.



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