While the internet has been instrumental in creating a social network that provides many positive aspects, it is also being used for negative acts against other individuals. One of these acts is cyberbullying. Unlike intimidation or threats that occur in person, cyberbullying involves taunts and threats that are made online.
By using technologies such as tablets, cell phones or computers, a cyberbbully can access websites, chat rooms or social media sites and attack their victim. Like bullying in person, they use aggressive behavior that is intended to make their victim suffer discomfort. A cyberbully will continue to conduct negative behavior against another individual. Some examples include the following:
– Create a fake profile that includes damaging or false information about a victim
– Post an embarrassing picture or video that includes a victim
– Spread rumors about a victim by utilizing social media sites
– Send threatening or derogatory text messages or emails to a victim
When bullying is done in person, a large group of people is not involved, but when bullying moves to the internet, its reach is immeasurable. Unfortunately, a cyberbully can easily post derogatory information about their victim, which has the ability to reach a wide spectrum of other individuals. Often, they can accomplish this negative act by staying completely anonymous. Without the threat of getting caught, they have the ability to continue their taunting and derogatory actions. This can have a steep psychological consequences for the person who is being attacked.
How Cyberbullying Affects A Victim
When an individual is a target of cyberbullying, they have a higher tendency to abuse drugs and alcohol. In addition, they will probably suffer from emotional or physical issues and have low self esteem. Cyberbullying can also affect how a student does in school. A victim will often have poor grades or want to avoid even going to school.
Consequences To A Person Who Is Cyberbullying
Federal and state lawmakers have had a difficult time stopping the activity of cyberbullying. Attempts to make it a criminal act have been thwarted many times. However, 14 states will impose criminal penalties if an individual is convicted of cyberbullying. These penalties can include fines that are as high as $2500 or jail time that lasts for a year.
In most states, school districts must also include policies that fight against bullying to be in compliance with current laws. Penalties for bullying will usually include a suspension for the child who was acting as a bully.