All you need to know about Cyberbullying ( and how to prevent it)

Cyberbullying, also known as cyberharassment, which happens using electronic means. It is also known as online bullying. It has become increasingly prevalent nowadays, especially among adolescents, as technology had advanced and the digital sphere has broadened. Cyber bullying occur on platforms like social media, chat rooms, and gaming sites where people can see and participate in sharing of content.

Cyber bullying is said to be happen, when someone bullies or harasses others on the internet and other digital spaces, usually on social media sites.

Cyber bullying behaviour involves posting threats, rumors, hateful comments on online platforms/apps, or via SMS or messaging in order to cause humiliation to other users. It includes posting, sending or sharing negative, Unpleasant or false information about an individual for causing humiliation and character assassination. It also involves posting threats, a victim’s personal information, hate speech or sexual remarks to someone on the internet.

Types of Cyber Bullying

An awareness of the different types of Cyberbullying is important. This helps parents and young adults to report cyber bullying and adopt various measures for the same. Following are some of the common types of cyber harassment:

• Trolling has become increasingly prevalent in these days and is the most common form of bullying that happens in an online community. This is done to evoke a reaction or disruption, or sometimes, even for personal amusement.

Cyberstalking is another type of bullying or harassment which involves electronic communications to stalk a victim; this may tend to be threatening to the victim.

• posting an embarrassing or unpleasant photo/video.

• faking identity online

• issuing online threats to hurt or provoke someone.

• posting hate comments or content triggering religious, racial, ethnic or political malice.

• Also Doxing, it is a practice common on the internet where personal information about an individual is reasearched and published. One finds out information from the person’s social media and other online platforms. It is then used for online defamation, harassment or other forms of cyber bullying.

Cyber Bullying in India 

Cyber bullying in India had increased prominently since availability of affordable data services and social media presence has increased. According to a research by Symantec, almost 8 out of 10 individuals are exposed to different types of internet bullying in India. Most of the victims are generally women and teenagers.

The same study categorises India as the country facing the highest cyber bullying in the Asia Pacific region, more than Australia and Japan.

Special Concerns

with the widespread presence of digital forums, social media websites, posts, comments, content shared by individual can be seen by strangers as well as acquaintances. Whatever content the individual shares online, be it personal or public, creates a kind of public record of their activities, views and behaviour. this can basically represents their personality, which may be accessible to schools, employers, college, clubs, and other institutions who may be researching an individual now or in the future. Cyberbullying can tamper the reputation of everyone involved, not just the the person being bullied but also those who are participating in the bullying. 

What can you do?

Ask for help: if you are experiencing any distress related to online bullying, reach out to someone for help. It maybe your friend, relative, colleague or someone you trust.

Use the technology to cut off the Bully: almost every social media site allows you to report or block someone. They also enable you to report inappropriate content or behaviour. 

Protect your Accounts: passwords are your private information. never share your passwords with anyone no matter who the person might be. Password protect your phone so that no one can use it for impersonation. 

Report Cyber Bullying: The Ministry of Women and Child Development launched a helpline to report cyber bullying/harassment, cyber defamation, especially for women and children as they are subject to cyberbullying the most. most institutions also have special faculty of development whom you may report to, about the bullying.

Helpline – complaint-mwcd@gov.in