More Cyberspace Communications Topics:
Importance of Being Anonymous
Betty's blog archives.
For some people, being anonymous in cyberspace becomes an excuse to behave rudely towards others. If they don’t know who you are, it’s okay to be mean to them, right? Wrong.
What is Cyber Bullying?
Cyber bullying is using technology (usually a computer) to harass, intimidate, embarrass, or demean others. People who might not act mean offline sometimes bully others online because they can't see or be seen by the people they are hurting.
Cyber bullies can ruin reputations by spreading rumors and lies, and they can put people in serious danger by exposing their personal information. They might post embarrassing information on webpages, trick people into giving out personal information, send threatening or cruel messages or emails or pretend to be somebody else, all in an effort to get attention or start a fight.
Schools and police have rules against cyber bullying. Punishments can include getting suspended from school, paying a fine, losing Internet access and even going to jail.
Dealing With Cyber Bullying
If someone tries to pick a fight with you in cyberspace, be the better person and walk away. Ignore them, block their account, don't defend yourself and don’t fight back. You don't want to stoop to their level.
If the bullying is mild, sometimes reporting it to a moderator or blocking the bully is enough to put an end to it. But if the bullying is worse or becomes dangerous or scary, you may have to report it to someone with more power. Tell a trusted adult about it and save any bullying messages to show your trusted adult. You may need them as evidence if you have to report the bullying.
Whom you report it to usually depends what the method of bullying is. For tips on who to report different kinds of cyber bullying to, refer to Hint Sheet #05: Reporting Cyber Bullying.
Witnessing Cyber Bullying
Cyber bullying makes people angry and downright miserable. You can feel alone, like no one will help you. Victims might start avoiding the Internet, or even attack the bully back.
If you witness cyber bullying, be a good cyber citizen and do something friendly to help the victim, so they don't feel alone. Don't join in and make things worse and don't become a bully yourself.
Protecting Yourself From Cyber Bullies
To protect yourself from cyber bullies, make sure that you won’t be an easy target. Protect your personal information in cyberspace, especially photos and videos.
If you are going to share something sensitive, be sure to adjust your privacy settings so that only the people you trust can see it.