I had just recently watched an al jazeera documentary on cyber bullying (http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/101east/2012/04/2012410124437777232.html) and found it hysterical and completely berserk. Laughed at the entire notion and idea of such actions being labelled as a crime and the fact that the politics are creating laws to constrict the freedom of the Internet in order to protect the kids is something i fully disagree. But before i jump to my opinion let us understand a little bit more on the topic of CYBER BULLYING.
The Internet or Cyber world is a limitless virtual reality where there is freedom of speech and pretty much everything else. The world is filled with different variety of personalities of human beings with opposing opinions and ideology. Thus is it safe to say that the Internet is a huge scramble egg of variety of opinions without filtration of their thoughts.
Bullying is the conscious act of inflicting harm upon another fellow human being.
Cyber-bullying is the use of the Internet and related technologies to harm other people, in a deliberate, repeated, and hostile manner.
In the Al Jazeera's documentary entitled, Web of Hate (101 East), we are told that such activities of cyber bullying are affecting the victims in such a tragic and drastic impacts on their life. Example : In February 2012, Melbourne schoolgirl Catherine Bernard took her life, after suffering depression and falling prey to cyber-bullying. Catherine is not the first victim. They are quick to label this case as cyber bullying without even considering other factors that may have influence her death in a greater ways. It is said in the video that on the week of her death, she had transfer into a new school and was having a hard time socializing with new surroundings. That alone is a big influence on the mood of a teenager, and perhaps she was mentally and emotionally unstable or her family affairs aren't exactly great and she feels like her friends are deserting her. A little Facebook's comment is the least of these to motivate a girl into suicide. A teenager acts upon raging emotions without caring of the consequences is basically the fundamental value of being a teenager. She reacts upon her situation in an (emo) suicidal methods because she was having a bad day and a facebook comment helps her accomplish that. It does not mean that it was the cause of her death.
The main reason, why the girl mention in the documentary took such actions are due to the fact that she had grown fondly attached toward the internet considering it to be her life, which in many cases of the new generations is true. We have grown attached to this medium of communication, it is our second world. Maybe we should not blame the internet for her death but rather ourselves (or her) to actually take such comments so seriously.
But let me remind you, that cyber bullying doesn't cause harm towards the victim psychically but rather emotionally and mental distress. Unless the victims is haunted with viruses and their information are being stolen to deliberately spread out into the internet, then it is almost hilarious to suggest such an act is criminal. The most simple basic form of cyber bullying is trolling comments and remarks about the victims in a hostile manner to extend cases of creating a website just to threaten the life of that victim. Still, the victim can chooses to ignore these for the web is huge of other sites that doesn't even mention the victim, thus reducing stress. You don't like Justin Bieber music, then don't go search up Justin bieber music. It is as simple as that.
It is true in the documentary that the grown ups don't understand the internet as well as we do but somehow they wished to create laws to arrest anyone who speak free on the internet that might offend other people. To enforce such law is as if to arrest someone for having a different political party views and constantly parading their belief. Despite this, the Australian government has come up with a legislation to imprison someone for ten years just for cyber-bullying while crimes such as thieving and robbing gets a much less jail sentence time. Sounds quite fair aint it? In the video, there is a women named Susan Maclean who suggested that the legislation is working due to the incompetence of the police officers but what she fail to understand is that how concrete can the evidence be? If the victim reports it to the police, the bullies could easily just delete those websites,comments or remarks and nothing ever existed. Even if the victims have a screen shot of pictures of the suspected activity, how can we prove that such is authentic and not something deliberately created in order to falsely accused a person?
And even if it is from the suspected bully account that was sending this comments, how can we be sure he was the one that wrote it and not someone else using his account?? There are way too many loose end to convict someone on this matter. Oh Yes many would suggest a team of expert to detect such foul plays, it is possible but are you willing to waste your tax money on this while there are other crimes much more horrendous than this? To fully investigate and secure our internet from cyber bullying, then the government would have to read every single status updates or uploaded pictures and videos. This would contradict your views on privacy of your internet and the fear that someone is always watching you. So in order to please Susan Maclean, we would need to give up our rights of privacy and freedom of speech just to stop harassment on the internet.
I guess i got carried away for a second because even she or anyone yet understand the very nature of Cyber Bullying. Here are my summary of this activity.
1- Remarks : Comments that contradict your views and could sparks anger/depression in the reader. This is understandable for in the cyber world we are not confronted with the person and thus our thought are done unfiltered without caring the feeling of others. Some does it for the laugh of it, some does it with out realizing it, some does it on purpose.
2- Visuals : To send a visual, either pictures or videos that would sparks anger/depression in the viewer. This is slightly offensive. To relate the victim to mostly funny or disturbing images.
3- Creation : To create a visual, either pictures or videos that would sparks anger/depression in the viewer. Usually with the victim's picture or information that would be used into creating a new visuals just as an act of insult or jokes. This is much more offensive and could almost be considered as a slightly act of bully but unless its funny then not at all offensive but rather a free self promotion.
4- Website/Forums : To create a whole new website containing pictures and videos that would sparks anger/depression in the victim or viewer. This activity is just creepy to the max. A bully actually taking his time to actually build a website just for his victim, is almost like building a shrine of shame for the victim. This is down right silly for most vyber-bullies would waste their time. But yeah, if they do then you have a slightly higher case to consider this as a crime but still not convicted into prison but rather a warning or community service.
5- Hackers : To intentionally enter into the victims private computers or accounts without their permission of course and stealing or using the information in order to humiliate the victim. This is of course a crime but its consider hacking and not bullying.
6- The Annoyance : To continuously sending messages on the internet and on mobile to annoy the living crap out of the victim. This should not be a crime as well worse is to give the same treatment as #4-Websites.
As you can see there is only one activity of bullying that can be considered as a crime and its not even considered bullying anymore for its hacking. The others are simple things which could easily be avoided in only one way. IGNORE IT! These cyber bullies or trolls feed only on one thing, your reaction and response to their remarks. The more you respond the bigger their actions would be. Unless of course you are bad luck brian, in which case you would be target. But this is also your own fault for you should have never recorded that crappy song named Baby with Ludacris.
In all my life, i have never seen a trolling spree that have started for no entire reason. The main reason would be because you did something that is hilarious to troll about. And if your ex lover is talking and spreading rumours about something you did, then i'm afraid the best way to treat that is the same way you treat any rumours. First deny it with great prove that could oppose the rumour, if fail accept that you have a small dick or your breath stinks and laugh along with the crowd. Remember the internet is filled with numerous distraction, your small dick maybe the talk of the town today but tomorrow they would be concentrating on the sneezing panda on the unicorn eating an annoying orange.
Oh yeah one more way to survive cyber bullying is not to get on a documentary saying you're a victim who small dick has a website and death threats. (Like seriously are you that daft? and why would anyone want to kill you and your small penis or you lack of skills in bed?, we would love to parade you around and make fun of you but to actually threaten to kill you?)
Actually, all these steps only need one thing, open mindedness. Accept the fact that other people have different opinion and that it wont necessarily be aligned with your views. Accept their view and dont take anything personally.
Cyber Bullying sounds terrible when the truth is its not so terrible. If your a sensitive person then stay the fuck away from the internet if you gonna be affected with opinions of other. Be matured a bit and understand to accept your flaws and opinion of others. Another thing, dont listen to the media on cyber bullying for it is not as bad as it sound of course unless you want them to control the last freedom mankind has. And yes i am a troll but i have been cyber bullied. Take it like a man and understand whatever happens in the virtual world mean jackshit in real life.
Thank you and fuck off you little cunt. (Opps did i offend you? I should be in jail then....)