Who Commits Cyberbullying?


Bullying has been around since the beginning of time. Throughout history there have always been bigger, stronger people who have used their advantage to force physically lesser people to do what they want. With the advent of the internet, social media and other electronic outlets, bullying has been taken to new heights. In fact, cyberbullying has been common among the youths (Dickerson, 2009). Some of the harmful bullying behaviors are such as positing of rumors on someone, sexual remarks, threats, pejorative labels (hate speech or disclosing someone personal information. Bullying may be noted due to repeated behaviors and intentions to cause harms. Victims of cyberbullying tend to have low self-esteem, suicidal ideas, and other emotional reactions, reacting, being angry, frustrated, depressed and scared (Patchin & Hinduja, 2010). This research will focus on how technology has given bullies new methods to use and what methods are being used to stop it from taking place.

Who Commits Cyberbullying?

According to the nature of harassment, between nine to thirty four young people report that they have been at least targeted of cyberbullying. 31 percent of this notes that they have been target of mean or rude comment, whereas 13 percent are targets of rumors whether true or false directed on them. As well, 14 percent are being targeted by aggressive and threatening messages whereas 9 percent report that they tend to be threatened since someone was harassing them or bothering them online (Dickerson, 2009). According to research, boys and girls are equally targeted by online harassment. It has been indicated that, girls have more likely chances of being harassed online when compared to their counterparts. Older teens are as well more likely targeted when compared with the young teens (Patchin & Hinduja, 2010).

Indeed, according to a recent survey of youths, it reports that the average age for the youth who get involved in cyberbullying tends to be 15 years old. In fact, teens who either bully others online and those who are bullied offline have higher chances of being targeted online. However, some of the youths have related or unrelated social issues (Patchin & Hinduja, 2010).

It is worth to note that youths who tend to be targeted by bullying have higher chances than youths who are not bullied to make statement of harassment about others online too. This may be revenge (Dickerson, 2009). However, with reasons that someone sent a harassing or mean message doesn’t automatically mean that this is not harassment, in case same thing is done back.

Why do they do it?

It is not a good thing to be at the receiving end of cyberbullying. Cyberbullying has immediate effects to humiliation, physical injury, rejection, helplessness and distress (Patchin & Hinduja, 2010). Teens that tend to be harassed experience anxiety, fear, insecurity, depression, and oppression, incapacity to concentrate in their studies, headaches, nightmares, low marks and stomachaches. Surprising most of these young people have the wish of avoiding school (Brewer & Kerslake, 2015).

Those who bully have a target of passing a devastating effect on the victim self-esteem. They have the wish to make child think that he/she does not serves to what he/she gets. They targets to pass the worst feeling of oneself, making the child more susceptible. Most of the children who are bullied are considered as “passive victims” who tend to be sensitive, withdrawn, submissive, insecure, shy, distressed and unhappy. As well, the victims are physically weak and experience “body anxiety” (Sophia, 2014).

Reason to why children are bullied online may vary with various factors such as disabilities, culture or ethnicity, lack of aggression, social challenges, low self-esteem, and sexuality. Racial bullying targets the victim with an aim of damaging self-efficacy, control and self-esteem. This lead to a feeling of depression, hopelessness and frustrations (Kyriacou, 2016).

What techniques do they use?

There are manuals that target educating the teacher, parents and public. Cyberbullying directly targets the kid insecurities making sure that the psychological and emotional bruise are permanent. Cyberbullying give the bullies a chance of feeling mysterious, giving them a chance to say harsher and pervasive comments (Brack & Caltabiano, 2014). Online bulling techniques do no go away. In fact it is inescapable to the victims since person committing the bullying may have access to its 24/7. This can be done anywhere in school, home or somewhere they can access internet. Some of the common techniques of cyberbullying are as follows:

E-mail threats: this is the most aggressive method of cyberbullying where these threats ensure that they place physical and social harm in case the targeted victim complies with the bully demands (Cénat et al., 2014).

Flaming: this takes place when individuals engage in heated and heightened arguments in online platforms where framing bully and blasphemy may be taken too far on public level.

Exclusion: placing a page far from contemporary bullrings reserve, exclusion tends to depend upon banishing a kid from an event that is being carried out in an online page. This technique entails not inviting children to a specific page or chatroom (Dickerson, 2009). In addition, it may entail deleting someone comment repetitively to ensure that they are unheard, or making deliberate ignorance of a kid presence in the online platform. In case all these are done with malicious intentions with exclusion of the youth in the online platform, they may have a feeling of being valueless, worthless or even outside the group (Brack & Caltabiano, 2014).

Outing: this is the process of making private shared information (through pictures, emails, text, or any other communication method) be publically known. Outing tends to be hurting mainly when it is carried within the framework of orientation and sexuality, since it push the youths out of symbolic secret by being prepared (Patchin & Hinduja, 2010).

Phishing: one techniques applied in making outing is phishing or tricking children in a way that make them disclose their personal information to friends or strangers online via series of deceptive and lie texts (Brack & Caltabiano, 2014).

Impersonation: this happens when the bully impersonate the victims online, create a false profile or pretend to be the victim noting awkward, mean and rude things with an aim of create bad reputation online.

Image diffusion: this is applied via text or email, which entail passing humiliating photos and images of the victim to anyone who knows the person (Robson & Witenberg, 2013).

How Does Anonymity Make Cyberbullying Easier?

In many websites and apps there is no accountability or identification for the person who say what. Such anonymity can and causes the worst for human nature. The aggression may be direct such as in threats and verbal abuse or indirect via exclusion, spread of rumors or ostracism, tends to wear down the target victim who decimate self-esteem and suffocate signs of hope to have an optimistic future (Kyriacou, 2016).

While youths get older, they tend to progressively more get technologically adept as well as socially expertise on way to hide identity and intention. Anonymous cyberbullying has been on the rise on the internet. Youths have increasingly turned to pseudonymity of abuse from others, in a way that the targeted victim cannot know who is harassing them. Freedom of online identities provides people with the sense of privacy and gives them the chance to comment anything or give any opinion while hiding behind the computer. According to Brack and Caltabiano, (2014) the bully use anonymity which allows them to hide while commenting anything they wish with little consequence.

Steps Taken To Stop Cyberbullying

To assists and identify children who are at risk, parents and other concerned parties must ask if there are experiencing any form of cyberbullying (Patchin & Hinduja, 2010). It is worth to name and specify the real behaviors whether it is spread of rumors, trickery, outing or name calling. As well, parents have a role of counseling their children on the negative effects associated with cyberbullying and instruct the teens of safe internet use (Dickerson, 2009). Parent needs to assume the role of offering online education to the children. Parent needs to be persuaded keep computers with internet access in open areas, consider monitoring child online activities and behaviors, encouraging the children not to reveal passwords and secrets and not to open any message from anyone who is unknown to them (Brack & Caltabiano, 2014). Parents need to advise the children not to believe in anything they read. In addition, parents need to model relevant use of technology as well as teaching children that posting of any harmful message about others is inappropriate.


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