Regulation of Cyberbullying
Emerging concerns online, such as hate speech, fake news, privacy, and cyberbullying are not sufficiently discussed and taught at schools. We envision building a curriculum, that is enforced by regulation, focusing on raising awareness of the online environment for students.
Digital citizenship includes more than topics such as internet safety and Cyberbullying. We need to expand the discussion to include evaluation of the quality and truth of online content and teach students self-regulation skills with technology.What is cyberbullying?
Cyberbullying is when someone uses the Internet or modern communication technology (mobile phone, text messages, email or social networking sites) to deliberately and repeatedly hurt, harass or humiliate other people. Bullies often have low self-esteem and may even have been a victim of bullying in the past. However, bullying or cyber-bullying is NEVER acceptable and you should not have to put up with it. There is no single definition of cyberbullying agreed upon internationally or at the European level. However, attempts to define this phenomenon have been made by international organizations, EU institutions and academia.
Cyber-bullies are abusive and make negative comments, to torment, threaten, pick on or intimidate someone. Examples of cyber-bullying include sending anonymous threatening emails, spreading rumours online to break up friendships or relationships, setting up an unkind or unpleasant fake social networking account or editing real photos to embarrass others. Cyber-bullies might also befriend you online and then use information you have given them against you, to upset you.
Always be aware of what you’re sending and receiving whilst online. Just like talking in person, respect and politeness are necessary when using the Internet too. Never write or post anything that you wouldn’t say to a person's face to face. It is important to be accepting of individual differences and to learn tolerance and respect for diversity.
Since Cyber-bullying is done online in a virtual world, it can affect someone not just in school but also continue throughout the day, making someone feel threatened at home as well. It can also sometimes have a larger audience or be hard to find out who the bully is if they post something on a website anonymously. However, it is possible to always save proof of cyberbullying (emails, websites, IMs), unlike normal bullying which is usually someone’s word against another person. A positive thing about cyber-bullying is that it can be evidenced and saved as proof. This can then be reported to the relevant authorities including school or police to catch the bullies.
How can I respond to cyberbullying?
If you are being targeted by bullies online:
Try to resist the temptation to reply to offensive messages.
Try not to reply or react to things cyber-bullies say or do, as it could make the situation worse.
Save all evidence of the bullying behaviour.
If you receive abusive emails or have upsetting things posted on your profile, save them to your computer so that you can use it as proof. Also, learn how to save conversations.
Block them and tell a trusted adult.
Learn how to block the bully on IM or delete them from your contacts on social media. Tell an adult you trust about what is going on so that they can help and offer support.
Report the bully
If you are bullied online, do not hesitate to report it to authorities (school and/or police), and to the website/service operator. Cyberbullying is really scary and extremely hurtful for the person being bullied as lots of people could be seeing the mean things that have been said and done. If you see anything that looks like cyberbullying or know someone is being cyberbullied, it is your duty to report it. Tell an adult you trust about what is going on and they will be able to help offer support to the person who is being bullied online.
Anything you share online is out of your control – other people can do anything they want with it. This is the case with all information, including comments, photos and videos. Across the world, children and teenagers have and continue to suffer as a result of the abuse they have received online, or as a result of information or images, they have shared online.
A photo posted on Facebook, Twitter or other social media may bring smiles to friends and family, but it may also reach the wrong eyes. This is because there are many people who misuse the Internet, to get inappropriate photos of teenagers or young children for their own purposes. People who are looking to abuse children and teenagers online can often manipulate relationships and pressure you into doing things you feel uncomfortable with.
Keep clean online reputations and always think twice before you post or share anything online Future employers or universities often look at your online reputation including previous posts – is there anything there you wouldn't want them to see? Some employers will also search your name on Google to check your online behaviour and see if they find anything. Be aware that every day, the lives of many young people are affected by irresponsible and illegal things they may have said or done online, a long time ago.
Cyberbullying occurs through electronic communication technologies, such as e-mail, instant messaging, social media, online gaming, or through digital messages or images sent to a cellular phone. Nowadays, cyberbullying is increasingly performed through social networks such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, WhatsApp, Tumblr and YouTube.
Laws, Policies & Regulations. Most state laws, policies, and regulations require districts and schools to implement a bullying policy and procedures to investigate and respond to bullying when it occurs. A handful of states also require bullying prevention programs, the inclusion of bullying prevention in health education standards, and/or teacher professional development. These state laws generally do not prescribe specific consequences for kids who engage in bullying behaviour, and very few classify bullying as a criminal offence.