Do you remember when you were a kid,before computers? When you would go to school, or the playground, and there was always that 1 kid or more that felt they had to make you feel bad or someone else? To make them feel better? Looking back we could say “why were kids so mean?”
I remember being in 6th grade-and although the details are kinda foggy…I remember referring to one of girls in 8th grade as “Piggy” but honest it was her nickname. So anyways..one of my “friends” told her that I called her a name. So all of the sudden this girl was following me home each day walking half a block behind me calling me the “B” word among other things and I was scared I have to admit. This must have happened a few days in a row; so I told my Dad. Well that Friday during school I heard there was a fight after school. What I didn’t realize was I was one of the people in the fight and “R” we will call her was after me. Long story short she got me off school property and slapped me so hard I fell to the ground and I could hear my Dad telling her to get off of me….and he ended up going to the police and she was left off with a warning.
Looking back, as scarey as it was, when I got home it was over. There was no computer that had kids talking about it or talking about me or picking on me. I was safe in my home from all of it. But kids today aren’t. They have their cell phones, computers, ipods, texting, Facebook, and it goes on and on. Don’t get me wrong-not every kid is being bullied and most of the kids ‘on-line’ relationships are nothing to worry about. But I feel it is important to be aware of what can be going on and to know the rules in your state.
The definition of Cyber Bullying is: “Cyber bullying is the repeated use of information technology, including e-mail, instant messaging, blogs, chat rooms, pagers, cell phones, and gaming systems, to deliberately harass, threaten or intimidate others. Unlike physical bullying, where the victim can walk away, technology now allows for continuous harassment, from any distance, in a variety of ways.”-(1)
I found this important information on a website which will be noted below. These are the most popular forms of cyber-bullying.
Cyber bullying is accomplished in many ways, including*:
- Flaming is a type of online fight. It is an act of sending or posting electronic messages that are deliberately hostile, insulting, mean, angry, vulgar or insulting, to one person or several, either privately or publicly to an online group.
- Denigration also known as “dissing,” occurs when a person sends or publishes cruel rumors, gossip or untrue statements about a person to intentionally damage the victim’s reputation or friendships.
- Bash boards are online bulletin boards where people post anything they choose. Generally, the postings are mean, hateful and malicious.
- Impersonation can be particularly harmful and occurs when someone pretends to be or poses as another person. This is usually accomplished by breaking into someone’s account, by stealing a password and perhaps changing it, or by maliciously using that information provided by a friend (one reason to never give a password to anyone but a trusted adult). Once the impersonator has access to the victim’s information, considerable damage can occur. By sending out emails supposedly from the victim or by posting material online, the victim’s reputation or friendships can be irreparably harmed.
- Outing occurs when someone sends or publishes confidential, private, or embarrassing information, online. Private email messages or images meant for private viewing, is then forwarded to others.
- Trickery is when a person purposely tricks another person into divulging secrets, private information or embarrassing information, and publishes that information online.
- Exclusion is an indirect method of online bullying, intentionally excluding someone from an online group or community.
- Harassment is when the electronic bully repeatedly sends insulting, hurtful, rude, insulting messages.
- Happy slapping is a relatively new type of bullying. This occurs when an unsuspecting victim is physically attacked, in person, as an accomplice films or take pictures of the incident. The image or video is then posted online or distributed electronically. Often the attackers will say it was only a prank or joke, hence the term “happy slapping”. Happy slapping is becoming more common, especially since many cell phones now include cameras.
- Text wars or attacks are when several people gang up on the victim, sending the target hundreds of emails or text messages. Besides the emotional toll it can take on the victim, the victims’ cell phone charges can be costly.
- Online polls ask readers to vote on specific questions, often very hurtful and demeaning, such as “Who is the ugliest person in 8th grade” or “Who do you love to hate?”
- Sending malicious code intentionally, to damage or harm the victim’s system or to spy on the victim.
- Images and videos are a rapidly growing concern. Due to the prevalence and accessibility of camera cell phones, photographs and videos of unsuspecting victims, taken in bathrooms, locker rooms or other compromising situations, are being distributed electronically. Some images are emailed to other people, while others are published on video sites such as YouTube.
- Griefing involves chronically causing grief to other members of an online community, or rather, intentionally disrupting the immersion of another player in their game play.(2)http://www.microsoft.com/protect/family/activities/griefers.mspx