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Posts Tagged ‘victims of bullies’

Ask.fm and Lesser Known Social Media Portals – Cyber Bullying Havens

Friday, October 18th, 2019

Ask.fm and Lesser Known Social Media Portals – Cyber Bullying Havens

Image Courtesy of sidedooryk.com

Parents of young adults, take heed. Facebook and Twitter aren’t the only places where your kids might be bullied. There exist thousands of other online avenues where people hide under the guise of ‘freedom of speech’ to say inappropriate and terrible things to your children. Take for example Ask.fm.

 

“Wait a minute. Why are you still alive?”

This is just one of the questions posted on the page of 12-year old Rebecca Sedwick, who killed herself last month by jumping from an abandoned cement building in Lakeland, Florida. Other questions included similarly horrible queries within the lines of “Why aren’t you dead?” and even non-questions “Drink bleach and die.”

Ask.fm is a social media site where users receive questions from anonymous people. According to LA Times report, millions of teenagers in the United States use this website to talk about late night parties, school work, and others subjects without parental supervision. Sedwick was tormented by about 15 girls her age on Ask.fm, among other lesser known social media portals.

The easily accessible technology of social media apps and virtually limitless internet connectivity gave way to an environment that thrives on anonymity. “These apps are free, and as a result … you can either go up anonymously or create a fictitious identification, and you can torment other children, and it is frightening to see that occur,” noted Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd.

 

“Yes ik  I bullied REBECCA nd she killed her self but IDGAF [I don’t give a f***]”

This was the exact status message of Guadalupe Shaw, 14 years old, after reports of Rebecca Sedwick committing suicide spread. “She needs more than God, she is disgusting,” said the first comment in Shaw’s status.

Police saw this message as a red flag. Along with 12-year old Katelyn Roman, county police arrested Shaw despite planning to delay any detainments due to the nature of the case and the age of the involved individuals. Sheriff Judd said that Roman and Shaw were the primary harassers.

When asked about the legality of the arrest and the case to be filed against the youngsters, Judd mentioned that although bullying in itself is not a crime, it can be grounds for stalking and aggravated stalking.

“We take bullying and cyber bullying exceptionally serious in this county and always have,” said Judd.

 

“Choose your words carefully.”

This was the advice that most experts in behavioral psychology want parents to instill to their children when dealing with cyber bullying. Because children grew up with technology that was not available back when their parents were growing up, research and coaching are imperative for parents to address the issue. These concepts were said by Dr. Elizabeth Englander from the Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center on an instructional video found on VerizonWireless’s feature on a familial approach to address cyber bullying.

Part of this research involves being familiar with social networking sites that are overlooked such as the aforementioned Ask.fm, Kik (a smartphone messaging app), and SnapChat.

SnapChat is particularly controversial. Commonly used by adults to hook up by sending ‘pic trading’ or exchanging photos; this app has been the center of the social phenomenon called ‘sexting’. “The biggest part of these sites is parents don’t know about them,” said author of “Wit’s End: Advice and Resources for Saving Your Out of Control Teen” Sue Scheff.

The lack of initiative from parents to get involved with their children’s internet and social media actions create a difficult situation where harassment is only detected when it’s already too late, Scheff said. “It’s as simple as that. No one really knew a lot about Ask.fm until Rebecca died,” she noted.

Resources are always available online for parents to get the basic concepts of social media. How will you deal with it, if your child experiences cyber bullying?

 

Dennis Redley is an advocate of responsible internet usage. He supports various cyber safety initiatives including Verizon’s online safety campaign and Higher EdTech Asia. He is also an aspiring educator and takes part in counseling students.

 

What Is Cyber Bullying & Helping The Bystander To Bullying

Friday, October 11th, 2019

What is Cyber Bullying?

According to Stopbullying.gov, cyber bullying is bullying that happens using the internet or electronic technology. Just like regular bullying, cyber bullying involves an aggressive act performed by a person that has (or that is perceived to have) more power toward a person that has (or that is perceived to have) less power. Bullying is repetitive and purposeful. It can include name calling, threats to cause harm and spreading rumors.

What Are Schools Doing to Prevent Bullying?

Nearly all schools take some measure to educate students about bullying and to prevent them from bullying their peers. Teachers talk about bullying in students’ health classes. Schools hold special programs and assemblies to educate students about the importance of not bullying. It all goes to enforce to students that bullying is wrong, hurtful and unacceptable. But if students know these things, why does it still happen?

Despite all the education that students receive about bullying, bullying still exists both at school and online. While anti-bullying measures demonstrate the school’s best intentions, The Total Bully Solution points out that too often school’s best efforts frequently don’t work. There are several reasons why people continue to bully when they know it is wrong. There are also several reasons why other students witnessing the bullying do not put a stop to it.

What is the Bystander Effect?

The bystander effect is what happens when people do not step in to help when they see another person being bullied or being placed in some type of danger. Named after the infamous stabbing of Kitty Genovese in 1964, the term “the bystander effect” refers to the tendency of people to not help in an emergency situation when other people are present.

According to social experiments done by Bibb Latané and John Darley, if one person witnesses an emergency situation where someone needs assistance, they are likely to help. They feel responsible for helping because they know if they do not help, no one else is around to do so.

 

Something strange happens when a group of people watch an emergency take place, however. Instead of rushing to help, people look at those around them to gauge their reactions. If no one else reacts, people rationalize not helping by saying that it is socially acceptable to not help or that someone else will help. They do not feel so responsible.

How Does the Bystander Effect Affect People who Witness Cyber Bullying?

People who witness cyber bullying online know that they are not the only people to see it. They feel removed from the situation and they figure that because so many people see the bullying taking place, they are not personally responsible for doing something to stop it. As a result, cyber bullies are able to continually harass their victims with no repercussions because no one intervenes. While it would be helpful if internet service providers were able to monitor online bullying, the best bully prevention techniques start at home.

How Can People Overcome the Bystander Effect?

The best way to overcome the bystander effect is to educate people about it. If people realize that they are in a large group of people who are not likely to help, they will be motivated to be the person that does help.

Sources:

http://emergingcenter.wordpress.com/2010/02/22/bullying-and-the-bystander-effect/
http://www.stopbullying.gov/
http://www.psychologytoday.com/basics/bystander-effect

Nikki Longo is a writer based off the east coast. When she’s not writing at the desk that overlooks the beautiful tree in her backyard she can be found playing with her dogs or cooking up a new recipe. Feel free to reach out to her at nikkiblogsallday@gmail.com

CyberBullies – Bully Online

Monday, September 27th, 2010

Dealing With Online Bullies

With the advancement in modern technology the evolution of the bully has moved from playgrounds, workplaces and gyms to the internet. It is not that kids being mean to one another is anything new. But the methods and techniques are certainly more sophisticated and allow more cruelty because of constant access and the power to be anonymous.

Cell Phones and Social Media Make Being Mean Easy

Unlike adults, kids don’t regard technology as separate from the rest of their lives. Many have a cell phone in their hands and moving to text or talk constantly.

Cell phones and social media have made it easy for mean kids to bully online and become cyber bullies.

Bullies are now using chat rooms and social media sites to attack their victims. Bullies use the cyberspace to leave harsh, cruel or even threatening comments for their victims.

Sometimes bullies post fake or hurtful videos, or even create fake online profiles to harm the reputation of the person they wish to victimize.

FaceBook Works To Stop Offenders

Social networking sites like FaceBook work hard to control serious incidents through online reporting. Through filing a report users can have wrongful photos or comments removed from the site.

FaceBook also enforces consequences for the aggressor up to, and including closing their account for serious offenders. But, unfortunately, kids are smart and pretty internet savvy. They can start another account with a false name and new email address.

No Easy Answers or Solutions to Combat CyberBullies

So, how do we combat online bullies? There are a number of software programs and online services that can help parents monitor what kids are doing online.

There are also services to help parents monitor text messaging on cell phones, which is another rapidly growing problem.

We need to encourage our children to inform parents, teachers or other responsible adults when they are being bullied whether it is face-to-face or online.

Recently authorities have begun taking credible threats of injury or damage to property very seriously. In serious cases authorities should be contacted to deal with bullying concerns in an efficient manner.

Questions To Ask Yourself:

  • Would I be able to tell if my child is being bullied online?
  • Is my child mature enough to conduct him or herself responsibly on social networking sites?
  • How will I monitor my child’s activities online?
  • How will I deal with incidents of bullying against my child or, if I find my child is bullying someone else?

Cyberbullying is a serious threat to individuals globally.  Teaching internet safety and social skills online is a part of what a caring parent does.  You should be informed and aware of what your child is sending and receiving online.

You can do it. I have confidence in you.

Judy Helm Wright, family relationship author and keynote speaker

Helplessness Of The Bystander Bully

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010

The Helplessness Of The Bystander Bully

A bully is tearing through his latest victim. You’re scared, unsure of what to do. You see other people just like you standing around with stunned, fearful expressions written on their faces. Some of them begin to speak up but not in the way you would expect. Instead they are egging the violence on.

If you are witness to the violence of bullying and don't speak up or try to help the victim, you are called a bystander bully.

For whatever reason you simply watch while the violence continues.

You are officially a bystander bully. Psychologists and mainstream media are starting to study the effects of the learned helplessness of not speaking up.

Helpless or Hopeful

The bystander can have just as much affect on a situation as an active bully. These bullies often increase the amount of emotional and physical pain a victim is subjected to when they have an audience. Bullies want attention and are hoping they can show their superior power, but feel deflated when others speak up and call the bully out.

Bullies, targets and bystanders are damaged when the violence is not addressed and stopped.

Bullies who continue to tease, taunt and humiliate can harm more than just the victim being bullied, but frequently hurt themselves in the long run. The bully will continue to believe that it is okay to violate the rights of others.

Bystanders who take no action during a bullying incident is taking place often report higher levels of stress, fear, anxiety, and guilt, not only during the fight but symptoms show up for years later. These emotions can manifest themselves into headaches, cramps, and even ulcers. This is in addition to sleepless night and a great deal of other mental and stressful issues.

In addition, people (especially children) who do nothing during an attack are more likely to become bullies themselves.

Too Scared To Act

It is understandable why individuals may be too scared to call out the bully. Fear of having the spotlight moved from the victim to you stops many from speaking up.. When you step out into the rain it’s to be expected that you will get wet. When put into harms way you run the risk that you will become the next target. There is also the fear of embarrassment or being ostracized.

There Are Other Choices

There is great importance in remembering to explain to bystanders that you don’t have to put yourself in danger in order to stop a bully. Phone lines, anonymous tips, and unsigned sent notes are all good ways to call for an adult or supervisor. Appealing to other bystanders is a way to form a cohesive anti-movement against bullies. Rather than singling yourself out you appear as part of a disgruntled mob.

Being a bystander bully doesn’t have to be your only choice. Sometimes you can find yourself so chocked up with terror that you can’t move or speak. Still, there are ways to do so without singling yourself out. A bully is only as powerful as the people who refuse to speak up in his presence.

Be a voice and help someone. Don’t just be a bystander and spectator to bullying, but a witness to peace and respect for all.