Cyber Bullying: A Threat to Everyone

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Virtual Playground

The ordinary school playground is no longer the only place bullies are found.

My sister was very angry when my niece came home from school crying. She was being bullied by her classmate and a close-friend, too by sending rumours about her in the net.

Some children at a young age of 13 onwards committed suicide because of cyber bullying. Even some TV and movie personalities in other countries have taken their lives because of it.

Cyberbullying is being cruel to others by sending or posting harmful material or engaging in other forms of social cruelty using the Internet or other digital technologies. It has various forms, including direct harassment and indirect activities that are intended to damage the reputation or interfere with the relationships of the student targeted, such as posting harmful material, impersonating the person, disseminating personal information or images, or activities that result in exclusion.

The act of bullying using the Internet usually happened after school, but the efffects can be felt after the incident happened on the web.

A 2007 study by the US-based Pew Internet and American Life Project found that one-third of American teen internet users have been targets of cyber bullies.It can happen in chatrooms, instant messaging and social networking.

Playground bullying stopped when the bell rang and you went back inside the school or went home. With cyber bullying it is 24/7 and 365 days a year.

For me, as an adult, I can just turn off my computer or fight back by answering equally harsh words, but that's not really the option of today's teens. They usually depend on the internet to keep in touch with peers.

That's very true. Even my sister warned my niece not to open their desktop computer, she still chat with her friends at the friendster's site even she was bullied once by one of her friends.

Even teachers are not spared from these cyber bullies. Libelous remarks about their teachers are being hurled at the site uk.ratemyteachers.com forcing the UK Association of Teachers and Lecturers to go to court in support of teachers who've been libeled online.

Nancy E. Willard, M.S., J.D.,with degrees in special education and law has formulated the "Cyber Bullying Legislation and School Policies." She taught “at risk”children, practiced computer law, and was an educational technology consultant before focusing her professional attention on issues of youth risk online and effective Internet use management in schools.

Governments have taken legislative action. The US Congress passed a law in 2006 making it a federal crime to "annoy, abuse, threaten or harass" another person over the internet. In South Korea, the "internet real-name system," introduced in 2007, forces online portals and news website to record the identities of people who post content and to disclose their contact details if someone wants to sue them for libel or infringement of privacy.

Cyberbullying: A Whole New World of Brutality

 More and more threats are prevalent in the cyberworld targetting innocent children. You can see the harsh words "kick a ginger!" on Facebook accounts and other social media sites attacking mostly the kids.

More states in the United states of America are cracking down abusers with the cyberbullying laws. Here are some of the states who are active in punishing or tracking offenders.

Arkansas

  • In 2007, the Arkansas legislation passed a law allowing school officials to take action against cyber bullies even if the bullying did not originate or take place on school property. The law gave school administrators much more freedom to punish those individuals who sought to harass their fellow students.

Idaho

  • 2006 saw Idaho lawmakers pass a law that allowed school officials to suspend students if they bullied or harassed other students using a telephone or computer.

Iowa

  • Iowa has passed several laws that force schools to create anti-cyberbullying policies which cover bullying "in schools, on school property or at any school function or school-sponsored activity."

New Jersey

  • New Jersey has always maintained tough laws about bullying, but it wasn't until 2007 that the laws were amended to include bullying via "electronic communication." These laws give additional power to the school system to enforce bullying-related punishment for actions that may not take place while on school grounds.

Oregon

  • The laws passed in recent years in Oregon expand the boundaries of what constitutes cyberbullying to include those actions which "substantially interfere" with the education of the young person.

Missouri

  • The suicide of a 13-year old girl Megan Meier who was the victim of an internet hoax greatly raised the awareness of cyberbullying and its consequences in the state of Missouri.  Missouri has also toughened their laws on the matter, upgrading cyber-harassment from a misdemeanor to a Class D felony.

New York

  • New York created a system to investigate claims of cyberbullying that would help police and school officials better ascertain the circumstances of each occurrence and prosecute or punish the culprits to the fullest extent of the law.

Rhode Island

  • The governor of Rhode Island is currently trying to pass a bill that would force repeat cyberbullying offenders to appear in family court, where they would be charged as delinquents under the terms of the state's laws for young offenders.

Vermont

  • Vermont has added a $500 fine for cyberbullying offenses to their already stringent laws on the matter. There is currently a bill being discussed that would increase the reach of the school's powers regarding cyberbullying when the action puts the individual's ability to learn (or health and safety) at risk.
     

Currently, Massachusetts is considering House Bill 483 which would require schools to have anti-bullying training and procedures in place. It would require districts to produce an annual report citing cyberbullying incidents for the state legislature and the department of primary and secondary education.  (Cyberbully Alert 2010)

Cyberbullying in the Philippines

This hubber is a Filipino, Travel Man that is. So, my concern is on what's happening to the youth, especially high school students who are now using or sporting cellular phones or cellphones when they go to school.

Right now, school policies are restricting the use of cellphones inside the classrooms. These set of rules are added to the regular policies, like the No ID, No Entry policy. The scenario being relayed by teacher is that cellular phones are often used to bully other classmates, by text messages and swapping of photos that have unruly or unbecoming remarks.

Although, cellular phones are prohibited in the classrooms, it is often used during breaktime, in the comfort rooms, playgrounds or even in the school's locker room where bullying among teenagers are rampant. Parents would like to check their kids if they are studying properly in school , so they provided cellphones to their sons or daughters.

Cyberbullying can even lead to suicide by the aggrieved parties or the kids being bullied, just like what happened in some cases.

So be vigilant, this is everybody's concern. The proper usage of modern gadgets like computers, cellphones and the internet should be regulated, whether or not you're in the school campus, in the malls or at home chatting on the net.

Childnet International on Cyberbullying c/o KLSSupport

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Comments 53 comments

bacville profile image

bacville 6 years ago from Manila, Philippines

I was a victim of cyber-bullying. too. I can manage now.


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

Good for you, bacville. Just be careful when opening web pages.


bunny 6 years ago

Is there a law / act against cyber bullying?


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

Hi, bunny. I just updated this hub. Thanks for asking. Now, children around the world who are victimized by bullies in the internet or the cyberworld can no longer ran or hide from the law. They will surely be punished.


msfore1 6 years ago

Well, I'm still a victim and I don't know what to do coz it is affecting me and relationship to my co worker, what can I do i'm here in korea and he's in the Philippines...


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

I'm sorry to hear that, msfore1. In Asia, the leniency to impose cyber laws is still rampant implicates cyberbullying that is inevitable.

I'm sure if the police force in your country includes cybercrime in their investigation, then more and more victims will file their complaints.


thesailor profile image

thesailor 6 years ago from Seven Seas

To experience bullying on the net is so alarming. I've experienced it, too, in FaceBook.


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

The good way to eradicate bullies in the net is to block them from your account and report them to cyber authorities.


Mike 6 years ago

My daughter was a victim too. Children must be accompanied by adults when using internet.


Berns 6 years ago

I am also a victim of a cyberbully in Facebook, Twitter and he is threatening to post private videos and photos of me to my family, friends and colleagues.... he's actually personally blackmailing me. I am a Filipina and this Cyber bully is from Scotland...can I mention his name so other women will know who he is in case you'd be the next victim...


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@Berns: Yes, you can mention his name and even put the link on his site. Cyber bullying is apparent these days on the net. I've been a victim, too, with this kind of harrasment on Facebook.


Gala 6 years ago

Be careful about whom you accept as friends on FB. That's all i can say. If in real life that person has spread rumors about you and badmouthed you, then she could also do it online. What's worse is it's PRINTED for all to see, unlike words which are mere hearsay.


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@Mike..teenagers should be helped when handling situations like bullying on the net.

@Gala...thanks for the reminder. I've blocked the rude person whom I encountered @ Facebook.


HealthyHanna profile image

HealthyHanna 6 years ago from Utah

This breaks my heart. I am sorry we even have to address the issue. I am glad to see the law taking action.


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

HealthyHanna...I feel the same sentiments with you, regarding cyber bullying. I'm a victim of harsh written words on Facebook when I tried helping my former colleague defend her side. I was bombarded with too many 'unchewable' words coming from my countryman (a Filipino, too) who resides now in Washinton, DC. My last recourse to stop his bullying was BLOCK him. And silence...and peace of mind, too.


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

This hub was chosen by ABS-CBN staff (Sharmane Yu) to be part of their segment on CyBer Bullying c/o Ted Failon's weekend TV show-Failon Ngayon. She just called last Saturday (6Nov2010) to interview my niece and my sister in Manila, but they declined.

Anyways, good thing about hubbing. They're noticing that we were producing worthy hubs that can be a source of a trending topics around the world.

Thanks for all the support avid readers and fellow hubbers!!!


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 5 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

I just received a request and comment from GMA 7 on Cyber Bullying. Allow me to share it with you and contact them if you can help (I'm handling a personal chore in school as of this moment).

Hi Mr. Travel Man,

I'm Katherine Gajasan from GMA 7. We are currently doing a story about bullying to be aired on March 7, 2011 at GMA News Channel in the program Brigada. Hosted by Ms. Jessica Soho. regarding this, we would like to ask if ever we could talk to you regarding this subject. We are currently looking for a victim of cyber bullying. If ever you could help us kindly contact us to 9299934 or thru my cellphone number, 09164397772.

Your help is very much appreciated. The identity of the victim will not be disclosed in making the story.

Thank you very much for your urgent response

Katherine Gajasan

Program Researcher

Brigada,

If you know a victim of Cyber Bullying please help the team for their show. Good luck!


cyberbullied 5 years ago

I read the last comment too late. I'm a victim of cyberbullying. It began a week ago. Felt really depressed and even thought of death.


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 5 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@cyberbullied:Please don't loose hope and renew your outlook in life and forget your bitter experience on it. There's so much good to be done here in this world.


Arky Agapito 5 years ago

Hi travel_man1971!

I am Arky Agapito, a researcher from Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho of GMA 7. We are currently doing a story about bullying, airing this coming Saturday, June 25, 2011. We are looking for victims of cyber bullying. The case of people being bullied using the latest technology seems very alarming. Is there any way you can help us with this? Please let me know. You can reach me via mail, arkyagapito@gmail.com or through my personal number, 0927510879.

Thank you very much. In anticipation of an immediate and positive reponse.

Best Regards,

Arky Agapito

Researcher

Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 5 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@Arky Agapito: I was a victim, too, but my friend already erased her message posted at her FB Wall.

I am already asking my friends to help, if they knew someone who have been bullied online.

Some even make fake accounts to destroy the reputations of those helpless victims.

You know, printed words can hurt us most rather than the sharp blade of a knife.


arkyagapito profile image

arkyagapito 5 years ago from Bulacan

Do you have "cyberbullied"'s contact details? (The one who posted a reply above.) He seems to be good subject. Or if you are interested too? or anyone whom you know? I hope you could extend your help. Thank you very much! :)


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 5 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@arkyagapito: Well, I have one. I don't know if she'll come into open. She's from Samar, being bullied by her former British beau. The guy made a fake account bearing her name and posted false accusations against her. I would have to ask her permission, because she has a reputation to take care of. Please wait if she'll agree with you for an interview.

Me? I'm stationed here in Bicol. Maybe, you can just have my byline on your documentary. My blood still boils once I think of those harsh encounter with that guy who's my kababayan here in Bicol.


VeryAnoidguardian 5 years ago

is there any legal action that i can do? its been months now and my kid is still being bullied. we both live here in the Philippines. i am very concerned about my kid's future, she is very affected. blocking doesn't work. the bully always finds a way to reach her, i really want to teach that bully a lesson (the bully is a girl). the bully is so confident we even know who she is and where she goes to school, she's younger than my kid! i really need some kind of action, this bully is so rude even to people she knows i am literally thinking that this bully has mental problems.


Knowledgeshared profile image

Knowledgeshared 5 years ago from Indiana

HELP I AM BEING CYBER BULLIED!!!!!!!!!! http://knowledgeshared.hubpages.com/hub/Cyber-Bull...


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 5 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@VeryAnoidguardia: The 15th Congress is now working out for a more strict rules in using the internet, especially the issues on cyber bullying.

Here's a link for further information regarding their efforts to combat such problem.

http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/89679/lawmakers-seek-...


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 5 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@Knowledgeshared: Thanks for the post. I've foloowed your thred and share your sentiment regarding Gary.


BullyReform profile image

BullyReform 5 years ago from Worldwide

We have to inspire those who bully others to understand the true consequences of doing such things to others. Most of them don't understand that they have a great amount of power with their words and actions of those who may have weaker personalities. Great hub I rated up.


WSPH 4 years ago

A victim of cyber bullying shares her story here : http://wp.me/pXzqu-Du


stariswhoiam profile image

stariswhoiam 4 years ago

people can say the meanest things when hidden behind a screen... like in honesty box on Facebook, it's appalling HOW MEAN the thingz some people say aree. it just shows that there are people who go online just to say the meanest things whereas in person they pretend they don't bully people.


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 4 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@BullyReform: Thanks for the compassion you've shared regarding those troubled minds. As far as I can say, those bullies experienced such acts of lawlessness and they want to have a revenge online, especially to other users.


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 4 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@WSPH: I've seen and read your site and even posted a comment on it.

Here in the Philippines, a legislation is now being cooked up in order to punish those bullies online.


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 4 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@stariswhoiam :I'm glad you've noticed that, too...I mean those people who go online via social media as in Facebook or Twitter just to post their cruelest thoughts.

The question is, are they happy with what they're doing or just an insecure souls wanting to be recognized in a-not-so-nice way.


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 4 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@yang09: Thanks for opening up your problem here regarding cyber bullying.

Most of the bullies use fake accounts, but you can identify them through their IP number, although it will be difficult to trace them.

I think, they just feel inferior with your achievements, perhaps.

Some of your classmates or your so-called friends can be your secret enemies in school. They are those who envy you, from head to foot.

Yes, you can post all the names of those unruly users of Facebook here.

Best of luck to you. Always be careful, when adding friends on FB.


lica 4 years ago

is there a statistic? data? regarding cases of cyber bullying here in the philippines. Tnx


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 4 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@yang09: I've searched about the legit ANti-Cyber Bullying office-headquarters here in the PH but to no avail.

You might as well try reporting such incidents at this Facebook account:

http://www.facebook.com/CyberbullyingPhilippines

Thanks for your concern.:D


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 4 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@lica: None so far.I don't heard of exact numbers of cyber bullying victims, because most of them don't want to come out in the open.

Here's a good aricle about The Age of Cyber Bullying, especially here in the Philippines.

http://www.thelobbyist.biz/perspectives/trend-blaz...


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 4 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@yang09: Thanks for the link. I already shared it @ my Facebook page and tweeted it on Twitter.


Nago 4 years ago

Hello Travel Man,

I think cyberbullying has become an extremely serious issue that many are turning a blind eye to, unfortunately. The internet was supposed to be our connection to the outside world, we can learn information about places we've never seen before. However, these insecure individuals who are hiding under the premise of "freedom of speech" are using the internet as a harmful tool against those who mean no harm. I know someone who committed suicide due to an onslaught of online bullying and the people who caused emotional damage this person still remain unpunished until today. There are people who say that it's "their right" and "freedom of speech" are common arguments to support whatever they post online, but my question is, is it freedom of speech to emotionally attack someone anonymously without remorse? How are children and other people ever going to feel safe going online knowing there are people who are hiding behind their computer screens ready to attack them? It's dangerous even online. I hope this bill will punish those who cyberbully others.


Leslie Jo Barra profile image

Leslie Jo Barra 4 years ago

This is a really hot topic and a very serious issue. With 2 small boys I worry about, not so much how to prevent, but how to lessen exposure and how to teach my kids good coping skills. Many people come from loving and supportive families, but still have low self esteem. Thanks for bringing this issue to the forefront.


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 4 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@Nago: I sympathize with your account. I've been a victim of harsh accusation at this platform, but my remedy is to block them and that's what I've done.


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 4 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@Leslie Jo Barra: Parents should always behind their kids when tinkering the computer. They might meet some harsh users who are ready to victimize them by cyber bullying.

Proper use of computer should be taught to your children, as you implied here.


Depressed 4 years ago

Hi I've been bullied on Facebook as well last october 2011. A girl posted a picture of me on her Facebook wall with a mean caption. it had gotten a lot of attention and mean comments from people I don't know about, and people who doesn't even know me, harassing me and humiliating me with their comments. I didn't do anything about it. I didn't even try to respond or retaliate. the girl and I have a few common friends in FB and they sent me a screen shot that's how I found out about it. I still have the evidence. and I want to do something about it just now because it still haunts me. I've been so depressed, I dont know if its because I didn't do anything about it. is it too late? I got hospitalized last november 'cause I've been so depressed and weak. thought about their mean comments a lot. I started seeing a pyschiatrist as well. :(


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 4 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@Depressed: Hello. I hope you, are healing slowly from what you've experienced online.

If you haven't block the perpetrator, you can still report your case or complaint against her to the NBI's Cybernet Crime division.

If you still have the copy of that page, maligning your photo in it, then, it's a strong evidence for you to retaliate.

Good luck and I'm sure you'll win the case. Have faith and positive results will be on your way.


#NBIdoesntwork 4 years ago

Hi. I have been bullied since last year. The bully made a poser account of me on Facebook and destroyed my reputation. She even sends disturbing emails to me and to my family and friends with the plot to literally bring me down. I haven't met or am not related to this woman who is apparently obsessing in destroying my reputation online. She's nasty and very much offensive. I already reported it to NBI last year. I even produced them the ip addresses! They should have found the bully online! And until today, the bully is still active emailing me and everyone close to me. I feel so helpless. Is there anyway asides from NBI? I am so angry that even the authorities can't do anything about it!


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 4 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@#NBIdoesntwork: I still have to visit the Cyber Dept. of the National Bureau of Investigation and follow-up your complaint.

IP addresses are strong evidence but the loopholes will be her frequent evasion with the law. In other words, she didn't own a personal computer or she's just using a public unit at the available internet cafe.

Well, why don't you make your account private? There is an option (now) @ FB that you can disappear from the face of your friends once in a while.

You can also print those emails that will be used as your tangible evidence against her.

If you personally know the girl, you can file for a blotter report and send her a subpoena for appearance, let's say at the NBI -Cyber Dept.


leizel 4 years ago

please help me someone is bullying me in facebook name is baltazar arciaga, she put my picture in her account and she put a bad comment against me and tag to other people....please help me to close that account because my family is so affected about that bullying...thank you


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 4 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@leizel: Why would someone bully you (Baltazar Arciaga) if you don't know him (is it him or her?). I cannot close that account because I don't know the password.

It's better your report it to the Facebook staff so that they can help you regarding that bullying episode.

Don't worry, if it's not true (what he's saying about you) it would not matter. Your family knows you better than him.

Always trust God. Pray that the man will realize what he's doing is wrong.

Or you can personally have a rebuttal regarding the issue. I hope you'll burden will be lessen.

Regards to your family.:)


kris79 4 years ago

@travel mam 1971

someone is also bullying me up in facebook, post not only me but my husband pictures inside too, putting all my darkest past, digging all the things that to be burried, telling to the public and at worse is more than a lies

the thing that woman who bullying me was deported already in the philippines and im in abroad, i complain already in cyber crime in current residing country, people who comments that is here they made action already, but the root of all whom shes in the philippines keep on harrasing me, threats me in my private messages

the pictures that she post and the written content were spread because she shared with 17 people and in groups

how can i filed complains against her, can you help me, and do u know some number in the philippines to report

thank u and god bless


Winxel Ochoa 4 years ago

@kris79 hi this is Winxel from GMA7. Can you contact me thru my email address so we can talk about your case? winxelochoa@gmail.com I will be waiting for your email. Thank you very much.


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 4 years ago from Bicol, Philippines Author

@kris79: You really have to file that corresponding case of online harassment.

My reply is a bit late. My apologies for that.

BTW, Winxel Ochoa of GMA 7 is offering help. He can link you to the Cyber Crime department of NBI for fast action.


Winxel Ochoa 4 years ago

Hi! This is Winxel again from GMA7. Is there anyone here who is willing to talk about what happened and is having a hard time moving on after being bullied online? Please contact me thru my email winxelochoa@gmail.com. Thanks


Rina domingo 14 months ago

Hi good pm!!im a bully victim under social media using my personal fb account they posting bad pictures and destroying my dignity.so how can manage this situation is there any case to file???please advice me.reply much appreciated..thanks

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