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My Personal Cyberbullying Experience
Help against Cyberbullying
By J.C. Delfino III
Never thought I would say this, but I was attacked online in a clear case of cyber bullying. The offenders stepped forward to pronounce something extremely derogatory that they thought was true and put it on my personal Facebook page.
You might just wonder how this could happen to a 40 year old man. I was quite surprised myself, these were not kids attacking me but grown adults. I had known them when I was previously married and really hadn’t had much contact with them in years.
Suddenly one day I received a post slamming my reputation. It was posted to their wall and had me tagged in it. I responded and they responded and I responded again, soon there was a long discussion and I felt like I was in high school again.
Needless to say I could have blocked it but I chose not to, I felt I displayed my argument in a professional adult way, and I would let those who knew me make their own decisions. Soon a few of my closer friends began posting their opinions and it grew to over a hundred posts, in a matter of seven hours. Later a friend told me they reported it to Facebook, and it was removed, not sure if it was the original posters or Facebook.
I sat back later asking myself why someone would want to publically attempt to disgrace someone. Then I thought about how hard this must be for kids.
There are many stories of cyber bullying and people are even being persecuted for it. My mind went back to the story I read in the Baltimore Sun in which they quoted Katie Anger a young teen at the time who was attacked on Facebook by her classmates “"I felt like I almost had no one that would help me through it or be there for me," recalled Katie, … "You just feel alone. I kept telling myself, I'll be out of middle school in no time and I'll get a fresh start." (Wenger). As you can see this can easily lead to anxiety and / or depression.
Hard to imagine an early teenager being so ridiculed online by her class mates but surprisingly enough this is pretty common. The Cyber Bully Research Center suggests that as many as 72% of teens have been bullied online. (CBRC)
The National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) lists the following as avenues for cyber bullying.
· Pretending they are other people online to trick others
· Spread lies and rumors about victims
· Trick people into revealing personal information
· Send or forward mean text messages
· Post pictures of victims without their consent
The NCPC went on to state that 81% of teens think cyber bullying is funny. (NCPC) That is until it happens to them.
Recently a young man who is a friend of my son’s and one of my friends on Facebook posted a very derogatory comment, instantly his friends started agreeing with him and joking about it. I stepped up and told him I was very disappointed in him, if he had a problem with this young lady he needed to talk to her privately. I explained to him he needed to delete it and apologize to the young woman. He came up with excuses but I continued to explain that there is no excuse for this behavior. It is very damaging, very hurtful, and downright childish. I don’t care how old you are, or how just you feel it is. It is never OK.
NCPC. National Crime Prevention Counsel. 2012. 2012 24 March. <http://www.ncpc.org/cyberbullying>.
The Cyber Bully Research Center. 2012. 24 April 2012. <http://www.cyberbullying.us/>.
Wenger, Yvonne. http://www.baltimoresun.com. 22 April 2012. 23 April 2012. <http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/howard/bs-md-ho-cyber-reader-20120422,0,1664908.story?track=rss>.