Social Question

Shippy's avatar

What do you know about cyberbullying and your rights?

Asked by Shippy (9852 points ) February 6th, 2013

I find cyber bullying interesting for a lot of reasons. Mostly because I have a good understanding of how a cyber bully’s mind works. Few people know that cyber bullying can include, name calling, sending abusive emails, or messages. At the very worse stalking and physically abusing the person. (Although that is rare since most bully’s are fearful people who vent their internalized anger at random strangers on the net. )

Here are some interesting facts! There is currently a lot of work and data being collected on cyber bully’s. Here. There is too many to actually post here. But that is good news as people can be reported, and steps can be taken which would lessen their passive aggressive attacks.

Remember, most of them are cowards who’s full of talk. One of the most common reason why people do cyber bullying in the first place is because they have full anonymity with very little ways to get caught. So they know that no one will do anything to them. Also, usually the people who does it is either a bunch of little kids who doesn’t have anything else to do but to be rude towards people online and a bunch of immature adults who never quite grew up and needs to fill an empty void in their hearts by beating people up online without having anything fighting back at them. Source. Maybe a good question to ask one is where they live you know!!

Personally, as I mentioned in an earlier question, I was once a bully at a particular school. I realized I was operating from a base of pure fear. But nothing like a cyber bully to bring out that old me! So I would go with point “2” but would not recommend that for everyone.

So do you realize: you have recourse for cyber bully’s and a good data base and support as to where to report them? Have you been bullied before? How did it pan out for you? This can include stalking of course. Real life or internet bullying answers appreciated.

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14 Answers

marinelife's avatar

Very interesting. I would report it to the police.

Coloma's avatar

Meh…not even worth the time of day if you ask me, short of physical threats or if the person knew my physical whereabouts. One cannot be bullied if they do not respond and most attention seekers will give up if they are ignored. It would have to be something pretty extreme for me to report.

burntbonez's avatar

While I think attempts to combat cyber bullying are important, judging by the spelling errors and the kinds of ideas displayed on that website, I’d say it is being run by kids. It’s good for a certain level of self-help, but it really isn’t aimed at older folks. Perhaps that is appropriate, since the people who are killing themselves due to cyber bullying, at least in that data set, were all at or under the age of 18.

But I don’t know what my rights are. I’m not sure I have any. We have freedom of speech, so people can say anything that isn’t hate speech in this country. It’s probably different in other countries.

On fluther, there is moderation that appears to get rid of a number of personal attacks. But even with personal attacks, the moderators must draw a line. They can’t get rid of everything that someone might take offense at or be hurt by. Some people are more sensitive than others, and other people offer criticisms that are deemed legitimate, even if they do hurt others. What’s the line between bullying and legitimate criticism?

glacial's avatar

I find it hard to imagine an adult feeling cyberbullied. I have seen the “bullying” charge on Fluther a few times, and I am confused by it. An adult should be capable of standing up to criticism – and Fluther removes personal attacks through moderation. I don’t post on, say, YouTube or Reddit, because I’m not interested in wading through the mess of hurled insults on those sites. That’s my choice. I don’t need to be in an online environment that feels hostile.

In my opinion, I think (having noticed another question on this topic today) that bullying is characterized by abuse sustained over a long period – and I guess my confusion relates to why a person would voluntarily subject themselves to that if they don’t have to. Either report bad behaviour to the site’s mods, or accept that the moderation is poor enough to make that community not worth being a part of.

I get why cyberbullying is an issue for children or teens, partly because it might be coming from people in their real lives, and partly because they’re still learning who they are and where their boundaries are with others, and how much they allow criticism by others to affect their own self esteem. But for adults? I don’t see why we need “rights” where bullying is concerned. If a specific law has been broken (like stalking, or harrassment, or identity theft, or whatever), then report it to the police. I don’t think it serves us to group all of these things together under the vague term “cyberbullying”. If no law has been broken, we pretty much have to suck it up or avoid the site. Problem solved. We control who we interact with online.

Shippy's avatar

@Coloma Good for you. But for me no, I don’t let any form of abuse fly.

Shippy's avatar

@burntbonez Perhaps the links can assist you. Name calling on a public forum is cyber bullying. So is personal message that are name calling. Although seemingly only the foray of children and teens, sadly as pointed out by some of the links, many adults who have deeper issues resort to cyber bullying to feel better. Not sure how that persons mind works. Perhaps they pull the wings off moths too. (My opinion). For example if I called you a liar and a fake. That is cyber bullying. Many people brush it off. I won’t. It is also useful to know that the internet is no longer going to be fodder for these weak people.

Harassment too, for example if I ask you to stop messaging me and you continue that is called harassment.

Coloma's avatar

@Shippy I agree, I don’t overlook abuse either, but…when it is an online situation I think it is easy to just disconnect. IRL I would take a very form stand but in cyber land I would just limit or stop my exposure to the bully, unless, as I mentioned they actually had the ability to find me in person. I did report a person here once several years ago that was prone to being verbally abusive but they have long since departed.

Shippy's avatar

@Coloma For the most part yes agreed. We all have lives beyond the internet. But I remember for example when I was in a severe depression and the internet was my only connection to the world. This could cause harm to some. It has caused harm to many even resulting in suicides. So it’s good that you have a great sense of stability enough to brush it off. And of course you do! I see how you operate here. Which is great. But still does effect people differently. I was fortunate in that year as I spent a lot of time on a virtual chat program and all of the people I met were fantastic. But could have been not so good you know.

jonsblond's avatar

There was a time here at Fluther when you could see who was making the personal attacks. Their avatar and name were visible with the comment replaced with “personal attack”. Everyone could see who was responsible for this type of behavior. Now the general users have no idea who is behind the personal attacks and their behavior goes unnoticed to everyone but the mods. I wish we could still see who the user is behind the attacks. It shows their true colors, I think.

TheProfoundPorcupine's avatar

Cyberbullying is of course a serious thing and you only have to look at the case of Amanda Todd who ended up killing herself at the age of 15 due to it in order to see just how bad things can get.

The problem, or one of the problems, is that people who indulge in this kind of behaviour think that they are immune as they are a name that is made up or an entire profile, in the case of Facebook, can be fake right down to pictures and everything else. They then feel that they are invincible and they can get away with saying or doing what they want as their victim could, in theory, be standing next to them in a supermarket and not know it.

For me, cyberbullying is only going to grow especially now that the majority of people have smartphones so are connected to email or social media in some way almost all of the time so even though you may be able to switch off your computer you can still be attacked through your phone and you may have to leave it on for whatever reason and do not have the option of switching it off. This does mean that it can be a constant attack with no relief and perhaps the cyberbullies know this and play on that fact.

The people that do it are sad, sad people.

Shippy's avatar

@jonsblond That is an interesting method. Because exposure is a good thing. I notice other Q&A sites insist on your real name and your real details on their data bases. Some even require I.D. Soon IP addresses will be shown at some point. I wonder how the statistics for abuse on those sites, operating with those methods are? If they are lower. I think what draws these people is the anonymity of the internet. But people are not as anonymous as they think. I do website design I know how to find areas etc., Even addresses if I had to.

flutherother's avatar

I wouldn’t say it can’t happen to adults. There have been cases where people have been persuaded to strip off on Skype and then blackmailed with the threat of publishing the pictures. Here is one particularly bad case.

glacial's avatar

@flutherother Sure, but why call that bullying, when you can just call it extortion? We already have a word for that.

Coloma's avatar

@jonsblond I remember what you bring up, being able to see the offenders avatar.
I watch out for the chronically difficult but I am very forgiving of the occasional pissy moment that can happen to anybody. Group communication often just lends itself to more people misunderstanding each other.
I would never take a group communication class IRL, lol

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