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What is cyber-bullying, and what are its effects on children, teenagers, and adults?

Alice Allet

on 28 September 2012

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Transcript of Cyber-bullying

By The Cyber Pals
Regina Phalange08, Wonderland91 and Gandhok Cyber bullying What is Cyberbulling?
A general overview Cyber bullying in Children Cyber bullying in Teens Cyber bullying in adults Conclusion The most widely accepted definition for cyberbullying explains that it is a specific type of aggressive behaviour that is intended to cause harm, through repeated actions carried out over time, targeted at an individual who is not in a position to defend him/herself, and is generated via technology (Langos, 2011). Langos (2011) states that cyber bullying is a reality of the digital age, where along with the advances of our technology, unfortunately come the consequences of misuse.
The avenues in which bullies are able to use to inflict this psychological harm are widening as social media grows, where bullies are now able to attack their victims via Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, MSN Messenger, Forums, Blogs, and many other means of online communication.
The Australian Communication and Media Authority (ACMA) now have a Cyber Safety contact center which provides help and advice in relation to cyber safety matters (Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, 2012).
Cyberbullying can include a number of activities such as anonymous phone calls, offensive e-mails, theft of identity information such as login information, or harrassment conducted through one of the sites listed above. What is Cyber Bullying? A general overview There seems to be a generalization that adults are either not involved or do not get affected by cyber bullying compared to both children and teens.
This of course is a myth and needs to be discussed more thoroughly to ensure individuals are aware of the severity that it can cause.
Cyber bullying in adults is only just being made aware of in the media where ignorance needs to be defeated. The Cyber bullying Research Center (2012) state that they receive more inquiries from adults than teenagers in regards to cyber bullying and how they can avoid it or stop it from occurring completely.
Trolling is also a common term used to describe adult online bullying, where this behavior can range from posting aggressive or inappropriate comments on social spaces, to posting private or personal images and videos over the internet.
Cyber bullying is also becoming increasingly common with adult women, where vicious and snarky comments are being posted by women on blogs, forums, facebook and twitter pages for no good reason, most likely out of pure boredom. Cyber bullying in adults- general facts Direct vs. Indirect Cyber bullying A study conducted in Ohio on undergraduate university students aimed to find out the underlying causes for adult bullying, and to fill in any information gaps in relation to adult cyber bullying.
The study consisted of 406 undergraduate university students, where there was a 220 response rate.
The respondents were required to fill out a self report questionaire to questions ranging from whether they knew anyone who had recenty been cyber bullied, if they personally had been cyber bullied or if they had cyber bullied someone themselves.
This study showed that 16.8% admitted to being a victim to cyber bullying or online aggression within the past year (Rafferty, 2011).
The motivations of the perpetrators of cyber bullying were found to be social control, dominance, and entertainment.
This study shows that cyber bullying is definitely occuring within the adult population, and research emphasis needs to be shown for adults as well as children and teenagers. Rafferty, 2011 study on Adult Cyber Bullying One of the most frequent exposures of adult cyber bullying is the stories of celebrities claiming to be victim to this online taunting.
More recently, Charlotte Dawson, who is Australia's Next Top Model judge, was hospitalized due to an online bullying occurrence on the social media forum Twitter.
Comments received by Charlotte Dawson on Twitter including one stating: "Like previously stated by the many tweets you've received (sic) ... And also stated by the country of New Zealand. Go hang yourself" (Conolly & Keene, 2012), have definitely affected the TV presenter dramatically, where this shows just how serious online bullying can be to adults
Connolly & Keene (2012) state that due to the seriousness of this event, Australian Federal Laws and Police and going take trolling more seriously, where extensive efforts will go towards tracking down perpetrators using fake names and fake accounts.
Other Australian adult celebrities who have spoken out about being victims of cyber bullying include artist Guy Sebastian, television presenter Samantha Armytage, where they say the easiest way to avoid it is to simply block or delete trolls (Sky News, 2012). Cyber bullying and Celebrities The intention of cyber bullying can either be direct or indirect, where the motivation for perpetrators actions differs between the two.
Direct cyber bullying can be defined as bullying in which is motivated by purposeful actions and involves repetitive occurances, where Langos (2012) states that there needs to be some sort of intention to harm, and the action is not an isolated incident.
Indirect cyber bullying on the other hand is content in which is posted over the internet and via social media in which the intent to harm the resulted victim is difficult to define, where Langos (2012) gives an example of indirect bullying of someone posting content to an area of cyberspace where the victim has restricted access or the content would not readily come to the victims attention. Cyber bullying amongst teens is highly prevalent, where around 1/4 of Australian teenagers have reported being cyber bullied.
The reason cyber bullying is strongly present amongst this age category is due to the technology revolution, where many teenagers have easy access to the internet and mobile phone devices in the home, at school and even in public which allows them to be both victims and bullies.

here is an interview with a teenage boy regarding how he defines cyberbullying, his ideas on how to deal with and an experience with cyberbullying. Teenagers are immersed in activities revolving around technology, where 8/10 teenagers said they used the internet 'yesterday' (National crime prevention council, 2007).
However it is also a major part of their communication with the use of text messages and instant messages.
This makes cyberbullying uncommon but more so higher among female teenagers than males. Cyber bullying in teens- general facts Teenagers who are affected by cyber bullying will either block the bully or ask them to stop, or they may experience isolation and embarrassment.
More than half of the victims will feel angry, hurt, embarrassed, and scared.
Often the bully will be someone the victim knows and the majority of teenagers believe the bully thinks its funny, where they don't like the victim, or they think the victim is a loser . Teen Cyber bullying- general facts Preventative measures and tips for adults
Patchin (2010) (1) A person (the first person) is guilty of an offence if:
(a) the first person uses a carriage service to make to another person (the second person) a threat to kill the second person or a third person; and
(b) the first person intends the second person to fear that the threat will be carried out.
Penalty: Imprisonment for 10 years.
Threat to cause serious harm
(2) A person (the first person) is guilty of an offence if:
(a) the first person uses a carriage service to make to another person (the second person) a threat to cause serious harm to the second person or a third person; and
(b) the first person intends the second person to fear that the threat will be carried out.
Penalty: Imprisonment for 7 years.
Actual fear not necessary
(3) In a prosecution for an offence against this section, it is not necessary to prove that the person receiving the threat actually feared that the threat would be carried out.
(4) In this section:
Fear includes apprehension.
Threat to cause serious harm to a person includes a threat to substantially contribute to serious harm to the person. Cyber bullying and the Law 474.15 Using a carriage service to make a threat to kill
(Australian Government Comm law, 2004). The closest that cyber bullying comes to the law is the following Australian Law: To stop bullying most teenagers suggest:
Blocking the bully
Refusing to pass along cyber bullying messages
Telling their friends to stop the cyber bullying
Telling their parents
They also believe parents should teach their children that cyber bullying is wrong and website moderators should have the ability to block messages. Preventative measures for Teens -- Interview with an adult on Cyber bullying Twyman, Saylor, Taylor and Corneaux (2010) look at whether social factors play a role in detemining the likelihood of cyber-bullying occuring
They conducted a study in which 52 participants who reported being exposed to cyber-bullying were compared to 52 participants who did not report cyber-bullying.
It was found that those who reported being cyber-bullied were more likely to have also experienced traditional bullying as both the victim and the bully.
It was also found that both cyberbullies and cybervictims were less likely to go out with their families (than those who had not been exposed to this type of activity) and were more likely to have personal e-mail accounts inaccessible to parents, along with a MySpace or Facebook account. Cyber-bullying in young children: risk factors Twyman et al (2010) argue that there is an estimate of between 4-15 percent of young children engaged in cyber-bullying.
Arslan, Savaser, Hallett and Balci (2012) conducted a study using self-report questionnaires to determine the prevalence of cyber-bullying on 372 young children aged 8-11.
They found that 17.5 percent of children had been the bullies, and 27.4 had been the victims of cyber-bullying in the last 6 months.
The most common method of bullying was found to be instant messaging tools, including msn, Facebook and Twitter (53.5 percent), with 57.8 percent of those who were the bullies reported bullying a child unknown to them.
The prevalence of this activity was mostly occurring once or twice a week (76.7 percent reported engaging in bullying this often). Prevalence of cyber-bullying in young children Dehue, Bolman and Vollink (2008) conducted a study in which they distributed questionnaires to primary school students to determine the experiences of those who reported being victims of cyber-bullying
They found that the majority of those who engaged in cyberbullying either did not talk about, or talked to their friends at school about it, while those who were victims of cyber-bullying either did not talk about or spoke to their parents or caregivers. Experiences of cyber-bullying in young children Dehue et al (2008) found through their study that of the 25 percent of primary school students who reported being victims of cyber-bullying, the majority felt angry or sad as a result.
More genreally Twyman et al (2010) argues that cyber-bullying can effect young children in a similar way, as traditional bullying.
This can include poor academic performance, increased stress, low self-esteem and depression.
However cyber-bullying is often regarded as more serious than traditional bullying becuase of the anonymity of the bully, and the inability to escape- traditional bullying usually only takes place at school, so home is a safe place, but cyber-bullying can take place at any time or place. Effects of cyber-bullying on young children Twyman et al (2010) argues that there should be specific cyber-bullying prevention programs, as some young children only experience bullying online. Through these programs parents can become informed on the dangers the Internet poses and how to best protect their young children from cyber-bullying and how to act if it occurs.
One of the problems that can result from parents and teachers not monitoring Internet activity is that this can allow cyber-bullying to occur. For example in Dehue et al (2008) study they found that the majority of both bullies and victims did not ahve anyone try to stop it from occuring. Educating parents and teacher would therefore be beneficial. Tips for the prevention of cyber-bullying in young children Here is a clip of an adult and their insights on the topic of cyber bullying, including what it means to them, who they believe is mostly affected by cyber bullying, and preventative measures. References Arslan, S, Savaser, S, Hallett, V & Balci, S, 2012, 'Cyberbullying among primary school students in Turkey: self-reported prevalence and associaltions with home and school life' Cyberpsychology, behavior, and social networking, vol.15, no.10.

Australian Communications and Media Authority 2012, Cyber safety help, Canberra, viewed 25 September 2012, retrieved from: http://www.cybersmart.gov.au/Report.aspx

Australian Government Com Law 2004, ‘474.15- Using a carriage service to make a threat to kill ‘ in ‘Crimes Legislation Amendment (Telecommunications Offences and Other Measures) Bill (No. 2) 2004’, Australian Government Com Law, Canberra.

Bullying Statistics 2012, Cyber bullying statistics, viewed on 23 September 2012, retrieved from: http://www.bullyingstatistics.org/content/cyber-bullying-statistics.html

Connelly, C & Keene, N 2012, ‘Charlotte Dawson Twitter attack sparks call for changes to laws against cyber bullying’, News Limited Network, 30 August, retrieved from: http://www.news.com.au/top-stories/charlotte-dawson-twitter-attack-sparks-call-for-changes-to-laws-against-cyber-bullying/story-e6frfkp9-1226461706760#ixzz27Z1rvqUn

Dehue, F, Bolman, B and Vollink, T 2008, 'Cyberbullying: youngsters' experiences and parental perception' Cyberpsychology, behavior, and social networking, vol.11, no.2.

Langos, C 2012, ‘Cyberbullying: The Challenge to Define’, Cyberpsychology, behavior, and social networking, vol. 15, no. 6.

Maag C 2007, ‘A Hoax Turned Fatal Draws Anger but No Charges’, The New York Times, viewed on 23 September 2012, retrieved from: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/28/us/28hoax.html?_r=0, 25th Septmeber 2012

National Crime Prevention Council 2001, ‘National Crime Prevention Council, viewed on 25 September 2012, retrieved from: http://www.ncpc.org/cyberbullying, 24th September 2012

Parris L, Varjas K , Meyers J & Cutts H 2011, High School Students Perceptions of Coping With Cyberbullying, Youth and Soceity online, viewed on 23 September 2012, retrieved from: http://yas.sagepub.com.ezproxy.lib.monash.edu.au/content/44/2/284.full.pdf+htmlunknown author, (2009)

Patchin, J. W 2010, ‘Advice for Adult victims of cyber bullying’, Cyber bullying research centre, 9 November, retrieved from: http://cyberbullying.us/blog/advice-for-adult-victims-of-cyberbullying.html

Rafferty, R. S 2011, ‘Motivations Behind Cyber Bullying and Online Aggression: Cyber Sanctions, Dominance, and Trolling Online’, PHD thesis, Ohio University, Ohio.

Sky News 2012, ‘Celebrities speak out over cyber bullies’, The Australian News Channel, 2 September, retrieved from: http://www.skynews.com.au/showbiz/article.aspx?id=790769

Twyman, K, Saylor, C, Taylor, LA and Comeaux, C 2010, 'Comparing children and adolescents engaged in cyberbullying to matched peers', Cyberpsychology, behavaior and social networks, vol.13, no.2. Cyber-bullying has proven to be a serious issue, where children, teens and adults can all be affected by cyber bullying in similar ways.
Those who are affected by cyber-bullying should seek help and advice, where the following resources can provide this help:
http://www.beyondblue.org.au/index.aspx?link_id=59.1172 Preventative measures and tips for adults
Patchin (2010) Keep all evidence of the cyber bullying including screen shots or chat logs, where this may become useful in the future if reporting the perpetrator becomes necessary
Don't retaliate- This will either give the bully what they want (a reaction) or may be seen as an addition to the problem from an outsider.
Most sites have a strong tolerance against bullying behavior and harassment so report the user to the sites admin.
Block or delete the person if this option is available on the particular social media site.
If the bullying behavior gets to the point where you fear for your safety, the best action would be to contact police and consult with an attorny who specializes in harassment.
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