One day you like someone. The next day you don’t. Angry, you say something or post something online. It gets passed around quickly and easily. So now, everybody knows about it and everybody talks about it in school. While maybe you are mean only once, when you do it online your posting or message is repeated again and again as it gets passed around. Meanness multiplies. When kids are intentionally and repeatedly mean to one another using mobile phones or the Internet, it’s called cyberbullying. Sometimes kids can handle cyberbullying and not get too upset. Other times, it can make kids feel angry, frustrated, sad, or afraid.
What do you think happened to the remaining 9 kids who never reported their bullying incidents?They endure and remain angry, frustrated, sad or afraid throughout their schooling life.They play truant and skip lessons.They suffer from health problems and lower self-esteem.They plot revenge and become bullies themselves.They end up having to undergo counseling or see a psychiatrist.They take their own lives.
EmailsHarassing somebody by repeatedly sending unwanted messages.Sending unsuitable images or video clips.Forwarding someone else’s personal email(s).Sending computer viruses.Instant messagingHacking into another account and sending unpleasant messages.Sending nasty messages or content.Text or digital imaging messages sent on cell phonesSending nasty calls or text messages, including threats, intimidation and harassment.Taking and sharing humiliating images.Videoing and sharing acts of bullying.Web pages, web logs, web blogsPosting nasty comments or feedback.Chat rooms, discussion groupsSending nasty or threatening anonymous messages.Ignoring individuals.Persuading people to give out private information for purposes of exploitation.Social Networking SitesPosting nasty comments, humiliating images or videos.Hacking into another’s account and sending unpleasant messages.Rejecting or excluding peers by refusing to return or acknowledge messages; blocking contact by deleting people from their friendship lists, or using ‘ignore’ functions.Creating a fake profile to be someone else to bully, harass or get the targeted victim into trouble.
Stealing passwords and impersonationHacking into someone’s email account and sending hurtful messages to othersHarassing someone by repeatedly sending unwanted messagesSending unsuitable images/video clipsForwarding someone else’s personal emailsSending computer viruses
Type 1: The ‘Vengeful Angel’These cyberbullies don’t see themselves as bullies at all.They see themselves as righting wrongs, or protecting themselves or others from the “bad guys” they are now victimizing.The ‘Vengeful Angel’ cyberbully often gets involved trying to protect a friend who is being bullied or cyberbullied.Type 2: The ‘Power Hungry’ + ‘Revenge of The Nerds’These cyberbullies need an audience.They want to exert their authority and show that they are powerful enough to make others do what they want them to do.These cyberbullies have often been victims of typical bullying.They have better tech skills than others (thus, ‘Revenge of The Nerds’).This type of bully typically works in secret and doesn’t tell others what he/she is doing.They rarely see the seriousness of their actions.Most dangerous of all cyberbullies!Type 3: The ‘Mean Girl’Happens withcyberbullies who are bored and/or looking for entertainmentEgo-based and most immature of all cyberbullying typesTypically female cyberbullies.Victims are typically other girls, but can also be boys.Sometimes done as a group (physically or virtually).Type 4: The ‘Inadvertent’Thesecyberbullies do not think of themselves as bullies.They may pretend to be tough online, role-playing or reacting to hateful or provocative messages.They do not typically lash out intentionally.Tend to respond in anger or frustration.Sometimes send out cyberbullying communication without understanding how serious it could be.Sometimes send communication that they think is funny or a joke but the receiver interprets as cyberbullying (due to lack of body language).Are typically surprised when someone accuses them of cyberbullying.
Good NetiquetteStart by making sure you are sending the right things to the right place, that it arrives and that the right person(s) gets it.Is it worth sending? Don’t waste people’s time and bandwidth with junk, chain emails and false rumours.Proofread and spell-check your emails and make sure the receiver(s) knows who you are.Don’t attack others online, say anything that could be considered insulting or that is controversial.Don’t forward other people’s emails without their permission or share their personal information.Are you angry when you’re writing this message? Take 5 and reconsider your words.Don’t reply to spam; don’t even email and ask to be removed from their mailing list. Simply, ignore and filter into spam box.How private is the message you are sending? Are you willing to have others read this message or forward it to others without your permission?Be nice to people in your ‘real world’ as real world issues become intensified on the internetIt is okay not to answer a message/email/text right awayCyberbullyingbehaviour should never be a strategy to resolve conflicts with others.
Personal information:passwords, login IDs, pin numbers, home address and telephone numbersIt is okay not to answer a message/email/text right awayBe nice to people in your ‘real world’ as real world issues become intensified on the internetCyberbullies know their victims; the victims may not know their cyberbullies.Victims are often fearful of telling others about being bullied because they are afraid that the bullying may become worse if they tell.Victims are also often afraid to report to adults about being cyberbullied, as they fear the adults will over-react and take away their mobile devices and/or internet access.
Stop, Block, Tell: Don’t reply, block the sender, tell someone (a trusted adult)Adults: parents, teachersSave the evidence – screen capture on the computer, saved text messages on the mobile phone, print out the emails/messages of harassmentIdentify the sender – contact ISP (Internet Service Provider) if necessaryGoogle yourself and ask yourself if you are revealing private information of yourself over the Internet.
What is the problem here?How do you think Joseph felt?What do you think the boys watching Anthony were thinking?What do you think the kids at school said or did the next day?When kids are in groups, they sometimes do things that they would not do alone. Using someone else’s password and screen name to embarrass them is cyberbullyingbehaviour. Some of the kids at Joseph’s sleepover may think Anthony’s behavior is wrong, but they don’t say anything. So Anthony thinks that everyone in the group agrees with him. Kids who see, hear, or know about cyberbullying are called bystanders. The bigger the group of bystanders is, the less likely it is that any of them will try to help. Why do you think this is true?What could the bystanders at Jesse’s home say to stop the cyberbullying behavior? What would make things worse?
What is the problem here?How do you think Kim felt?What might the kids who received the email think or do?What should Kim do? How would you advise her?
If you were Sandra’s friend, what advice would you give her?
If he called you for advice, what would you tell him?
What is the problem here?Imagine someone telling an embarrassing secret about you in front of a bunch of kids at school. Now imagine someone posting an embarrassing secret about you on the Internet.When kids intentionally embarrass another kid, that’s just plain mean. Embarrassing or humiliating another kid using the Internet is cyberbullying. When Joseph and the others posted the video online, they set up a cyberbullying situation. They made it easy for other kids in school, and kids all over the world, to join in with them and post hurtful words online — again and again.As a bystander,what could you say to or do for Kevin?what could you say to Joseph?what could you say to the other kids at school who viewed the video and left cruel comments?how could you have involved a trusted adult?
Both Sandra and Andrew are the targets of cyberbullying. Whether bullies are face to face or in cyberspace, they feel powerful when they bother other people. They may use hurtful words or threaten. Often the cyberbully is someone you know face to face. Perhaps the bully ﬁnds it easier to be mean and nasty online, when he or she can’t see the other person’s reaction. Online or off, bullying is meant to make you feel uncomfortable. Either way, it’s upsetting.
Bullying should not be tolerated, whether in school or in cyberspace. Trust your uncomfortable feelings — they mean something is wrong. Let’s recall the steps to take when confronted by cyberbullying.If you witness cyberbullying, you can help by supporting the target and letting the bullies know that their behavior is not acceptable.
1. Who is Kim?2. What did she do to Joe and why?3. How did Joe feel about the websites and emails he received?4. Joe deleted one of the messages he received. Was this the right thing to do? What should he do instead?5. Why did the police turn up in school?
CYBERBULLYINGWhat it is and how it affects you
What is Cyberbullying? When a child, pre-teen or teenager is tormented, threatened, harassed, humiliated, em barrassed, or otherwise targeted by another child, pre-teen or teenager with the use of the internet, interactive and digital technologies, or mobile devices. ―Cyberbullying is ten times worse than the bullying I knew when I was younger, because while you may know your tormentors in school, on the web, people can hide as ―Anonymous‖ or under their usernames and yet deal the same damage.‖ (Source: Asia News Network)
Cyberbullying in Real LifeA third of 10-18 year olds say they have been cyberbullied. Ofthose, only 1 in 10 talks to their parents or teachers. (Source: Common Sense Media) Vermont, USA – Ryan Missouri, USA – Megan Singapore – On 30 Patrick Halligan was Meier, 13, committed December 2010, 16- bullied for months suicide by hanging year-old student, Khine online. His classmates herself after being Thinzar, died after sent him instant cyberbullied through jumping off a building – messages calling him the social networking she killed herself after gay. He was site, MySpace, by being slimed on threatened, taunted someone who had set Facebook by her ex- and insulted up a hoax account. boyfriend. incessantly. In 2003, 13- year-old Ryan killed himself.
Where does Cyberbullyingoccur? Emails Instant messaging (MSN, Skype, Google Chat) Text or digital imaging messages sent on cell phones Web pages, web logs, web blogs Chat rooms, discussion groups Social Networking Sites Gaming sites, VLEs
What constitutesCyberbullying? Sending nasty messages or content via instant messaging Stealing passwords and impersonation Disfiguring someone‘s picture and posting it Posting nasty blog comments Internet polling
Types of Cyberbullies Type 1: The ‗Vengeful Angel‘ Type 2: The ‗Power Hungry‘ + ‗Revenge of The Nerds‘ Type 3: The ‗Mean Girl‘ Type 4: The ‗Inadvertent‘
Ways to Prevent Becominga Cyberbully Practise good netiquette Never send a message to someone when you are angry Unplug once in a while Don‘t post anything about anyone that you wouldn‘t want posted about yourself Don‘t share or upload pictures of others without their permission Talk out issues with your parents or teachers
Ways to Prevent Being AVictim to a Cyberbully Never give out personal information Practise good netiquette Refrain from opening a message from someone you don‘t know Don‘t gossip online/offline Don‘t believe everything that you read Unplug once in a while Be nice
If you think you are beingCyberbullied Stop, Block, Tell Save the evidence Identify the sender Google yourself
Scenario 1Joseph has some friends at his home for asleepover. The kids are getting a little bored.Anthony says, ―Let‘s go online and see who elsefrom school is online.‖ Anthony uses Joseph‘spassword and types an instant message to apopular girl on Joseph‘s buddy list: ―I really like MaiYin.‖ Some boys laugh. Others are quiet. Josephreally does like Mai Yin, and he told Anthony quietlythe other day. But he didn‘t expect Anthony to tellother kids. The next day at school, Joseph finds outthat everyone knows he likes Mai Yin.
Scenario 2Jess and Kim are friends at school. Kim tells Jessthat she doesn‘t want to hang out with her anymore. Jess is angry and upset. She uploads a photoof Kim from her mobile phone that was taken at apyjamas party two weeks earlier. Jess sends thephoto to everyone on her buddy list with amessage attached: ―Kim is such a ****.‖
Scenario 3Sandra is planning a party to celebrate her birthday.Her parents have set a limit of eight girls, so Sondracan‘t invite everyone she‘d like. Two girls who are leftout overhear the plans. Angry, they plan theirrevenge. The girls make a ―We Hate Sandra‖ Website. They say that anyone invited to the party shouldnot go. They tell everyone in school the site‘s address.The girls invite everyone to add new reasons why theyhate Sandra and to spread ugly rumors about her.When Sandra hears about the site, she gets a sickfeeling in her stomach. Unable to ignore it, she checksthe site often. Each day she ﬁnds a new nastycomment or joke about her. She feels hurt andpowerless to defend herself. Sandra is tooembarrassed to go to school and tells her parents sheis sick.
Scenario 4For the tenth day in a row, Andrew opens an emailthat says, ―I‘m getting closer.‖ He doesn‘trecognize the sender‘s address. He wonders ifsomeone at school is trying to scare him. On theother hand, it could be a stranger. Whatever thesource, Andrew is scared. The nextafternoon, Andrew is home alone. The emailscome every few minutes. ―I‘m hiding in your houseusing a wireless Internet connection. You‘ll neverﬁnd me. But I‘ll ﬁnd you.‖Frozen with fear, Andrew can‘t think what to do.
Scenario 5Kevin sends his friend Joseph a short video hemade at home — a re-enactment of a famousfantasy movie scene. Joseph, laughing at howKevin looks, shows it to some other boys at school.The boys laugh at Kevin too and decide to post iton a video-sharing website. Millions of people viewKevin‘s video. Nasty comments are posted. Everyday, Kevin goes online to check and sees morecomments like ―idiot‖ and ―fat nerd.‖ Every day, hegoes to school and hears more cruel commentsfrom his classmates.
Feeling UncomfortableWhile going into cyberspace can be fun, someonline experiences may make you feelembarrassed, upset, depressed, or afraid. It canhappen to anyone—even when going intocyberspace sitting comfortably inside your ownhome or favorite library. When it happens, it‘s bestto take action.
Taking Action Sign off the computer. Leave the chat room or website. Block the bully‘s messages. Save and print the bully‘s emails or your message logs. Never reply to a bully. Talk over how to handle the situation with a friend. Report your experience to a parent, teacher, or another trusted adult.
Say NO to Cyberbullying Lets Fight It Together (http://www.youtube.com/v/dubA2vhIlrg)
Sources Cybersmart (http://www.cybersmart.gov.au/) Common Sense Media (http://www.commonsensemedia.org/) Stop Cyberbullying(http://www.stopcyberbullying.org/ )
Serene Yee Singapore International School Hong Kong January 2012 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommerical-ShareAlike 2.5 License