Definition "Cyberbullying" is when a child, preteen or teen is tormented, threatened, harassed, humiliated, embarrassed or otherwise targeted by another child, preteen or teen using the Internet, interactive and digital technologies or mobile phones. It has to have a minor on both sides, or at least have been instigated by a minor against another minor. Once adults become involved, it is plain and simple cyber- harassment or cyber-stalking. Adult cyber-harassment or cyber-stalking is NEVER called cyberbullying (Parry).
How it Works There are two kinds of cyberbullying, direct attacks (messages sent to your kids directly) and cyberbullying by proxy (using others to help cyberbully the victim, either with or without the accomplice's knowledge). Because cyberbullying by proxy often gets adults involved in the harassment, it is much more dangerous (Parry).
Direct Attack Examples Instant Messaging/Text Messaging Stealing Passwords Blogs Websites Sending Pictures through E-mail and Cell Phones Internet Polling Interactive Gaming Sending Malicious Code Sending Porn and Other Junk E-mail Impersonation (Parry).
Cyberbullying by Proxy Cyberbullying by proxy is when a cyberbully gets someone else to do their dirty work. Most of the time they are unwitting accomplices and don't know that they are being used by the cyberbully. Cyberbullying by proxy is the most dangerous kind of cyberbullying because it often gets adults involved in the harassment and people who don't know they are dealing with a kid or someone they know (Parry).
Cyberbullying by Proxy Examples "Warning" or "Notify Wars" are an example of cyberbullying by proxy. Kids click on the warning or notify buttons on their IM screen or e-mail or chat screens, and alert the ISP or service provider that the victim has done something that violates their rules. If the victim receives enough warnings or notifications, they can lose their account. The service providers are aware of this abuse, and often check and see if the warning were justified. But all the cyberbully has to do is make the victim angry enough to say something rude or hateful back. Then, BINGO! they warn them, making it look like the victim had started it. In this case, the ISP or service provider is the innocent accomplice of the cyberbully (Parry).
Cyberbullying It is so important to protect and educate young people on using the Internet and to provide all users with a safe experience. How do you address “cyber-bullying”? Do you look at how individuals function in their family, school and work communities, how people deal with drama or politics, or how they treat others and present themselves? Or do you look at the parenting and teaching skills being presented in these individual lives (Cyberbullying Research Center, 2010)?
Prevention To begin a successful decline in cyber-bullying education and interventions need to focus on building empathy, identifying escalation and techniques for stopping the cycle of abuse. Environments at home and school need to be one where people don’t get validated for negative attention and where they don’t see relationship drama as part of normal life (Collier, 2011).
Prevention The Internet is not the problem here, as much as people think it is, it is just a tool in an ongoing battle for attention, validation, and status. Unless teachers and parents find effective ways of getting to the root of this problem, at home and in the classroom, the Internet will just continue to be used to reinforce what is pervasive offline. Cyber-bullying didn't come from out of nowhere, it is not new, and it is something school counselors, teachers, parents and risk- prevention practitioners among us do understand (Collier, 2011).
Prevention When it comes to cyber-bullying we need to take the focus off of technology and put it on the social and environmental conditions that give rise to social cruelty offline as well as online. To defeat cyber-bullying, we need to create home and school cultures that encourage critical thinking about the right and wrong kinds of attention, validation, and status- seeking; teach perspective-taking; and cultivate self-worth, resilience, and a sense of belonging (Collier, 2011).
References Collier, Anne. (2011). Understanding cyber-bullying from the inside out. Retrieved from http://www.connectsafely.org/Safety-Advice-Articles/understanding-cyberbullying-from-the-inside-out.html Parry. Stop cyberbullying. Retrieved from http://www.stopcyberbullying.org/what_is_cyberbullying_exactly.html (**this website was really hard to site because they did not list the author or the copyright) (2010). Cyberbullying research center.Retrieved from http://www.cyberbullying.us/ Twyman, Kimberly. (2010). Comparing Children and Adolescents Engaged in Cyberbullying to Matched Peers. Retrieved from http://ehis.ebscohost.com.jvlapps.nsuok.edu/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=2&hid=5&sid=0d08118f-b15b-4eb8-84f3-7dc3f47a4b71%40sessionmgr14
Test Questions What is Direct Attack Cyberbullying? What is Cyberbullying by Proxy? True or False: The Internet is not the problem, it is just a tool in an ongoing battle for attention, validation, and status.
Answers Direct Attack Cyberbullying is when threats or harassment is sent directly to the child through text messages, E-mail, websites or impersonation. Cyberbullying by proxy is when a cyberbully gets someone else to do their dirty work. Cyberbullying by Proxy is the most dangerous type of cyberbullying. TRUE.