We all remember it, though we say we don't. Those in school still see it everyday, maybe are victims, or even perpetrators, of it. In workplaces, schools, colleges, sports organisations- this happens in all walks of life, for all manner of reasons.
I am, of course, talking about bullying. We've heard the stories of teens driven to suicide by bullies, people forced out of jobs by abusive employers, coaches victimising players. Tragic stories, definitely.
This is not the bullying I am talking about today. We move, for this soapbox, from the real world to the cyber world. Today, we talk about Cyber-Bullying.
The Interweb. A fantastic resource for all things bright and beautiful, a wealth of knowledge at the touch of a button, a place where one can literally find everything and the kitchen sink.
Most people use the Internet at least once a week. Others use it more, as several Fanpoppers can attest to. Its great, watching videos and speaking your mind.
However like all good things, this one has to be sullied. The last few years have seen an upsurge in Cyberbullying.
Cyberbullying is a serious offence.
Cyberbullying is, in effect:
"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.
Could you be a cyberbully? Well, have you ever:
___Signed on with someone else’s screen name to gather info?
___Sent an e-mail or online greeting card from someone’s account?
___Impersonated someone over IM or online?
___Teased or frightened someone over IM?
___Not told someone who you really are online, telling them to “guess”?
___Forwarded a private IM conversation or e-mail without the permission of the other person?
___Changed your profile or away message designed to embarrass or frighten someone?
___Posted pictures or information about someone on a Web site without their consent?
___Created an Internet poll, either over IM or on a Web site, about someone without their consent?
___Used information found online to follow, tease, embarrass or harass someone in person?
___Sent rude or scary things to someone, even if you were just joking?
___Used bad language online?
___Signed someone else up for something online without their permission?
___Used an IM or e-mail address that looked like someone else’s?
___Used someone else’s password for any reason without their permission?
___Hacked into someone else’s computer or sent a virus or Trojan horse to them?
___Insulted someone in an interactive game room?
___Posted rude things or lies about someone online?
___Voted at an online bashing poll or posted to a guestbook saying rude or mean things?
These are all methods of cyberbullying.
Why this article? What has this got to do with Fanpop?
Hmm. Fanpop seems to be a world apart in relation to social networks, in that there seems to be none of the usual cruelty to other users that one seems to find elsewhere.
However, and there is ALWAYS a however, its seems to me that recently, there has been a lot of negativity directed towards certain users. I'm not going to name names, people, this is not a witch hunt. I'm not saying don't express an opinion, but don't viciously attack someone for no reason.
I merely want to make a statement. To me, cyberbullies are the biggest cowards in the world. They hide behind icons and usernames to cause pain. They can't even face their victim.
We see it everywhere
So, next time you feel like being nasty, stop and look at what you are doing. Or, are you a true coward?
I would like to point out that the Fanpop Four does a fantastic job of keeping the website safe and friendly for all users. For that, the Fanpop Four really deserve giant inflatable props.