Cyberbullying is a type of harassment using Internet technologies, including insults, threats, defamation, compromising and blackmail, using personal messages or a public channel. If the usual bullying uses verbal and physical acts of violence, including psychological, then there is no need for personal presence for cyberbulling. All actions are performed using emails, messages in messengers and social networks, as well as by uploading photos and video materials containing information detrimental to the victim’s reputation to the public network.

Cyberbullying in social networks and other resources is carried out regularly and for quite a long time. Isolated instances of conflicts and insults cannot be regarded as cyberbulling. Manifestations may include insults in comments, personal messages and public conversations. Intimate, material, or any other kind of harassment can come from the real inner circle, as well as from complete strangers who accidentally noticed the profile of the victim. Such terror is characterized by perseverance, intervention in personal time, especially at night and the presence of threats.

In order to compromise a person, pages can be created that copy his personal information for further insults (for example, teachers, parents or friends) allegedly on his behalf. With the same purpose, a password can be selected for the real page of a person. If the relationship ends unfavorably as revenge by another partner, intimate photos, bank accounts, or the disclosure of any other personal information can be posted online.

What is Cyberballing?

Cyberbullying victims are usually more vulnerable than those directly attacked. This is explained by the features of the harassment in the Internet space, which occurs constantly. There is no protection in the form of the termination of the school day - they can interfere in private life constantly, at any time of the day and according to various sources. Of course, on the one hand, the aggressor can be blocked, added to the blacklist, but does not guarantee that a person will not use another account or another network of communication. To hide at home will not work, just like asking for protection from senior or senior managers - the online chat regulations do not imply the intervention of other people.

Another feature that makes cyberbullying a more powerful weapon than attacks in real life is the speed at which information is spread. Information is disseminated on the Internet in seconds, and the compromising video can be viewed by everyone you know and hundreds of strangers within ten minutes after shooting. In addition, the width of the involved audience when using non-personal messages reaches colossal dimensions. All files are stored on the network and can be raised again even after the first wave has subsided.

It is almost impossible to completely delete information that has entered the network and is costly, both time and effort. In addition to this difficulty, the possibility of anonymity prevents countering cyber attacks. In most cases, for cyberbullying harassment, artificial pages and addresses are created; the person does not betray his identity and continues to irritate the victim, without revealing his identity. Victims of cyberbullying can fall into a state of fear, reaching paranoid due to ignorance of the identity of the pursuer.

Those who are victims in real life are also attacked. So that a person has never been mocked at school, but suffered from attacks on the Internet, does not happen. Category of risk - adolescents, for whom the assessment of others and their own external presentation in the world is extremely important. This increases the sensitivity to any statements, ranging from the characteristics of the person and mind and ending with avatar comments.

Social exclusion is also possible on the Internet, which is one of the variants of bullying, it only manifests itself as an exception from gaming and professional communities or in restricting access and rights to them. But in addition to passive forms in the form of ignoring, there are also active cruel options that can bring a person to mental disorder - direct threats of physical violence, beating or death. They can extend not only to the victim, but also to her relatives.

Cyberbullying in social networks is not noticeable for adults, and children themselves are in no hurry to admit to such and ask for help. You can understand what is happening by indirect signs, such as closeness, the departure of a person into the world of fantasy or computer games. In the process of permanent stress factors, sleep is disturbed, mood decreases, various pains may appear, and overall health deteriorates. Since at school age cyberbullying is often performed by classmates, this may affect school attendance, as well as academic progress, and personal belongings may disappear. In addition, Internet harassment can be combined with direct bulling, then abrasions and bruises from beatings are possible.

The consequences of Internet terror can provoke both a protest in school attendance and severe personal changes. In especially severe forms, when attacks are performed regularly and extremely cruel methods are used, cases of clinical depression, neurological disorders and suicidal attempts are possible.

It is also difficult to calculate the offender, because he may not have physical strength or authority among other peers to ruin someone's life, especially if actions are performed anonymously.

Causes of Cyberbullying

The reasons for the spread of this type of terror are apparent anonymity and impunity, but not many people know that criminal liability is imposed for acts of psychological violence. But the permissiveness and great opportunities of the network only provoke to the disclosure the already existing qualities or tendencies of the personality.

People begin to show the first aggressive tendencies out of fear of being the victim themselves. When there is a mass mockery of someone, then the instinct of self-preservation prompts to hold onto those who are stronger, and therefore behave like they are. Someone in a similar way tries to gain authority, such personalities do not use anonymous accounts, and their desire to stand out may extend not only to social networks.

Bringing together people from different countries and cultures in one place of intercourse is not only able to bring together, but is an extra irritating factor for non-tolerant people. Those who are simply irreconcilable with foreign traditions and culture can now persecute a person solely on a national basis.

Some thus try to demonstrate strength or to compensate for its lack in real life. The inability to be the best in reality, to show worthwhile achievements or simply lowered self-esteem, complexes can provoke a person to humiliate others. In such cases, those who are better and more successful are victims of attacks.

Someone has a cruel sense of humor and with the help of bullying others copes with their boredom. Vivid emotional response of the victim to constant injections gives rise to interest, increases the level of adrenaline, gives a false sense of power. Such people play in others, not realizing that on the other side of the screen is quite a living person, who from such actions can end his own life.

The end of any relationship, envy and quarrels can cause a desire for revenge, as well as the placement of provocative information, and persecution with the intention to return.

But It should be noted that any external situation is not a sufficient justification for violence against another person, there are always internal prerequisites for such actions, an example in the family or a sense of permissibility.

How to deal with cyberbullying

It is important to remember that cyberbullying, like direct psychological violence, is a criminal offense, and, despite anonymity, traffic, browser history and similar things provided by an Internet company, when inflicting real damage, it is quite easy to help establish the real identity of the aggressor. Therefore, the first priority for protection against such attacks is the training of literacy behavior and the network.

When there are facts of threats, harassment, blackmail and other options, it is necessary to save a page with these messages or materials - it is best to make a screen-shot or print in order for the evidence to remain, since the aggressor can then delete all the data. Single negative acts, especially from strangers, it is optimal to ignore - without receiving the proper feedback and emotional reaction, the buller will not get involved in further communication.

In the case of ongoing attacks in any messenger there is a blocking function, it is also present in many networks and concerns the entire profile. Such an interruption of communication can help avoid the continuation of cyberbulling, but it is useless if the distribution of video or photos through other public access services, such as YouTube, is used. In these cases, you can contact the site administration, leading group or chat, depending on the platform for placing compromising information.

You should never follow the requirements of the aggressor, enter into negotiations or try to buy off - if there is no understanding at the level of human communication, then it is necessary to block all communication and ignore incoming messages. The content of threats, most likely, will increase, and here the main thing is to hold on and not answer, then having lost interest, the buller will leave the victim alone.

When attacks continue, despite blocking (the aggressor can write from other pages and addresses) or have direct threats, then it is necessary to contact law enforcement agencies with facts confirming the fact of the threats. Cases of pornographic and intimate terror deserve appeal to the police. Most likely, the buller will not stop after a statement to the police - this person has been pursuing for a long time and does not understand what causes harm by his behavior. It is important to understand that it is impossible to retreat or try to explain - report to the appropriate authorities with each subsequent incident.

Parents should pay more attention to the quality of the relationship with the child, so that he could at any time consult on what to answer to the abuser. During the time that a pause is taken on the answer, you can calm down yourself and come up with an adult with an option that not only does not satisfy the aggressor, but also puts it in a funny perspective.

Cyberballing Prevention

In order to prevent the development of a simple dispute in cyberbulling, it is necessary to teach the child to react competently to criticism, and also to distinguish between when it is appropriate to prove one’s opinion and when it is better to leave the resource in which communication takes place. It is also worth attributing to the culture of behavior in the network, because many people, not realizing responsibility, can behave rather aggressively or injure another person with an inaccurate statement, for which they then get a long-term attack.

It is necessary to educate about Internet literacy, since the negligence of the victim contributes to many cases of blackmail and bullying. Laying out in the network all the information about yourself, personal videos, photos about the days spent and the like, without the correct privacy settings, a person exposes the most vulnerable places under the attack of the aggressors. Separate attention should be paid to passwords for accounts and devices with personal information (laptops, smartphones, tablets, etc.) to prevent the possibility of hacking or sending inappropriate information on behalf of the victim.

To prevent the further spread of cyberbullying, you must report these situations to site administrators and service providers. Even if you yourself managed to block a person and get rid of him in order to protect yourself and others from further incidents, you need to discuss the situation with the company. Usually, based on applications from users, new security algorithms are developed and solutions to such issues.