Different Forms Of CyberBullying And How We Can Avoid Them?
Our Generations’ Curse – Online Life Spans
We are a generation of people, who have found virtual existence and digital validation to be a greater means of life. The number of tags, likes, shares, comments, reactions, and more, and you find yourself smiling all through the day. The average Indian teenager uploads close three photographs every day online.
India today can proudly say that it has surpassed the USA in the number of users on Facebook. We record a total of 241 Million users on Facebook, where the USA falls a million short there. That becomes an average of 17% of our population is on Facebook.
What is more baffling is the fact that, of the 17% population that we have on Facebook, Key Facebook Users from India are aged at 18-24, which is the largest and fastest growing population segment. What do these facts tell us? Simple thing. Indian youth are the largest crowd online, and that exposes us to a vulnerability. We are the people who are the most bullied online. 1 out of every seven people online, has been directly or indirectly cyberbullied at some point in their online existence. When we say Direct, it takes the form of Spam Emails, Hack Threats, Information Thefts, and all other Ransomware measures. Indirect bullying involves the internet users to participate in Online surveys and Polls, and indirectly collects and collates the confidential information about the user. And as we already know, since the average age of Facebook users is just about 20, they remain all the more vulnerable to start with.
What Exactly Is Cyber Bullying And What Are The Different Forms Of It
The Definition of Cyber Bullying as per David Fagan, Lawyer of BizLegal.Eu is
“Cyberbullying is the use of inappropriate behavior, strength or influence, whether directly or indirectly, and whether verbal, written, physical or through displays of or use of imagery, symbols or otherwise, to intimidate, torment, threaten, harass or embarrass others, using the Internet or other technology, such as mobile telephones”
Under this broad spectrum, we can see that there many different forms of Cyberbullying. The below are some of the broader categories of Cyber Bullying:
The act of leaving you out. When you are excluded or ignored participation in Events, Groups, Pages and Online Communities, on the basis of your Creed, Gender, Ethnicity or Belonging, then it amounts to Cyber Bullying as well.
One of the most dangerous forms of CyberBullying is online harassment. Sending lewd and inappropriate text or video messages on Facebook or other platforms, or tagging users in a post which indicate sexual or otherwise harming the material. Such Cyberbullying is also an act of punishable offence.
The scenario in which your offline matters are published online without valid consent forms a part of Cyber Bullying. Consider a party photo clicked and posted without permission online, which raises a discussion and propagation in your social circles. Thus, you become a victim of CyberBullying.
We see a trend of a couple in a relationship, exchanging their login details of Instagram or Facebook. When the relationship wards off, either of the partners might login into the account of the Ex, and post something inappropriate or private about their relationship, online. Such activity also comes under Cyberbullying.
Creating multiple Fake Profiles under different names, and gaining entry into communities, groups, or sending Friend requests across to random people, also forms a part of larger looming Social abuse through Cyber Bullying.
Taking snapshots, out of context information, or downloading photographs of a particular individual, page, community or event, and misusing them or forwarding them to unconnected individuals is also a form of Online abuse.
This becomes a part of indirect Cyberbullying, where someone asks you to fill up your details to gain access to your Debit or Credit Cards online. In India, this has specifically been the most dangerous form of Cyber Bullying with an estimated 1 in 4 people falling prey to Fake Online Profiles.
Another indirect form of Cyberbullying is when you have a stalker online. Most people think that silently stalking someone online is harmless and non-abusive. But consider this, when you like something you are passing that information to your timeline and attracting unwanted attention to the first person. Also, as they say, it doesn’t take much time to turn stalking into obsession and perhaps indulge in activities like Dissing or Trickery.
One another rampant Social Media abuse which we can see today is Trolling. A person, People, Group, Ideology, Speech, Community, Event or Propaganda, everything is Trolled. Basically, Facebook is filled with posters which mock or abuse any particular topic, thereby ruining the gravity of the situation. Interestingly, the top ten Facebook pages out of India, are predominantly Troll pages. Says something about our priorities yes?
Avid users of Facebook will recognize this activity as something very relevant. Fake profiles to replicate original accounts. You see, if there is one Celebrity verified page, a hundred more pop up with similar sounding names, and bring a lot of confusion inactivity. Often, a scandal or controversy is fueled up by a Fake Celebrity Profile, leading up to communal disturbance. As a parallel effect, it also ruins the popularity and acceptance of this particular Celebrity. Thus it becomes one of the most dangerous forms of Cyberbullying.