Understand cyber bullying to fight it

Understand cyber bullying to fight it

Dubai - Cyber bullying is the most common way to target and make fun of people

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Ankita Chaturvedi

Published: Sat 28 Jan 2017, 8:31 PM

Last updated: Sat 28 Jan 2017, 10:36 PM

The vast world of Internet has made it possible for all of us to stay connected through social media. We all make friends online, chat online and send messages or emails. But, at times certain messages or comments embarrass us and we fall prey to the so called 'cyber bullying'.
It is the most common way to target and make fun of people as the person can express his/her hatred, disliking or negative feelings without even meeting the target.
Lakshmi Sree, a 23-year-old media management professional, became quite and submissive after experiencing a couple of incidents where she got some comments on social media on her looks. She was stressed, felt intruded and insecure because of the awful messages.
"There have been times that I have lost my sleep thinking about these bullies. I couldn't focus on my work for months and even lost interest in the things which I loved the most like hanging out with friends and going for a movie. Social media has been very hurtful and confusing", thinks Lakshmi.
According to a study by Kasperky Lab and B2B International conducted in the UAE, 50 per cent of parents believe that the threat from cyber bullying to inappropriate content encountered by their children online are significantly increasing. The study highlights that 24 per cent of parents do nothing to protect their children from Internet threats, despite the fact that a staggering 42 per cent of them have seen their children encounter actual threats online. Also, this is not restricted to the students or teenagers. In fact anyone can become the victim of cyber bullying.
In another incident, a South Asian/Canadian woman, raised in Dubai, have been through similar experiences in her life. She is a young businesswoman and was bullied by a client recently.
"Some clients who have truly embodied the concept of 'the client is always right' will use it against you and can turn your interactions to very closely resemble bullying", said the woman who wanted to remain anonymous.
She continued: "I became friends and shared an informal relationship with many customers through social media. It came as a shock for me when one customer complained that he don't like the attention I am giving to another customer. He bombarded my email and chat with very wrong messages. I tried to manage the situation but then realised he was crossing all his limits to bully me online. It was coming on my performance and health, my days were turned into nightmares and I failed to handle the difficult situation."
What is Cyber Bullying?
It's a worldwide problem and one that is growing rapidly. It can happen in a variety of ways. Below are some ways of cyber bullying:
· Cyberstalking: This can extend to making real threats to the victim's physical wellbeing and/or safety.
· Trolling: This is a deliberate act of provoking a response through the use of insults or bad language.
· Dissing: This is an act of sending or posting cruel information online about your child, to damage their reputation or friendships.
· Outing: This is an act to publicly humiliate the victim or a group online by posting sensitive or embarrassing information.
· Catfishing: This is when another person steals the victim's online identity, usually photos, and re-creates social networking profiles for deceptive purposes
Each of the above cyberbullying acts need to be dealt with differently. Therefore, it's important to be able recognise them.
Punishment for cyber bullying
"When bullying crosses the line from aggravation to criminal harassment or threats, it becomes a crime. According to UAE's Cybercrime Law No. 5 of 2012, cybercriminals could face punishments up to a life sentence and/or a fine varying between Dh50,000 and Dh3 million depending the severity and seriousness of the cybercrime," noted Ghareeb Saad, senior security researcher, Kaspersky Lab.

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