Cyber bullying, also known as cyber bullying, has become one of the most common phenomena in today’s school communities. Some authors define it as the possibility of using new information and communication technologies to harass a victim, or as a manifestation of school harassment that occurs through virtual platforms and tools Such as chats, blogs, fotologs, and text messages for mobile devices, e-mail, forums, servers that store videos or photographs, web pages, cell phones and other technological media.
This type of bullying includes all those behaviors of mockery, defamation, aggression, intimidation and intimidation against an individual or group through mobile phones or the Internet ( blogs , chat , post office, Facebook, etc.), which has enormous consequences Psychological problems in those affected who see their identity totally violated in their social environment.Although cyber bullying can be considered as a new modality or subtype of bullying, the use of electronic means to attack aggressions makes this type of harassment have different and proper characteristics, mainly related to the anonymity of the aggressor. Most of the time, the abuser uses pseudonyms or false names to harass the victim. The concealment of identity facilitates, on the one hand, the aggression and impunity of the aggressor and, on the other, increases the potential for defenselessness of the victim.
Cyber bullying as a problem can be summarized in the sense of impunity that generates this phenomenon especially in the victims, since when operating with technological means usable at any time, place and by any type of adolescent, makes it very difficult to follow up. Therefore, school communities are largely unaware of what preventive measures to take in the face of a situation that does not necessarily arise within the school, which has generated intense debate among those who must take responsibility for this social phenomenon.In cyber bullying different communication platforms are used with the objective of harassing a victim with cruelty. The tools available on the Internet help to spread this behavior in which victims receive abuse from their peers, be it through ridicule, threats, blackmails, discrimination, all anonymously.
Cyber bullying platforms
We will go deeper into some cyber bullying platforms as below elaborated:
This mode of cyber bullying takes different forms according to the possibilities that the cell phone allows. The most traditional form is calls and can be accommodated not only from the mobile phone but from any landline. The cell phone has become a propitious means of harassment, and the young or children who use it are the ideal users to be harassed; Finding a mobile phone number is simple, as well as hiding the number of the caller, so that the anonymity is fully guaranteed. Sometimes they use the mobiles or numbers of other people, to avoid being discovered, which demonstrates not only the intentionality of the acts, but also the ethical inadequacy of them. It is also a medium that allows not only oral, but also textual and multimedia messages, so intimidation and threat are guaranteed by any of the routes used.
It is one of the communication tools whose use has spread massively, considering that at present most of the young people and children have an email account, even before having a computer at home. This form of cyberbullying consists of repeatedly sending offensive and harassing emails to the person who has become a victim of their abuses. Generally, you can find out the e-mail account where the messages were sent (physical location), local or regional accounts being more easily located than large e-mail accounts such asHotmail, Gmail or Yahoo, but in any case , It is difficult to know who actually used that account.
Chats (instant messaging)
The use that children and teenagers make of instant messaging has been linked to the use of telephone, e-mail , face-to-face conversations, focusing excessively on these issues and neglecting other problems Of greater magnitude and relevance. The reality reveals that this technology has been very popular among young people who, despite using other forms of asynchronous communication, advocate an immediate interaction with the other, in which their questions get instant response. Thus, the way in which young people use instant messaging correlates significantly with the level of autonomy of students, thus becoming a propitious tool for cyber bullying.
Recording of Violence
There is a type of aggressor who enjoys recording the blows or intimidations that he makes to his victims through his cell phones, digital video cameras and then disseminates it through the network. He not only enjoys harassing, but also wants to immortalize the act in digital image, and obtain recognition and respect with it. The videos can be hung in a web to be seen by an indeterminate number of people, who viralize their content in massive form.
Disadvantage in the Web
One of the greatest technological tools to discredit, harass or intimidate people are the websites commonly known as social networks, such as: Facebook, Twitter, My Space, Blogspot, Fotolog and Flickr, among others. These share a common characteristic that is often well exploited by the stalkers: the ease of access to any person to integrate into these networks by supplanting data and creating a false user, which is very useful to the cyber-user to collect data and observe the behavior of The victim, in addition to extracting photos without his consent from his social network. Another feature of these social networks is that the cyber-surfer can analyze the behaviors that the person has with their friends with only observing the wall of social media, where there are conversations between the victim and one of his friends, for the purpose To possess a psychological profile of her, to at some point supplant her identity and discredit her in front of her friends.
The nature of harassment and actions perpetrated by aggressors through new communication technologies have made cyberbullying victims suffer the same negative effects on their mental and physical health as those harmed by bullying: low self-esteem, Poor academic performance, depression, emotional maladjustment, eating disorders, and chronic illness, abandonment of homes and, in some cases, violent behavior and suicide.Many sufferers suffer from depression which remains in adulthood. Thus, it is crucial to stop school bullying to reduce and prevent its negative consequences in the short and long term.
Consequences of cyber bullying
Low self-esteem is an important consequence for both cyber-victims and cyber aggressors; however, as already mentioned, it can also be cause to get involved in this phenomenon.Other reported consequences are: insomnia, enuresis, anxiety, headache and abdominal pain, which may be useful to identify cases more easily. In addition, it is clearly pointed out that cyber bullying is a way of generating tension between individuals of all ages, and that minors are the most vulnerable. Other consequences that have been identified are: academic difficulties, behavior problems and, in extreme cases, criminal behavior. As noted, young people who are frustrated and angry, as well as those with increased stress or anxiety, are significantly more likely to harass others through bullying or cyberbullying.
Children’s use of new communication technologies may eventually give us an estimate of the impact of the phenomenon of cyber-bullying. At the moment, the most serious consequences include depression, suicidal ideation and, at worst, suicidal or homicidal attempts.
Prevention of cyber bullying
Some authors have proposed, in the field of public health, anti-bullying and anti-bullying legislation that is applied in each school zone through research-based prevention programs. As a first step in slowing its progress, it has been suggested that such legislation should include sanctions such as school suspension, criminal sanctions and the facility to issue a protective order to victims. Any legislation on the use of information and communication technologies will be insufficient if it is not complemented by programs developed by schools, which promote a culture of peace and civic education. These actions should be strengthened with the participation of parents, so that their children make adequate use of virtual networks and technology.
Cyber bullying often begins with home computers and cell phones given away by the parents themselves; so they should be alert, to supervise the activities that their children perform through these means, and, at the same time, provide them with information on how to use and take advantage of these tools.
It is essential to understand that although the electronic media and its devices are associated with a high risk of cyber bullying, they are simply tools, not the causes of this behavior. It is often difficult for children and adolescents to communicate this type of situation to a trusted adult. Young people also need ways to deal with the stress of interpersonal conflicts, but in a positive and healthy way. Finally, it is important to understand that isolation is not the best way to prevent or protect against cyber bullying.