Cyber bullying evolves with social media
By Nia Kennedy and Alexandria Smith
Susie comes home from a long day of exams to an email from someone she doesn’t know using profane and vulgar language. In this email she can see that it was also sent to all the popular kids at school. She panics because she knows that she is going to be the laughing stock of school tomorrow. Does this sound familiar to you?
This is a perfect example of cyber bullying. According to Bill Belsey, founder of cyberbullying.org, “Cyber bullying involves the use of information and communication technologies such as email, cell phone, and pager text messages, instant messages, defamatory personal Web sites and defamatory online personal polling Web site to support deliberate, repeated and hostile behavior by an individual or group that is intended to harm others.”
Everyday, technology is changing the world. Cyber bullying is hard to control or delete. People can repost, retweet, and/or screen shot on their smart phones and post it to any social networking site.
Rocky Hanna and Ricky Ardley, administrators at Leon High School in Tallahassee, told multimedia workshop students that the number one reason people get into altercations are posts on social networking sites. Sometimes, it may not just be physical harm; it can also be emotional and verbal.
Cyber bullying is not just a hot topic among students. A 2011 Chronicle of Higher Education Forum asked “Is RateMyProfessors Cyber-Bullying?” One post by pixelvainia on April 16, 2011 responded with “Sure it’s bullying, but also free speech…”
One type of bullying that is rapidly growing is twitter beef or “tweefing.” “Tweefing” is back and forth cyber bullying online. It seems like nothing when you’re scrolling past it on your timeline, but you also cannot see what this is doing to the victim. Anything can trigger twitter beef, and the person’s followers tend to instigate by retweeting what the person posted. It may have had nothing to do with the person, but it can easily be taken out of context and start a feud. Threats can begin to get exchanged and sometimes physical altercations will branch from those threats.
There have been numerous cases in which cyber bullying cases have led to tragedies, including the suicide deaths of Tyler Clementi and Megan Meier. Now, social networking sites have created ways so that you can let them know if someone is bullying you. For example, on Facebook and Twitter, there are “block” button that can prevent you and the person bullying you from having interaction.