There have been two stories about Cyber-bullying in the past week or so.
The first case was when feminists on Twitter had been threatened with rape for having the temerity to call for Women on banknotes. I noticed that men who supported the campaign, like myself, weren’t threatened.
And on Sky News this morning, the father of 14-year-old Hannah Smith, who died last Friday after being “cyberbullied” on the question-and-answer website ask.fm, was calling on the authorities to close down the site for allowing messaging to take place without their identity being disclosed.
According to Greater Manchester Police, ten children a day are telling them that they are being bullied on Facebook. The real figure will be higher due to unreported cases .
The NSPCC reported that 38% of young people have been affected by cyber-bullying in the UK and that 11% of Childline calls are related to cyber bullying on Facebook.
It’s an unfortunate reality that in today’s age of social media and widespread internet access, children are being bullied simply by going online in their own home. I have spoken about the increasing problem of cyber bullying before and the need to balance the freedom of the internet with the need to protect the vulnerable.
Some measures are already in place, like
This helps victims by encouraging them to discuss their experiences and show support to others who are being subjected to cyber bullying.
A school in Harpurhey has also been teaching their Year 7s about how social media works and how lenient privacy settings on social media sites can mean personal information about you can be found easily. Raising awareness of the existence of cyber bullying and how it can be dealt with, as well as how social media websites work seems to be a good way of showing victims of cyber bullying a way out.
A child’s early years of education are incredibly important to someone’s life as they help build the basic skills that a youngster needs to flourish as an adult.
Bullying undermines this and can leave a psychological scar for years. I hope that those victims of bullying, or Cyber-bullying are able to get more help and support