By Jack Sinclair
The internet is great, so why is there
always someone who screws things up? I'm talking about
when people use the 'net to bully others in what becomes
a cowardly, faceless crime. The bully can go on the attack
without the victim ever looking them in the eye. What's
worse is that this appears to be a growing trend with a recent
survey indicating that 14 percent of teens using instant messaging
have been threatened, while 16 percent have participated in
bullying someone else through threatening comments delivered
The question of who is to be held responsible for stopping
online bullying becomes complicated when you look at the case
of Canadian teen David Knight whose face appeared on a website
specifically constructed to bully him beyond the reach of
the school boundaries.
The police state that internet bullying is difficult to deal
with unless it turns into death threats or other criminal
acts. Meanwhile, the ISP (internet service providers) who
supply online space to these kinds of offensive projects state
that they are not censors and shouldn't be put in the
position to decide what's appropriate and what isn't.
Okay, so who is going to be held accountable for cyber bullying
that has the power to reach an audience of millions upon millions
Stopping the Cyber Bully
- Tell someone responsible that you're being bullied.
This includes your parents, the police, the ISP (internet
service provider), or the telecommunications provider (in
the case of cell phones and abusive text messaging).
- Keep your computer in an open area where others are aware
of what's going on.
- Do not erase or delete messages from the bully. They
may provide information that will be useful in tracking
- NEVER agree to meet someone at a location offline.
- Get help in doing some minor cyber sleuthing. Someone
who is technically minded can sometimes access background
information from the header of the email that will allow
you to track the email back to the root domain or sender.
Give this information to the police as well as the ISP and
telecommunications provider. NEVER track the individual
Beyond this, there are a few common sense things to remember.
Don't open an email if it looks strange or is coming
from someone you don't know. In all likelihood, if
you think something doesn't seem right, it probably
isn't. Finally, the most important thing to remember
is that while the internet is great, you don't have
to be surfing all the time. Keep hobbies, activities, friends
and family a part of your daily life. Bullies don't
deserve the satisfaction of making you unhappy.
Want more info? Click here to go to Resources.