“Unless and until our society recognizes cyber bullying for what it is, the suffering of thousands of silent victims will continue”. - Anna Maria Chavez
Cyberbullying is defined as purposely insulting, threatening, defaming, or harassing other individuals via modern means of communication over an extended length of time.
Cyberbullying occurs via the Internet (e.g., by e-mail, instant chat, etc.) or in person.
Victims and offenders of cyberbullying, particularly among children and young people, are known to each other in the "real" world. Victims almost always have suspicions about who is responsible for the assault. Cyberbullying frequently begins with people in the immediate vicinity, such as at school, in a residential area, in a village, or in an ethnic community. Cases involving total strangers are quite uncommon.
Cyberbullying is a complex problem. The goal of this activity, on the other hand, is the same. To inflict pain and harm on others. Cyberbullying is a serious issue. It must be taken seriously because it has numerous dangerous consequences for the victim.
Furthermore, it disrupts a person's mental tranquilly. Many people have reported feeling depressed after being cyberbullied. Furthermore, they engage in self-harm. They feel inferior as a result of the disparaging remarks spoken about them.
There are a lot of insecurities and complexes as a result of this. The victim of cyberbullying who is harassed begins to mistrust himself or herself. When someone points out your flaws, they tend to amplify them. Likewise, the victims are concerned and lose their inner calm.
Aside from that, cyberbullying tarnishes a person's image. The false rumours that have been spread about them have harmed their reputation. Everything spreads like wildfire on social media. Furthermore, the credibility of the information is frequently questioned. As a result, one false rumour can wreck people's lives.
Cyberbullying will continue to be a significant concern for children and their parents and guardians as technology improves and social contact becomes increasingly entwined with cyberspace. It is incumbent upon all of us to work toward a greater understanding of cyberbullying, to combat it when it occurs, and to assist all children who are victims.
HOW MUCH COMMON IS CYBER BULLYING AMONG YOUNG ADULTS -?
The prevalence of cyberbullying among teenagers varies based on the definition of cyberbullying used, the ages and features of the children polled, and the time period involved.
In a survey, 13- to 18-year-olds were asked how often they had been bullied online:
15% stated they'd been cyberbullied online.
10% claimed they'd been cyberbullied through cell phone.
7% indicated they had cyberbullied someone else online.
5% claimed they had cyberbullied someone else over the phone.
Fight Crime: Invest in Kids conducted a survey to see how often youngsters (6 to 11 years old) and teenagers (12 to 17 years old) were cyberbullied in the preceding year. Someone said something dangerous or embarrassing about them online, according to one-third of teens and one-sixth of youngsters.
Researchers found that 9 percent of middle school kids had been cyberbullied in the last 30 days, and 17 percent had been cyberbullied throughout their lives; 8 percent had cyberbullied others in the last 30 days, and 18 percent had done so throughout their lives.
In a survey of kids in grades 6-8, 18 percent said they had been cyberbullied at least once in the last few months, and 6% said it had happened two or more times; 11 percent said they had cyberbullied others at least once in the last few months, and 2% said they had done it two or more times; and 11 percent said they had cyberbullied others two or more times.
TYPES OF CYBER BULLYING AMONG YOUNG ADULTS -;
As technology has progressive over the last two eras, cyberbullying has become a more dominant problem. The widespread use of cell phones, numerous instant messaging programmes, and the rise of social media have provided cyberbullies with an ever-increasing variety of ways to harm their targets.
Online harassment is similar to offline harassment in that it entails sending rude or disrespectful communications to an individual or group. Harassment necessitates a significant amount of effort on the part of the bully in order to cause harm to the victim. It's also deliberate, repeatable, and consistent. The victim is frequently without recourse from the bully.
cyberstalking is a type of harassment. These communications are frequently more frightening in character than they are unpleasant or impolite. Messages may produce to the fact that the victim's own safety is helpless. Cyberstalking can swiftly escalate into harassment or stalking in person.
The act of intentionally isolating the sufferer is known as exclusion. This could include excluding them from social media groups, chat rooms, texts, events, and activities. It could involve having chats on social media platforms or applications that the victim doesn't have access to, or seeing but not being able to join. The group may then shout nasty or derogatory things about the individual.
When a bully freely exposes private messages, photos, or other evidence about the victim on the internet, this is known as outing. This is done without the victim's information or promise, with the planning of embarrassing, or giving uncomfortable feeling. The information could be small or more private and severe, but it is still an outing.
Masquerading happens when a bully, or a group of bullies, assumes a different identity in order to attack the victim anonymously. They can imitate another person, use a actual person's account or phone number, or construct a entirely false identity. If the oppressor feels the need to hide their individuality, they are expected to know the victim well. This is typically done to make the victim feel humiliated.
Logging into somebody's social media profile and uploading inappropriate stuff under their name is known as fraping. While many people think of fraping as a harmless prank, it can destroy someone's reputation, get them into difficulty with their family, or generally embarrass or injure them.
CAUSES/SIGNS OF CYBER BULLYING AMONG YOUNG ADULTS -;
Anxiety or Anger:
Pay attention to your adolescent's mood before and after they use a phone or computer.
Have your teen's online activities become secretive or defensive? They may be attempting to disguise the fact that they are being bullied if they turn off gadgets unexpectedly when others arrive, refuse to discuss what they do online, or seem upset or irritated when you try to address this with them.
Take notice of how much time your teen spends online on a regular basis, especially if they have always enjoyed it. They may be in quest of to dodge a bully if they have rapidly stopped using their devices (or have stopped using them completely).
Observe your teenager's social behaviour, even if they have always been quiet or introverted.
Increase in Messages:
Have you noticed that your teen is receiving a lot more messages or emails than usual? Are they from numbers or persons you've never heard of before? Is your adolescent evasive when you inquire who is trying to contact them?
EFFECTS OF CYBER BULLYING AMONG YOUNG ADULTS -;
Cyberbullying has a negative impact on victims' self-esteem. People who have been abused online may develop self-consciousness and low self-esteem. This is particularly true when the harassment is directed at their physical appearance.
Teenagers and young adults who have been "trolled" for their looks may develop a hatred for their bodies. As a result, these people will perceive themselves as less appealing to others. They may begin to be embarrassed to appear in public or socialise with others.
Cyberbullying's impacts can often be seen in all facets of a person's life. This can be seen in the grades of students. Cyberbully victims and bullies frequently struggle in school.
Victims of cyberbullying are prone to a variety of stress-related illnesses. Anxiety and despair are only a couple of examples. Victims' mental health is harmed when they begin to lose faith in themselves.
Chance of falling ill
A person can become ill as a result of the stress that comes with being cyberbullied. Experiencing online harassment can cause insomnia, migraines, chest pain, and other health concerns. This stress can also cause skin problems and breakouts, further eroding the individual's self-esteem.
One of the most common causes of internet bullying is when someone seeks vengeance after being harassed. Regrettably, vengeance is ineffective. This merely encourages further cyberbullying. According to research, cyberbullying may increase suicidal behaviour in some sufferers. It instils a sense of helplessness. When people are abused online on a regular basis, they may come to believe that death is their only option.
SOME FAMOUS CYBERBULLYING CASES IN INDIA
Although India has been a hub of cyberbullying interestingly, not a number of cyber bulling cases goes unreported by the Police. The reasons are very simple since most of the people are unaware about cyberbullying laws as well as due to social peers like family pressure, loss of reputation in the society and so on. Some of the famous cases of cyberbullying are given herein below:
1.RITU KOHLI’S CASE
It was in 2001 when this case was brought into the limelight. The facts of the case are gruelling and disturbing. Manish Kathuria, the accused would stalk Mrs. Ritu Kohli, an Indian housewife, on the internet by creating a false profile in her name on a dating website and intentionally circulated the personal details of her including phone number and place where she resides. Consequently, she started receiving calls from unknown numbers from different states of India and even abroad, asking for sexual favours from her and even harassed her by calling multiple times. When the victim came into knowledge that it was the accused who was behind this nefarious plan to outrage her modesty. She lodged a criminal complaint with the police station under Section 509 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860. During that time, cyber laws were not even prevalent in India. Therefore, the police had no choice to book the accused under section 509, IPC, 1860. This case posed an awakening call for the Parliament to frame new laws relating to cyber laws otherwise injustice will continue to perpetuate.
2. BOIS LOCKER ROOM
This case was one of the popular cases in the history of Indian Legal System. The case, to be precise, was an Instagram scandal wherein some members studying in school of that group posted obscene images of their female classmates and passed obscene remarks or comments on them. This case shook off the whole nation about what kind of mind set does these school students have and it was revealed by the Delhi Police that it was a girl pretending to be boy in that group posting inappropriate images and chats. It is submitted that the accused should be punished severely for her actions.
CYBERBULLYING LAWS IN INDIA -;
In India, there is no obvious legislation that allows for cyberbullying laws, yet measures like Section 67 of the Information Technology Act deal with cyberbullying in some way. Section 67 of the act demands that publishing or transferring indecent content in electronic form is punishable by a tenure of up to 5 years in prison and a fine of up to 10lakh rupees.
The following are the provisions of India's cyberbullying laws, aside from Section 67 of the IT Act:
Section 507 IPC
The provision specifies that if someone is subjected to criminal intimidation as a result of an anonymous communication, the person making the threats can be imprisoned for up to two years. The offences of anti-bullying and cyberbullying are included in this section due to the phrase anonymous.
Section 509, IPC -;
This section can also be utilised if a remark, gesture, or behaviour is designed to offend a woman's modesty.
Section 66 C-;
This section summaries the penalties for identity theft, including imprisonment for up to 3 years for anybody who uses an electronic signature, password, or other exclusive identification signature with the intent to deceive.
Section 66 D -;
It deals with using the computer resource to cheat by personation.
Violations of privacy are punishable under this law. According to the law, anyone who knowingly violates the privacy of others by transmitting, recording, or publishing private photographs of others, faces a sentence of up to 3 years in prison or a fine of up to 3 lakhs.
Section 67 B -;
This law addresses the penalties for publishing or transmitting in electronic form anything depicting children in any sexually explicit act, among other things.
Section 72 -;
This is where breaches of confidentiality and privacy are dealt with.
In 2013, the Act was amended to add new offences as well as make cyberstalking a crime. The following section of the IPC deals with cyberbullying in some form -:
Sec. 292A -;
Printing, selling, or advertising highly immoral or scurrilous material or blackmail material
Sec. 354A -;
Making sexually suggestive statements is a form of sexual harassment.
Despite the fact that cyberbullying is still illegal, some victims and their families come out to report such incidents but some People prefer to remain silent and tolerate things for a variety of reasons, including shame, societal pressure, and negative beliefs, in the hopes that it will eventually end and things would improve.
When compared to murder and organised crime, cyberbullying is undoubtedly a less serious offence. As a result, if convicted, a cyber-bully would be housed and disciplined with other minors who have broken the law, some of whom may be habitual offenders or have perpetrated horrible crimes. This could put the cyberbullies safety in jeopardy or encourage him to delve deeper into crime and become a repeat offender There is a limited critical issue that policymakers should inspect in order to impact people's attitudes. Policymakers should, for example, modify child-friendly policies that clarify why cyberbullying is bad.
By AAKRITI BHANDARI