Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Top 5 Technologies used to Cyberbully

Cyberbullying is a growing problem in the United States and throughout the world. The act of Cyberbullying occurs when individuals use the Internet to harass or embarrass other people.

But what are the tools of cyberbullies that allow them to hold such sway over their peers? The following is a list of five technologies currently employed by cyberbullies to intimidate other kids.
1. MySpace, Facebook and other social networking sites - Currently the leading medium for cyberbullying incidents around the United States, social networking sites have become the instrument of choice for those kids and teens who look to humiliate other young people. These sites provide a means for individuals to post embarrassing photos, conduct mean-spirited online polls and other forms of cyberbullying. Another growing concern in this area is the theft of user IDs and passwords. When one individual steals another’s login information, they can go into their account and make statements in that person’s name. The results can be socially devastating to a teenager or adolescent.

2. Instant messaging - Instant messaging is a staple of major Internet companies such as AOL, Yahoo, Google (through its Gmail service) and MSN. Unfortunately, it is also used as a means of harassment. Many have adopted fake screen names and then used these account to “ping” their enemies with profanity and threats of violence.

3. Email – Email is a relatively anonymous act, especially if an individual goes by a screen name that bears no resemblance to their actual name. Email is used to send threatening letters and images, and can be the delivery device for rumors and falsehoods about an individual. Although many have moved on to social network sites as a means for their cyberbullying, email remains an “old school” way of performing this hateful act.

4. PhotoShop – Surprisingly, the world’s most popular photo editing software is also a device used in many cyberbullying cases. In most cases, one individual will take a photo of another person and alter it so that the victim appears to be in a compromising position, or doing something they should not be doing. Digital camera and camera phones in general have been a problem in Cyberbullying cases – as they give individuals the power to take hidden or unwanted photos of another person, and then spread them instantly across the Internet.

5. Blogs – Many have gone so far as to create entire blogs focusing on their rivals or enemies. These blogs invite user participation via comment posts and create a permanent entity that intimidates the individual in question. Blogs are easy to set up and can be created anonymously, which only serves to make the problem that much worse. With little accountability, the bully is free to let loose a stream of destructive and hurtful language.



1 comment:

Jennifer Gilbert-Soto said...

I am a victim of a cyberstalker. I have an estranged sister who has taken to posting lies about me on the internet especially on "Ripoff" sites . The latest ones say that I am on welfare, work under the table and am married to a drug dealer. She adds a new blog every month with more sickening lies.I know this makes my cyber bully lible and I plan on seeing a lawyer but it still is shocking that this is allowed to occur. These sites such as Bustathief and others need to be shut down as they seem to be a safe haven for ALL cyber bullies. There has to be more stringent laws to protect innocent people from these cowards hiding behind a computer posting lies and threats about innocent people.