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The Role of Social Media in Heightening Cyber-bullying and How It Could be Curbed

One of the biggest shortcomings of the internet especially social media that is quite unpronounced is the fact that words are now a weapon. Though it may seem like these things said online are just verbal words and may not matter; typing/saying them can amount to just as much or even more. I have been a victim of cyber-bullying and I can tell it could quite have an effect to a person’s real life. Cyber-bullying is easily seen and more accessible via social media just because of the social freedom users enjoy on the platform.

Let’s break it down and talk about what cyber-buying really means.

Cyber-bullying is a persistent act via the internet intended at making life unpleasant for someone. Cyber-bullying takes place over phones or computers and has since increased suicide rate in recent times. Cyber-bullying is quite boundless as anyone including parents, teenagers or children could be a victim of these misfortune.

With the advancement of technology, cyber-bullying heightens by the day that social media which used to be a safe haven is now one of the most dreaded and toxic environment to be around where bullies are guaranteed anonymity and direct access to their victims consistently. Talk about Twitter and a host of blog comment section out there, the amount of bitterness people exude via words are thought-provoking, even more saddening that some go to the extent of opening fake profiles to continue their antics. A very sad reality also includes the fact that these bullies. Research may have it that Facebook is the most common social media platform for bullies but I daresay Twitter and Instagram are the most place with verbal toxicity. Some people resort into deleting their accounts to stop the bullying but should that be the only way? because that’s like taking something away from someone. I can remember American rapper Cardi B has been forced to delete her Twitter and IG accounts at separate times within this year due to excessive bully from non-fans not minding the fact that she’s pregnant and in a delicate phase.

The following are types of cyber bullying:

  1. Cyber-Stalking: This is the continuous harassment, denigration and belittling of a person which may include threats of physical harm.
  2. Harassment: This involves repeatedly sending messages to intentionally annoy or bother an online user.
  3. Impersonation: This involves stealing someone’s identity and pretending to be that person while posting derogatory or false messages online.
  4. Trickery: This is the using false means or reverse psychology to collect private information such as credit card information, bank and login details.
  5. Flaming: This involves online fights which may occur through emails, forums and chat rooms where there are persons with different beliefs seeking to impose their opinions on others.

When online, I think many people gain confidence that they normally wouldn’t have in reality because social media allows a certain level of anonymity about ourselves. I’m never against social media giving a voice to virtually everyone even those that feel unheard but unfortunately, when it comes to virtually everyone having an opinion in your affairs, it can be nauseating how entitled some persons can be and make some unpleasant remark and that cyber-bullying occurs. If you’re active on social media, it’s hard to filter the average number of negatives you’re exposed to on a daily contrary to the surface reason why social media was created that we’re familiar with, which is to connect people around the world. No doubt social media has played a significant in bettering our affairs with people and growing our businesses but the cons which also involves cyber-bullying is fast become a normalcy on there and it’s driving a lot of users into depression and possible suicide.

Reason why a lot of public figures keep their kids off social media for the sake of their sanity because children are like sponges, so it’s important you watch what’s said around them as they grow up.

In curbing cyber-bullying, some are of the opinion that people should maybe just block the trolls but that doesn’t always work because like I mentioned, some of these people open multiple pages to carry on their antics, such people go to any length to cause discomfort to whoever they want to harm and it shouldn’t be forgotten that some people are not as tough to handle such. I believe a very significant way to halt cyber-bullying is unless the operators of these websites take some accountability. I believe some personnel could be hired for these social media sites that can filter out certain things.

I could remember some time ago when LIB was at its peak and is a hub for cyber-bullying, Linda admitted that the comments are sometimes very grave that she doesn’t approve them or she consults a number of people around her to access the comments as they filter the very vile ones and leave the ones that doesn’t seem as grave but you still see some comments and wonder if that was actually approved, imagine what the unapproved ones will be like. The case of comment approval is not possible on social media comment sections and the handlers may not be responsible for every/any comment there so it’s just bare and the victims see all these first hand.

If these sites really care about its users affected by this social vice, they should do better in putting their foot forward in stopping a chunk of it. Once these bullies see that the site operators are cracking down negativity, it should help the problem some way. Although I know cyber-bullying may never be completed scrapped but I think its better to try limiting it at least. A lot of these people may come off as absorbing all the negatives and having a tough skin but we never know what goes on with the person off social media, of course we live in a society where you have to conceal and never reveal. For instance, Uriel posts a picture and these people go on and on about how saggy her boobs are, every time. My heart goes out to these sufferers.

In the future, sooner though, I hope that the corporate executives of these sites device possible measures to curb this menace

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