Cyber Bullying and Social Media
Social media websites have skyrocketed over the past ten years. According to estimates, 80 percent of teenagers in the United States currently use social media. Based on their own preferences, users can use social media to share information and content selectively. Cited by cutterlaw.com. Now more than ever, social media users have access to freely available information, much of it private. This is concerning, because it makes social media sites ready-to-use platforms where anyone can use private information against them.
59 percent of American teenagers have encountered one of the following forms of harmful internet behavior, according to the Pew Research Center:
42% have encountered online teasing
32% of people have been the target of false rumors.
16% had come into actual threats.
What is Cyber Bullying?
A cyberbully is someone who sends any kind of online communication with the intent to intentionally embarrass, scare, harass, or target another person, according to the California Attorney General and the State Department of Justice. Cyberbullying can be used to cyberstalk someone or spread hate speech, in addition to pestering someone else. A cyberbully may use various online communication channels to threaten, humiliate, or specifically target another individual. This might comprise:
engaging video games
According to Cutterlaw, computers, tablets, and smartphones can all be used to carry out various types of cyberbullying. Bullying and cyberbullying are both defined by anti-bullying laws and regulations in California. Bullying may lead to one of the following outcomes under these laws:
Bullying and cyberbullying are both prohibited under California law, and are both defined as actions that have one or more of the following effects:
- causing a significant and negative impact on a student’s mental or physical health by making the student fear for their safety or the safety of their property
- causing a pupil to have their academic performance significantly interfered with
- causing a student to face significant interference with their capacity to take advantage of or engage in school-sponsored benefits, privileges, or activities
Computers, tablets, and smartphones can all be used to carry out various types of cyberbullying. The frequency of cyberbullying has significantly increased over the past few years. The methods through which people can engage in cyberbullying have increased as new social media networks, platforms, and other internet services are made available to the public. Direct assaults, covert campaigns and attacks, and invasions of privacy are all examples of cyberbullying.
Cyberbullying and social media issues were brought to my attention by Thomas Hall, PR Coordinator of Cutterlaw. I highlighted some important points from their cyberbullying guide in this blog.
Impact on Mental and Physical Health
Cyberbullying and social media have developed a close relationship over the past few years, underscoring the growing drawbacks of social media. Social media-based cyberbullying has become a significant public health issue. Health professionals worry that cyberbullying could raise the risk of suicide, as well as behavioral and mental health problems.
Cyberbullying cases have been associated with interpersonal conflicts and even violent altercations. Most American students between the ages of 12 and 18 reported having encountered cyberbullying at least twice in the previous academic year.
Bullied children may have a higher risk of developing certain mental health conditions, such as:
- loss of enthusiasm for activities
- feelings of isolation
- trouble sleeping
- shifts in dietary patterns
- Anxiety Depression
What is more alarming is that bullied individuals may be more likely to engage in self-destructive behavior, suicidal thoughts, and even suicidal behaviors.
Teenagers who experience cyberbullying are more likely to consider suicide, according to scientists. In response to a poll, nearly nine percent of teenagers said they were victims of cyberbullying, and more than eight percent acknowledged having had suicide thoughts. Between the ages of 10 and 24, in 2018, suicide was the second-leading cause of death in the United States. The number of suicides has been increasing at an alarming rate.
Prevention and Legal Response
It is crucial to recognize that cyberbullying can take many forms when discussing legal remedies to such behavior and avoiding it. Any kind of online service or electronic gadget can be used to commit cyberbullying. This includes photo-sharing websites and social networking services.
The goal must be clear. According to the law, cyber harassment can only happen when the offender intends to harass another person.
Cyberbullying is not completely covered by the right to free expression. Hate speech, rhetoric intended to encourage violence, and language containing any plausible threat of bodily harm to someone are not protected expression under the First Amendment.
Additional charges, such as harassment, stalking, and even making terroristic threats, may be brought against those who engage in cyberbullying. Cyberbullying, for instance, may be illegal under many laws, such as the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Education Amendments of 1972, depending on the nature of the conduct.
There are many forms of cyberbullying, and not all of them may be regarded as crimes by the law. You might want to consider filing a civil lawsuit against the cyberbully if you or your child is the victim. Cyberbullying victims may file lawsuits for mental distress and even defamation, despite the fact that the harm it causes is sometimes difficult to measure.
You do not have to try to combat cyberbullying and social media bullying by yourself. You could understandably feel scared and uncomfortable when someone persistently follows or bothers you or your child. The best course of action is to speak with a lawyer with experience in cyberbullying, rather than attempting to ignore the issue or react. You can get advice on how to proceed and get help gathering pertinent evidence from a lawyer with experience in social media cyberbullying.
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