Cyberbullying is a type of bullying that occurs online through various social media or online digital communication tools. With the increasing use of social media platforms, cyberbullying has become a widespread problem affecting individuals of all ages, especially children and teenagers. It is critical to keep oneself in check to prevent cyberbullying and its consequences. The distinction between bullying and joking is that bullying is considered an illegal act that causes a person to suffer mentally or physically, whereas joking is a form of humor that brings laughter and enjoyment. Cyberbullying can happen to anyone.
For generations, youth have bullied one another. Because many kids hung out in chat rooms in the early 2000s, that is where the majority of harassment occurred. However, the most recent generation has been able to use technology to broaden their reach and the extent of their harm.
Cyberbullying has become more common in recent years on social media platforms such as Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, and Twitter; voice/text chat in popular games such as Roblox, League of Legends, Overwatch, Player Unknown Battlegrounds, Fortnite, and video-sharing and streaming sites such as YouTube, Twitch etc.
Cyberbullying (Online Bullying) is the use of computerized transmission to threaten another person, typically by forwarding intimidating or menacing messages. Cyber Harassment is another term for it.
The bully can be effectively stopped on social media by blocking them, which is a good way to stop more cyberbullying situations. It is the duty of social media platforms to protect their users. To combat the growing threat of cyberbullying, the Police and Cyber Crime Unit at the Central and State levels have been working actively and tirelessly.
Cybercrime cases in India can be reported online at the National Cyber Crime Reporting Portal (www.cybercrime.gov.in). This portal only accepts complaints about cybercrime, with a special emphasis on cybercrime against women and children. In the event of an emergency, contact local police or helpline numbers such as 112 (National police), 181 (National women) or 1930 (Cyber Crime).
Anti-cyberbullying laws in India
Unfortunately, India is quickly becoming the world's epicenter of cyberbullying. According to Symantec research, nearly 8 out of 10 people in India are victims of various types of cyberbullying. Around 63% of those faced online abuse and insults and 59% were subjected to false rumors and gossip that harmed their reputation. According to the same study, India has the highest rate of cyberbullying in the Asia Pacific region, surpassing Australia and Japan. Even countries with strict laws and regulations, such as the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, are struggling to control cyberbullying.
There are many non-profitable associations for cyberbullying services:
• Incognito Forensic Foundation (IFF Lab): is a forensic laboratory in Bangalore and Chennai that provides cyberbullying consultation and digital forensic services.
• CYBER B.A.A.P (Cyber Bullying Awareness, Action, and Prevention): is a Mumbai-based anti-cyberbullying organization that aims to assist, guide, and counsel victims of cyberbullying.
Keys to stop Cyber-bullying
As a parent, keep an eye on your child's online activities and in case they are facing cyberbullying, parents should ensure their safety measures.
It's important to choose someone you trust, who will listen to you without judgment and take your concerns seriously.
Make sure your favorite social media apps have sequestration settings you're familiar with. Keep your address, phone number, and academy information private. This can significantly reduce their vulnerability to victimization.
The only positive aspect for the victim in cases of cyberbullying is that they can capture and save evidence of cyberbullying and show it to prove that they have been a victim of cyberbullying.
Most social media apps give you the option of reporting or blocking someone who has harassed you. When you block, restrict, or report someone, they are not notified.
Do not open emails from unknown sources, and do not download attachments unless you are expecting one from someone. If you are in immediate danger, contact the police or local emergency service.
In a nutshell, think twice before posting or sharing anything on digital platforms because it may remain online indefinitely and be used against you later. Youth should form a relationship with a trusted adult so that they can discuss any online experiences that upsets or makes them uncomfortable. It is important to take this issue seriously and to work together to prevent and address cyberbullying in all its forms. This can help to create a more tolerant, inclusive, and healthy society for all.