1. Cyber-bullies can be anonymous. This makes it difficult, although not impossible for the authority to identify them.
2. Because of their anonymity, they can get away with their action easily, without repercussion and accountability.
The internet has allowed more cowards to bully because many cyber-bullies are less likely to say the same mean things they say to their victims in person than online.
3. The act of cyber-bullying has the potential to spread wide, fast and in perpetuity.
Unlike conventional bullying where it is often contained at one spot for a specific period of time, a victim is able to detach him/herself from the bully once he/she leaves the scene of the incident. He/she is able to seek refuge at home, creating a distance between themselves and the bully. Cyber-bullying penetrates every space at any time, and the worst thing is, it doesn’t disappear. It stays forever and ever in cyber-space.
4. Because it can spread wide, fast and in perpetuity, it means someone else (a stranger even) can join in the bullying with no repercussion or accountability.
5. Cyber-bullying has no geographical boundaries. Someone in Timbuktu can bully someone in Cyberjaya.
6. Now anyone as young as five (or less) can bully because the internet has become so accessible and widely used by users who are getting younger and younger.
Tell us what other reasons make cyber-bullying so damn frightening?
*These reasons are extracted from a talk on cyber-bullying delivered at the University Science Islamic of Malaysia’s Law and Syariah Annual Legal Talk Series on 20 April 2016 by Lim Ka Ea, PeopleACT. The full text of the talk can be downloaded here.
PeopleACT is an independent coalition of civil society organisations involved in a campaign on anti-cyberharassment and other harmful cyber behaviour in Malaysia. The coalition welcomes any civil society groups and individuals as a member. To join, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Malaysian Centre for Constitutionalism and Human Rights (MCCHR) is a non-profit based in Kuala Lumpur with the mission of promoting active democratic participation and human rights awareness.
Posted on 13 June 2016. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0.
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