What is Cyberbullying anyway?
Bullying that occurs over digital platforms such as mobile phones, laptops, and tablets is known as cyberbullying. Cyberbullying can take place offline in social media, forums, or gaming where people can access, engage in, or exchange information, or online in social media, forums, or gaming where people can view, participate in, or share content.
With the growth of social media over the past two decades, cyberbullying has been a major problem. It no longer only affects adolescents, but also teenagers and adults. Let us go back in time to investigate the origins of cyberbullying. Since internet-connected personal computers became readily accessible on the mass market in the 1990s, cyberbullying began. The number of incidents has risen, with social media currently being blamed for 92 per cent of cyberbullying attacks. Megan Meier’s case from 2007 is one of the first known cases of cyberbullying.
Cases of Cyberbullying for the First Time:
Megan Meier: In 2007, a 13-year-old girl died sadly because of online abuse. A group of neighbours harassed the young girl by creating a false profile called Josh Evans for the sole intention of tormenting her.
Is Cyber Bullying a crime?
The repercussions for cyberbullies vary depending on the situation. Many incidents of cyberbullying are punished as harassment. Some lawsuits end up in civil court, while others can result in felony charges and conviction for hate crimes, impersonation, stalking, cyberbullying, and Computer Fraud and Abuse Act offences (CFAA).
Different states with their own codes for cyberbullying in comparison to the broader regulations. Stopbullying.gov has a state-by-state map that highlights the laws in each state.
So where do we draw the line between what is and isn’t cyber bullying? What are some of the offences that can be committed as a result of cyberbullying?
Stomp Out Bullying has compiled a list of allegedly illegal ways of cyberbullying:
Harassment, particularly when it is motivated by a person’s gender, race, or other protected characteristics.
Threatening with violence
Threatening to kill
Calling and texting obscene and harassing people
Sexting Sextortion, or sexual harassment, is a form of sexting.
pornography involving children.
Stalking an individual
Hate crimes are crimes committed for a specific reason.
Taking a picture of someone in an area where they expect to be alone.
Extortion is extortion.
What are cyberbullying’s long-term consequences?
Cyberbullying will result in you being sued, sacked, expelled, or even arrested. However, there is the possibility that cyberbullies will have problems with police in a specific trial.
Anti-cyberbullying laws, with context to India
In India, cyberbullying has manifested itself in a variety of forms, and it is only getting worse with each passing day. However, it is surprising that India has yet to enact anti-cyberbullying legislation. However, there are several cyber laws in India that cover some of the activities that are known as cyberbullying.
Sec.66A – Using a chat service to send hostile messages, etc.
Identity Theft (Section 66C)
Sec.66D – Using the machine resource to cheat by personation.
Violation of privacy (Section 66E)
Sec.67B – Penalties for printing or distributing in electronic form content showing children in any sexually suggestive act, etc.
Sec.72 – Breach of privacy and secrecy
Sending threatening messages by email is punishable under Section 503 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
IPC Section 509 – Insulting a woman’s modesty with a phrase, expression, or behaviour.
Sending defamatory messages via email (Section 499 IPC)
IPC Sec. 500 – Email Abuse
Gaps in literature
In the past decade, scholars, politicians, and educators have paid more attention to cyberbullying. However, there is a general lack of a consolidated and systemic view of modern bullying awareness. We need a clearer idea of which young people are more likely to be bullies, suspects, or bystanders online, as well as the situations under which young people are more likely to stand up to cyberbullying. Documenting the features of emerging anti-cyberbullying programmes being used in US colleges, as well as youth perceptions of these interventions, is a vital part of this study.
This knowledge will aid in determining which programmes should be strengthened and expanded, as well as which should be replaced.
Future Directions and Conclusion
Cyberbullying and cybersafety prevention initiatives are still now being established and tested. Parents can get information about how to better protect their children from websites, tip sheets, and other online tools. However, it appears that these online services are often marketed by product-selling organisations and are seldom based on science.
If this evidence isn’t backed up by research, there’s a chance it might be dangerous. When evaluating content on these pages, parents, students, school officials, and health care professionals can exercise caution and rely on online tools offered by government departments and policy organisations that use data to direct their recommendations.
In the case of cyberbullying, health care professionals should advise parents about how to set reasonable screen time limits, track their children’s use of devices, speak to their children about Internet protection and privacy, and figure out why their children are not telling them about their online interactions. In brief, more analysis is needed to decide how best to engage in the different areas that schools, families, and health care services are dealing with cyberbullying.
Texial is your ally in the fight against cyberbullying!
Texial is a private forensic laboratory that provides cyberbullying consulting and digital forensic facilities. If you need help preventing or reporting cyberbullying in India, Texial is here to help.
The new advanced forensics instruments and software are housed in Texial’s state-of-the-art digital forensics laboratory. This allows them to collaborate with law enforcement agencies in the investigation of online defamation and cyberbullying cases.