Top 5 Technologies used to Cyberbully
August 27th, 2008 by admin
Cyberbullying is a growing problem in the United States and throughout the world. The act of Cyberbullying occurs when individuals use the Internet to harass or embarrass other people. Most often, cyberbullying occurs between kids who go to the same school or live in the same neighborhood.
But what are the tools of cyberbullies that allow them to hold such sway over their peers? The following is a list of five technologies currently employed by cyberbullies to intimidate other kids.
MySpace, Facebook and other social networking sites - Currently the leading medium for cyberbullying incidents around the United States, social networking sites have become the instrument of choice for those kids and teens who look to humiliate other young people. These sites provide a means for individuals to post embarrassing photos, conduct mean-spirited online polls and other forms of cyberbullying. Another growing concern in this area is the theft of user IDs and passwords. When one individual steals another’s login information, they can go into their account and make statements in that person’s name. The results can be socially devastating to a teenager or adolescent.
Instant messaging - Instant messaging is a staple of major Internet companies such as AOL, Yahoo, Google (through its Gmail service) and MSN. Unfortunately, it is also used as a means of harassment. Many kids have adopted fake screen names and then used these account to “ping” their enemies with profanity and threats of violence.
Email – Email is a relatively anonymous act, especially if an individual goes by a screen name that bears no resemblance to their actual name. Email is used to send threatening letters and images, and can be the delivery device for rumors and falsehoods about an individual. Although many kids have moved on to social network sites as a means for their cyber bullying, email remains an “old school” way of performing this hateful act.
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PhotoShop – Surprisingly, the world’s most popular photo editing software is also a device used in many cyberbullying cases. In most cases, one individual will take a photo of another person and alter it so that the victim appears to be in a compromising position, or doing something they should not be doing. Digital camera and camera phones in general have been a problem in Cyberbullying cases – as they give individuals the power to take hidden or unwanted photos of another person, and then spread them instantly across the Internet.
Blogs – Many teenagers have gone so far as to create entire blogs focusing on their rivals or enemies. These blogs invite user participation via comment posts and create a permanent entity that intimidates the individual in question. Blogs are easy to set up and can be created anonymously, which only serves to make the problem that much worse. With little accountability, the bully is free to let loose a stream of destructive and hurtful language.
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