Photo Courtesy of What’s Your Story? Contest Winners
Cyberbullying has been in the news a lot lately, but it’s probably been around since the beginning of the Internet. Are you a cyberbully? You may be and not realize it.
Cyberbullies use many different methods to bully. If you’ve done any of the following, you could be considered a cyberbully:
- Posted private information about someone else without their consent
- Posted pictures or video of someone that could be embarrassing
- Signed someone up for something online without their permission
- Posted lies or rumors about someone
- Insulted another player in a game room
- Distributed a Trojan horse or a virus
- Signed on to someone else’s account and pretended to be them
- Tried to scare or threaten someone via email or IM
- Sent rude messages
- Accused someone of something without proof
- Created a website for the purpose of humiliating someone
Sometimes it isn’t obvious that what you are doing is cyberbullying. You may think that a video is hilarious and should be posted for all to see on YouTube. The people in that video may not agree and since you never know what’s going to go viral, stop and consider the possible consequences.
Serious Legal and Social Consequences for Cyberbullies
Many cyberbullies, especially teens, don’t recognize how damaging their actions can be. A rumor or a malicious comment can spread around a school instantly, and it won’t go away. It floats around on the Internet and can follow the victim for years.
There can be serious legal and social consequences for cyberbullies, so stop and think before you post, email, text, or IM that mean and/or nasty message, picture, or video. Don’t put yourself at risk. You could end up paying hefty fines or end up with a criminal record if you are convicted.
Perhaps, worst of all, you’ll also have to live with the fact that you may have harmed someone irreparably. Think before you cyberbully.