Let’s Chat: Cyber Bullying/Harassment on Social Media

By Alexis Long

(Featured photo credit)

What is it about social media that makes people want to harass and bully people? Is it the fact that they can hide behind their screen and not face any repercussions? For the person being bullied/harassed, is it really as simple as just ignoring it and getting off the website?

Cyber bulling isn’t a new thing.  “Then why are you talking about it, Alexis?” Because over the weekend, Allie Rose-Marie Leost, a female animator at EA, received tons of backlash over Mass Effect: Andromeda‘s flawed facial models.

It began with a post by gaming blogger Ethan Ralph (The Ralph Retort). Angry ME:A fans pointed fingers at Leost, alleging that she was the primary reason behind the flawed facial models in the game. Ralph, as well as many others, suggested that Leost earned her position by doing sexual favors, according to a Kotaku article.

Yeah, the facial models look kiiiind of bad, but can you really blame one particular person? Leost served as one of many facial animators. I understand that people will complain if something is done poorly (obviously), but even if she was the sole person who worked on every face in the entire game, this was signed off on by higher management.

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(Photo credit)

Although Loust was not physically hurt by the harassment, a lot of cyber bulling cases end in the loss of a life. At the end of spring break, many members of the La Marque community rallied at the high school’s Etheredge Stadium, hoping to raise awareness about the dangers of cyber bulling. Raul Vela, who helped plan the event, lost his 18-year-old daughter, Brandy, from an apparent suicide in November 2016. Shanda Lundy lost her 15-year-old daughter, Bailie, earlier this year. According to an article by KHOU’s Brandi Smith, “Senate Bill 179 and House Bill 306 are under consideration. Called ‘David’s Law,’ the bills would offer protection for cyberbullying victims and make cyberbullying a misdemeanor crime.”

I always hear people say, “Well, just get off the internet and ignore it.” One of the issues with cyber bullying is that it can start online, but lead into real life actions. A lot of situations does end up staying online. Some choose to ignore it and just move on, but others can be really fed up with it and decide to fight fire with fire, by choosing to meet with the person in real life. Of course, you can talk it through (after all, if the cyber bully is meeting you in person, they may not say too much since they don’t have their screen/anonymous persona to keep them protected), but you never really know what to expect. This could just make the situation worse.

Yeah, being on the internet does mean that we should develop a bit of a thick skin, but it is okay to be hurt sometimes. HelpGuide.org provides some pretty good tips like, “save the evidence of the cyberbullying, reporting threats of harm and inappropriate sexual messages to the police, preventing communication from the cyberbully by blocking their email address, cell phone number, and deleting them from social media contacts.”

Don’t be afraid to report the account. The harasser may be violating the website’s terms of service or, may even warrant criminal charges depending on your location.

“What if they create a new account?”

I say keep reporting every bullying incident until it stops. There is no reason for anyone to ever put up with cyberbullying.

References:

Gach, E. (2017, March 19). Scumbags Harass Woman for Working on Mass Effect: Andromeda’s Animations. Retrieved March 19, 2017, from https://www.kotaku.com.au/2017/03/scumbags-harass-woman-for-working-on-mass-effect-andromedas-animations/

Smith. B. (2017, March 18). Cyberbullying Victims’ Families Rally for Awareness, Legislative Changes. Retrieved March 19, 2017, from http://www.khou.com/news/local/cyberbullying-victims-families-rally-for-awareness-legislative-changes/423635373

Adolescents and Social Media: Growing Up Behind the Screens

By Rebecca Taylor

Today’s parents have a unique problem when it comes to parenting their children. In some cases, parenting is much easier. A whiny kid is easily pacified with an Ipad, and teens are staying in to be online instead of sneaking out. But the screen-time consumed by adolescents is starting to become excessive and dangerous, and they’re compromising their safety.

22% of teens use social media 10 times a day. In these developmental years, that’s a lot of time being spent behind their tech instead of being out in the world, experiencing life. Humans are incredibly attuned to social interactions, and teens are being deprived of those interactions.

 

o-teen-on-laptop-facebookHuffingtonpost.com

 

When a teenager receives a like on a photo on Instagram, for example, the part of their brain that reacts to seeing a loved one lights up in the same sense. Social media is making adolescents dependent on validation. Research shows that “reward circuitry is thought to be particularly sensitive in adolescence,” which shows why teens use social media so much.

Another negative aspect of adolescents on social media is the unfortunate trend in cyberbullying. Cyberbullying is often manifested through harmful and harassing messages, and can include stalking or stealing sensitive information. 1 out of 3 kids has been sent a cyber threat, and half of them don’t tell their parents that the bullying is taking place. Sometimes it’s not even kids who are the bullies, occasionally it’s the parents. While there isn’t any concrete number on how many kids commit suicide over bullying every year, 20% of bullied kids consider suicide. That’s an awfully high number when it comes to harassing messages on a screen.

Worldpulse.com

There’s also a phenomenon called “Facebook depression” where adolescents spend a significant amount of time on social media, like Facebook, then exhibit common depressive symptoms. They develop a reliance, then when they are separated they show signs of separation anxiety.

Of course there is some good from social media; it aides in social interaction. However, there is such a thing as being too young, and I think parents need to assess how much screen time their kids are getting.

Rachel Ehmke is a senior editor at the Child Mind Institute. “How Using Social Media Affects Teenagers.” Child Mind Institute. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Mar. 2017.

“How does social media affect your brain.” CNN. Cable News Network, n.d. Web. 05 Mar. 2017.

O’Keeffe, Gwenn Schurgin, Kathleen Clarke-Pearson, and Council On Communications and Media. “The Impact of Social Media on Children, Adolescents, and Families.” Pediatrics. American Academy of Pediatrics, 01 Apr. 2011. Web. 05 Mar. 2017.

 

 

Social Media- A “Toxic Mirror”

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By: Shanie Glasgow

With almost all teens owning devices that allow them to connect to the internet, cyberbullying is something that happens more often now. When i was growing up, i remember having to sit down on the computer and login into my aol chat to talk with my friends, or any kind of chat really. We could text our friends on our flip phones, but mom only allowed me to have so many texts a month. It’s hard to imagine a time when i didn’t have unlimited data on my phone!

Anyways, social media platforms are all ways for teens compare themselves to others. Studies have shown that girls tend to report eating disorders and body image disturbances more than boys! Click here to read more on the studies!

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The internet has become an outlet where teens can photoshop their pictures to do a number things! Like smoothing out wrinkles or blemishes, thinning out your face or other parts of your body, etc. This all happens more often now because teens feel like they have to compete with each other to be the prettiest or best at something. I know many girls who will delete something they have posted on Instagram or Facebook because it “didn’t get enough likes” or because somebody else made a comment on it that they didn’t like. We shouldn’t care about the opinions of other people. We should only care about ourselves and being happy with who we are!

The type of models that females look up to or aspire to be like are usually around 5’11 and 125 pounds. Why is it that we see skinny as beautiful? I personally feel that everyone should be proud of who they are and only alter their body if it’s something they truly want! It’s scary how social media convinces teens that if you don’t look like this, you aren’t beautiful.

Sources:

Vries, Dian A. De, Jochen Peter, Hanneke De Graaf, and Peter Nikken. “Adolescents’ Social Network Site Use, Peer Appearance-Related Feedback, and Body Dissatisfaction: Testing a Mediation Model.” SpringerLink. Springer US, 19 Mar. 2015. Web. 26 Feb. 2017.

“How Social Media Is a Toxic Mirror.” Time. Time, n.d. Web. 26 Feb. 2017./.latest_citation_text

“How Social Media Affects Body Image.” The Crimson White. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Feb. 2017./.latest_citation_text

“The Impact of Social Media on Body Image.” UConn Today. N.p., 14 Dec. 2015. Web. 26 Feb. 2017.

Why Trolls Are Jokes

A Blog by Taylor Green

From the Wednesday Class of 6:30

         

Let’s all be honest: we have all come to encounter internet trolls at least once in our social media – or internet for that matter – career. For those who are not sure of what these types of trolls are, they are internet/social media users that go online to purposely start arguments, harass other users, and just flat out try to find anyway to upset people on the worldwide web. However, these three simple statements regarding these problematic individuals should define why you should accept them for what they are: a grain of salt.

  1. Internet Trolls love hiding behind keyboards.

Whenever someone trolls someone else on the internet, they normally do this to strike a nerve with the hopes of there not being any type of consequence that may come after. Clearly, this displays a sign of cowardly behavior, which let’s be honest, nobody wants to come off as that. The easiest solution to getting around this type of tactic is simply just pressing the block button on that user.

  1. Internet Trolls never make sense.

Have you ever had an argument or conversation with someone and everything they said just made you wonder what was going on in their head? Well, trolls tend to speak nonsense when they attempt to troll others just by the simple fact that they have little to no knowledge on what they are talking about. Honestly, the best thing to do when you encounter this is just to laugh, because who wouldn’t like a good chuckle every now and then?

  1. Internet Trolls have nothing else better to do with their life.

Just to face the facts, trolls tend to strike at times that are the most convenient for them…. which happens to be all day. In this case, there’s only one thing to do: build yourself up and ignore their comments. Clearly, they don’t want to progress themselves and find joy in bringing others down to their miserable level.

To sum this post up, trolls are meaningless and they should not dictate what you accomplish in life. With that being said, keep up with the good vibes and prepare for what the real world has to offer…and not the internet world. Here’s some links to back up my belief on the subject.

http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2017/02/08/new-research-suggests-anyone-can-become-internet-troll.html

http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/02/07/why-good-people-become-bad-trolls/

Cyberbullying

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Image courtesy http://www.psu.edu

By Blanca Reyes

Bullying is nothing new. If we ask people a big percent would say that in certain point in their lives were bullied in one way or another. However, bullying is a hot topic. It seems like it is reaching unimaginable levels. This perception is not wrong at all. Although bullying has existed for many, many years. Nowadays, social media has worsened this problem.

But, what exactly is cyberbullying? It can be defined as posting negative comments on others pictures, posting abusive posts on a user’s wall, using pictures or videos to make fun of another user, using social media to stalk and hacking an account or fraudulently making posts as though another wrote them.

In the past, bullying occurred in specific places like schools, neighborhoods or work places, now, bullies use these platforms to intimidate, harass, shame or control their victims anytime and anywhere. Bullying, nowadays, seems like it has no borders.

Sometimes people underestimate the consequences of this kind arrestment, but cyberbullying is rising at an alarming rate. According to a study 90 percent of teenagers have witnessed a percent being mean to another in social media, and 95 percent of them have accepted that they just ignored it.

Although teenagers are a big part of the population who suffer and do bullying, they are not the only one. In the past months, we have witnessed how the president- elect, Donald Trump, has used social media, especially Twitter, to mock many of their political opponents.

Trump is infamous for using Twitter to offend, make fun and attack people who do not support him. Journalists, commentators, politicians, women, among others, have been his victims. It has been so shocking that Forbes.com has compiled the most offensive tweets of Trump.

As we can see, bullies use social media to humiliate their victims of any age from anywhere. That’s why it is important not to ignore it, not to accept it and to help the victims. If you are a victim or know someone who is, you can find helpful tips at the stopbullying.gov. The most important thing is to be respectful with each other and demand the same for everybody else.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Works Cited

 

Donald Trump’s 10 Most Offensive Tweets [Forbes.com]. (2016). Retrieved from

http://www.forbes.com/  pictures/flji45elmm/6-dopey/#46f26e3b539f

Kang, C. (2011, November 11). Nine of 10 teenagers have witnessed bullying on social

networks, study

finds. Retrieved December 4, 2016, from WashingtonPost.com website:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/nine-of-10-teenagers-

          have-witnessed-

bullying-on-social-networks-study-finds/2011/11/08/

gIQAPqUq3M_story.html?utm_term=.addefbeac227

Malcore, P. (2015, October 26). Teen Cyberbullying and Social Media Use on the Rise.

Retrieved

December 4, 2016, from Rawhide’org website: http://www.rawhide.org

/blog/wellness/

teen-cyberbullying-and-social-media-use-on-the-rise/

Social Media Bullying Has Become a Serious Problem. (2016, October 13). Retrieved

December 4, 2016,

from No Bullying.com website: https://nobullying.com/ social-media-bullying-

has-become- serious-problem/

What you can do. (2016, November 29). Retrieved December 4, 2016, from stopbullying.gov

website https://www.stopbullying.gov/kids/what-you-can-do/

All About Hate Comments on Social Media

Whether you use Instagram, Twitter or Facebook, you will most likely experience some sort of negativity or “hate comment” on one of your social media accounts. A hate comment is a form of cyber bullying that can include mean comments on a social media post. These comments can come from friends, relatives or even strangers. This is a very unfortunate issue in today’s society that is rather common. Celebrities on social media especially get a lot of hate under their Instagram pictures, forcing them to sometimes delete their post because of all of the negativity, which is very sad because famous people have feelings too and don’t deserve the hate that they get. Personally, I have even experienced hate on my Instagram and it made me feel very bad about myself. I had posted a picture of myself with my hair in a half ponytail with winged eyeliner and I got about many comments from strangers telling me that I was copying Ariana Grande. They were saying that I could never be her and I was trying too hard to look like her, which I wasn’t. I ended up deleting my picture because I didn’t want my other followers to see the hate comments under my picture. I do regret deleting that picture, so I have listed some ways to deal with the hate comments below:
• Block the Haters
If you notice that someone has insulted you or was just left a nasty comment on one of your social media posts, block that person. Blocking someone on social media, such as Instagram, will not only delete their comments but will actually never show you posts from them again and they will never be able to comment or like on any of your posts.
• Delete/Hide the Hate Comments
If you see hate comments on one of your pictures and want to get rid of them without deleting your post, then just delete the comments. Instagram has a new feature now where you can delete individual comments. Its new feature can also let you hide inappropriate comments so people can’t write offensive words on your posts.
• Defend Yourself and Be the Bigger Person
You don’t always have to hide from your haters, you can always reply back and defend yourself. Defending yourself doesn’t mean you have to be mean as well, you should be the bigger person and say, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, then please don’t say anything at all. Have a nice day!”

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Source: Google Images

Social Media: A New Frontier

by Busayo Akindona | @Frankie_sayhi

The creation of social media has opened up the door for people all over the world to connect and interact with each other instantaneously. It bridged the gap between distance, language, and culture. Social media also created a new and more permanent form of bullying. 70% of teens ages 13 to 17 experiences bullying on at least one social media platform.

We all know someone personally or know of someone who has been bullied online. Cyberbullying is one of the most hurtful ways of bullying. Social media is so public and with a click of a button a post can go viral, being shared and re-tweeted by people across the globe. A study by the National Crime Prevention Council found that 81% of youths who bullied someone online did so because they thought it was funny.  In some cases, photos are shared by friends and then people from all over the world give their opinion and sometimes not in a nice way.

This was the case for Keisha Johnson. In 2014, a picture tha

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[ Photo Cred: Word Pulse
t Keisha’s friend posted on Instagram was copied and turned into a viral meme. This led to bullying on Keisha’s personal account.

We feel more confident from behind a screen. We find the confidence to say things that we probably won’t say in public. I encourage everyone to think before they post. The things we say and share have an effect on people. You can’t just say “well it’s just a joke” or “they need to get over it”. Cyberbullying a lot of times can lead to suicide and in some cases even homicide. We have to some people the same decency and respect we would like to receive.

October is Anti-bullying month, a national campaign created by PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center to educate people about cyberbullying and ultimately eradicate it. They challenge people to report and unfriend accounts and friends that post hurtful material. They hope that it doesn’t just last a month, but that everybody will stand up together and give a voice to someone who is hurting.

 

 

 

 

 

Resources:

A. (n.d.). What is Cyberbullying. Retrieved October 16, 2016, from https://www.stopbullying.gov/cyberbullying/what-is-it/

National Bullying Prevention Center – National Bullying Prevention Month. (n.d.). Retrieved October 16, 2016, from http://www.pacer.org/bullying/nbpm/

Sarkisova, G. (2014, July 08). ‘Confused Face’ Meme Girl Keisha Johnson Suing Instagram For $500 Million [UPDATE]. Retrieved October 16, 2016, from http://www.complex.com/pop-culture/2014/07/confused-face-meme-sues-instagram

Stop Cyberbullying Before It Start. (2014, January 1). Retrieved October 16, 2016, from http://www.ncpc.org/resources/files/pdf/bullying/cyberbullying.pdf