Is the ability to "be anonymous" creating a new, conscience-less breed of bully?
123 views | +0 today
Follow
Is the ability to "be anonymous" creating a new, conscience-less breed of bully?
One of the major "selling points" of the internet is that it gives users the ability to be whoever they want. Does abusing this anonymity, however, ever come with consequences?
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Scooped by Kaleigh Borushko
Scoop.it!

Online Anonymity Doing More Harm Than Good?

Online Anonymity Doing More Harm Than Good? | Is the ability to "be anonymous" creating a new, conscience-less breed of bully? | Scoop.it
Kaleigh Borushko's insight:

While the front page of online news sources seem to be updated every day with the story of another teenager who took their own life due to the harassment that they've received online, I am left questioning, "Would these bullies still torment their victims without the safety of their computer screen and appearing 'anonymous?'"

                Each of these articles have proven to me that people (not just young people) feel more powerful when anonymous, and that they seldom fear or even consider any consequence of their actions ("Because they were only posting  online and not 'in real life.'")  When the possibility of being "outed" for who they really are is presented to them, they often play the victim card or claim they don't see anything wrong with their previous behaviors.

I also feel that these cyber-bullies are becoming desensitized to the feelings of others and the impact of their statements simply because they're unable to look their victim in the eye and see how their harassment actually affects their victims. Perhaps physical/verbal bullies have a tendency to become depressed (along with their victims) because they feel some sort of remorse for their actions whereas cyber-bullies may never be able to fully grasp the consequences that their actions have on others. 

                Furthermore, I've observed what seems to be a direct correlation between cyber-bullying and depression in teenagers and adolescents, though fewer instances of depression resulting from physical and verbal harassment. This leaves me to wonder if the worst part of cyber-bullying is the anonymity-- not knowing who is preying on you. Is it a friend from school? An enemy? A frenemy? Or an adult man 500 miles away posing as your 16-year-old soulmate?

Young people are now not only vulnerable to the criticism from those that they directly surround themselves with, but people that they may have never met, perhaps even from the other side of the world.

                These vulnerable minds are incredibly susceptible to the manipulative behaviors of anonymous predators lurking in the shadows -- Canadian teenager Amanda Todd's devastating story is a clear example of this.

Conversely, however, online "hacktivist" group Anonymous has begun to take matters, such as Todd's, into their own hands and reveal the identities of these cyber-bullies who may not have otherwise been brought to justice. Perhaps one of the few positive online behaviors resulting from anonymity.

 

Ultimately I do feel that the anonymity of the internet has proven not only harmful when abused, but potentially dangerous to our society as a whole who is now able to say what they want to whomever they want without fearing any consequence of their actions. In developing adolescents, this could lead to a lack of empathy later in life and a desensitized generation who fails to observe the impact of their behaviors on others in exchange for a few seconds of power. 

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kaleigh Borushko
Scoop.it!

Remove anonymity in attacks of cyberbullies

Remove anonymity in attacks of cyberbullies | Is the ability to "be anonymous" creating a new, conscience-less breed of bully? | Scoop.it
Anonymous bullying — deliberate, repeated and hostile behavior intended to harm others — is the dark side of Internet freedom. While most of us navigate the Net with little regard for...
Kaleigh Borushko's insight:

Teenagers and adolescents are not the only victims of cyber-bullies-- anyone could become a victim at any time. This Chicago Tribune article reveals the stories of Brittan Heller and Kenneth Zeran, two well-meaning Internet users that have had their reputations destroyed by random Internet users who had not been provoked, but worse, who's true identities may never be revealed.

This article further delves into the long, tedious process of getting this slanderous information erased, and how nearly impossible it is to confront or punish these predators, who encourage anti-social behavior.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kaleigh Borushko
Scoop.it!

Cyber-bullies cower behind fists of anonymity

Cyber-bullies cower behind fists of anonymity | Is the ability to "be anonymous" creating a new, conscience-less breed of bully? | Scoop.it
By: Mark Lepage The scariest passage in The Exorcist - which is saying something - concerns identity, or the lack of it. The demon is recorded saying "Nowonmai," but the novel's priestly detectives are obviously Led Zeppelin fans.
Kaleigh Borushko's insight:

This article (written by Mark LePage, a journalist from the Montreal Gazette) briefly  recaps several stories where cyber-bullying has proven to have absolutely devastating results.  

After sharing the victims' stories, LePage turns his focus on those who thrive on the anonymity of the Internet-- specifically a Reddit user named Violentacrez. Violentacrez, a  user who way-too-often posted on topics including "Jailbait" and "Rapebait," felt that he could hide behind his alias and be as universally inappropriate and offensive as he wanted . That was, until a Gawker user unveiled Violenacrez's true identity-- Michael Brutsch of Texas. When Brutsch caught wind of having his true identity having been found out, he begged not to be revealed out of fear that his online persona would prove detrimental to his career-- which it ultimately did. 

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kaleigh Borushko
Scoop.it!

Cyber Bullying Statistics - Bullying Statistics

Cyber bullying statistics refers to Internet bullying. Cyber bullying is a form of teen violence that can do lasting harm to young people. Bullying statistics show that cyber bullying is a serious problem among teens.
Kaleigh Borushko's insight:

With computers small enough to fit in their pockets, adolescents looking to empower themselves by preying on the vulnerability of others now have 24/7 access to their victims, creating a whole new kind of bully-- the cyberbully. The amount of cyberbullying that occurs amongst (the very easily-influenced) teenagers and adolescents continues to increase at an alarming rate. www.bullyingstatistics.org provides statistics regarding exactly what behaviors are considered to be cyberbullying, and eye-opening statistics regarding who cyberbullies are, including that: "Over half of adolescents and teens have been bullied online, and about the same have engaged in cyberbullying." 

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kaleigh Borushko
Scoop.it!

Alleged Amanda Todd cyberstalker has a warrant out for his arrest

Alleged Amanda Todd cyberstalker has a warrant out for his arrest | Is the ability to "be anonymous" creating a new, conscience-less breed of bully? | Scoop.it
Two days after what would have been Amanda Todd's 16th birthday, Kody Maxson skipped out on two Surrey Provincial Court hearings.
Kaleigh Borushko's insight:

The devastating story of Amanda Todd is all too familiar. She was a teenage girl from Canada who established a relationship with a boy who she thought to be her age.  After earning her trust, the anonymous male asked Amanda (an easily-influenced teenage girl who sought approval from her peers) to flash her breasts to him via webcam, which she did. A year later, she received an anonymous message containing a screenshot photo of herself topless, and a message that asked for a "show," (more nudity) otherwise the sender would share the photo with everyone that Amanda knew. Amanda refused to oblige, and years later was informed by police that there was a topless photo of her making its rounds across the internet. Amanda began to experience anxiety, depression, and panic resulting from this predator's blackmail, which led her to substance abuse. Amanda's family relocated and transferred Amanda to a new school in order to escape this situation. Alas, the predator found out that Amanda was in a new school and created a Facebook profile with her topless photo as the profile picture and began adding students from her new school. This led to Amanda being bullied at school and forcing her to transfer yet again. This pattern of harassment continued and only stopped when Amanda took her own life. Amanda Todd has since become not only a tragic story of the detrimental effects of cyber-bullying, but her story has influenced others to help put a stop to these bullies who often remain faceless. 

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kaleigh Borushko
Scoop.it!

Cyberbullying victims speak out: 'they were anonymous so they thought they could get away with it' - Telegraph

Cyberbullying victims speak out: 'they were anonymous so they thought they could get away with it' - Telegraph | Is the ability to "be anonymous" creating a new, conscience-less breed of bully? | Scoop.it
Two young victims of cyberbullying have spoken out against the anonymity of their tormentors, as a new study shows that “cyberbullying” has now affected a third of teenagers.
Kaleigh Borushko's insight:

This article showcases two inspirational stories of cyber-bully victims turned motivational speakers/activists; Natalie Farzaneh and Paige Chandler. While Farzaneh was a victim of physical and verbal bullying as well, cyber-bullying proved to be her tipping point leading her to self-harm and even consider suicide.  Farzaneh began receiving harassing anonymous messages online and later found out that some of her friends were actually behind her online torment.

Chandler, a victim of cyber-bullying, like Farzaneh, reported her abuse to the social media sites that the harassment was coming from (namely Formspring and Facebook,) and received no response. This led both Farzaneh and Chandler to become involved with CyberMentoring, a program meant to support victims of bullying. Both young women were successfully able to get over the abuse that they were subjected to.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Kaleigh Borushko
Scoop.it!

Cyber-bullying causes more depression, study finds

Cyber-bullying causes more depression, study finds | Is the ability to "be anonymous" creating a new, conscience-less breed of bully? | Scoop.it
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Cyber-bullying may be even harder on the victims than physical beatings or name-calling, U.S. researchers reported on Tuesday.And unlike traditional bullies, cyber-bullies seem
Kaleigh Borushko's insight:

This Reuters article is about a study conducted by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development comparing the detrimental effects of cyber-bullies in comparison to the name-calling or physical beatings associated with the "classic" form of bully. This article found that cyber victims feel more helpless at the time of their attack, since cyber victims often may not see their harasser. This article also reveals something interesting about cyber-bullies-- that they are less commonly found to suffer from depression than not only their victims, but their physical and verbal (bully) counterparts who are often depressed themselves. 

more...
No comment yet.