We pick up where we left off last time when discussing social media and Internet crimes. Today, we will take an in-depth look at cyberbullying.
Bullying is defined as “unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance.” Prior to the late 1990’s and 2000’s, bullying often took place on school grounds, on playgrounds and on the school bus. This type of bullying still exists, but cyberbullying (bullying that happens by way of electronic technology) has emerged as the primary way that children – as well as adults – are taunted, harassed and threatened.
Electronic technology includes cell phones, computers and tablets. Children and adults have virtually limitless access to these technologies 24/7. From social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat to text messages and personal blogs, there are countless platforms in which people interact.
In many situations, an alleged victim may feel that he or she is the victim of cyberbullying. What may seem as a joke to someone else can feel like bullying to another. It is often not a clear cut example of an Internet crime but rather one person’s story over another’s or false accusations picking up speed and pointing fingers at an uninvolved person. Cyberbullying is typically anonymous, and it is often difficult to trace to the source.
Social media is not going away anytime soon. It will only continue to grow, as will allegations of cyberbullying.
As someone who uses social media, you have a duty to use it responsibly, and if you are accused of cyberbullying or if your child is facing juvenile problems related to an accusation, you need to work with an attorney who can help to clear your name.