In the virtual world, messages with images and offensive comments spread quickly, which makes bullying even more perverse. This practice is now called Cyberbullying and generates great concern among parents and educators.
As the virtual space is unlimited, the power of aggression expands and the victim feels cornered. What’s worse, the victim often doesn’t even know who to defend against.
Have you ever gone through or witnessed a similar situation?
Continue reading and understand what cyberbullying is, its types, consequences and attitudes to avoid it.
Do you know what Cyberbullying is?
Cyberbullying is the practice of intimidation, humiliation, harassment, slander and defamation through virtual environments. For example: social networks, e-mail and messaging applications.
The highest incidence of cases occurs among adolescents. However, there are a considerable number of young adults who use this criminal practice.
Cyberbullying is a practice widely used by malicious people because it allows for anonymous offenses. Attackers use fake profiles, believing they are fully protected as to their real identity. Or they simply manifest themselves by virtual means to protect themselves.
The following actions can be considered cyberbullying:
- Exposure of photos or embarrassing montages;
- Disclosure of intimate photos;
- Repeatedly criticizing the physical appearance, opinion and social behavior of individuals.
Types de Cyberbullying
There are seven types of quite common cyberbullying actions. Which are:
- Slander: stating that the victim has committed some criminal act.
- Defamation: Imputing a fact to someone who offends your reputation. It doesn’t matter if the fact is true or not, what matters is that it reaches your honor.
- Injury: Offending the dignity or decorum of other people, attaining their subjective honor. It usually relates to insults that are posted online. Filming and publicizing a victim being assaulted also fits the crime.
- Threat: threatening the victim of unjust and serious harm.
- Illegal constraint: regarding cyberbullying, this crime is consummated when the victim does something he does not want and the law does not determine.
- False identity: the act of attributing or attributing to another person a false identity to gain an advantage or cause harm.
- To harass or disturb the tranquility: an example is the individual who sends unpleasant messages, bothering the victim.
Consequences of aggressions
Cyberbullying can have serious consequences for victims. An initial picture of isolation and sadness can progress to depression, anxiety disorder and panic syndrome. And when not discovered and treated in time, victims can carry symptoms and trauma for the rest of their lives.
Meet some of them:
- Low self esteem;
- Difficulty in relationships with other people;
- School performance below expectations (when children and adolescents);
- Difficulty placing in the job market;
- Propensity to use drugs;
- In extreme cases, suicide.
Attitudes to avoid being a victim of cyberbullying
Talking about attitudes to prevent cyberbullying from happening can be awkward, since the victim should never be held responsible for the crime. However, as the aggressions exist, it is always good to take certain precautions to avoid becoming a victim.
Some of the actions to be taken are:
- Try not to expose your life too much on social networks;
- Avoid sharing intimate content on the internet, regardless of the link with that person;
- When attacked by someone, block that person;
- In case of exposure of intimate photos on the network, look for a police station and register a police report;
- If the aggressions cause moral damages due to injury, slander and defamation, register a police report;
- Always seek the support and assistance of a responsible or trusted adult before taking any action (when children and adolescents);
- Parents and guardians must always monitor the behavior of minors on the internet, helping when they suffer aggression;
- Act quickly when realizing that your child is committing an act of aggression, raising awareness and preventing such practice.
According to product engineer of Intel Security, an Intel company, Thiago Hypollito:
“Many parents think their children know more about technology than they do, and end up not monitoring them on the internet. However, knowing the tools does not mean using them wisely. The internet is an inhospitable environment and children need guidance, just like when they are on the street. If you wouldn’t let your child go out alone in a big city, don’t leave him alone on the internet”.
Data on Cyberbullying in Brazil
Intel Security interviewed 507 children and adolescents between the ages of 8 and 16, with the objective of obtaining data on digital behavior and cyberbullying in Brazil.
The survey revealed important data, as shown below:
- 66% have seen cases of aggression on some social media;
- 21% have already suffered cyberbullying and most victims are between 13 and 16 years old;
- 24% carried out some aggression in the virtual environment;
Of that 24%:
- 14% say they speak ill of one person to another;
- 13% made fun of someone for their appearance;
- 7% tagged someone in vexing photos;
- 3% threatened someone;
- 3% made fun of someone’s sexuality;
- 2% intentionally posted an event in which a colleague was excluded so that they could see that they were excluded.
The main reasons children used to justify their actions were:
- Defense: the person who attacked treated them badly before;
- Do not like the affected person;
- Accompany others who have already practiced aggressive actions before.
There are articles in the penal code: 138 (libel), 139 (defamation), 140 (insult), 146 (illegal constraint), 147 (threat) and 307 (false identity).
These codes deal with crimes against honor and are fully applicable in cases of cybercrimes. Whether on social media, e-mail, cell phone messages, videos or any other medium.
Crimes of slander, injury, defamation, among others, fit into cyberbullying and define the same penalty for the offender. Depending on the offense, you can get from one month to three years in jail.
When the offender is a minor, those responsible are responsible for their actions. Those responsible are obliged to pay compensation for moral damages.
In some Brazilian capitals, such as São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Curitiba, there is an electronic crime police station. This was created to assist victims on how to proceed in a cybercrime situation.
The number of children and young people who suffer from cyberbullying is high. We can say that many of these young people will have serious problems in the future if they do not have the necessary help.
Be sure to report it, whether it’s a specific case with you or someone you know. Cyberbullying is a crime and can be combated and even avoided with the proper guidelines.
Everyone deserves respect, whether on or off the Internet.
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