Cyber Bullying

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In the news article “Technological trauma: cyber bullies more powerful than schoolyard thugs” (the Age 28/10/2006), Larissa Dubecki assertsin a reasoned and logical tone that cyber bullying should not be permitted or tolerated because it is extremely harmful to young people. The writer appeals to the wellbeing of teenagers through establishing the threats and negative impact of cyber bullying that can be physically and mentally harmful. The writer appeals to the reader’s sense of safety and wellbeing by exposing the potential danger and problems associated with unrestrained. The consequences of cyber bullying could range from “acute anxiety” to “self- harm” or even to “suicides”. LOADED language? Negative connotations? Appeal to fear? Substantiating the point with many statistics and references to authority figuresis designed to enrich the author’s credibility by relating it to the reader’s own community so that they may become more aware of the issue. Example? This is an emotional and reasoned appeal as the data results and findings prove that the writer’s perspective is not made up of hollow evidence but evidence backed up by research. Thus the reader is positioned to view the writer’s argument as more convincing because it appears to be objective and reliable. Furthermore, these statistics, coupled with reminders of past events in which victims have experienced negative emotions such as “acute anxiety, depression, truancy, self-harm and…suicides” enhances the legitimacy to the writer’s position that cyber bullying is a serious issue. Hence, the reader is inclined to agree with the writer that immediate action is required against cyber bullying because anyone who disagrees would be regarded as lacking practical intelligence since they cannot see what is self-clearly evident. The contrast between the writer’s seemingly morally upright and responsible view and the unacceptable behaviours on the offenders’ side further belittles the “perpetrators”. The writer’s...
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