Cyber Bullying

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What are the consequences of cyberbullying among junior high school students? Technological advances are intended to speed up the transfer of information to a large range of people. The internet is an important tool used by kids to learn much faster because there is a large range of data that is available to them. The use of the internet has made accessing information and learning much easier. Although the internet has its positive benefits, such as transferring a large range of information to a broad scope of individuals, if it is misused it can cause harm to people, in particular, young people. Many adolescents have become victims to cyberbullying. Cyberbullying is defined in the Merriam Webster Dictionary(2010) as “the electronic posting of mean-spirited messages about a person (as a student) often done anonymously”. Research by the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) shows that 43 percent of teenager report that they had experienced some form of cyberbullying in 2007. There are several factors that influence a child to use the internet to cyberbully other teenagers. The psychological effects on these teenagers can have many long term consequences. This research paper will answer what are the causes and effects of cyberbullying among junior high school students and what should be done to prevent it. In order to determine the answer, this paper will respond to the following questions: 1. What are the different forms of cyberbullying?

2. What are the causes of cyberbullying?
3. What the effects of cyberbullying among junior high school students? 4. How should victims, parents and schools deal with cyberbullying? Understanding the consequences behind cyberbullying amongst junior high school students is essential when determining why and how to prevent it from happening. What are the different forms of cyberbullying?

Before identifying causes and effects of cyberbullying, it is important to first, identify the different forms of cyberbullying. Cyberbullying takes many forms because of the wide range of functions technology has provided. New developments in electronic media provide bullies with more resources used to bully. Email, instant messaging, social networking websites and blogs are often used for cyberbullying. Pearce(2011) asserts that cyberbullying “includes, but is not limited to, mean, nasty or threatening text messages/instant messages/pictures/video clips/emails that are sent to others about a person”(p.2). The most common form of cyberbullying is called flaming. Flaming is “ an act of sending or posting electronic messages that are deliberately hostile, insulting, mean, angry, vulgar or insulting, to one person or several, either privately or publicly to an online group”(Galloway, 2007, para. 3). Flaming often occurs on social networking sites such as “Twitter” and “Facebook”. On these sites, the flaming is usually available for “friends” or “followers” to also view. Flaming can also occur through email and private messages. Another popular form of cyberbullying is online polls. The poll questions are often hurtful and they usually occur on social websites. An example of an online poll question is “Which eighth grader is the ugliest?” Then classmates get to vote on these questions which can be demeaning to the victim. Impersonation is also a common form of cyberbullying. Impersonation occurs when the bully poses as the victim by hacking their online account or creating a fake profile with the victim’s information. Bullies may also alter pictures of the victims to make it embarrassing or suggestive. The bully would then “posts erotic or suggestive messages”(Stomp out Bullying, 2007, para.12), viewable to the public, with the purpose of destroying the victims reputation. The posting of private, often embarrassing personal information or pictures from the victim, is known as outing. Outing is dangerous because it exposes a large range of personal information to the public eye. Similar to...
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