Cyberbullying

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Video Transcript:

Most of us are familiar with bullies. These are people who use fear and strength to intimidate or control others. They scare people to get what they want, and can cause real harm.

Unfortunately, bullies can be anywhere. From kids in schoolyards to adults in boardrooms. And increasingly, this includes the internet, where their actions are known as "cyberbullying". By understanding how cyberbullying works, we can help prevent harm in the future.

Here's an example. A bully, acting alone, decides to start intimidating or scaring a fellow student. She may have a real problem with him, or just think it's amusing. Instead of pushing him around in the real world, she sends him emails, text messages, or social media posts that contain threats or insults. She may also start malicious rumors about him online. Post messages about him in public, online spaces, or even share embarrassing photos.

His pleas to stop don't work, and can even turn into blackmail. For the student, this kind of bullying can be devastating, and result in depression, anger, anxiety, and destructive thoughts. He's deeply embarrassed, and feels powerless to stop the bully.

Of course, it's this sense of power and the ability to manipulate others that drives many bullies, online or off. The question becomes, what can be done? First, for parents or other adults, awareness is key. Cyberbullying is common and growing. Talk to students about it, and encourage feedback about what they experience. Build their awareness of the signs of cyberbullying, and understand the platforms they use online.

Second, when a student sees another being bullied, they can take steps to stop or reduce it if they feel safe doing so. This could mean calling out the bullying behavior, so that everyone recognizes the situation. It could also mean responding in public with supportive, positive posts that contradict the bully's messages. A fellow student could also organize support from other students to share positive messages online.

And contact the bullied student to offer personal support. In these cases, peers should remain calm and not inflame the situation with threats or insults.

Third, adults and students can take formal actions that can stop the bully. This means saving evidence of cyberbullying and reporting it o law enforcement, school administrators, parents, and social media platforms that have anti-bully policies.

Unfortunately, bullies are part of our world online and off. By understanding how they operate, we can find productive ways to reduce the harm they cause, and support those who have been bullied.

 

What it teaches:

Using a simple example of a cyberbully in action, this video follows a bully’s tools, motivations and tactics. It also covers what can be done by adults and fellow students to stop the bully and prevent further problems. It teaches:

  • Why cyberbullying represents a problem
  • How cyberbullies use the internet to threaten and harass others
  • What motivates cyberbullies
  • What adults and students can do to help the bullied students
  • What adults and students can do to prevent problems

If you're looking for more resources on cyberbullying and prevention, see the sites below:

https://www.stopbullying.gov/cyberbullying/what-is-it/index.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyberbullying

Video Info:

  • Duration:  02m 58s
  • Captions Available:  YES
  • Lesson Plan:  YES
  • Category:  Net Safety
  • ISTE Standard:  Digital Citizen Indicator 2b

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