The Ethical Web Magazine Fall 2014 (Standalone) - Page 10

bullied online to the point of committing suicide (Bosker 2010). Even after her death, the bullies continued to harass her Facebook page. That same year, 9% of students in grades 6-12 have experienced cyberbullying (What is Cyberbullying 2013). In 2013, 15% of high school students were bullied online. Cyberbullying continues to grow, severely affecting kids and teens, even driving them to the point of suicide.

Anonymous postings encourage harassment and stalking, making it easier for offenders to hide from the consequences. People who engage in this behavior may not realize how much their actions affect themselves and the people they engage with. Anonymous messages can be difficult to trace, but at the same time it is difficult to delete after it have been sent (What is Cyberbullying 2013).

If you are bullied, one of the best way to defend yourself is to keep track of the abuse. Screen capture messages, record video and audio of the abuse, and keep track of the time, date, and who it was from. What the bullies are doing to you is assault and it is against the law. Threats of death and rape are punishable crimes. It is not protected speech. Even if the bully is anonymous, Law enforcement could trace the bully with clues such as an I.P. address or profile search. Users leave a digital footprint that cannot be deleted (Shivinder 2012).