The Ethical Web Magazine Fall 2014 (Standalone) - Page 11

pt 3

There are some unpleasant and distressing behaviors that are not considered bullying. Disagreement on ideas, single-episode attacks (a single fight or conflict), and social rejection are not considered bullying (What is bullying? 2014). However each of those actions can be used deliberately as a bullying tool. A single rejection for friendship or romance is not considered repeat abuse. But it can be used as part of a wider campaign of covert bullying that includes damaging the victim’s reputation, humiliation, intentionally excluding from social activities, and spreading rumors and gossip (Relational Aggression 2014). Disagreeing with one another’s beliefs or argument is not bullying, unless it escalates into retaliation.

Cyberbullying and bullying face-to-face are not exclusively different. Cyberbullying just comes with electronic devices and web technology. People can be bullied by text messages, e-mails, social media, and fake profiles (What is Cyberbullying 2013). Because communication devices are used inside homes, the bullying does not just stop at school. It follows the victim home, where it can happen 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, even when the victim is physically alone (What is Cyberbullying 2013). The common misconception among users is that people should expect to be bullied by “trolls” on the Internet. This is false. It is not your fault and no one ever deserves to be bullied, especially on the Internet.

What to do if someone

bullies you?

• Ignore the bully. Sometimes bullies will continue the abuse when there is a response.

• Save everything. Keep screen shots, videos, photos, e-mails, and any evidence that will help you in the court of law. Share it only with a trusted family member and a lawyer. Just like when police arrest the bad guy in the movies, "anything you say will be used against you." Bullies won't know what's coming to them.

• Don't fight back. Stay on the defense side. Don't sink to the bully's level.

• Tell someone about it. Talk to a teacher, parent, caregiver, counselor, and even law enforcement officer. What the bullies is doing is not a joke-- it is against the law.

• Understand it is not your fault. Do not believe the bully. No one ever deserves abuse, no matter what the bully says.

• Report the bully. Many social network services have a report button or form to fill out. It is a violation of the terms of service for most social media sites. You deserve to use the service in peace.

• Block all communication with the bully. Keep some record of the abuse, but that doesn't mean you have to keep being bullied until someone stop them. Block their phone number and social media profile.