Cyber Bullies

by Mark on October 2, 2010

A gifted Rutgers University student committed suicide after a roommate allegedly videotaped him having sex with another male. The schoolyard bully thrives with new technological weapons to amplify their cruelty.

A bully is a sadistic personality that takes pleasure in causing another’s pain through physical attacks or by socially isolating their victims. A cyber bully uses images and social media to terrify their targets. According to Dr. Jorge Srabstein, medical director of the Clinic for Health Problems Related to Bullying at Children’s National Medical Center, “Individuals can be more isolated when bullying comes by cell phone or computer. . . The audience is much greater. That can be devastating – not knowing how many people have seen the text message or photo.”

While the alleged perpetrators will be prosecuted, it is time for society to clamp down on all forms of bullying to prevent these tragedies:

• Cyber bullies learn their trade in the school yards. Parents and schools must clamp down on such attacks early in the life of a bully before they move on to internet weapons;

• We, as social media users, must drive ‘zero tolerance’ on abusive language, embarrassing image tags, and similar abuses. Push back at the cyber bullies. Report them to Facebook. Redistribute their attacks back to them and their parents. Bullies are insecure cowards that fear receiving their own medicine.

Some pundits sympathize with the cyber attackers, believing they are unaware of the harm caused or the power of social media. Tell that to the victim’s parents, family, and loved ones. Explain it to others that live in fear of a similar attack. It is up to all of us to help stop cyber bullies with our keyboards.

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