This post has been written by Kabeer Kalwani, a first year law student from Hidayatullah National Law University, Raipur.
As we can see the major problem which is being faced by teenage groups is “Bullying” not from today but from traditional times, even increase in the technology and being access to social media made possible for teenagers in recent times has given a great rise to “Cyber Bullying”. Cyber bullying is a form of bullying that takes place mostly into social media platforms and other digital platforms via internet connected devices like smart phones, computers and tablets etc, not only social media and digital social platforms but any online medium that allows the sharing of information can become a platform for such bullying. Even the traditional way of bullying had the worst psychological effect on ones minds of the victim, the psychological effects of cyber bullying is more than worse, because this way of bullying involves a huge amount of people in front of whom a bully bullies a person. In today’s modern, competitive and social world everyone wants to become superior some act smart and help each other while some bully other to breakdown their morale. Cyber bullying has a great effect on the mental health of the victim which can even hamper the growth of a child and even lead them into depression. The problem of cyber bullying is not a personal issue but it affects the society as a whole, it is a public concern, as it also covers the harassment and rape threats to women online. The people who support bullying weather it be cyber or traditional are also considered as bullies as they indirectly support bullying and are being involved in destroying someone’s life and such bullying is a major reason for the suicides.
Cyber bullying is not only a problem in big cities but it has also taken effect into small towns and villages as they are also growing in a technological perspective. Such kind of bullying is more common into student and teenage groups than adults. There are several examples of cyber bullying which include, sending or uploading false and embarrassing information or pictures/ videos of someone, in other words cyber bullying is kind of Digital Defamation.
Such kind bullying also invites harassment and threats for women even making the digital world unsafe for them .
There are several effects of such bullying on people and those people facing such bullying are considered as victims and they face a lot of mental trauma which includes the following:
- Lack of confidence
- Suicidal thoughts
- Lack of concentration
As cyber bullying is more of a concern for the parents and teachers of the victim, so it is quite important for them to understand the behavior of their child to protect them from being a victim and save him from such heinous doings.
Cyber bullying may have a serious impact on the students because it does not end at school and it follows the child home, which can cause a great mental stress to the student ,can destroy his/her career and even make them a psychopath in future and it can become very difficult to escape from such disturbed state of mind which is of great danger to the society, as students are the future of the nation, so they should be grown in a systematic way for the betterment and well being of the society rather than making them a psychopath or making them suffer which such mental stress and illness. Studies have demonstrated the major impact that cyber bullying has, including:
- Emotional problems, including depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, and stress for victims of cyber bullying
- Increased likelihood of anxiety, depression, low life satisfaction, and drug and alcohol abuse for the cyberbullies
- Lowered scholastic achievement and satisfaction for both the bully and the bullied
- Increased likelihood for victims of cyber bullying to be bullied offline
- Cyberbullies face a greater chance of being cyber bullied in return, and targets of cyber bullying have an increased change of become bullies themselves
- Targets of cyber bullying face an increased risk for suicidal thoughts and attempts
How to prevent?
As we have understood the situations and mental state of a victim it is important for us to know some effective measures to prevent such bullying for betterment of the society. We can see that most of the victims being students or teenagers it is quite important for the students and teachers to look forward seriously with this matter to help the victim escape from such trauma. It is the child who suffers but to prevent and protect the child it is more of a team approach. There are several measures which can be taken to understand whether the child is facing such bullying and those are as follows:
- If the child is using excessive internet and being much more active in social media, which sometimes makes the doubt on him being involved with such bulling.
- The child becomes depressed and thinks much more about the social media life than is own personal life and family,
- He/She does not allow you to check their social media accounts,
- If they stop discussing with you about their online surfing and social media activities,
- If you notice them suddenly deactivating their social media handles without genuine reasons.
There may be a lot more symptoms to identify the state of bullying and it is important to know the cause, and quite more essential to understand a few measures to prevent them escape such situations and those are:
- Keep a regular check on your child online activities,
- Keep a regular check of above mentions signs of symptoms of cyber bullying,
- Make them aware about cyber bullying,
- Make them feel comfortable with you to share their problems,
- Give a positive and favorable response if they tell you about facing such bullying as to make them feel confident,
- Guide them to protect their passwords and not to share them,
- Guide them to share only those things that they want the world to see and with which they are comfortable posting,
- Try to make them understand to block the communications with cyber bullies.
There a number of measure to prevent a victim from such situations which can get difficult sometimes but it is quite more important to save them and make them escape such situations.
LEGAL PERSPECTIVE FOR CYBER BULLYING
There are several legal option to report cyber bullying and cyber stalking for women and teenagers, and there are also a number to reported cases for cyber bullying India.
Section 507 of IPC:
This section deals with “criminal intimidation by anonymous communication” and can be effectively used by women facing harassment and threats online, particularly rape threats. It allows the victim to lodge complain without even knowing the true identity of the harasser.
Section 66E of the IT act
This section is concerned with punishment for violation of privacy, it punishes anyone who, intentionally or knowingly captures, publishes or transmits the image of private area of any person without his or her consent.
Section 499 of IPC
This section is concerned with using words signs visible representations, makes or publishes any imputation concerning any person intending to harm .
Section 509 of IPC
Word gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman.
Section 354A and 354D of IPC
Following the NIRBHAYA case the law has been more stringent, These sections deals with sexual harassment, stalking and include harassment via electronic communication.
Cyber bullying is public concern, it is considered as a digital way of defamation because it hampers the image of the person being bullied in front of the whole world, which is worse than the traditional bullying. The main target and victims of bullying are woman students and teenage groups, bullies do such things to become famous and act superior in front of the society but they don’t understand the harsh reality and such negative impacts of their doings. Bullying of a woman also includes harassment and threat for rapes or other sexual harassment. The government of India has made several laws for punishing such bullying and maintain the safety of women in the digital world too. As we can conclude that there are no proper laws focusing on such area, so it is quite important to focus in the such happenings as technology is the future and it is quite important to maintain safety of woman and children into it. It is quite more important to teach the upcoming generation about the bullying and safe use of technology to utilize such resources in a productive way and even to extract maximum benefits from such important digital resources rather than destroying someone’s life by practicing such bullying activities without any fruitful results. Such education of prevention of bullying will be a great gift from our generation to the upcoming generation and will also be a procedure of sustainable measure to make the society a better living place for our future and future generation, lets be a step towards the change and make it happen.