Cyberbullying

Cyberbullying

Gilberto Marzano (Rezekne Academy of Technologies, Latvia)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 11
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2255-3.ch360
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Abstract

Cyberbullying is a new, alarming, and evil phenomenon closely connected with relational changes that new technologies are causing in contemporary society. It consists in using the Internet to harass, threaten, and harm individuals who are the weakest and most vulnerable. Victims of cyberbullying are mightily children and adolescents. In fact, young people are immersed in new digital technologies and use them without knowing their implications. In fact, there isn't the Internet for children and the Internet for adults. Both adults and children use the same devices, tools, and ways of communicating and interacting.
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Introduction

Information and communication technology (ICT) plays a central role in contemporary society. Computers are affecting human life in a great deal in that they are essential in all life dimensions. An increasing number of things run by computers, while massive amount of multimedia materials circulate through the Internet, especially by smartphones. New technologies have thoroughly penetrated into the everyday life since not only affect science and business, but also leisure and interpersonal relationships.

The difference between contemporary and past epochs lies in that, nowadays, the reality includes both physical and virtual things as well as living and artificial agents.

One of the chief impacts of computer is on communication which has made a great leap forward thanks to the advances in networking and internet technologies. Today, one can connect with friends and family around the world as well as can deal with business anywhere and anytime.

Despite these changes, human nature remains the same and the people’s evil behavior didn’t change. Paradoxically, thanks to the Internet, cheaters may have at hand more ways to cheat and perpetrators dispose of new powerful means for harming and harassing their victims.

Cyberbullying is a new, alarming, and evil phenomenon closely connected with relational changes that new technologies are causing in our society.

Essentially, it consists in using the Internet to harass, threaten, and harm individuals who are the weakest and most vulnerable. Victims of cyberbullying are mightily children and adolescents. In fact, young people are immersed in new digital technologies and use them without knowing their implications.

In the Internet world, it is meaningless to say that “children should be treated like children”: information technology put absolutely on the same level adults and children. The difference between children toys that imitate adult objects, e.g. a tricycle and a bicycle or a pedal car and a motor car, doesn’t work on the Web. There isn’t the Internet for children and the Internet for adults. Both adults and children use the same devices, tools, and ways of communicating and interacting.

It is universally agreed that no responsible adult would give the car keys to a child or an armed gun. Even though, this is what an adult does when puts in the hands of children a smartphone with an active Internet connection without give them any advice about the cyber threats.

This chapter aims at presenting cyberbullying as a direct consequence of the social metamorphosis that, induced by the diffusion of the new technologies, endangers our security and exposes us to new actual threats. The following paragraphs illustrate the background of this evil phenomenon, then, specific aspects, such as cyberbullying diffusion, the difference between cyberbullying and traditional bullying, and the characteristic of cyberbullying, are discussed. Finally, some new emerging phenomena related to the sexual sphere, the so-called revenge pornography and the homophobic cyberbullying, are highlighted.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Homophobia: Is the irrational fear or hatred of homosexuality.

Anonymous Social Media: Social media that ensure members anonymity.

Bullicide: Suicide due bullying.

Cyberspace Relative Anonymity: The relative possibility to perform activities on the Web without being identified.

Cyberspace: The online world of computer networks and the Internet.

Revenge Porn: Is the publication of sexual explicit material portraying someone who has not consented for the image or video to be shared.

Bystanders: Persons that make decision to stay out of cyberbullies aggression and don’t intervene.

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