The Escalating Cyberbullying Menace Through Social Media Platforms in Developing Countries Including India: The Social Media Vulnerabilities Due to Excessive Usage

The Escalating Cyberbullying Menace Through Social Media Platforms in Developing Countries Including India: The Social Media Vulnerabilities Due to Excessive Usage

Karthikeyan C.
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-9187-1.ch023
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This chapter focuses on the social media vulnerabilities due to excessive usage among the youth in developing countries like India. The increasing psychological dependence and ubiquitousness in the availability of technological gadgets make interaction possible at any time to anyone making the act of cyberbullying easier. The vulnerable sections of every society, especially the children, youth, and women, face incremental psychological health issues due to the negative impact of ever-increasing cyberbullying in one way or another. The chapter reports descriptively the extensive damages that are inflicted by social media platforms on the productivity of the developing countries due to the negative influence on the youth and working population of the developing countries including India.
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Social media is now an indispensable and powerful platform for the youth across developing countries India. Expression of self amongst the youngsters across the world has preoccupied our younger generation. They are keen to utilise this powerful and fastest platform to self-express themselves in all areas of life. Social media has grown phenomenally with the support of the state of the art technology and is an important indispensable medium amongst the youth to express their personality and individuality. The platforms are ubiquitous, and the mode with ever streaming capability with seamless connectivity makes it very powerful and attractive. A small electronic gadget like a mobile connected to them, can exercise undeniable democracy of expression towards their audience or to any corner of the world. The psychological attachment towards the usage of social media among people of all ages, especially the youth and children are very high in developing countries like India. The attention drawn towards social media platforms has gone beyond control. Social media now is invincible and the most influential, invasive, and the fastest of the powerful influencers across the people, especially in the developing countries like India. As far as India is concerned, the usage of social media platforms utilisation among the Indian youth rose phenomenally with increasing technological advancements and ubiquitous availability of digital gadgets for a cheap price, and particularly with the trading of mobile devices accessible to everyone irrespective of whether they are rich or poor (Lenhart & Teens, 2015). The social media digital online platforms like Facebook, Whatsapp, Twitter, Instagram and various entertaining mobile applications, that came as open-source has taken away all their attention. The irresistible offer from the entire digital gadget manufacturers of the world with free downloads and ample internet connectivity has influenced the younger population, especially in the countries like India. It is now the most used and influential source of expression in the world. It is conceptualised as a democratic power platform to express good, bad, hatred or to express any emotional thoughts whether negative or positive including verbal abuse or bullying has also grown leaps and bounds. Hence any citizen of any country is now enjoying as well as suffering online. The evolution of the digital age metamorphosis for cyberbullying too has come into regular practice that furthered into a culture of online cyberbullying across the world, and in the worst case in the developing countries like India. This bullying culture online is impacting the working culture in developing countries including India. The cyberbullying culture has invaded every kind of work culture and has negatively influenced the younger generation in their formal demeanour and the general behaviour of the youth towards others. In the cased of cyberbullying especially bullying towards the opposite genders, particularly working women has an incremental effect. Social media is also impacting the work culture of every kind of organization and the working people (Hinduja & Patchin, 2009). Online cyberbullying (Menesini & Nocentini, 2009) influences the psyche of the working people subtly and passively, and as a result, it goes unnoticed, especially in the areas of education, health, and professional studies. It has directly or indirectly empowered the digital platforms, which are immune to any preventive measures taken in the workplaces across organizations irrespective of its size and structure, particularly where the use of technology is indispensable (Cassidy, Jackson, & Brown, 2009). The innovations happening in the digital platforms with supportive high-end digital gadgets and seamless high-speed connectivity are growing in leaps and bounds. Almost every application innovated across the world are available on the internet with uninterrupted interfaces in a moment of the click of a key of the device. The technological, as well as growing economy across the world, supports the growth of usage of online digital platforms, and that influences indirectly the culture of cyberbullying (Cenat, Blais, & Herbert, et al., 2015). Cyberbullying is now a prevailing social menace in developing countries across the world including India. Cyberbullying often shows the disguised presence, in subtle forms, and are omnipresent wherever people associate with each other in the workplace or other occasions in life (Beran, Mishna, & McInroy, et al., 2015).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Work Culture: Defined as a combination of qualities in an organization and its employees that arise from what is generally regarded as appropriate ways to think and act, and work culture is a product of its history, traditions, values, and vision.

Social media: Refers to websites, applications in online platforms, that enable users to create, share and participate in social networking.

Swatting: Refers to a dangerous activity while playing online games or when online gaming, the perpetrators make the victim reveal their address including all essential details by playing a game.

Anti-Bullying Law: Refers to the law prevailing to protect children from elementary to secondary schools and colleges, working men, women, and any individual for that matter from being bullied for any reason.

Doxing: The term doxing is derived from the word “dox” a slang used in the game theory, as a slang called dropping dox, that writer Mat Honan wrote in the 1990s.

Troll: An act of bullying when some individual posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in any online community while on an online discussion forum, or in the chat room, or blog, or with the primary intent of provoking readers towards emotional responses or disrupting normal on-topic discussion.

Psychological Impact: Refer to any factor impacting or arising in the mind related to the mental and emotional state of a person.

Indian Penal Code (IPC): Defined as the official criminal code of India, and is a comprehensive code intended to cover all substantive aspects of criminal law.

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