Opinion | Speak Your Mind

Focus: Cyberbullying

The school bully has moved - from the school quadrangle to the other side of the computer screen - and your child is still a potential victim. According to the National Crime Prevention Centre in the US, more than 40 per cent of teenagers with internet access have said that they were victims of cyberbullying. Few among these children talk to their parents about being bullied and an even smaller percentage of parents are in the loop when it comes to their child's online activities. Gulf News looks at the issue from all the angles - the victim, the aggressor and those involved with the upbringing of children - to see how the problem of cyberbullying can be tackled.

  • Compiled by Huda Tabrez/Community Web Editor
  • Published: 18:28 December 3, 2009
  • Speak your mind
    Speak your mind

    Teenagers should be jailed for cyberbullying.

  • Disagree
    Disagree

    Cyberbullying is definitely a serious crime, but I think imprisonment is too harsh a step. Teenagers are not fully aware of what is right and wrong, as they are quite young. They tend to do things which they feel are right, without knowing what the consequences could be. I feel proper parental guidance is necessary. Imprisonment may have some adverse effects, such as creating fear and hatred in their hearts.
    Vanessa Menezes
    Dubai

  • Disagree
    Disagree

    Awareness and education are key to prevent cyberbullying. Teaching children how to respect others and to take a stand against any kind of bullying is extremely important. Parents need to be supportive during such a time. They should calm children down through various tools like yoga… It is a big task, but a noble cause too, which would secure children's safety online and offline.
    Falguni Jitendra Gianchandani
    Dubai

  • Agree
    Agree

    It is worse than real bullying, as the bullies can remain anonymous. Two years ago, when I found my youngest daughter crying in her bedroom, it brought it all home and I cried with her. She had been having an innocent conversation with someone on a respectable chat forum and suddenly found herself being attacked. At that moment, I would have been sorely tempted to put that cyberbully in jail!
    Lucy Balls
    Sharjah

  • Agree
    Agree

    Online crimes are undoing the benefits of online socialising. The other day, a stranger's spine-chilling and threatening message ruined my business chat. I feel racist gangs, adults and teenagers alike, prey mostly on internet protocol (IP) addresses from third world countries. Strict regulation online is the need of the hour, or else the work of real international diplomacy will go haywire.
    Subhasis Mukherjee
    Dubai

  • Speak your mind
    Speak your mind

    The need to make children technologically aware is making them potential victims.

  • Agree
    Agree

    Technology has led to a craze among many of us. Cyberbullying is a serious threat that simply cannot be ignored. In some cases, it may be advisable to inform the local police department or consult an attorney. At the same time, parents have to keep a close eye on their children, as even they might be difficult to discipline. Parents go to their workplaces every day and there is no one to track children's activities.
    Mathew Litty
    Dubai

  • Agree
    Agree

    The need to make children technologically aware ... is making them potential victims of cyberbullying, or even future bullies. This may also be due to the fact that children, while learning, may want to experiment a lot, mostly in the absence of parental guidance. As a result of the freedom and the eagerness to learn all that a child can, children are easily lured into learning the wrong things or becoming a victim of bullying.
    Fatima Suhail
    Dubai

  • Disagree
    Disagree

    Bullies should actually be praised for giving children a clearer perspective of the future. I don't mean the physical beating, but the harsh words used, because when you grow older and join the workforce, you would encounter more of these bullies and you would be better equipped to deal with them. Life is not a bed of roses, there will always be a bully at every stage of your life.
    Nirmal Devsurendra
    Dubai

  • Agree
    Agree

    If you are giving your child a personal computer along with freedom, you should also ensure that he or she is learning something useful. A lot of teenagers log on to the internet and simply waste time chatting with one another. This is quite sad, as it shapes their approach towards technology when they grow up, too. I am an IT trainer and can clearly spot such people.
    Abhishek Singh
    Sharjah

  • Speak your mind
    Speak your mind

    Social networking websites are not fully equipped to tackle cyberbullying.

  • Agree
    Agree

    The purpose of social networking websites - to connect one with family and friends - has been pushed aside, with a few individuals using it for the wrong purposes. Individuals can easily create false identities and start bullying users in younger age groups. The notion that their actions aren't being watched and can't be judged by society, allows such individuals to continue with their actions.
    Juby Jacob
    Dubai

  • Agree
    Agree

    Cyberbullying is very common and a serious issue. Parents should be aware of their child's online activities and keep an eye on them. Social networking websites are not fully equipped to tackle cyber-bullies. The key to stopping a child from being a part of such activities is adequate control from the parents' side, along with better-equipped websites.
    Mohammad Lukman
    Umm Al Quwain

  • Agree
    Agree

    Incidents such as these have the potential to affect normal mental development of young people and make them prone to habits which would, at a later stage, be unhealthy for them. Such issues should be handled by counselling the bullies. Making them realise that they are responsible, in addition to giving them the support they need, is vital in getting the victim and the bully to lead healthy lives.
    Salman Hussain
    Cardiff, UK

  • Disagree
    Disagree

    I, too, receive spam regularly on my personal account on a social networking website. I am old enough to not pay attention to these messages, but children are inquisitive and might be led to websites with inappropriate content. If there is no parental guidance, it can lead to quite a messy situation. The children might even give out personal details and get into serious trouble.
    Brinda Asarpota
    Sharjah

  • Speak your mind
    Speak your mind

    Parents have no idea if their children are cyber-bullies.

  • Agree
    Agree

    Has anyone ever thought how sometimes teenagers are able to hack into email accounts or install viruses? I feel it is because many parents are not focusing on what their children might be doing on the computer and have given them the upper hand to explore these gadgets. It might look like they are playing games, chatting with friends or even listening to music, but they should always be kept under restrictions.
    Dhruv Savara
    Dubai

  • Agree
    Agree

    Currently, parents only provide facilities to their children. They should teach children about the advantages and disadvantages of internet. Parents rarely see what their children are doing, as they think that children should be given freedom. They sometimes do it to show faith in the child and don't want to interfere. What they don't understand is that today, children know a lot more than they should know.
    Hrishi Ashok Kumar
    Dubai

  • Agree
    Agree

    Today's parents have no clue about what their children are up to with computers. This becomes worse if both parents are working. It means the child is with his or her computer the entire day. Since computers are part of modern-day school syllabi, most parents have them at home. It is every parent's responsibility to check that their children are not engaging in activities like cyberbullying.
    Ghanshyam Vasudeo Vyas
    Dubai

  • Neutral
    Neutral

    Children resort to such measures either because they think it's okay to hurt someone or to boost their egos. Parents play an important role, as they shape their child's personality. We must admit we all resort to bullying, whether it be at work, while driving or in any other activity.. compassion has to be instilled in children by parents - they must be compassionate themselves and indicate that bullying is not acceptable.
    Mahnaaz Shaikh
    Dubai

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