Cyber Bullying in Pakistan
The technology revolution has allowed cyber bullying to enter a new era. The use of social media, text messages and chat facilities has allowed bullies yet another platform for tormenting their victims. It has become known as cyber-bullying. As with all bullying it is used to attack peers, of any age, and is a deliberate attempt to hurt someone who has become vulnerable.
Cyber bullies come from many backgrounds, but most commonly from youngsters who do not have adequate supervision and who have not been exposed to anti-bullying programs. Other research suggests that there is a relationship between age and bullying, with a reduction in this type of behaviour.
Types of cyber-bullying include
Types of cyber-bullying include:
- Flaming – communication of messages to make the recipient angry,
- Harassment (on-line) – generally of a sexual nature, including texts and pictures,
- Stalking (on-line) – used to scare or threaten,
- Denigration – character defamation,
- Outing and Trickery – publicising private information,
- Exclusion – keeping people out of a group, and
- Happy Slapping – taking a video of this, to post on a social media site.
There are also examples of bullying where the victim is aware of the name of the perpetrator, but in some cases the victim is totally unaware of the name of the perpetrator.
There has been a dramatic increase in research on bullying. Some countries, where traditions of strong parental involvement and control have been a feature, such as Pakistan, have seen the infiltration of information technology, into these areas and this has led to some conflicts between these traditional values and the new idea of individuality. This has also caused misunderstandings between the generations, and remains a source of potential conflict.
We are aware of the importance of supervision of young people in managing cyber bullying, but some common ground is needed between traditional parenting and the modern ideas of individuality. Cyber bullying has many psychological and social implications for the victims and the perpetrators. It seems from studies that boys are more likely to be open, and girls more secretive, when they are the perpetrator.
Other Cyber Issues
Other ‘cyber issues’ include:
- cyber teasing – not intended to be harmful, and based on equality of power,
- cyber arguing – the intention may be to harm the victim, but there is equality between the parties, and
- cyber harassment (by strangers).
One example of how cyber bullying can lead to criminal activity was seen several years ago. A group kidnapped people using social media to trap them. They admitted they had made contact with their potential victim via social media. Police arrested these perpetrators.
Other safety measures are available, including:
- Behaviour of parents and family,
- Protection through strong friendships,
- Student welfare officers and counsellors,
- Schools and teachers can teach areas beyond the syllabus content,
- Public awareness, through the media,
- Religious leaders,
- Not sharing personal information with unknown people,
- Regularly checking your privacy settings, and
- Contacting the police if you are being threatened.
New laws have been introduced in many countries, including Pakistan, and we will need to wait and see the results.
Cyber Bullying in Pakistan