Cyberbullying - Maxicours
  • Découvrir un aspect de la notion d'étude citoyennetés et mondes virtuels
  • Approfondir sa réflexion sur le problème du cyber-harcèlement 
Points clés
  • Le cyber-harcèlement désigne les insultes, les menaces et intimidations, ou encore les informations sur la vie privée divulguées en ligne. Le harceleur se sert donc des nouvelles technologies pour harceler sa victime.
  • De nombreux jeunes sont touchés, mais des adultes aussi. Les conséquences peuvent être très graves (dépression, perte d'emploi, suicide...). 
  • Ce type de harcèlement est particulièrement insidieux car difficile pour les proches à détecter. 
  • Les gouvernements commencent à se saisir du problème : il est nécessaire qu'une victime puisse effacer ses données personnelles d'internet. C'est ce que l'on appelle le Droit à l'oubli, en vigueur dans les pays de l'UE depuis 2006.

Cyberbullying is a kind of bullying that takes place over digital devices like a cell phone, a computer or a tablet and when people have recourse to blackmail to get something –money in general–, send, post, or share negative comments about a person in order to cause them embarrassment or humiliation. It can be very dangerous as some can be fragile and feel distraught when it happens to them. Cyberbullying is a crime which can take various forms such as insults, threats and intimidation, gossip, exclusion... Therefore, it must be condemned.

1. Cyberbullying and Its Effects
a. No More Privacy

Since it is very easy nowadays to disclose one’s private life on social media we make ourselves vulnerable and people take advantage of it to harm us, either because they are jealous or because they are evil. They can leave a negative comment, (why not after all, they are not forced to like what you post and you must not expect good comments only), but what is more reprehensible is when they attack your private life by sending photos or declaring things that is none of anybody’s business. Privacy must be respected, it is written in the law and it was written well before the social media era.

b. The Effects of Cyberbullying

Cyberbullying can have negative impacts on a person in the sense that it is permanent and public so lots of people can have information (true or false) about you and there is not much you can do to prevent it. This is the reason why some teenagers, when they are confronted to it, do not know how to react and they feel at a loss. Moreover parents and teachers cannot always help them as it is difficult to recognize cyberbullying when it happens. Indeed, it is not a form of physical aggression and it does not leave bruises or scars that would act as a signal, indeed cyberbullying is more insidious and destroys the person morally. There is no safe space for the victim, bully can be anonymous and it is not limited to onlookers only but it is shared by a wide audience.

About 20 % of students report being bullied online and the consequences are disastrous:

  • low self-esteem,
  • depression,
  • anxiety,
  • family problems,
  • academic difficulties,
  • delinquency,
  • school violence,
  • and suicidal thoughts or attempts.

How terrible!

Adults can suffer from bullying too, nobody is spared and a negative online reputation can prevent them from finding jobs when it does not cause more disastrous damages such as divorces, isolation or suicide.

2. How to Protect Oneself from Cyberbullying
a. The Right to Be Forgotten

The major problem with cyberbullying is that information posted on the Internet remains online for a long time and it can be very difficult to remove. Fortunately new data protection rules have introduced a “right to be forgotten” that allows victims to have their personal data erased. It has been put into practice in the European Union since 2006. Though there is no specific law on cyberbullying, racism, xenophobia or sexual harassment is condemned.

b. In Whom to Confide?

Helplines exist too and they can help children and teenagers find assistance when they are confronted to this social evil.

But of course parents should not be forgotten and children should not hesitate to confide in them and tell what worries them because they are in the better position to help. Even if it is not easy to talk about it, it is vital to do it. The worst solution would be to remain silent and let cyberbullies continue their crimes and abuses.

3. Conclusion

Cyberbullying is too dangerous to be neglected. It is a crime but there are ways to combat it. Some people think that they will live happily if they lead a hidden life, but others cannot live without sharing online and they must continue because they do not harm anybody. What must stop is cyberbullying!


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