What are cyberbullying, trolling and cyberstalking?

The Dark Side of Freedom of Speech, Pt 2

Cyberbullying

Our culture and probably most others historically feel that bullying is bad news, but that being bullied is also a ceremony. We often think that bullying tends to end up in high school. Nothing is further from the truth.

As a culture, we tolerate and often reward adult bullying – especially bullying managers in the workplace. We celebrate fun tyrants as warriors and victors (although we also celebrate a revenge tyrant), and although bullying in schools, the military, and fraternities is repulsed by culture, otherwise we do little to eliminate bullying. Our politicians are often famously bullying. Unless there are dead bodies, we seem to expect people to just bear it (or defend themselves).

However harmful and disgusting bullying can be, cyberbullying takes things a step further. Cyberbullying uses the Internet and other electronic forms of technology to post ugly or embarrassing photos, messages, e-mails, or threats. However, the attacker is often anonymous – unknown – and has no one to defend against. As a result, a potential cyberbully is often encouraged to cause as much chaos as possible in the victim’s life. The potentially viral nature of such contributions – that is, the ability of these contributions to replicate widely, quickly and indefinitely – does not occur in a face-to-face encounter.

A typical (non-cyber) bullying event happens at some point and then ends (although another such event may occur). Bullying occurs on the spot in space – perhaps on a street corner or in an office. He often witnesses bullying, and the victimizer is known to all present. On the other hand, a cyberbullying incident can spread to hundreds of people in a matter of seconds and millions of people in a relatively short time, can last a long time, can spread around the world and has no one to be responsible for their actions.

As a result, the damage from such an incident can be repeated and repeated over and over again. Sadistic species can enjoy repetition and republishing and can even create websites to promote their perseverance. These sites cause an accumulated effect when fellow passengers commit their own, often unbearably gross insults, republish private pictures and multiply the damage. Some may not be aware or interested in the damage they are causing; others enjoy it.

One of the unfortunate creations of cyberbullying is “porn from revenge.” There are sites on the Internet that are designed solely to embarrass and harm people (mostly women) by electronically posting and republishing sexual images of a former lover or interest groups. Some such posts are designed to embarrass the co-workers of the person whose pornographic image is published. The target may be an ex-boyfriend or husband, and the victim is “collateral damage.” Even well-known individuals can engage in ugly behavior, such as the recent case of a hip-hop star and his site with a pornographic video of a hip-hop girlfriend in his rap beef.

Many victims of seemingly endless cyberbullying, including clients who have come to our aid, have been devastated by self-confidence. Others were driven to substance abuse, left school or society early, and such harassment was even involved in suicides. Although not usually considered a crime, it is far from victimless.

Cyberstalking

Cyberbullying is a more specific form of cyberbullying and, like cyberbullying, is largely made possible by anonymity, which is possible through the Internet. It is the use of the Internet and other technologies to harass someone, although some cyberbullying may be secret for some time. While a “traditional” stalker can overshadow victims’ movements, spy on them from hidden areas, or use binoculars or a telescope, a cyber stalker tracks their target (s) electronically.

Much of our social life is currently semi-public on social media such as Twitter and Facebook. The Internet makes it easy for a person to hide their identity, create a false identity, or impersonate someone else – perhaps a fake friend – which makes it easier to spy on a person’s activities through social media. Like cyberbullying, the simplicity of anonymity on the Internet can encourage a cyberstalker because he thinks (often correctly) that no one will expose him.

We regularly encounter cases where the stalker has been able to find and guess the victim’s e-mail or other online accounts, which makes it easier to find the victim’s whereabouts, conversations and correspondence. In some of these cases, the perpetrator even impersonates the victim, sends fake e-mails and messages, posts like the victims themselves, or publishes embarrassing images as if the victim himself was the source of the statements, images or videos.

This was beginning to be understood, and it was believed to mean that the government could not prevent you from making your contribution, no matter how much the government or anyone else disagreed. This applies to all governments in the United States – federal, state, local entities, and public officials of these public entities. You are free to speak in the “Public Square”. Please note that the public square concept only applies to government entities, property and officials. It does not apply to private or commercial property. Property owners or business owners may prohibit you from speaking certain things or anything to speak on or within their own property, business or broadcast, unless otherwise permitted.

Stalkers can find a way to infiltrate the victim’s financial, social and family life structures, leaving personal lives in ruins. Although it is easy to read about such events and behaviors – this is everywhere in the news – victims often find that they are not taken seriously and that friends and loved ones call it neurotic or paranoid. Because the cyber stalker often tries to damage the victim’s reputation, the reactions of the victim’s loved ones often support the stalker’s goals.

And while cyberbullying is illegal in many parts of the country and around the world, these actions rarely reach the level that law enforcement authorities need to see in order to take them seriously or to investigate them. Read between the lines in the reports and you will find that almost all arrests that involve cybercrime involve a terrible threat, violation of an existing injunction, ID theft, physical property theft, or child abuse.

Trolling

Internet trolling is behavior in which a troll intends to incite, upset, or otherwise harm civil discourse. In the context of this series of articles, he tends to disrupt others’ online or public communication by using abominable invectives, insults, and other verbal chaos. It is often misogynistic. The ability to be anonymous on the Internet removes much of the barriers that one might otherwise feel when behaving so rudely.

What to do?

The common thread of the described behavior is the ability to be anonymous on the Internet. One might imagine that removing the possibility of being anonymous would remove the motivation for the behavior, but in this case, the solution would probably be worse than the problem. In the first part of this series, we discussed freedom of speech – one of our most important rights – and the importance of anonymity. Both have played a huge role in the very creation of our nation and continue to protect those who speak of abuse, although anonymity allows for other forms of abuse. what should we do?

In Part 3, we discuss what we can do and what is being done – legally and socially – to reduce harmful cyber behavior.

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