There have been many cases recently where young children take their lives due to prolonged cyberbullying in social networking sites. In response, many schools and local authorities devised bullying prevention programs, which often focus on sympathizing with the victims and the importance of not bullying.
In many cases, the blame is simply placed on the tormentors, and appropriate actions are taken. However, even after the tragic deaths, the bullies still remain public about their wrongdoings. One tormentor, who led Rebecca Sedwick to jump off a tower and take her life at the age of 12, posted publicly on Facebook : “Yes ik[I know] I bullied REBECCA nd she killed her self but IDGAF[I don’t give a f***] <3”
Especially in these cases, the bullies take all of the blame, but many overlook the fact that this post received 31 likes in 15 hours.
Bystander effect is a social psychological phenomenon where individuals do not offer help to the victim when other people are present. Social networking sites, where most posts are made publicly for a big audience, are ‘breeding grounds of inaction.’ In addition, on most occasions, both the bully and bystander interpret lack of response to bullying as a sign of acceptance. Thus, the bully feels more encouraged to continue, while the bystanders continue to do nothing.
In order for bullying prevention to be more effective, more emphasis should be placed on bystander action. So far, most programs do not give directions for how bystanders could help. If these anti-bullying campaigns adopt guidelines for how bystanders can intervene and help the victim, these programs would yield better results.
More About ETCB:
The End to Cyber Bullying Organization is the world’s number one source for up-to-date cyberbullying information, news, legislature, and cyberbullying prevention tips. ETCB is instantly accessible online, and phone assistance by certified and professional cyber bullying counselors is available to any inquiring individuals. Highlighting cyberbullying as a leading issue in today’s technological society and raising awareness throughout the web and throughout communities is the first and primary step to putting an end to cyberbullying.
A 501(c)(3) not-for-profit, ETCB is an international cyberbullying awareness campaign that has united over 4.5 million individuals internationally. Youth initiatives have started up in not only the fifty states, but also in nations such as China and the UK. Partnering with other organizations, such as the Girl Scouts of USA and Sears Anti-Bullying Coalition, has enabled us to outreach even further. All of the money raised has been utilized to continue expanding ETCB, helping to increase the impact we’ve made. Most importantly, we are grateful to have comforted and served thousands of cyberbullying victims of all ages. Future victims no longer need to feel as isolated and helpless as I once did.