Facebook and other previous social networking sites were specifically designed to provide a community for old friends to unite and for making new ones. Nearly all internet users have their own profile in these websites where people can find and correspond with them.
But recently, Facebook became a hotbed for cyberbullying issues. Aside from being used as a friendly environment for communicating with friends, it has also been utilized by other people to harm someone by means of using a separate and fake Facebook profile.
Cyberbullying is a form of harassment where an offender taunts, embarrasses, threatens, or shows any kind of hostile behavior towards another person through the use of information and communication technology like the internet and mobile phones. One reason why online bullying is more vicious than other forms of bullying is because it can be done continuously without revealing the real identity of the offender.
The use of fake profiles and email provides a sort of immunity for the offender who consistently harasses his victim. The painful reality is that there are victims who cannot anymore withstand the emotional torture of bullying so they even resort to taking their own lives to escape it. And since majority of social networking site members are teens, a large number of cyberbullying victims are also teens.
Just imagine this: many American teens suffer and experience schoolyard bullying only to get home, use the computer, and again subject himself to another form of bullying in the web. For a vulnerable young-aged individual, consequences can be very devastating, and even deadly.
It’s a good thing though that Facebook has made significant steps to counter the vulnerability of its members in online bullying. With the help of Safetyweb.com, they have inserted a link called “Find Help” which is an application that seeks to give users an option to ask for help and report any kind of abuse or threat they see to Facebook officials.
Although this is just a minor step towards the goal of completely eradicating the problem, some States have actually made crucial strides to address it. For instance, California recently passed a law penalizing anyone who harms or tries to harm others by using the internet as medium. Penalty may consist of a fine amounting to $1,000 and a one year stint behind bars. But of course, we’re still hoping other states will soon pass their own legislation to stop cyberbullying.