Cyberbullying is a nuisance that children and parents are fighting alone. A recent study suggests that nearly half of the teens and young adults between ages 12 and 20 have been bullied, and 17 percent experienced bullying online.
Social media apps have added salt to the injury as harassers have shifted their focus towards online mediums. As such, Snapchat cyberbullying has been the biggest challenge as thousands of people are getting harassed through this social media platform.
According to a Children’s Commissioner, several parents and teachers cannot keep up with the technology quickly enough to effectively deal with cyberbullying. Sally Holland, a Children’s Commissioner for Wales, said in a report that young people in Wales need confidence and security to open up and talk about bullying on social media platforms.
Cyberbullying – A Growing Nuisance
Since those who get bullied shy away from disclosing their ordeal, it gets hard to pinpoint who is getting bullied in which region, making it difficult for law enforcement agencies to tackle the situation at the right time.
The UK’s communication watchdog Ofcom recently reported that one in 10 young people aged 10-15 had been bullied online. Advice service said that cyberbullying happens every day, every time on social media platforms.
Research done by the UK Safer Internet Center found that 43% of people of younger age knew of someone who shared a photo or video of them without their permission, and 25% said they regularly shared a screenshot of other people’s pictures without their consent.
Children’s Commissioner for Wale, Sally Holland, spoke to more than 400 youths in the country, along with 150 teachers and youth workers on the cyberbullying issue. The report indicated that young people and children had enough of being told what to do and what not to do online. They demand some space to talk about this touchy issue in a safe environment.
Rebecca, 15 years old using a different name, was bullied after an innocent photo of her wearing a low-cut top at a party was shared on Snapchat by her ex. She said,
Comments were calling me things like sket and slag, among other worse names. I froze and was speechless, and I didn’t know what to think about it, I felt embarrassed because I hadn’t had my say about it and there was no way I was going to have a say to more than 300 people.
Liz Stanton, a family protection advisor, said,
“When you look at bullying, people think of it as something that happens there and then in the playground. But when you look at online bullying, it’s going on every moment, and it’s hidden.”
On the same issue, the UK government’s suicide prevention minister Jackie Doyle-Price also called on social media sites to step up to the plate. He added,
“We want social media not to do this through the stick of the law. We want them to do it because they want to look after their users.”
Learn how to secure Snapchat.
How to Stay Secure from Cyberbullying?
The best way to stay safe from cyberbullying is to:
- Never share your passwords with others.
- Do not share your private photos/videos with others.
- Learn about privacy settings and reporting features on social media.
- Be extremely mindful of what you post and share online, as once it’s online, it’s hard to undo.
Parents should educate their children about online perils to reduce the harm they get from social media platforms. As always, stay vigilant and report a bully immediately.