Expressing a view or an opinion on social media sites can be empowering but when does it go too far and progress into cyber bullying?
Many would say it oversteps the mark as soon as it becomes personal , or in any way harmful or likely to cause offence.
In many cases, is it just clueless communication using a bad choice of words that turned out for the worst?
Are cyber bullies even aware their behaviour is inappropriate?
Cyber bullying is an easier way to bully than school yard bullying or workplace bullying and it’s certainly more time effective. Then there is the endless possibility of bullying several people at once, killing several birds with one stone so to speak.
In the past we have seen children in the school yard shouting “fight, fight, fight” in an enthusiastic manner we now have a situation of “like, like, like”.
Do people set out to become cyber trolls or did all those ‘likes’ make them think they have clout and their behaviour is somehow valid?
Reporting the abuse on social media sites instead of ‘liking’ may be one of the best ways we can teach appropriate behaviour in an online environment.
At The National No 2 Bullying Conference held last month, Children’s eSafety Commissioner Alistair MacGibbon spoke on how his office aims to protect children from cyber bullying and create a generational shift toward more respectful and responsible behaviour online.
After his Keynote Presentation we asked Alistair to elaborate on a “sense of cilvilness” as mentioned in his presentation.
Alistair said “If we view the Internet as a public place, or a series of public places there are acceptable standards of behaviour for how one behaves in each place.
We see the Internet as no different and children should be offered the same level of protection than a public place. There is a rule of civil society and law” he said.
Alistair MacGibbon has held the role of The Children’s e-Safety Commissioner since July 2015 and has more than 15 years’ experience in the field of online safety and security.
To view the interview click on the video to press play.