Social networking can be described as web-based message tools that enable individuals to communicate with each other by sharing and receiving information (Goldblum 57). Social media has two main features: material or news reported in the media is regulated either by the author or the individual owning the account. Another feature is the opportunity to turn people from recipients of information to producers. This implies, however, that the platforms encourage users to write some content according to their wishes without having to ask approval from anybody else (Goldblum 157). This value acts in providing the owners of accounts in social media the freedom to publish any statement that they want and whenever they feel to. This paper explains how social media has permitted the consumers to bully, insult, and threatens others without any fear of punishment.
There have been great improvements in the scope of the social media. The media sites can be accessed using any device that can connect to the internet, thereby, enabling many people worldwide to reach the social media network sites. Some sites, for instance, Instagram and Facebook are fixed on the phones and also have distinctive dedicated keys to make access easier (Goldman 421). These sites have also been configured to desktop forms that are operational in personal computers and the desktops and also versions of mobile phones that are well-matched with every phone model as long as the phone has the capability of connecting to the internet. Every age group; therefore, have been able to use the social media since approximately every teenager and youths are in possession of mobile phones leading to the increased popularity of the press.
Several factors have facilitated the use of the social media to insult, bully and threaten others. To begin with, joining the social media groups is very open because data provided does not have to correspond to the users information (Goldblum 160). One needs to complete a few fields provided when joining some of which include a persons name, year of birth and email address among others. However, this personal data is not scrutinized for accuracy, and this has allowed people to join the groups using false names and other details hence creating an unidentified state of the owner of the account. This anonymous condition gives individuals confidence that they can bully, insult or even threaten others without being found or even associated with the accounts since they do not contain their details.
Insults, bullying, and threats in social media do not only occur among the youth. The young are also mistreated by adults and the aged also harass each other. That in most cases is experienced between employees who work together in a company (Manning and Bucher 116). These workers are often friends on the social media site where they chat and exchange information. If there is a conflict among staff members, the disagreement is mostly taken online where they bully, threaten, or even insult each other. It is made easy because of lack of substantial evidence with the accounts being used.
Also facilitating threats, bullying, and insults in social media are the fact that these sites are owned and operated by private establishments whose principal goal is profit making. That shows that there is highly minimal or no scrutiny of the information that is being published on these sites (Manning and Bucher 126). These media offer a contract type of relationship where once an individual agrees to the terms and conditions of the social media site, the site has a responsibility to maintain the persons data privacy. Therefore, material produced by individuals can only be accessed by their friend and using such information as evidence in a court of law will require following lengthy procedures (Manning and Bucher 128). That assures the offender of the security of their data concerning being accused by agents of law enforcement, and because most of the victims of threat or insult are not aware of the process of filing the reports with the police bellies are in most cases not punished.
Another issue that makes users of social media vulnerable to bullying, insults, and threats is the capability of people to be made part of groups without their consent. Taking Facebook, for example, someones friends can add him or her in a group even without the persons knowledge that he or she is being included in that group; this is possible because all that is required for one to be incorporated in a group is simply the user name (Goldblum 164). This procedure has been followed by bullies especially in schools; they identify the person they wish to bully and then gather information about the individual. After obtaining the relevant data, they then request to connect with them. Once they are connected, they will have the opportunity to insult, bully and even threaten them. Bullying can take various dimensions: in schools, this can be about defamatory information published about a particular teacher by either a parent or a student, production of wrong information concerning an individual, disclosure of private images or other details, and intimidating others among other forms (Goldblum 167). This process is promoted by the reality that numerous schools have created groups in the sites of social media where everyone can post information and also have the freedom to access them hence making bullying more straightforward.
In some social media sites, for instance, Facebook, it is possible for people to publish comments or add pictures and remove them later from their wall. All those who were seeing the post will not reaccess it because when it is deleted, it will no longer be available on their walls. Therefore, it is easy for one to threaten, bully, or insult others in the social network sites and when a concern is raised, remove the material even before investigation starts (Manning and Bucher 129). The evidence will have been discarded, and the only way the investigator can get hold of it is the administrator of the site with a warrant from the court demanding disclosure of the material.
The fame of the social media sites globally has also increased the confidence of the bullies in doing their evil activities. People struggle to have as many friends as they can. In the process they get in touch with individuals, they do not know completely (Manning and Bucher 132). One can, therefore, have several friends online whose in a real sense are complete strangers because they know absolutely nothing about them neither have they met them. Many of those who act as bullies assume this status. The victims render themselves to harassment by allowing anonymous friends with whom they share personal information. For example matters of unlawful relationships or comments or images that can be humiliating to someone. Those who see such material comment on it extending and increasing the effect of bullying.
Victims of bullying have also contributed in building the confidence of the bullies. That is because only a few of those who suffer from this act have the courage to report these cases of harassment to the police. It is the reason why there are very few cases where law enforcement agents have successfully apprehended abusers (Goldman 417). Knowing that they can insult, bully, and threaten other and get away with it makes the tormenters more confident and gives them the courage to keep on with their evil act. Many of the youths who have been tormented resort to more drastic methods of dealing with this activity such as taking their own life rather than reporting the matter to the authorities.
There is need to look into insulting, bullying, and threatening that occurred through the social media sites because these activities have very negative impacts on the victims: Cyber bullying repeatedly attacks people in their most vulnerable areas (Kowalski and Limber 14). As a result of this activity, the victims at times begin to doubt their value or worth. Their reaction to such feelings may by harming themselves. For example: calling a girl fat may make her start crashing diet with an expectation that when she reduces some weight and changes the way she looks, then she will not be bullied again. In most cases, victims will do something about the outlook and attitude to prevent further bullying.
In some cases, teens felt isolated and excluded from school. This experience becomes painful, especially because at this age in life friends are useful. Living without friends or in isolation can in itself facilitate further bullying. Victims of insults, intimidation, and threats through the social media site, mostly prefer shutting down their mobile phone or turning off their computers. However, this is different with the teens, instead of switching off the phone or the computer, to them this means stopping communication with the whole world (Kowalski and Limber 16). That is because one of the most significant ways through which they communicate is through their phones and the computers. Therefore when this mode of transferring information is made unavailable due to mistreatment, insults or even threats, they feel removed from their world and isolated.
Eminently, the users of social media have perpetrated matters of insults, bullying, and threats without the concerned fearing penalties or even serious legal actions against them. One, this is because the account holders information is never verified in social media sites. The bullies can, therefore, create accounts using false data about themselves which enables them to carry out evil activities without being noticed. The attractiveness and the approval of the sites by the community, and the reality that victims do not report cases of mistreatment has given more confidence and courage to the offenders. Also the ability to add pictures or comments on Facebook and later remove them when people raise concerns about them has helped the criminal to delete evidence that could be useful in court.Work Cited
Goldblum, Peter. Youth suicide and bullying: Challenges and strategies for prevention and intervention. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015. Print.
Goldman, Lauren, M. Trending Now: The Use of Social Media Websites in Public Shaming Punishments. American Criminal Law Review 52.415 (2015): 415-451.
Kowalski, Robin M., and Susan P. Limber. "Psychological, physical, and academic correlates of cyberbullying and traditional bullying." Journal of Adolescent Health 53.1 (2013): S13-S20.
Manning, M. Lee, and Katherine Toth Bucher. Classroom management: Models, applications, and cases. Pearson, 2013. Print.
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