TODAY -

Cyber bullying : Crime that follows you home

Varun Kapoor *



The cyber space a place to meet great people, build bonds and make lasting and fruitful relations. But like in the real world all good things have a flip side – so too is true in the cyber world. There is definitely a flip side to a number of relations that develop in this non-physical space.

The fact that this space is even more dangerous and mysterious is known to many, but still citizens commit such basic follies that they become victims to a number of heinous crimes on regular basis with absolutely disastrous consequences. One such crime which is on the rise and has real harmful consequences on many innocent citizens is known as Cyber Bullying.

Though technically speaking anyone can fall victim to this crime, maximum number of victims are observed to be children and women. Thus it is this section of society that needs maximum protection against this psychological and mind draining offence. Bullying is defined as the use of force, threat, or coercion to abuse, intimidate, or aggressively dominate others.

This is bullying in the real world. If you add Technology to this Bullying it gets converted into Cyber Bullying. This includes a host of cyber activities that are undertaken by the person bullying from time to time. Some of the most common Cyber Bullying activities include – sending mean text messages; photo shopping pictures; creating fake profiles; posting fight videos; spreading rumours and gossip; posting embarrassing pictures; sending threatening or embarrassing comments etc.

Why is cyber bullying more insidious and harmful for the bullied person – this is because it spreads faster; has a much wider audience and follows the bullied child or person HOME! The effects of such bullying can be devastating, especially for children.

It causes severe psychological, emotional and physical stress. Such children may develop low self esteem; feel lonely; feel nervous about going on-line or to school; receive poor grades; start using alcohol or drugs and it if this is not checked and the bullied child counselled at the right time – it may even develop into a deep depression and even suicidal tendencies may start being demonstrated.

There was a very disturbing case reported from Thane. A cyber cafe owner created a fake profile of a college student and started posting obscene material and comments about that student on that profile. Later he even added the telephone number of the unfortunate girl in the fake profile.

Soon the girl started getting multiple and obscene calls from all over the world. She was highly disturbed and even was contemplating suicide when she was rescued by her sister and a report was made to the police who tracked down and arrested the accused cyber cafe owner.

Another case was reported from Nagpur. This again involved a young girl going in for her marriage. Suddenly pictures of her smoking a cigarette and consuming liquor appeared on a social networking site. Her proposed marriage was called off.

When a second marriage proposal was finalized, the sister of the prospective groom again received the same images via his email. This marriage was once again cancelled. The father of the girl made a complaint to the police and the accused youth was taken into custody. In both cases the accused were arrested by the police. But till then we can only imagine the amount of harm and torture they would have remotely exerted on the unfortunate victims.

The most disturbing fact about such crimes is that most of the victim suffer silently and do not share their predicament with anyone – as they think that the fault is theirs and their patents or the society will ultimately blame them and their ways for this virtual assault on them. They seek no guidance neither do they seek any redress. Often till it is too late!! Rather disturbingly a recent survey showed that 53% of all children in India aged between 8-17 years have experienced cyber bullying.

The Global Youth On-line Behaviour Survey conducted by Microsoft ranked India third in cyber bullying. “The easiest way to get back at someone is on-line,” said Srishti Sehgal, a Class 12 student at St Thomas’ School, Mandir Marg.

“You don’t have to face the other person. So you can say or do things you wouldn’t in real life. You can knock someone down in front of hundreds of people who are on the site. It’s worse than school bullying,” she said.

Something has to be done and something has to be done fast. The best way is spreading awareness amongst students and women to understand the reasons of such bullying and how best to deal with it. Thus it is recommended that if any individual suffers such a horrendous crime, this is what he/she should do:

Talk to a trusted person – parent, sibling or teacher,do not respond to a cyber bully – best response is no response, keep record of cyber bullying – take a screen shot and save details like dates, time etc.

Block the person or unfriend the person who is cyber bullying you, consider it not your fault! Do not hurt or harm yourself as a result, do not bully back – never be a cyber bully yourself!

Never let the bully win – keep doing what you love most!

Follow these simple steps and be safe and free from cyber bullying. Prevention is definitely better than cure – in this cyber crime!


[Views expressed in the column are of the author himself]


* Varun Kapoor wrote this article for The Sangai Express
Varun Kapoor is ADG Narcotics & PRTS Indore, MP
This article was webcasted on September 09, 2018.



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