The most prominent type of bullying in today’s society is cyberbullying, due to the exponential technological opportunities being created at every second because of the internet. As Bahati Rusell reminds us, words can hurt, and in his blog post Cyberbullying and Social Media he attempts to address this issue by sharing his opinion on the subject and what he believes might be a solution. The danger of cyberbullying is the fact these bullies can literally target anyone on the internet and can have complete anonymity. These bullies are basically dumping their insecurity on innocent bystanders who are just sharing their opinions online, and what is truly horrifying is that these bystanders may not be mature enough to know how to handle this kind of abuse which can lead to depression and even suicide. According to http://www.bullyingstatistics.org/content/cyber-bullying-statistics.html , the study shows that over half of adolescents and teens have either suffered or have seen cyberbullying, and that most of these teens have also been a part of cyberbullying. Of that huge percentage that were cyberbullied, there are about 4,400 cases of individuals that have committed suicide. This kind of constant and ubiquitous behavior is unacceptable, and social media platforms need to either monitor this problem or raise awareness of this abuse.
In many cases of cyberbullying, the bullies usually know the victims and are usually in the same environment when it comes to teenagers, but among adults it usually happens online with anonymity. Nevertheless, where is the cyberbullying happening? According to research it lies most within social media platforms, with the most common battlegrounds being Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter. What’s truly ironic is that these platforms’ goals is to make the world a better, positive, and connected community. So, why do they let this abuse happen on the platforms and let the abusers have no consequences, while the bullied suffer by being mocked in front of the whole world. Teenagers are most worried about people in their community seeing them being mocked online.
In his article, Bahatti Rusell makes an effective argument about why these huge companies should be taking matters into their own hands. Most of the cyberbullying is happening under their watch, but they refuse to do anything about it because of the controversy that may come with it. First, they know that a lot of their customers are those bullies, so that may cause a decrease in revenue. Most importantly, companies are afraid that if they hire people to monitor these harmful comments and be able to erase them at their will, it might cause people to believe their violating their privacy and their freedom of speech. The arguments are faulty because first these companies are already monitoring you without you knowing, and second these bullies should be considered murderers if they lead someone to suicide. A more realistic solution could be to to raise awareness of cyberbullying in general, which means to tell all users about deleting comments that may be interpreted as cyberbullying. Besides, users of the original post already have the power to delete comments in their post, so why not use that power to do something good.
But, I agree with Bahati Rusell, companies should take matters into their own hands and start creating a more friendly and positive environment in which they promised us in the first place, because now social media is only creating a hostile environment.