Internet social network services that allow users to come up with their personal profile pages have been so famous for the past few years. There is MySpace, Multiply, Friendster, Facebook to name the more famous ones.
For many, this is a high-tech form of diary where they could tell others about themselves, and exchanges messages with friends. It is meant to share interests and common activities with other users. Their pages allow them to use their creativity. With so many available tools from various websites, users are able to add music, videos, pictures and other things to make their pages look very appealing and unique.
But what could have started to be like a modern-day diary of sorts has transformed into a venue of abuse and bullying.
Creators of their own pages would often receive hate messages that would require to be deleted everyday. If unnoticed for a day or even a few hours, posted messages are there in the full view of other users. Young people have used this network services as a weapon to humiliate and embarrass their classmates and peers.
Furthermore, other people are on the receiving end of great surprises as they discover accounts with their pictures and false information about them. In short, they have become what is now labeled as cyber victims.
Video sharing websites are also used as a venue for cyber bullying. The very famous website youtube.com that allow users to upload, share and view videos is being used by some people to upload unnecessary videos, or edit videos to embarrass or ridicule people.
Many people including professionals like teachers complain that they get are recorded on handy cameras and mobile phones, and get surprised to see videos of themselves on websites like youtube. They recite a certain part of a book or essay in class, and a portion of this is uploaded on the site, with a caption that implies a racial slur or something very negative.
So, the most important question now is how do you avoid being a cyber victim?
1. If you have an account on MySpace or Facebook or Multiply, be very responsible for what you post. Some use this as their blogs and post experiences and daily events. Be sure not to write anything that would make you cause harm to your very own self. Even if you wish to delete certain posts, some other users who have gone to your page could have read it, copied it and put it in their own accounts or blogs. Think very carefully before you write on something, especially if you are posting something negative about certain issues.
2. If you discover that there is an account with your picture and name, but is obviously not yours, call or email the website immediately. Notify the administrator of the impostor’s actions. You can actually email or send a message to the this person who claims to be you and be firm to demand that he remove the account because he does not have your permission.
3. If you are a professional, say a teacher, never post pictures or comments that may backfire on you. Some pictures may be taken in jest, but others might take offense. And worse, others could use it against you.
4. Be careful in the websites that you visit. A teacher for instance should never pornographic sites or open links in pornographic emails on school computers.
5. For teachers, maintain a professional relationship with students. You may be friendly and warm to your students, but maintain a professional stance. This would lessen the problem of students treating you like one of the guys. Keeping the relationship at a professional level would merit respect.
Many young people become poor victims of cyber bullying. This has caused emotional distress and a great degree of embarrassment for many. For some professionals, issues like these have caused them their jobs and reputation. Avoid being a cyber victim.