Cyber Bullying be easily accomplished online as the Internet affords an indirect (non-confrontational) method to express a variety of emotions without actually facing the person; I call this threshold reduction and it is a hallmark of why the Internet promotes cyber bullying so easily. There is no one to look at in the eye or to face when bullies make these comments and the Internet medium creates a sense of disinhibition, which along with threshold reduction make it fertile ground for the damaging effects of cyber bullying; and this is further amplified by the fact that the Internet implies indirect intimidation. Cyber bullies often utilize Facebook as an ideal platform. Facebook is the world’s largest peer-comparison platform. People are both attracted and repelled to it, but everyone uses and sees it. Facebook and other social media outlets including You Tube, Instagram, Twitter and others make it too easy for anyone to broadcast, without permission, anything they want about anyone they want. This power is far too intoxicating for many bullies, and far too damaging some the their victims of such destructive postings.
What is cyber Bullying? It can include social exclusion, social comparison and competition, defamatory statements, and/or sexual harassment. The Bullying can come in the form of written material or posts to social media sites, unauthorized photos or videos of embarrassing or compromising behavior. It can even come in the form of “Revenge porn”.
Revenge porn sites feature explicit photos posted by ex-boyfriends, ex-husbands and ex-lovers, often accompanied by disparaging descriptions and identifying details, like where the women lives and works, as well as links to their Facebook pages or other social media outlets. Needless to say the effects can be psychologically devastating at the least and potentially deadly in the form of suicide or homicide at their most extreme.
Cyber bullying can also include catfishing where a person pretends to be someone whom he is not in order to appeal to someone whom he is carrying an online relationship with—in many cases and in my research nearly 50% of people admit to lying about who and what are online. This is further enhanced by the perceived anonymity and ease of creating an alter-ego for an online persona. In addition, cyber bullies often utilize anonymous posting platforms so the “victim” never know who said it and why but the effects are equally devastating. The damages of cyber bullying can be a loss of social identity and social status, and may lead to increased anxiety, fear of going to school, depression, social isolation, or in some case revenge violence or suicide.