Cyber-bullying: Why we’re all to blame

It’s sad, but it’s true – cyber-bullying has been happening for years now and it’s just getting worse. Twitter, Facebook and sites such as Formspring and ask.fm have made it easier for people, not just children, adults as well, to get at one another with the computer screen as their shield, and the victim’s as their sword. It needs to stop and we are all to blame.

The tragic news of Hannah Smith’s suicide brought the dangers of the internet home to a lot of people, so it’s time we all came together to put an end to it. I know a countless number of friends and acquaintances who have been victim of cyber-bullying in one way or another, including myself  – however that was years ago and I had a great support network of friends and family around me at the time. This post isn’t about me though; it’s actually about everyone…

Celebrities

Whether you like it or not, celebrities are powerful figures, especially in the world of social media. Without necessarily realising it they can be hugely influential on people of all ages and in that they actually unwillingly have some form of responsibility with what they post on the internet for the public to see.

I constantly see celebrity feuds on Twitter: horrendous things can get said in those about other people and those public figures are in a way accidentally making it seem like that’s a totally ok thing to do – but it’s not. Yes, we live in a ‘free country’ and can say what we want, however free with morality and rationality would be ideal.

The Media

The media not only put the limelight on these feuds making them out to be funny and exciting, but there are also some journalists who are just purely unprofessional and practically bully celebrities. I remember reading an article judging Kate Winslet for having children from three different dads – so what?! Why does that need to be written about? And why should that be ok to get published?

The Websites

At the end of the day, I do not believe in censorship, which puts where I stand in this argument in a difficult position. Despite this I do think that these sites like Twitter, Facebook, Ask.fm and Formspring have a responsibility to ensure that these situations do not occur.

A boycott on these sites won’t work though, sorry David Cameron. The thing is Twitter is actually a good way to counteract what’s going on, by sending out positive messages to those victims, FINDING the victims and helping them before it’s too late.

Remember the riots in 2011? Social media may have been partly to blame, but in the following days it was used to clean up the mess, to report about the awful events and to absolutely condone the actions of those involved!

You and me

We can all help stop this from happening.

It’s time we thought before we post a tweet, if we’re angry at someone or feeling bitter. Social media is not the place to vent or get personal about anyone in a vindictive way. As much as the websites have a responsibility, we are responsible for our own actions. Celebrities stop you’r Twitter feuds, it’s not cool – think about whose reading what you’re saying. To the media please, let’s not focus on people in an irrational, personal and negative way and stop making these celebrity feuds out to be funny, because bullying isn’t funny. It’s time to stand together and STOP cyber-bullying once and for all. #stopcyberbullying

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