Cyberbullying Videos in the UK and How they are helping…
Cyberbullying is a serious act that is quickly spreading throughout the United Kingdom. Students and adults are finding themselves falling victim to these heinous crimes. One of the most cited reasons cyberbullying is spreading so fast is because the bully feels a sense of being anonymous because there is a computer between them and the victim.
Videos can be used to embarrass and bully a victim, but this means of technology is also being used to help spread the word about cyberbullying. Several organizations have banded together to create videos to educate students, educators and parents in the UK about cyberbullying and how to prevent it.
What is cyberbullying?
According to the Anti-Bullying Alliance, cyberbullying is “bullying via electronic means. This could be via the Internet, phone, laptop, computer, tablet or online gaming.”
Just like bullying, cyberbullying is done with the intent to cause emotional distress in the victim. It is also done to socially isolate the victim from his or her friends and family. In most situations, the victim falls into a state of depression and stops participating in school activities, sports and social gatherings. When this occurs, the bully is given a sense of accomplishment, which only encourages him or her to keep harassing the victim.
When a video is taken and someone maliciously posts it on the internet or shares it with others through the various forms of technology, it is considered a form of bullying. Especially when the video portrays the victim in a bad light or is used to manipulate the victim to bow down to the bullies wishes.
An example of a cyberbullying video is when a British teen shoots a short video showing him or herself being seductive and then sends it to a boyfriend or girlfriend. Though the video was not intended to be shared with others, the recipient passes it along and shares it with the intention of coercing the victim into performing sexual acts or as a means of revenge after a breakup.
Just like with cyberbullying videos, pictures can also be used with malicious intent against a victim. Cyberbullying pics include those that were taken in private situations, taken without the permission or knowledge of the victim and shows the victim in a poor state. Pictures are shared over the internet, through social media networking sites, on the school’s student forum and any other public area found online. These photos can also be sent via emails, text messages and messenger programs.
British videos about cyberbullying
Several British organizations have come forward and are speaking up against cyberbullying. Many have created their own videos to help spread awareness and show examples of who these heinous acts are not acceptable. Most videos are shot with actors portraying victims and bullies, while others have interviews with actual victims, their families and in some cases, the bullies.
Childline has two videos on their website that shows how bullying can effect teenagers. Exposed is a ten minute drama that shows the drama and issues behind sexting and cyberbullying. The short one-minute video titled Cyber Bullying is a video about one student who is struggling with being bullied on line. The student talks about receiving text messages about being a wimp and other students had a lad come up and kiss the student and they shot a video of it with everyone laughing to threaten that it would be put up on YouTube.
Digizen also has the video Let’s Fight It Together – Cyberbullying Film, on its website. This award winning film shows the hurt and pain that victims of cyberbullying can feel. This video also shows why cyberbullying occurs, who is involved, how it affects victims and bullies and different things that can be done to prevent and stop it. There is even a lesson plan available to download for British educators to use in their classrooms.
The Anti-Bullying Alliance also has videos posted on their website that offer advice on preventing, coping with and stopping cyberbullying from happening in the UK. The videos posted include:
- Protect Yourself from Cyberbullying – What Children and Young People Can Do
- What Parents Can Do to Protect Their Children from Cyberbullying
According to a BBC report, the act of cyberbullying is on the rise in the UK and children of all ages, backgrounds and education levels can fall victim to these heinous acts. Different examples of cyberbullying include:
- Bomber – This is when a child is called a terrorist or a bomber and is told to go back where they came from
- Sexting – This occurs when one student feels comfortable in a relationship, only to find that their private sexts are being shared with others and posted on the Internet
- Posting and sharing of sexually explicit photos
- Making false claims about someone online that might damage one’s reputation
- Outing someone online to their friends and family
- Threatening to cause harm to someone via text messages
- Participating in cyberbullying acts against another person
- Leaving menacing comments on someone’s social media networking page
These are just a few of the different ways someone can be cyberbullied. There are many different types of cyberbullying and the list of examples and incidents in the UK just keeps growing and growing. That is why it is so important to help spread the word and increase awareness about these heinous acts, which in some cases can have legal consequences.
Happy slapping is the term used to describe a physical attack on another person while it is being recorded. In most case, happy slapping involved hitting someone who has no clue the attack is about to happen while another person records the incident and victim’s reaction.
Not only is the victim injured physically, they are forced to relive the humiliation over and over once the video has been posted online. In some severe cases, victims are severely injured and in rare cases the injuries are so severe the victim dies from the happy slapping attack.
Happy slapping is one of the newest forms of cyberbullying and many of the bullies do not realize that this is an illegal action. Plus, they are posting proof of their illegal actions online for everyone to see and prosecutors to use as evidence in a British criminal court.
Dealing with happy slapping
Because there is nothing happy about it, happy slapping needs to be taken serious. No one is immune to becoming a victim of happy slapping. This new method of cyberbullying is occurring on London buses, trains, playgrounds, streets and in restaurants.
It is a form of both physical attacks and emotional humiliation. Here are some tips to help those who have fallen victim to happy slapping:
- Report it immediately to the authorities
- Avoid watching the video
- Do not watch videos of other victims
- Stay calm
- Seek counseling help if the trauma is too emotional
Effects on cyberbullying victims
Cyberbullying can have a negative effect on the victim, including emotional, social and physical distress. Here are some of the different effects cyberbullying can have on a victim:
- Emotional mood swings
- Easily becomes angry
- Becomes withdrawn from family, friends and social activities
- Grades drop
- Refuses to go to school and London area community activities
- Changes in appetite
- Changes in behavior
- Changes in sleep patterns
What to do
There are many things that a victim or a witness can do to help prevent any future cyberbullying incidents from occurring. Here are some things to keep in mind and do when someone is bullying you or someone you know online:
- Speak up – it is never okay to bully someone, even if it is online
- Share it – do not hide the fact that you are being bullied
- Do not retaliate
- Never blame yourself
- Do not be a bystander or turn a blind eye on bullying
- Block the bully
- Save all evidence, including screen shots, emails, text messages, photos and websites
- Report videos of cyberbullying, texts, comments and photos to the proper British authorities
Being bullied can leave victims feeling upset, isolated and lonely. Depending upon the severity of the bullying, it can also leave the victim worried about sharing their experiences with another person, including those they trust and love. This is why it is important we do everything we can to stop cyberbullying in the UK and show those who have fallen victim that we are there to support and help them through the situation.