Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Consequences For Cyber-Bullying

As my job brings me into daily contact with many teenagers, i have seen the effects of cyber-bullying and it isn't nice at all and in some cases can even lead to horrific mental problems for the recipient and in extreme cases, suicide.
Unfortunately, social media and mobile phones are perfect for some individuals to send anonymous threats and abuse and it is good news that the government is trying to do something to prevent this huge problem, i just have concerns over the plans to jail anyone convicted of cyber-bullying or text message abuse for up to two years.
The justice secretary, Chris Grayling, has backed an amendment to the criminal justice bill that would target new rules at combating cyber-bullies that sexually harass and verbally abuse people on the internet or via mobile phones in England and Wales under the Malicious Communications Act.
My concerns are where does bullying or being abusive start and legitimately criticising someone end?
Obviously the anti-social miscreants who sent death and rape threats to journalist Caroline Criado-Perez after she launched a campaign for more women to be represented on banknotes fully deserved the prison sentence they got but two years seems excessive.
If it acts as a deterrent to cyber-bullying then i will reluctantly back it, it is a real problem that needs to be tackled, but i would prefer that threats by text or online be treated the same as any verbal threat made by any other means and bullying be classed the same as harassment and stalking and the threat of a suspended six month sentence and up to a £5,000 fine to focus the mind of anyone before they press send. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

criticizing is when you way what you don't like. bullying is when you make up stuff and threaten...

or did over simplify?

there is a difference between bullying and cyber-bullying - when you yell or say something mean a few people hear it; when you put it on facebook millions might hear it...