“stop cyberbullying” by FunnyBiz is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.
With the growth of the Internet, the virtual online world has replaced the schoolyard as a place where some minors and teenagers bully others. U.S. law defines cyberbullying as someone (usually a teenager) bullying or harassing another person on the Internet and other digital spaces (especially social media sites). Harmful bullying may include posting rumors, threats, sexual remarks, personal information about the victim, or derogatory labels (i.e., hate speech) not only cyberbullying but also pornography, harassment, and other problems are frequently appearing on the Internet.
social media is the murderer of the suicide of Amanda Todd
The impact of social media is particularly important for teens and young adults, who are among the heaviest users of social networks, and while social networks undoubtedly play a crucial role in expanding social connections and learning technological skills, their risks cannot be ignored(Ramasubbu, 2015).
Screenshot of Amanda Todd’s YouTube video, My story: Struggling, bullying, suicide, self harm posted before her suicide in October 2012. It was published with the Standard YouTube free copyright license.
Amanda Todd, a 15-year-old Canadian schoolgirl who was also a victim of cyberbullying, hanged herself in her home on October 10, 2012. Before her death, she posted a video on YouTube in which she used a card draw to talk about her experiences with bullying and the exposure of her sensitive body parts via webcam. As of October 13, 2012, the video had received over 1,600,000 views. In this video, she had illustrates that when she was in 7th grade, she met a strange man on the internet through video chat, the man was attracted by her appearance and praised her, after that, the man kept asking her repeatedly to show her breasts naked, finally, todd compromised, but unexpectedly, the man saved it using screenshots. Later, the man kept threatening her with her naked photos also. Todd was disturbed, but the man’s behavior became worse and contacted her schoolmates,but they didn’t choose to comfort her and isolated her and made fun of her. Todd couldn’t bear the pain and she and her family chose to move to a new city to live in, but the man kept stalking her on the internet. Every time Todd transferred to a new school, the man would go on Facebook and talk to her classmates at the new school about todd’s past and send videos of her to the social accounts of her classmates and teachers at the new school ((Vancouver Sun, n.d.). The depression had completely destroyed Todd’s spirit and she chose to hang herself to end her life at the age of 15.
Heaven? or Hell?
The purpose of online hate speech is to attack individuals or groups of people based on their race, religion, or ethnicity (Johnson et al., 2019).
One of the most typical examples of hate speech is the Islamic State on the internet, ISIS is known for its extensive and effective Internet propaganda, The Isis group uses social media such as Facebook and Twitter on the Internet to post videos and photos of the executions of prisoners in extremely brutal ways including shooting and burning prisoners alive in cages to attract media and public attention. In addition to this, isis portrays itself as an extremely humane place addressing everyone as brothers and sisters and saying that everyone who joins the group becomes family with it. isis always posts smiles of dead jihadists on their media with the caption: “They are on their way to heaven, they died for freedom. “(Ruthven, 2015) Surprisingly, isis has supporters all over the world and this terrorist ideology has started to spread globally, isis uses fantastic propaganda to portray their terrorist organization as a happy land and from that to recruit supporters, many internet users, especially teenagers, are compelled by this extreme religious ideology, as their values are not yet at the level of adults and they are in the developmental stage. In addition to this, isis is encouraging its supporters on the Internet to carry out terrorist attacks anywhere in the world to show their commitment to jihad. Although ISIS has now lost most of its territory, ISIS is still mindful of the importance of the Internet and social media that can be used to recruit and spread its fantasy propaganda.
Who should say stop?
These two cases are just the tip of the iceberg of the dark part of the Internet, if the spread of such dark ideas and undesirable content on the Internet is not stopped, more and more tragedies will occur. So who should stop the spread of this stuff is a very interesting topic, and in both cases I think the social media moderation system should be there to stop it, if the moderation system can stop these problems in the first place and flag them as illegal content it will prevent the tragedy, this is why it is important to strengthen censorship. Although the Internet was originally created to protect freedom of expression (Deibert et al., 2008), freedom of expression can also lead to the flow of undesirable speech into the Internet, media companies should also set up organizations to strengthen online censorship and invest more money and manpower in training censors. Many users now prefer to use abbreviations or words with the same meaning to prevent their content from being published on the Internet, so at this time, if censors knew what these acronyms and substitutions meant, they would stop them from being published on the Internet and protect some users from being affected by them. But the internet is a big place, so more censors should be put in place to avoid the lack of staff and the inability to cut off the spread of bad content in the first place.
Besides, media companies also have the responsibility, Media companies should not put their own interests first, but should also put the network ecosystem first. Media companies should introduce policies to clean up the network environment, for example, when some new social software is released, the developer is required to provide the true identity of who developed the software, he is responsible for the authenticity, and assume the corresponding audit obligations, in fact, the design of software to set the scope of software sales and the use of the crowd, in order to avoid, for example, minors using the software that only adults can use And software development departments need to cooperate, take the initiative to provide their own software designed for the relevant departments to review, after the audit, in order to officially shelve the application market. The main role of government agencies is the following, the first is to address the yellow and violent problems that exist when running in the Internet now, and to effectively supervise the behavior of relevant websites and subjects. Timely seizure of illegal behavior of Internet sites, while using appropriate technical means to regulate the speech of Internet users, in fact, to increase the propaganda efforts to purify the network environment and promote the civilized, healthy and orderly development of the Internet. Make the development of the Internet and the current mainstream of new things what match. Prevent there is misleading the public and infringement of the legitimate rights of others on the Internet.
Ramasubbu, S. (2015, May 26). Influence of social media on teenagers. HuffPost. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/influence-of-social-media-on-teenagers_b_7427740
‘She shared everything with me’: Amanda Todd’s mother talks about her life with her daughter (with video). (n.d.-a). Www.Vancouversun.Com. Retrieved October 10, 2022, from https://web.archive.org/web/20121022210457/http://www.vancouversun.com/health/shared+everything+with+Amanda+Todd+mother+talks+about+life/7419475/story.html
Johnson, N. F., Leahy, R., Restrepo, N. J., Velasquez, N., Zheng, M., Manrique, P., Devkota, P., & Wuchty, S. (2019). Hidden resilience and adaptive dynamics of the global online hate ecology. Nature, 573(7773), 261–265. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-019-1494-7
Prajuli, W. A. (2017, December 4). On social media, ISIS uses fantastical propaganda to recruit members. The Conversation. https://theconversation.com/on-social-media-isis-uses-fantastical-propaganda-to-recruit-members-86626
Ruthven, M. (2015, June 11). Inside the Islamic State. The New York Review of Books. https://www.nybooks.com/articles/2015/07/09/inside-islamic-state
Deibert, R., Palfrey, J., Rohozinski, R., & Zittrain, J. (2008). Access denied: The practice and policy of global internet filtering. MIT Press.