Cyberbullying is an issue in our schools, despite laws and monumental efforts by social networks to limit it. Celebrities also continue to be on the receiving end of cyberbullying attacks. What can we learn from them?
For example, it has been widely reported the Leslie Jones, one of the stars in the movie Ghostbusters, has been on the receiving end of substantial bullying, originating mainly through Twitter (see here and here, for example).
I feel like I'm in a personal hell. I didn't do anything to deserve this. It's just too much. It shouldn't be like this. So hurt right now.
— Leslie Jones (@Lesdoggg) July 19, 2016
Most social networks have a mechanism for reporting bullying online, but their methods often come up short, at least according to several people who have frequently found themselves on the receiving end of the threats and other abuse. Among them, feminist writer Jessica Valenti, who recently announced she was taking an indefinite break from social media:
I should not have to fear for my kid's safety because I write about feminism.
— Jessica Valenti (@JessicaValenti) July 27, 2016
What’s worse is the possibility that one user is impersonating another user and posting abusive comments in their name. People have impersonated me on at least 15 occasions by sending email “from” me. As far as I know, the email went to SPAM, but this is one of the most offensive acts of abuse that can be carried out.
And teens know how to do this, too. It’s not that hard to set up a website and fake who you are in order to bully someone.
Furthermore, bullying often includes multiple platforms or social networks, including anonymous apps like Whisper, Yik Yak, Ask.fm, or After School. You can contact one social network, but that company is not going to be able to do anything about the parallel bullying on another platform.
A few resources might come in handy: