What comes to mind when you hear the word cyber bullying?
Techopedia defines cyber bullying as a practice where an individual or group uses the Internet to ridicule, intimidate, harass or harm another person.
Recently, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced that they will step back as senior members of the royal family. This has shocked most people but if you consider how the Duchess has been treated since their relationship came to light, this has been a long time coming. The couple’s decision is due to all the mean stories and comments coming from racist and sexist people. Its 2020 and we are still dealing with issues of such a repulsive and unpalatable nature. In the digital age, information is easily accessible. We have access to real and unfortunately, fake stories which can tarnish people’s reputations. Because it is online, someone cannot understand the extent such fake stories bring to a victim of cyber bullying. We do not get to see the pain and heartache fake stories create for a victim and their family.
Foundations such as Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI) and World Wide Web Foundation work to ensure digital equality and internet access for all to improve lives. The internet can be a place to empower, to share and to learn for the benefit of humanity but unfortunately, some use it to target and hurt other people. Sadly, women and girls are the most affected by cyber bullying with studies showing women are bullied twice as much as men. This puts off many women from participating in debates and sharing their expertise for fear of attack.
This week, Mutale Mwanza, a Zambian journalist of Hot FM was accused of having accepted a bribe from the ZESCO Managing Director. There have been many articles written about her over some time painting her in a bad light to say the least. This time, she spoke out and told off the media houses that clearly cyber bully her. Regrettably, not many women can stand up and speak for themselves. There are stereotypes made and said about women implying that a woman can never reach high heights without the assistance of men. We claim to be modern but still hold our women to rules and traditions set in ancient times. We need to call out unacceptable behaviors in society. If your actions are hurting another human being, you need to check yourself. Of course, we can debate on the whether the platform she used to air her displeasure was appropriate or not, but the critical issues here is that someone is being victimized. A mother, whose child will grow to see stories about her is being bullied. What kind of society will we be if injustice is not condemned?
From a cyber security perspective, limit how many people have access to your private information. Your friends on social media should be people you know. Protect yourself and your loved ones by posting only necessary details. Remember that everything you post on the internet will be there forever and may be used against you.
Published at Fri, 07 Feb 2020 11:29:00 +0000