With the revolution of social networking websites, we are now in contact with one another more than ever before. And there's no denying it – social networking sites are here to stay. However, whilst very few of us have problems with our online lives, cyber bullying is a growing problem.
Cyber bullying is a significant issue on social networking sites, particularly for school children, who have been known to find themselves in the middle of an escalating hate campaign, feeling unable to do anything about it. Bullying doesn't just stop at home anymore – it can happen around the clock, at any time of day, and the victim doesn't even have to be a member of a social networking site.
members to set up pages and create communities online. This has resulted in a large number of people misusing the service and creating online bullying campaigns. Their popularity stems from the fact that it is much easier to be horrible to an online presence than it is to the person themselves. Many of the comments are despicable. Some are racist and illegal.
But what can be done about the issue? Many social networking sites have a ‘report' button which allows members to report online bullying through the means of automated services, but people have often come back dissatisfied with the results. Even if the offending page is taken down, all it takes is for someone to set another one back up. And with no phone number or email address to get in touch with an actual physical person, there is no way to resolve this dissatisfaction. And although some of the comments are illegal, many people walk away unchallenged by the police, due to the difficulty of tracing them.
Instead, social networks should approach the problem from a different angle – by trying to make sure that it doesn't happen at all. By preaching a more positive online community and heightening awareness of cyber bullying, they could lessen the impact of a culture which is capable of devastating young lives.