Some of us don’t realize we are cyberbullies

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Some of us may have not realized we are bullying someone online, until you actually learn how bullies, bully people online. I think we should highlight this issue during HashtagLive Kuching so that there would be more awareness on this.

According to www.stopbullying.govCyberbullying or bullying online takes place when bullying is done using electronic technology. Examples of cyberbullying include mean text messages or emails, rumors sent by email or posted on social networking sites, and embarrassing pictures, videos, websites, or fake profiles“.

I believe that definition is quite clear, and many of us already hate (yes, hate) bullies. We don’t tolerate them and we tend to gang up when we know someone is bullied to help the person being bullied. On social media, especially Facebook, it is very prominent.

However, sometimes or most of the times, ganging up on social media does bring more problems with the gang itself turning into bullies.

It has happened way too often in Sarawak with major news media like Harian Metro, TV3 and Astro having a taste of cyberbullying themselves in the past few years hence causing them to apologize profusely to the Sarawakian public. I think bullying someone to seek an apology is not right, similarly is the act to pressure someone into doing something (which is also bullying).

We must remember not to turn into the last trait of cyberbullies as depicted above - Image by beyondthebully.com
We must remember not to turn into the last trait of cyberbullies as depicted above – Image by beyondthebully.com

Before you go on to click the comment section and accuse me of ‘not being a Sarawakian’, or that ‘I am the cause of Sarawakians are being bullied’ and so many other things, do hear me out first.

I do not condone the show of disrespect, the mocking or the degrading of anything related to Sarawak and Sarawakian. I think people who do such things have bad taste, are full of negativity, and are ignorant to say the very least.

If we stumble or find someone doing such things, action must be taken, and this should be done in accordance to the law. Make a police report, tell NGO’s or your representative about it. Seek help to get the material removed and deleted, or even better condemned by those with power and authority. If you are daring enough, correct them politely because the teaching of Christ does say that we should always seek love and peace. These are the few of many ways things should be done to address these issue, and it doesn’t need you to be a bully.

Leaving comments on the person’s Facebook page, or saying bad words about them, including cursing them for what they have done, or even worst, putting up their personal information to be seen by the masses is bullying and totally uncalled for.

Yes, some of you may argue that we Sarawakians have taken way too much discrimination of late that we should stand up and protect our rights. First and formost, what rights are you talking about? The rights of being a bully?

I find it amusing that some people justify their act of cyberbullying by using the phrase ‘protecting our rights’ because the last time I checked, our rights do not include bullying someone into giving us what we want. The rights we should have as Sarawakians are fought in the parliament and the state legislative assembly in which our YBs (elected representative) should be working hard to fight for. If they are not doing their job, the perhaps we need to vote wiser next time.

The same goes out to those who justify the act of bullying due to their desire to correct some people who remain ignorant about Sarawakian and Sarawakians (like saying we live on trees, use sampans and so on). Yes, it is surprising that such ignorance still exist especially from West Malaysians, but we could do so much more like showing them pictures of Sarawakians and Sarawak to correct their misconception.  A good idea is to actually blog more about Sarawak and what it has to offer so that the word spreads that Sarawak is not what it is perceived.  To me, these are more sensible and matured action if compared to creating a ‘print screen’ of what they have said, and verbally abusing them with harsh words.

On top of that, we must also be mindful that bullying can happen to anyone at anytime. Unfortunately, most people will not bother about it until they themselves become victims of cyberbullying, which is by then, too late.  We must also consider the fact that it is way too easy to frame someone online nowadays with a lot of personal information easily available at the click of a mouse.  For all we know, someone might had created a fake account to tarnish the image of another, and we helped them.

That said, I hope adults especially, would take cyberbullying seriously and start discouraging it from happening by refraining themselves from getting involved in such cowardly acts because we need to stop this now, or else, we will be having a lot of problems in the future.

If your kid sees you condone bullying, you can’t blame them from doing the same in the future.

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