Sunday, December 9, 2007

Cyber-Bully Quiz: Are You a Cyber-Bully?

Cyber-harassment, cyber-stalking, cyber-group bully, cyber-Gossip: all of these categories fall under the tactics of a cyber-bully.

Here is a quiz, take it and see it you’re a cyber-bully or if you've ever pulled some other cyber-bullying tactics during your time on-line.

Have you ever done this?

1.Signed on with someone else’s nic and password to get information.

While this does not seem like cyber-bullying if this information was to be used for ill-will, then, yes, it is cyber-bullying.

2. Sent an email or online greeting card from someone else’s account.

Again, some may claim that this is not cyber-bullying, if the email or online greeting is used to stalk or harass someone, then it falls under cyber-bullying.

3. Forwarded a private IM or email without permission.

This could be construed as a “grey” area. After all, it’s merely passing on a private email or IM and some would argue as fairly innocuous.

It boils down to intent.

Was the private conversation/email sent to someone or others with the intent to spread gossip or do harm? While most likely the victim may never know their communication has been forwarded to others, this is still harmful to that person. This is not direct cyber-bullying, more like back-stabbing cyber-bullying tactics.

4. Hacked into someone’s PC

Not only is this cyber-bullying but also cyber-stalking and illegal. A 33-yr-old man in Florida was just sentenced to prison for 110 years after being convicted of hacking into MySpace teenaged girl’s PC’s. He threatened to harm to them or their families if they didn’t send him lewd photos. MySpace: Teenaged Girl’s Profiles Hacked by Predator

5. Sent a virus or Trojan Horse?

This is malicious behavior with intent to do harm.

6. Posted rude, nasty or vicious comments about someone online

Back to intent. Some blogs or forums can get heated and contentious but if someone’s intent is to solely post rude, nasty or vicious comments about another poster then this is cyber-bullying and cyber-gossiping. The Jewish terms referring to gossip are Lashon Hara and Hotzaa Diba:

"Lashon" is translated as "language" or "tongue". The word is generally translated as "evil speech". It is true that the concept of lashon hara is regarding true and correct statements. Lies and false and exaggerated information fall into a worse category called Hotzaat Diba, or derogatory/slanderous or defamatory speech which is, in fact, worse than lashon hara in many ways.

7. Teased or frightened someone during IM chats

Teasing that goes over the line, that is meant to chip away someone’s self-esteem. The victim cries foul, the perpetrator claims “teasing.” Boo! (Not that kind of fright) Frightening someone can mean making threats to do harm.

8. Joined in a clique on a blog or chatroom that enjoyed driving other posters offsite

Not often talked about are the “community” blogs or chatrooms where “like-minded” posters form cliques. Part of their activities are to single out other posters for the sole purpose of driving the target off the site. This is often done in the guise of “for the good of the blog or chatroom.”

9. Accused someone of a crime online without proof

The person who is unfairly accused of committing a crime online usually has nowhere to turn. The accusers are for the most part, anonymous, the “accusation” gets spread without proof. An attorney has been fighting the website, “Don’” over anonymous posters who posted nasty stories about him. Attorney Sues Website That Claimed He Was a Cheater

10. Followed someone across the Web

Kept track of other online posters, following them from blog to blog, chatroom to chatroom, blog to blog. This is a form of soft-core Cyber-stalking. Not the same as showing up at their door but enough to creep anyone out.

Did you answer "yes" to any of these?

Only you know the answer to that question. If you did, maybe it was a one-time occurrence. Only you know the answer to that one, too.

If you were guilty of any of these actions, you should think about changing your behavior.

Unless you want to be a cyber-bully.


Want to learn more on cyber-bullies, their tactics and some things you can do to protect yourself? Start with these two sites.
Cyber Bullies
Exposing On-line Predators and Cyberpaths


Death by 1000 Papercuts Front Page.

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