Cyberbullying doesn’t seem like a serious issue… until you personally experience it. An 18 year-old student from Australia shared a disturbing experience for cyberbullying.org.
She received a text message with a death threat. She confronted the girl who sent it, but she kept getting threatening messages for months.
We see this happen every day on social media networks.
Bullying, cancel culture, and occasional outbursts directed towards individual users. What most of us don’t realize is that cyberbullying extends beyond those platforms. University networks are a fertile ground for it, too.
How Does Cyberbullying Happen on University Networks?
University networks have a single purpose: to provide a safe environment for collaboration and communication between students and their peers and professors. Each student has an email address, which they use for educational purposes.
It’s common for them to receive threatening and nasty messages through this network. There are cases of entire websites devoted to tearing down a particular student.
Victims of persistent bullying have difficulties to face their aggressors and make them stop. Perpetrators continue making fake accounts and may continue harassing the victim for months or years.
If you take a look at a few essays written about the cyberbullying problem at university, you’ll realize that the issue is not naive at all. You can read samples at https://eduzaurus.com/free-essay-samples/cyber-bullying/, where dozens of students shared their experiences. They always conclude suggestions on the matter: how to overcome the problem at university.
Students and university staff approach cyberbullying as a serious problem.
It leads to a greater risk of suicide and depression. Even when it doesn’t have the worst outcome, it greatly affects the victim’s self-esteem. Certain populations, especially special needs and LGBT students, are a common target of such behavior.
Solutions: How Universities Can Overcome the Cyberbullying Issue
Universities Should Start Serious Campaigns
Each university must start a strong campaign against bullying and do everything to avoid cyber attacks on their networks.
Attacks lead to fake accounts and entire websites dedicated to victim harassment. If everyone knows that the school takes the matter seriously, the procedures will prevent bullies from taking action.
In addition, the victims and witnesses will be more willing to report such behavior.
The Students Should Get Instructions
What can I do if someone bullies me? Most students don’t understand that the authorities and their school can sanction the person who harasses them.
That’s why they stay silent. They start blaming themselves, and they get trapped in a vicious circle with no apparent way out.
The students should get instructions on what to do if they want to report cyberbullying.
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Universities should provide leaflets, which teach them how to collect evidence and contact the staff with any issues regarding bullying.
These are the main things they should do:
- Keep the evidence
- Block the bully
- Report the actions to the school’s authorities
Enhancement in Campus Security Is Essential
Although they are getting harassed online, those messages often involve threats for physical harm. The victims feel unsafe when they walk around campus alone.
That’s why universities must invest in enhanced security. It would help the victims to feel more confident about moving freely and reporting the threats to security staff.
The IT Department Should Get Involved
Cyberbullies are known to hide behind anonymous names online. When they target a victim, they may not be able to prove who harasses them even if they know the true identity of this person.
In many cases, they are unaware of their identity.
This is where the university’s IT department can help.
They can determine the identity of the person behind the cyberbullying incident. After that, the university will report the case to the authorities, who will take the needed action.
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Action Is Necessary
Students should no longer stay silent when they are bullied through the university network.
If they know someone who’s targeted but hasn’t reported the case, they should be the ones reporting the case.
An increased rate of reporting is possible only when the university staff takes action to sanction bullying behavior. When the IT department gets involved, the bully’s identity will be easily revealed.
All schools must also provide psychological support to both victims and bullies.
When universities approach this matter seriously, the victims will feel more confident and the bullies will understand that their behavior is deviant.
AUTHOR BIO: As a blogger and writer, James Collins is focused on psychology topics. He explores mental health issues that students face at college. Through his tips, he aims to help them go through this challenging period of their lives.