Main image via MetroParent
Did you know that 3 in 10 young people in Malaysia are cyber-bullied every day? According to U-Report Malaysia’s recent statistics, 28% out of 6,953 young people in Malaysia polled recently say they have been a victim of online bullying, with 43% of them experiencing it through online games and private messaging and social media apps including Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, YouTube and Twitter.
Many Malaysians are cyberbullying without releasing what they are doing, some choose to openly attack people based on their physical attributes where people set an unrealistic beauty standards — weight limits, skin color, body size and they just basically pick on those who are just different in general.
This can cause emotional distress just as impactful as physical abuse, or even worse, as it destroys ones self-confidence completely. More often than not, this is a projection of insecurity that is reflected through abusive behavior.
According to another poll by UNICEF and the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) on Violence against Children:
4 in 9 young Malaysians said they know about private online groups that are used to bully others. Only 2 in 7 young people in Malaysia revealed they knew of a helpline to turn to if they are a victim of cyber bullying or online violence. 1 in 5 young people globally reported having skipped school due to cyberbullying and violence.
What are some actions to end the reign of terror of these seemingly virtual bullies that hide behind the screen? Here are some:
1. Implementation of policies to protect children and young people from cyberbullying.
2. Establishment and equipment of national helplines to support children and young people during their moments of need.
3. Advancement of ethical standards and practices of social network providers specifically in regards to the collection, information and management of data.
4. Collect/Save all the information or messages related to Cyberbullying so it can be used as proof to take action against the bully.
5. Educating teachers and parents on how prevent and respond to cyberbullying, particularly for vulnerable groups, as they are the ones effected the most.
A shout out to all the brave people out there that has been a victim of cyberbullying, only together we can truly put a stop to this. If you receive messages that make you feel uncomfortable or feel threatened via the Internet or your mobile phone, inform your parents or any responsible adult. Ignore any kind of bad statements or remarks which are not serious. But if you feel that you are in danger or threatened, report to your parents.
You are not alone and you will never be alone, if you ever need someone to talk to the Befrienders are here for you 24/7 at 03-79568145. Together we say no to cyberbullying!
You can also reach out to CyberSecurity Malaysia, Cyber999 via email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or SMS to 15888 using the following format: CYBER999 REPORT or the toll-free line at 1-300-88-2999.
Have you been a victim of cyber bullying? How did you deal with it? Tell us in the comments!
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