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Read this to find out if you are being cyber bullied or just want to know more about it!

Social media is cool and fun. It is a great tool for expressing your opinion, and connecting with people. But, it is also one of the most powerful means to propagate harm and hate – one such means is to bully people online or through social media. 

The most common examples of cyber bullying include making fake profiles of people without their knowledge, posting mean comments on pictures and statuses, writing malicious content about someone or making threats on social media, all with the intention to humiliate, harass, shame, embarrass or intimidate.

These are by no means the only ways to cyber bully. It is possible that things we might not generally consider as cyberbyllying are in fact just that!  For those bullies and potential bullies, here are some myths that we’d like to bust.

Myth: Cyberbullying does not include physical abuse, so no one is harmed.

Fact: Constant name calling and taunting on social media has driven several people to commit suicide. It plays on the victim’s emotional well-being, self-esteem and their ability to cope. It is not fun.

Myth: The person being targeted is not on social media so it doesn’t really matter.

Fact: Of course it matters. Even more! It’s in really bad taste to talk about someone who doesn’t even know you are messing with them and has no means to defend themself! Also that person might join social media at some stage and find hate messages or a photo that was private all over the internet. This is like having rumours and nasty things being said about you behind your back and you finding out later – when the damage is already done.

Myth: It is not bullying if you delete the post, comment or fake profile.

Fact: Everything that you post on social media gets a unique URL, hence it stays in cyberspace history forever. News on the internet spreads like wildfire and as they say – first impressions can be the only impressions. Besides, not only have you potentially messed up someone’s personal life or career “for fun” but if the truth gets out that it was you who participated in the bullying, the social repercussions can be intense.

Myth: It only happens on social networking websites such as Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Youtube and Instagram, etc.

Fact: Cyberbullying can also happen through email and personal chat rooms and through your phone on whatapp or text. You can receive threatening or derogatory messages, videos and pictures on email as well.

Myth: Well, it isn’t illegal, so it probably isn’t SUCH a big deal.

Fact: Cyberbullying comes under IT/Cyber/Criminal laws in India and is punishable up to three years with a fine. (Source: The Better India) It is treated as a crime like any other form of abuse – emotional, physical or sexual.

Sometimes, posts and comments we make for fun can turn into a much bigger problem for someone else. Let’s be more careful and vigilant on social media. Need help? We are here for you!