Stop Cyberbullying



Photo by Lori Rielly via Flickr

Bullying people on the internet can have terrible effects. Bruce Gulland and Liz Waid talk about these effects, and how all people can work to stop this cyberbullying.

Transcript


Voice 1 

Welcome to Spotlight. I’m Bruce Gulland.

Voice 2 

And I’m Liz Waid. Spotlight uses a special English method of broadcasting. It is easier for people to understand, no matter where in the world they live.

Voice 3 

"The One Basic Thing Men Still Do Not Seem To Understand About Women"

Voice 1 

This is the title of a story by Lindy West. West is an American writer. She writes for printed newspapers and magazines. She also writes online for blogs and social media. She writes mainly about issues to do with women and social equality. West has a very satisfying job. But it can also be very difficult. Every day, West is the victim of cyberbullying. People read her online writing, and then send her unpleasant comments. Some of the comments threaten her sexually. Or they say unkind things about her face and body. Some of these comments are violent. They even threaten her life. West spoke to the radio program “This American Life” about the bullying. She said,

Voice 3 

“It is something I am used to. I have to be. Being insulted and threatened online is part of my job. Which is not to say it does not hurt - it does.”

Voice 2 

The people writing these comments to West are bullies. A bully is someone who hurts other people. Usually, a bully concentrates their actions on particular people. The bully will say or do hurtful things to those people again and again. Some people bully others in-person with words or actions. But bullying also happens through technology. This is called cyberbullying. Cyberbullying is not just words on a computer screen. It really hurts people. And it is a growing problem. But people can change the situation. Today’s Spotlight is on cyberbullying.

Voice 1 

Cyberbullying can also be called hating or trolling. This behaviour can take many forms. Haters, trolls or bullies send very negative or threatening messages by email, telephone texts, or social media comments. They can illegally use someone else’s email or social media account. They can send damaging pictures or information from, or to, other accounts. Sometimes they even take secret pictures and put them online.

Voice 2 

In many ways, cyberbullying is worse than in-person bullying. When someone is bullied online, many people witness it. And the unkind words remain on the internet for people to continue to see. Cyberbullying can be never-ending. If someone is bullied at school, he can return home to safety. But an online bully can follow their victim everywhere she goes. They can even reach someone at home with their friends or family.

Voice 1 

Another problem with cyberbullying is that bullies do not see their victims face to face. They may not know the person, or know anything about their life. And they cannot see their victim’s reaction. They do not know the harmful effects of their acts. These acts cause public shame for their victims. But cyberbullying also causes private pain.

Voice 2 

The writer Lindy West experienced terrible pain from an especially bad troll. One morning, West received a Twitter message from her father, Paul West. He was smiling in his picture. But the message said that he was ashamed of her. It said that she was an idiot daughter. The message was very, very painful. West knew her father would never say that. He could never say it. He had died less than two years before. A troll had created a Twitter account. The troll had used her dead father’s name and picture. And the troll was using this account to send terrible messages to West. Although West had experienced cyberbullying before, this particular attack hurt her deeply.

Voice 1 

Cyberbullying does not just happen to famous or public people. Many different kinds of people are bullied. And many of these people are young. School years are a time when many people experience bullying. Bullying makes young people feel alone, afraid and unsure of what to do.

Voice 2 

Rebecca Ann Sedwick was only 12 years old. A group of 15 other children sent her hateful messages for many months. Her mother even moved Rebecca to a different school. But the online attacks continued. The bullies even asked Rebecca: “Why are you still alive?” Rebecca could not live with this terrible treatment. One day, she jumped off the top of a building. She killed herself. Rebecca is like many other young victims of cyberbullying. They do not know how to stop the attacks.

Voice 1 

Cyberbullying is a serious problem that affects many people. But how can we stop cyber bullying? There are three kinds of people involved in cyberbullying: the bullies, the victims, and the people who witness the bullying. All three can be involved in changing the situation that surrounds cyberbullying.

Voice 2 

In the Christian Bible, Jesus spoke about relating to other people. His words speak to all people involved in cyberbullying. He said,

Voice 4 

“In everything you do, do to other people as you want them to do to you. This is the main meaning of all the most important religious teachings.”

Voice 1 

Lindy West’s story shows the power of this teaching. West does not usually write back to her many cyberbullies and trolls. But when a troll acted as her dead father, West answered. She wrote a story about how much the troll hurt her. And something happened that surprised her: the troll apologized. In an email, he said:

Voice 5 

“I cannot say sorry enough. It was the lowest thing I had ever done. When you wrote about it, it finally hit me. There is a living, breathing human being who is reading this. I am finished being a troll. Again, I apologize.”

Voice 2 

Lindy West’s former troll apologized. He also told her his real name. With his name, West now had the power to shame him. But she did not. Instead, West decided to talk with her troll. They talked for two hours. They tried to understand each other. West spoke to her troll honestly about her pain. And then she forgave him. She said,

Voice 3 

“Trolls still waste my time. They affect my mental health every day. But I can remember not to forget their humanity the way they forget mine.”

Voice 1 

Lindy West still deals with trolls. She still thinks that their behaviour is wrong. She wants them to stop. But she does not want to cause them pain. She wants the internet to be better for everyone.

Voice 2 

Remembering other people’s humanity is a big part of the solution to cyberbullying. Victims, bullies and witnesses can all ask themselves the same question: “How would I want others to treat me?” When people act out Jesus’ words, they can change the situation for the good.

Voice 1 

The writer of this program was Jen Hawkins. The producer was Michio Ozaki. The voices you heard were from the United States and the United Kingdom. All quotes were adapted for this program and voiced by Spotlight. You can listen to this program again, and read it, on the internet at www.radioenglish.net. This program is called, ‘Stop Cyberbullying’.

Voice 2 

We hope you can join us again for the next Spotlight program. Goodbye.

Question:

Is bullying on the internet a problem for you? What can people do to stop bullying on the internet?

Comments


Avatar Spotlight
Hangcoi
said on December 14, 2016

I haven’t ever been a victim of bullying on internet. It’s so terrible when we have that problem. You should not so sad a bout bullying. Your life is yours, Do something what you like and don’t have to care about bullying comments. if unfortunately, you have bullying on internet or in live, You should share that problem with your parents or your close friend, they will give good advice for you. You will not be alone. Should be strong.

Avatar Spotlight
kenhieuloilam
said on December 15, 2016

We are patient in our faith life. We are patient in our everyday lives. We make much effort to live a holy life. We make much effort to live a beautiful good life. We do not want anyone to hurt us and we do not hurt anyone. We do not want anyone to harm us and we do not harm anyone. We are responsible to life and everyone. We are responsible to our doings. We help each other become holy. We help each other become good persons of families and communities. We live a holy life. We live a beautiful good life.

Severino Ramos da Silva's avatar
Severino Ramos da Silva
said on January 16, 2017

From: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) (Severino Ramos)
To: spotlight programme
Subject: answer to the questions above
Date: Monday 16, January 2017
São Paulo SP Brazil

Dear Liz Waid, Jen Hawkins, Bruce Gulland, and Michio Ozaki:

At first, I want to thank you for bringing us readers and learners of English more one great article, thanks!
No, It is not. I do not access the social media frequently and I do not involve me with suspion people to exchange information.
People should respect each other to stop bulling on the internet.

God Bless you
Severino Ramos
Brazil

Avatar Spotlight
esfand
said on January 16, 2017

hello.
I am in Iran.
thanks for your site.
I wish good luck for you in your benefit job.