Problem of cyberbullying persists

With the era of networking evolving, social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace have become centers for friendships, reunions and information. But have these services also become the new birthplace for cyber bullying? With a combined number of users totaling close to a billion, there is a huge impact within society.

With these sites so similar in their vision, they vary in focus from joining a group to giving your judgment on someone’s photo or status or searching for a stamp of approval.

Since the 1990s, the World Wide Web has been a center for information, but is this form of communication becoming more harmful than helpful?

Cyberbullying is when a child, preteen or teen is tormented, threatened or harassed using the Internet or interactive technologies, according to stopcyberbullying.org.

But since these social sites have been created, we see they are not just targeted to our youth, but everyone especially college students.

This term brings such a distorted image to our minds when we think bullying is just done in the public.

How uncomfortable is it to know that when something is publicized on the web it’s no longer seen by just our peers but by schools, businesses and government officials?

For the tweeters who have tweeted beyond their means, the Library of Congress keeps a record.

Has this become hazardous for safety or is this method revealing or robbing their sense of innocence for their peers or pedophiles lurking?

“Cyberbullying has become increasingly popular, however just because its popular doesn’t make it right,” said sophomore Brittney Cain.

Phoebe Prince, a 15-year-old freshman student from South Hadley, Mass., committed suicide last January because of cyberbullying on her cell phone and Facebook account for three months.

Nine students have been charged with criminal harassment.

Her parents describe her final days at the high school painful as the nine students carefully orchestrated the brutal attacks through technology.

Safety.lovetoknow.com took a poll and the results showed that, “Forty-nine percent of students are victimized via text message and twenty-eight percent via email.”

More than half of the students reported that cyberbullying is worse than any other form of bullying in life.

Last July, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal signed a bill stating that cyberbullying is illegal.

Anyone over the age of 17 can face a maximum $500 fine and up to six months in jail.

Educators and leaders in the communities are asking that students or anyone, in general, who posts information on the Internet be more discreet in what is posted and take the necessary precautions to protect yourself from hackers or fellow man.

Beverly Crawford, director of Judicial Affairs, said, “One of the biggest problems is that students are reporting to the social sites but not the university and the judicial affairs will do their best to protect the rights of the students.”

“Cyberbullying is very ignorant and childish. It shows the immaturity of that person,” said Dartavious Norman, a senior from Strong, Ark.