Facebook Bullying Deaths and the Bullycide Movement
By Mandy Jane Clarke
Apr 6, 2011 - 9:05:04 PM
Most people know what "bullycide" is today. It speaks of the sad movement progressing across the country – and overseas - where victims of online bullying take their own lives. Facebook bullying deaths are becoming all too common.
Some studies that have probed into the extent of Facebook bullying have found that nearly half of all teenagers today have been bullied online in some fashion. These numbers could even be lower than the “actual” amount experiencing this form of abuse. Especially considering kids that aren't even old enough to have Facebook accounts are in fact visiting Facebook daily using their own facebook memberships, or others.
With such a high rate of bullying occurring online, it is fairly easy to see how Facebook bullying deaths is becoming so common. It used to be that bullying was carried out face-to-face in the halls and gymnasiums of schools. Today, this type of bullying still occurs, but it doesn't stop there.
Bullies now go home with their victims, rather than parting ways at the end of the school day. They can reach out through text messaging, online messaging, chat boards, online forums, and social networking sites. They essentially step right into their bullying victim’s living rooms and bedrooms so they feel as if there is no real escape.
Facebook bullying death cases may be a result of this nonstop harassment. Kids no longer get to go home to their safe haven where the bullies cannot reach them. As long as they turn their computers on or look at their cell phones, those bullies have access to them no matter where they go.
Preventing Facebook Bullying Death Cases
There has to be something that people in our society can do to prevent future cases of Facebook bullying deaths from occurring, right? There are outraged communities pushing for laws that make harassment online a crime and in fact some states have already passed these laws. There are also some parents taking action by suing kids who tease and torment their children online.
This is a good start, but there are some things that parents and others concerned with this issue can do to help prevent future cases of Facebook bullying deaths:
Parents should not allow children under the age of 13 to set up a Facebook account. If they have to lie to get the account, chances are they are not old enough to handle the having access to social networking site accounts or memberships.
Parents should closely monitor their kids Facebook pages. They should be their child's “friend” to see all of their online activity. They should go even further and sign into their child's account frequently to see the private messages being passed back and forth.
Adults should be open to hearing any problems a child has with their online activities. Parents who are tuned out to this part of their child's life or who make their children afraid to talk to them will have children who don't seek help. This puts those kids at higher risk of Facebook bullying.
Every kid with a Facebook account should know exactly what to do if they receive an unwelcomed or disturbing message. They should know how to block other users and report Facebook abuse. Communication and taking action against online bullying can help tackle this issue in our efforts to reduce Facebook Bullying Death Cases.
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