The Purpose

An understanding of why Spectra is talking about this.

1 of 10 adolescents face cyberbullying
in India

50% of victims don’t report incidences

Cyberstalking increased by 36% in 2018

Is cyberbullying prevalent in India?

Cyberbullying has been reaching an all time high with India ranking higher than most countries. With easier accessibility to the internet, cyberbullying has only seen an upward trend in most parts of the world. In India, the number of parents who are confident that their children have faced cyberbullying and have complained against the same have risen exponentially from 2011 to 2018.

What is #DrawTheLine?

Instances of cyberbullying reduces when more people are aware about it. #DrawTheLine aims to do exactly that, reaching out to everyone - the bullies, the victims, the spectators and the parents. The campaign educates people about the subtle difference between what may seem okay but probably isn’t and what is actually okay.

Why is #DrawTheLine important to Spectra?

As an organisation that is dedicated to helping companies and consumers stay online round the clock, it is only imperative that we ensure that you’re using the power of the internet positively. #DrawTheLine is our initiative to help people understand the long-lasting impacts and consequences of cyberbullying and what they can do to prevent/curb it.

What is in store for you

We hope to help you become more educated and not initiate, tolerate or stand by and watch instances of cyberbullying. We aim to help you understand where to #DrawTheLine by making you aware about the difference between conversation and cyberbullying.

An Outline

CYBERBULLYING

/ˈsʌɪbəˌbʊlɪɪŋ/

The use of electronic communication to bully a person, typically by sending messages of an intimidating or threatening nature.

Google searches over time for: Cyberbullying

The electronic forms that comprise cyberbullying:

    • SMS
    • Emails
    • Social Media platforms
    • IM Services

SMS

Emails

Social Media platforms

IM Services

How is cyberbullying different from banter?

Banter is light-hearted and friendly but when it escalates, it can transform into cyberbullying. And depending on the severity of cyberbullying, it might take the form of harassment.

Threats, name-calling, mockery, all a form of cyberbullying, can be prevented if you simply #DrawTheLine when engaging in a dialogue on social media.

  • Friendly? Yes please! But over-friendly? Nobody approves.
  • The line we began this piece with? Do not say it, ever!
  • If you know their insecurities, don’t use it as a weapon against them.
  • Finally, laughter might be the best medicine, but not at the cost of someone else’s peace of mind.

Identifying Yourself

Am I a Bully?

Have you ever

  • Used a gender/racial/ethnic slur while communicating online
  • Negatively commented on someone’s weight, looks, life choices or gender
  • Created a fake profile or impersonated someone else online
  • Published pictures of someone without asking them
  • Sent or asked for unsolicited pictures
  • Threatened someone online to get something or express anger
  • Tracked someone’s online presence and demanded a response repeatedly

These are a few situations, and if your answer is yes to any of the above, you are a Bully.

If you have come to the realisation, you have already taken the first step towards getting better. Now all you need to do is introspect, filter your online conversations through the question “would I want this to happen to me?” and take action.

Am I a Bully?

Have you ever

  • Felt the urge to block or blocked someone because of their communication.
  • Been chased by someone on one or more digital platforms despite no/negative response from you
  • Felt cornered/targeted/attacked on closed or public forums online
  • Deactivated a social media account
  • Experienced health issues because of things people say online

These are a few situations, and if your answer is yes to even one, you are a Victim. Do not blame yourself and know that this is an external situation and not an internal problem, before addressing it.

  • Avoid retaliation as bullies are encouraged by reaction.
  • Talk to someone you trust – a parent, sibling, friend, partner, confidante.
  • Capture screenshots of the cyberbullying before you delete anything online.

You are not responsible for this but you must seek help.

Am I a Bully?

Have you ever

  • Shared personal details of A with B knowing/not knowing that B intends to bully A.
  • Tagged/added people to a conversation where someone is being bullied, with an intention of getting a laugh, participation, more fuel to it.
  • Been a mute spectator when A/Group A was behaving inappropriately with B on an online platform (private or public).

These are a few situations, and if your answer is yes to even one, you are a By-stander.

Now that you know this, you must work on consciously shifting your response from being silent to being supportive of the victim. Refuse to participate in conversations/activities/requests that lead to someone being bullied. If you are not sure how to do that, there are more than one ways to seek help.

Forms of Cyberbullying

Humiliation

Humiliation

Spreading rumors to cause embarrassment/harm to the victim and the 24/7 nature of social media enables ‘rumor mills’ to run round the clock.

Impersonation

Impersonation

Using a false identity online to torment the victim or using the identity of someone the victim knows to damage relations/get confidential information or using the victim’s identity to ruin their reputation.

Cyberstalking

Cyberstalking

Following the victim across social media and other internet accounts and resorting to harmful/aggressive/intimidating messages.

Flaming

Flaming

What most teenagers call ‘online drama’. It is a form of public bullying using social media chat rooms, IMs, emails etc, directed by a group/individual towards one victim.

Doxxing

Doxxing

Also known as outing, refers to the victims private information, photos and/or videos being uploaded to the internet without his/her permission.

Exclusion

Exclusion

Intentionally singling out the victim and leaving him/her out of online groups, chats etc and consequently resorting to hateful messages towards the victim.

Seek Help

Once you know where the problem lies, there are several ways to find a solution for it.

Along with reporting on the social media platform, it is essential to report to the cyber cell, irrespective of whether you want to pursue it legally or not.

You can also take help of

POCSO, 2012

Know more

Prevention of Children from Sexual Offenders A law put into place to prevent sexual offences against children like child pornography.

complaint-
mwcd@Gov.in

Send an email

A distinct helpline by the Ministry of Women & Child Development to report cyberbullying, online harassment, and cyber defamation, particularly against women and children.

Spread the word

Disclaimer

#DrawTheLine is an initiative to raise awareness about cyberbullying. This is for informational purpose only and does not substitute for professional medical advice.

While all these laws and policies exist to protect you in cyberspace, we recommend you reach out to an authority like the cyber crime-branch if you’re facing cyberbullying of any form.