Should a specific criminal offence of ‘cyber-bullying’ be erected in order to combat the “issue”? No. Categorically and undeniably, the whole idea behind ‘cyber-bullying’ is a fictitious propaganda produced with the sole intent of ‘net neutrality’ and controlling our freedom of speech.
Let’s begin with a simple scenario; “Edward” is on social media sites, and someone ‘pops up’ to him with malicious texts. It is likely that “Edward” would label this as cyber-bullying, whilst simultaneously subjecting himself further to the ‘abuse’. Surely the obvious answer would be for “Edward” to just ‘block’ this individual or even just simply turn of his screen? Is it really bullying when the ‘victim’ has the capability of ending it so simply? I don’t believe so. Perhaps it is the case that in the ‘real world’ you may not be able to end the bullying, but on-line it is simpler to end the subjection than it is to brush your own teeth.
Moving directly to the statement above, ‘would an official law against ‘cyber-bullying’ end the issue?’ My response is simple; not at all. Where does the blurred line between online ‘cyber bullying’ and freedom of speech become clear? Such controversialists as Katie Hopkins or Nigel Farage may not get their true say without some bunglingly law prodding them in their ‘free’ mouths. Perhaps there is an issue of persistent perpetrators or ‘group attacks’, but the solution is yet again so simple, simply delete your social media account. “But what about my social life online, what about all the good social media has given me?” I hear the ‘victims’ cry. Well, you cannot justify words over the screen as ‘socialising’, as they remain un-emotive and an act of isolation. As for the idea that social media can somehow bring such ‘greatness’ to your life that you’d rather subject yourself to bullying, rather than delete it from your life, solidifies the fact that your life isn’t that ‘successful’ in the first place. Maybe deleting your account and experiencing the beauty of the world around you will bring you more happiness than lounging on a sofa, potato chips strewn over your being whilst receiving your daily dosage of meaningless “celebritism” and a good smattering of “cyber-bullying” plastered upon your screens.
The answer is so simple, so effective, yet people fail to lack the usage of it. Freedom of speech allows us to speak our mind, and freedom of individuality allows us to ‘block’ these opinions, should we want to. If the victim chooses to continually subject themselves to the abuse, then the issue is their own fault. Not the governments. How would a law work when the victim can so easily choose to end the subjection? This matter is unlike others; physical assault can be governed, as it isn’t an action that can be willingly prevented. Credit fraud can be governed, as it had no willing way of ending. ‘Cyber-bullying’ CAN be ended via the simple utilisation of the block feature; therefore the ‘crime’ could so easily be prevented. Surely, should a law come into effect, the ‘victim’ could disregard the function of this feature so that the ‘perpetrator’ is penalised. There is a ‘block’ and ‘ignore’ button for a reason, grow up and use it.
From my own experience, I have experienced ‘cyber-bullying’ at one point. A few years ago, I received continual grief from an individual. Did I block him? No. Does this mean I subjected myself to the issue? Yes. At the time of occurrence, I believed so strongly that the perpetrator was in the wrong that I failed to notice the simplicity of an ‘end’ to it. I failed. It was MY actions, or lack thereof, that caused the grief to be of continuance. Had I used the block feature, which I later did, the subjection would have ended much earlier. In reminiscence, I cringe at my behaviour towards the whole situation. I cringe at the fact that I thought the perpetrator was utterly wrong, and I cringe at my stupidity for further subjecting myself to it; alas, it was a drug. It was a drug that, if I did not subject myself to, then the craving of knowledge behind what he was saying ate at my consciousness. Nowadays, if someone says something ‘mean’ or appears in a “bullying” manner, I laugh at my past mistakes and just block them. Or better yet, allow it to continue, but instead of taking it to heart, imagine the effort they must be taking in order to ‘hurt’ you, only to realise that their pathetic waste of time only affects themselves. Do not roll around in the mud, complaining that your clothes are dirty, yet still roll in it. Take yourself out of the mud, clean your clothes, and better yourself from the situation.
My name is Benjamin Wareing, and I was subjected to ‘cyber-bullied’, before I realised that the issue lay within me. I put myself through it willingly, perhaps to dig them further into trouble, or perhaps due to my natural human intrigue. Either way, the solution was embedded within my grasp; the ‘block’ button being a shining shrine of answers. Turn to this shrine, rather than wasting police and government time with a petty law that would only cause more issues and prohibitions than the ‘problems’ they cause. In the brilliant words of controversial journalist, Katie Hopkins, “the police are stretched so thin that they can’t always attend burglaries and muggings quickly. How much worse will it be when thousands of Keyboard Warriors can expect a visit from ‘the boys in blue’?”
A law against ‘cyber-bullying’ would not only prohibit freedom of speech (In what situation would the law end?!), but it would be counter-productive to the idea of individuality. Rather than teaching people as to why ‘cyber-bullying’ in the first place is wrong, teach people that such preventative actions are so easy to take that a 16 year old can write an entire 1000 word response to it.
-Benjamin John Wareing