Cyber-bullying and politicians

Cyber-bullying and politicians

Cyber bullying is no doubt an increasing epidemic of today's society. A recent report by ITV[1] in the UK showed that cases doubled in 2014. It is a WORLD WIDE ISSUE! Wherever there is an Internet or phone connection, cyber bullying is no doubt a growing, out of control epidemic.

The question we need to ask is WHY is this abusive behaviour being allowed to continue? Why is it that we interpret the policy of ‘Freedom of Speech’ to equally mean ‘freedom to harm without consequences’? When harming behaviour occurs in physical flesh, it is illegal. Why is it that this same harming behaviour is accepted and allowed when it happens behind a technology screen?

Why is it that a person in a public place speaking an untruth can be stopped? We can get an A.V.O (Apprehended Violence Order) that in Australia legally requires an offender to remain a certain distance away from the victim. We can get support from authorities because there are laws and policies in place to say this is NOT OKAY or acceptable behaviour! But why is it that the same abusive messages can be written on the Internet, yet this cannot be stopped?

Why are there no policies in place to stop this from happening?

I have been speaking with colleagues from Australia to England who all have shared a similar experience. In recent times, each of these persons have all had conversations with their local Member of Parliament(MP)about incidents of Cyber Bullying that had been experienced by the individual person. Each person shared that his or her local MP was understanding and agreed this was not okay. However, of concern was a statement that each MP shared, along the lines of:

“It is an accepted part of our job that we will be cyber bullied”.

The statements from the MP’s all shared a similar theme that they had resigned themselves to the fact that ‘cyber-bullying was a normal and an accepted part of their job’. Further to this, their resignation came with an acceptance that there was no hope this would ever change.

This to me is extremely concerning. What concerns me the most about this is that those in the position to change policies are those that have accepted cyber-bulling as a normal way forward.

The politicians have accepted that ‘freedom of speech equals freedom to harm’.

It is no coincidence that our policy changers accept ‘cyber bullying’ as part of their life!

The reality is, these MP’s are also people. They are normal people who are equally hurt by the harmful comments that are freely expressed when ‘freedom of speech’ can ‘mean freedom to harm’.

I look forward to the government implementing policies which prevent this cyber bullying behaviour. When this day comes, then we will have the opportunity for policy changes that will bring responsibility to all humans and thus bring policy change that values all people equally.

References

  • [1]

    ITV news report 16.11.2014 accessed from http://www.itv.com/news/2014-11-14/child-victims-of-cyber-bullying-double-in-a-year

Filed under

AbuseBullyingBehaviourHurtCyber-bullying

  • By Tanya Curtis, Author, Behavioural Specialist, Assoc Dip Ed. (Child Care), BHlthSci. (BehMgt), MBehMgt, MCoun

    Tanya is dedicated to supporting people to understand and change their unwanted behaviours and live their full potential. Tanya’s deep care and love of people shines through all of the initiative she dedicates herself to.