Anonymity and Cyberbullying

By: Mikayla Edwards

In class on Wednesday we discussed the topics of anonymity and the roles it plays in society today, specifically on social media. One of the consensus’ was that being able to write or leave comments anonymously allows people to feel more confident in their responses so they are more likely to be harsh or crude.

Being anonymous online detaches you from normal social behaviors because you cannot see the reactions of the person on the other side of the post or comment. It allows you to not take responsibility for your actions and gives you a false sense of power. This is also known as cyberbullying.

The app ‘ASK’ was popular in the years 2009-2010. The app allowed you to make a profile, like Facebook, and ask other people questions publicly, as well as anonymously. The affects of this app were always negative. It quickly turned in to a bully fest with kids asking other kids incredibly inappropriate and rude questions. This app created a lot of turmoil due to kids taking it to the extreme levels of cyberbullying.

A study done by the US National Library of Medicine reported “4000 students in grades 6 to 8 showed that in the preceding two months, 11% of the students had been cyberbully victims, 4% reported acting as cyberbullies, and 7% had been both a cyberbully and a cyberbully.”

This statistic may not seem huge, but it is affecting the lives of many youths today. Allowing kids to be anonymous online not only hurts young kids today, but some comments will harm them for the rest of their lives.

Watch the video CNN created about cyberbullying and current affects it has on teens. They talk about a few more apps that have led to cyberbullying and how Facebook has had to add new features to its website to keep users safe from bullies.

Twitter: @MikaylaAnneEd

LinkedIn: Mikayla Edwards

 

This Article Has 3 Comments
  1. Emily Vanacore says:

    Connecting anonymity to the spiral of silence is an interesting topic if you think about it. By being anonymous you can “go against the grain” per say. You can say what you’re thinking freely, even if it goes against the social norms of the majority opinion. But with anonymity also comes irrational & illegitimate behavior, such as cyber bullying.
    I liked your take on this topic!

    • Jerome Pizzelli says:

      When looking at cyberbullying it’s always interesting when people attack people that made mistakes. Not denying what some people say is wrong and they don’t deserve any kind of public out-lash but, many times the comments are just as bad if not worst but nothing is said. I often wondered why that is? Is it because they are attacking someone who deserves public backlash? It doesn’t really make sense that in one instance it’s acceptable and in another, it’s not.

  2. Stacia says:

    Hi Mikayla! Thanks for the post. The CNN video was fascinating. It’s interesting that social media outlets are receiving positive publicity for their efforts to prevent cyberbullying, however, are also receiving negative publicity for conducting emotional experiments on users (as discussed in class).

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