Sunday, 28 June 2015

I WAS CYBER-BULLIED...

Readers who've been bullied online share their stories…
Olivia says:
In the spring of 2013 I was bullied anonymously online on a website called ask.fm. I was told a lot of awful things… that I was fat, disgusting, a whale, ugly, worthless, a freak. The bullies told me I deserved to get cancer and that I should kill myself. I was even told that the Boston Marathon bombing was my fault, which obviously didn't even make sense. I was made to feel like my life was completely worthless by these bullies, and to this day I don't know who it was. It was clear they would say anything to upset me, and eventually I learned to stop reacting. I deactivated my ask.fm account and asked for help to overcome the troubles I was facing as a result of the all the bullying. I am suffering from an illness called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder because of this, but I am doing OK and I have discovered that telling someone is ALWAYS the right thing to do, and that nobody can make me feel inferior without my consent.

Natalie says:
I have been cyber-bullied and it was awful. I was tormented and the person told me false stuff about myself which I believed at the time. In the end, I was starving myself and locking myself in my room, refusing to come out. The bullying stopped when I realised I had to stand up for myself. I threatened the bully that I would report them and he/she got scared and deleted their account. I still don't know who was behind it, and I don't suppose I ever will.

Anna says:
I was cyber-bullied by so-called friends. It went on for months and I had no idea they were behind it - the same girls who were giving me support and sympathy at school had made a fake account just to make my life a misery. To this day I have no idea what I did to deserve it. I found out when they turned on me and told me I couldn't take a joke and that I WAS a joke, and pathetic, and a lot of even worse things than that. I was so shocked I couldn't go into school after that, and luckily I was able to transfer but I have never been able to tell my parents exactly what had happened. I don't think I will ever trust anybody again, not properly.

Jess says:
I'm not sure, but I think you might class this as cyber-bullying? A while ago I became friends with a guy on a music page I posted on a lot. He seemed really nice to begin with, but gradually I began to see that he wasn't appropriate. Eventually he began to ask me for revealing photographs and at that point I blocked him and ignored the messages. I didn't tell anyone to start with as I felt embarrassed, but we had a school assembly about something similar and so I felt able to tell my friends. I was glad I did, because it lifted a weight off my shoulders.

Many thanks to reader Kira for modelling for our photo.

Cathy says:
Thanks to Olivia, Natalie, Anna and Jess for sharing their stories. Do YOU feel safe online, or have you been targeted by cyber bullies too? COMMENT BELOW to tell us more...


13 comments:

  1. Oh so sad plus i feel safe online

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  2. I'm not trying to be 'boring' as some might say, but I find it best to stay away from social media sites and chat rooms altogether. The only thing that you'll be gaining from it is sadness, depression and more of it. And those things aren't really worth having when life has many other things which we bit of laughter too! The positive elements of life will be your trusted medicine, while the negative elements will be your poison; believe me. If I were you, the only sites for chatting that I would go on are ones that are provided by your school, where you have your own school logins to access the website. Schools can easily find out who has put a nasty comment if one has been put, they can take procedures if anything's gone wrong and they will ensure the site to be friendly, safe and enjoyable.

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    1. In all honesty, I have to disagree with this. I am on a website called tumblr and it's brought me nothing but joy. I've made friends and acquaintances all of whom support me through everything. On this website I've had more support than I've ever had in real life. In real life I was bullied a lot, but on here, I've found that people are a lot more supportive of me and my sexuality. I don't mean it so to undermine what you mean to say, but maybe you should keep an open mind about these things.

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    2. I get your point. Some sites can be giving you joy; some sites can't. That's when it's best to be careful about where you go on. Not trying to sound like some overprotective adult, as some might say!

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  3. I was cyber bullied back in 2012/2013. Like Olivia, I was told I should get cancer and that I should kill myself. The girl didn't disguise herself, I knew who she was and she wasn't using a fake account. Although some of the things she said were quite hurtful and threatening, as well as being illegal (hate speech is very illegal), I felt able to stand up to her if she challenged me directly. What I couldn't stop was the lies she told. All her friends believed I was the bully, along with another girl (who had to move schools to escape. She was sneaky and played the victim well. I'm not in contact with her anymore and I can only assume she has decided to wreak havoc on the lives of others now. I don't get cyber bullied anymore but I occasionally become embroiled in arguments. The other party quickly resort to ad hominen attacks and insults but I remain polite and calm. It just seems to anger them more - I suppose they want me to sink to their level but I won't. I believe civilised human beings can discuss opinions without acting like schoolyard bullies. If they're incapable of being civilised, I leave. There's also a lot of attacks on LGBT people floating around. They're not directed at me personally but as I am a member of the LGBT community, they do affect me. No one likes to be called a disgusting freak or a filthy sinner. It's not nice to treat people like that.

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  4. My friends all lust after getting all these different accounts, but I'm more like Zarin. I really just find them a waste of time and things that can be used to hurt me quite deeply. Besides, I like the pleasure of talking to people face to face, not over the phone. I have my email account but that's different-last year my mate went over to Europe for six weeks and it was our way of keeping in touch. Also, I've been bullied so bad personally I don't even want to imagine what it would be like over the internet. My brother is Autistic and the bullies use it as a go-pro for all their horrible stuff. I think we need to accept difference and accept it isn't funny to wreck someone's life, because that is what the bullies say is their motive. We need to accept difference and move on in life.
    ~El

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    1. I so agree... it's a waste of time in my point of view, what's the point? I enjoy chatting with people face to face, not behind a screen. It's a lot more enjoyable.
      it is not nice to be laughed at, actually its horrible. Don't even THINK of posting something a little mean online, its just NOT worth it.

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  5. I was bulled a lot it was horrible I got treated like a servant all my life and I grew up feeling like it was normal I didn't no I was being bullied and my so called friends/ bullys where horribly mean saying my mum didn't want me because I as in care and I deseverd to be in prison with my dad and no one wanted me because I kept on moving placements I grew more angrey every day I cried and got anger problems and felt sick my carers never noticed how pale and sick I grew and then I got anorexia I was so sad and I'm so grateful to my best friend who stood up to the bullys and told my carer and the teachers I hated them and not only did the wreck me for 3 yrs but they've wrecked there own aswell for hurting and watching what happened to me

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  6. I was cyber bullied a lot last year. I would go home from college and air cadets and think I was safe and away from the bullies, but that was when the messages would start. I kept a record of them and reported them all to Facebook, but nothing has ever been done. It didn't matter how much I made a fuss and reported the bullying, because no one really wanted to listen.

    I've learnt from this experience, though, and I'm even more careful about who I talk to online, and I keep meticulous records of everything that could be bullying.

    I don't think bullies realise just how much of an affect their messages can have on people: they're in writing and can be read numerous times, and are always read in your voice so it feels like you're attacking yourself.

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  7. Hmmm, I have never been bullied online but there was something or other apparently happened on instagram at primary school in year 6 i don't know about it though as I'm not on Instagram and never have been or snapchat only ever whatsapp.

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  8. I'm not actually on social media at all- however I was cyber bullied on an online Minecraft server. Online Minecraft servers are great because you can play the game with people from all over the world, but it's also an easy place to be a cyber bully. Chat comments are never monitored by admin, and everyone has a fake username. On one server, I was called horrible crude names by another two players. They also told me that they hoped I would die. I was really upset, but there was nothing I could do about it because there was no way to report them on that server.

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