6 WAYS TO CONTROL INTERNET USE AND PREVENT CYBERBULLING

Cyberbullying, which is as widespread as Internet penetration, has always been an issue of global concern. In most quarters, it is treated as a criminal offense, or in the least, a civil offense handled by social establishments.

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Some states in the US have school sanctions in place or constitutional acts that ensure that perpetrators are duly punished. In Nigeria, the Cybercrime Act 2015 (PDF) handles cyberbullying as a criminal offense punishable under the law. A convicted cyberbully could receive a ₦2 million ($5,119.9) minimum fine and/or one year in prison. And depending on the severity of the offense, it can go as high as ₦25 million ($63,999.9) and/or ten years imprisonment.

To a large extent, young people, especially school kids, are the most vulnerable. But generally, regardless of age, exposure to Internet tools increases one’s susceptibility to cyberbullying, which involves harassment, intimidation, or harm using mobile technology and generally any content sharing platform. A Comparitech report on cyberbullying trends reveals that one-fifth of all bullying occurs through social media.

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