Harassment … From the virtuality of the Internet to real disasters
22 January 2018
This is the story of Amy, a young 14-year-old Australian girl. She was found dead on January 3rd. A victim of harassment on the Internet, Amy committed suicide. Her father did not want the death of his daughter to be useless, and spoke – on the internet – to denounce this harassment. More specifically, he invited those who had persecuted Amy to come to her funeral, so that they could realise the extent of their actions. This could be seen as a way to make the connection between this cyber-harassment and the very real and very cruel disasters it can cause, and a way to make those who were responsible aware that it was not only one life that had been broken, but also the lives of all members of one family.
Cyberbullying is a real scourge for young people. 40% of 13-17 year-olds admit to having been assaulted online, and 22% of them never mention this to anyone, whilst 61% say they have suicidal thoughts … (Study conducted by the ‘20 minutes’ newspaper in 2017).
The rise of social networks along with the evolution of the ways young people use the internet contribute to the development of cyber-harassment. The vigilance of all, but also prevention and information must be at the heart of the fight against this phenomenon.
On February 6th, the 2018 edition of the “Safer Internet Day“, an annual global event organized by the European network Insafe, will be held “to promote a better Internet for young people, their parents and the educational community and to encourage responsible online behaviour”. Workshops will be held across France, and the media will relay information.