Anniversary of combating electronic bullying

Submitted by munir on Tue, 06/13/2023 - 12:05

As the third Friday of June is approaching, we are getting closer to marking the International Day Against Cyberbullying (Stop Cyberbullying Day), which was endorsed by the United Nations in 2012. With time passing by, we find out that this issue is getting more difficult and spiking, which necessitates getting alerted to it not only nowadays but rather throughout of the year.


This anniversary is intended in the first place to raise awareness, especially among school students, as they end their school year or start their summer vacation, so that bullying would not be a means to spend their spare time, because bullying is prevalent in schools and universities, as it often places great burdens on the bullied ones, especially young people who feel inferiority and suffer from the “humiliation” they  are exposed to when they are bullied by their peers and schoolmates.


As a reminder, cyberbullying includes all false stories posted on the electronic sphere  as well as implies verbal abuse, gesture, use of images, or provocation of others with words, images, or situations that would provoke the weak in order to make them subject to ridicule, belittling, and mockery. This causes embarrassment as well as psychological and mental complexes, and affects human sleep and normal life so that numerous children and young people sometimes consider committing suicide as a result of the blatant attack on them on social media outlets.


We want  nowadays--as I have no idea of plans designed to mark this day--to alert future generations on the need to carefully use media communication outlets in a careful, humane, and ethical way so as not to offend a people's right to enjoy a dignified, healthy and calm life free from the negative influences on life.


This  is a call for resorting to a serious societal and national reflection on how to reduce these practices adopted  by numerous social media users. I hereby pay tribute to  the Catholic Center for Studies and Media in Jordan--which marks this year its 10th anniversary--on its launched youth initiatives and workshops that target numerous university students as its slogan has always been "how to use media communication outlets in order to create a culture of encounter". This term  was coined by Pope John Paul II, developed  during the papacy of  Pope Benedict XVI, and successively used by Pope Francis.


The culture of encounter implies enabling people to enjoy this good spirit, not only the etiquette which often reflects a set of instructions that a person should practise when meeting with others. Yet, there is a culture from within embodying respect from the heart as the Holy Bible says: “But the things that come out of a person's mouth come from the heart. and these defile them. For out of the heart come evil thoughts...” (Matthew 15:18)


Lastly, this is an occasion to praise the security efforts designed to combat not only bullying, but rather cybercrime in general, a matter which did not exist several years ago, but is practised nowadays on an almost daily bases. How do we curtail the phenomenon of bullying and all types of cybercrime, especially with regards to the provocation of people through using old photos or simply creating false issues on them?


We really have to laud the "unit" operating since 2008 which is affiliated with the Criminal Investigation Unit of the Public security Department, namely the Anti-Cybercrime Unit,  which restores normal and balanced life,  a life being scathed by such a crime committed against them. The statement, published by this unit at the beginning of this year states that it dealt in 2022 with 16,027 cases namely, a six-fold increase over previous years. This indicates, of course, the increase in this type of "crime",  as well as the people's awareness of the duty to report abuse, and their confidence in the Anti-Cybercrime Unit.


Friends, let us meditate means to reduce, or rather to eliminate, this scourge from our society, implying cyberbullying which brought  to us, to our society, and to our homes numerous troubles even though the modern and traditional media have been availed to serve, human life and dignity sanctified by the holiness of its Creator rather than to destroy them.



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Fr. Dr. Rif'at Bader