THE DIGITAL PANDEMIC: CYBERBULLYING

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Cyberbullying is the use of technology to harass, threaten, embarrass, or target another person. It includes sending, posting, or sharing negative, harmful, false, or mean content about someone else. It can take place on social media, messaging platforms, gaming platforms and mobile phones.

Although celebrities are often the targets of cyberbullying, other social media users are not exempt. All it takes to be a target is to write a post that is seen as negative, or to spread rumours or a rivalry that is taken to the extreme.

The feeling of being laughed at or harassed by others, can prevent people from speaking up or trying to deal with the problem. Unwanted attention from a wide range of people including strangers makes it more unbearable. In extreme cases, cyberbullying can even lead to people taking their own lives.

In almost all social media pages, people aren’t notified when you block, restrict or report them. This helps in a way to fight cyberbullying. Cyberbullying laws also do exist in the country. Article 27 of the Computer Misuse and Cyber Crimes Bill 2018 states that, “A person who, individually or with other persons, wilfully communicates, either directly or indirectly, with another person or anyone known to that person, commits an offence… the person is liable, on conviction, to a fine not exceeding Sh20 million or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years, or both.”

Stopping cyberbullying is not just about calling out bullies, it’s also about recognizing that everyone deserves respect both online and in real life.

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