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What is Cyberbullying?

As part of the One Million Stars to End Violence project, the team consisting of Perak Women for Women Society (PWW) and Soroptimist International (SI Ipoh) presented an enlightening talk on cyberbullying at Methodist Girls’ School Ipoh on Tuesday, November 14.

Cyberbullying is the usage of digital media to purposefully harm someone. It occurs through digital devices such as handphones, tablets and computers via SMS, Twitter, Facebook, online chat forums, Instagram and Snapchat.

“Some people take a lot of selfies, that is an addiction. It is very dangerous because anybody can take your photos, cut it up and put it on nude body or a body that doesn’t belong to you. Once you uploaded it on Facebook, anybody can access it and will destroy your life. We’ve had plenty of such cases in PWW,” Mary Anne Joseph, advocacy officer from PWW spoke to the responsive crowd made up of Form 2 and Form 3 students.

Based on statistics compiled by CyberSecurity Malaysia, cyberbullying among students is more serious, with 250 cases reported in 2012, 389 in 2013, 291 in 2014, 256 in 2015 and 338 in 2016.

“Cyberbullying gives perpetrators power and control, anonymity and deniability,” Mary Anne explained.

Do you know that cyberbullying is a criminal offence? Thus, in the face of cyberbullying, what do we do about it? First of all, talk to someone be it your parents, teachers, counsellors or police. Secondly, do not respond, delete or forward cyberbullying messages. Save the proof via screenshots by taking note of the date, time and descriptions. Next, make a report to the service providers (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) and to a figure of authority such as the police. Also, report the pages and remove yourself from the sites to block the bully.

Check out the following websites to find out more: www.perakwomenforwomen.org, www.cybersecurity.my and www.cybersafe.my.

Sumathi Sivamany, President of SI Ipoh, then briefed the girls on the project that lasts from October till March next year. Interested readers who would like to join the effort can visit the project’s Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/1MillionStars/.

Mei Kuan

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Tan Mei Kuan

Tan Mei Kuan graduated with first-class honours and book prize from University of Malaya majoring in languages and linguistics (English). She is proficient in both written and spoken English and Malay. She is also conversant in Mandarin and has knowledge of Japanese and Korean languages. Mei Kuan has been on the Dean’s List for three years running. Having written for the campus newspaper and residential college magazine, joining Ipoh Echo has helped utilise her writing and language skills. In her spare time she enjoys running (races).

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