The Internet has created a lot of possibilities for young singers and musicians to showcase their talents and interact with their fans. Unfortunately, the coin has two sides – as the relative anonymity online is abused by individuals with criminal intentions. Cyber Bullying is defined as the use of the Internet and related technologies to harm other people, in a deliberate, repeated, and hostile manner. This type of bullying is not any less dangerous to people than its offline counterpart. The worst form of such offences involves children being victimized.
Recently, one of the young singers featured on TheSkyKid.com was exposed to the dark side of the Internet. Someone put a lot of effort into impersonating him by setting up a website, Twitter account, Facebook account …etc. On that fake website, the criminal (because this constitutes a crime alongside identity theft and aggravated harassment) published information that constituted a Defamatory Libel (deliberate publication of defamatory lies, which the publisher knows to be false). The information was made to sound as if it was coming from the singer himself. This person went even further by inventing false “personal confessions” targeted to hurt the reputation and well-being of that singer.
Cyber Bullying is a crime!
While we are sure that the appropriate authorities will fulfill their duties and the person(s) who committed that crime will face the consequence of their actions – we would like to stress the fact that people need to be aware that such events happen and refrain from believing in any information published in shady internet places. Free speech is an important value of our society, but the right of someone to express his opinion is not extended to impersonation of another person and spreading lies and rumors on his account.
It is unfortunate that sometimes people (and especially young people) only become aware of the dangers that lurk online when something like is described above happens, and that something affects them or their relatives and friends. It is crucial that parents, educators and children themselves take the issue of Cyber Bullying into consideration. They should not hesitate to notify the police if they or someone they know has fallen victim to an online harassment. There is no point in engaging in flame wars with the person(s) responsible, as that only gives them the much wanted attention for which they strive. Responding to the offenders in any way, even defending oneself against demeaning gossip, may further escalate the problem. The best course of action is to obtain evidence of the crime by the means of screenshots, logs, or email messages and forward them to the appropriate authorities.
Here at TheSkyKid.com, we take the issue of Cyber Bullying very seriously and will cooperate fully with the authorities should the need arise.