# Cyberbullying and Cyberbullying Act

## ${tocify} ## What is Cyberbullying? Cyberbullying is a form of online bullying or harassment that occurs over digital devices and platforms. With the widespread use of technology and the anonymity that comes with it, cyberbullying has become more frequent and prevalent. Hidden behind their computer or mobile screens, people don’t hesitate in harassing others. This can be clearly seen in the increase in suicide cases due to online bullying. From time to time we even see celebrities facing online trolls and bullies. A recent study by CRY (Child Rights and You), a non-governmental organisation, shows that around 9.2 per cent of 630 adolescents surveyed in the Delhi-National Capital Region had experienced cyberbullying and half of them had not reported it to teachers, guardians or the social media companies concerned. Nationwide, according to research conducted by Symantec, nearly 8 out of 10 individuals are subject to the different types of cyberbullying in India. Out of these, around 63 per cent faced online abuses and insults while 59 per cent were subject to false rumours and gossip which became responsible for degrading their image. The same study ranks India as the country facing the highest cyberbullying in the Asian Pacific region. ## Forms of Cyberbullying Cyberbullying can occur in several forms such as sending, posting, or sharing negative, harmful, false or mean content about someone else. It can include sharing personal or private information causing embarrassment or humiliation. Although it may be difficult to understand how some text on a screen can affect a person drastically, cyberbullying can lead to trauma and various mental health issues. It becomes important to understand that unlike face-to-face bullying one cannot escape such an incessant, insistent and brutal form of torture. It can continue at any time, throughout all hours of the night. ## Impact of Cyberbullying Cyberbullying leaves little opportunity for victims to defend themselves. There are no teachers or parents to see, intervene to put a stop to it. Cyberbullying can also be anonymous, leaving the victim little recourse to even report the bully to an authority figure. The anonymity of social media emboldens people and their hurtful words are left forever on the internet for everyone to watch and read. Blocking or reporting them is not a solution when a new account can simply be created. Even if what is said or posted is false, people tend to believe anything they see online. Thus, cyberbullying can be more detrimental, distressing and damaging to a person. ## Prevention of Cyberbullying and Cyberbullying ACT One of the major weapons to fight against cyberbullying is to create tough and strong laws against it. It becomes even more important to create awareness among youngsters about this issue and such laws so that they can take appropriate measures in times of need. In India, although there is no specific legislation that has provisions against cyberbullying, certain sections in the Indian Penal Code (IPC) deal with cyberbullying in a way. Section 67 of the Information Technology (IT) Act prescribes punishment for publishing or transmitting obscene material in electronic form. Section 507 of the IPC states the punishment for criminal intimidation through anonymous communication while Section 66 E of the IT Act prescribes punishment for violation of privacy. ## Conclusion There are hardly a couple of things which attracted as much attention as the coronavirus and Cryptocurrency was surely one of them. With the first Cryptocurrency being introduced in 2009, the very famous Bitcoin, very few people knew or as much as cared about them. Then one day suddenly, the world was after these decentralised digital currencies and we could literally look at 800% surge in even satiric and ‘joke’ coins (read DOGE). A person who had invested in these as a part of some truth or dare game was now a millionaire and every newspaper had the same headline. A new trend was here and it was not some dance or meme, but a Laxmi chit fund-sure shotin a whip way of becoming rich, only difference being, this was actually legit. Does this not seem too good to be true? Why don’t people buy 20$ worth of these coins, get rich and end poverty? Because these supposedly new age replacement for real, normal, everyday money were not really so. In Jan 2021, all these crypto currencies crashed leading to \$134B losses. How did this happen? The distrust of governments and unstable market were the main culprits to blame. However, this opened investor’s eyes and the bitter truth of investment was realised yet again, that loss and gain are the two sides of the same coin.

Yes, Cryptocurrency is an excellent investment opportunity and could be the boon for our generation or until the next quick money option emerges, but it comes with equally high-risk factors. With no regulatory body or no nodal authority, it is just a peer-to-peer network of transactions and the anonymity worries government and people alike. As of now, crypto can more easily be used for criminal activities rather than daily life transactions. With more developments, maybe a new age of virtual cash could come with crypto as safe as rupee and dollar, but today with the ever-fluctuating rates and such vague nature, further huge advancements are necessary. This tug of war situation is a part of the journey and at the end either Cryptocurrency will be a revolutionary idea or just a primitive prototype of virtual currency which taught quite a few lessons.

With the increase in dependency on electronic devices, it becomes important to teach people the proper ‘netiquettes’. Parents have an important role to play in monitoring their child’s behaviour and activity on the internet. It is also important for schools and educational institutions to have strict guidelines against such behaviour and to provide counsellors to aid the students. Stringent laws need to be made to help ensure that such behaviour doesn’t go unpunished. Social media platforms must be held responsible and should have the means to report and prevent harassment and bullying.