Cyberbullying a burning issue needs due attention

Shahriar Islam Shovon

In the context of bullying, cyberbullying refers to an act of bullying that takes place on a public online platform. In the era of the Internet, it is a relatively new thing to be aware of. Individuals and groups use the Internet to inflict harm on one another in a malevolent, repeated, and hostile manner, and to coordinate their efforts. Despite the fact that this condition is more common in children and adolescents, it is more widespread in adults.

Because of the widespread use of social networking sites, “online bullying” has evolved into a worldwide phenomenon that is becoming more prevalent as a societal concern. As a result of this phenomenon, people’s psychological well-being, as would their capacity to learn and adapt in the normal course of events. Cyberbullying (also known as purposeful sabotage) is the act of harassing or threatening another person through the internet.

If you continue to converse with someone and the other party feels that your statements harm his or her own or others’ lives, your actions are considered illegal. Inform your parent or guardian if you come across any inappropriate statements while surfing the web. A large number of email and instant messaging programs contain blocking options, which may be used to conceal information about the alleged abuse.

As a further precaution, parents should keep track of and report abusive communications to email service providers. The vast majority of companies have put in place policies that ban customers from harassing others on the internet. If the abuse content is on a page with feedback, you may contact the ISP to find out where the abuse material is hosted. You will provide it with access to the Internet. Notifications were sent to contacts in the business sphere to alert them of the attacks.

The usage of the internet is expanding on a daily basis in Bangladesh. Numerous studies have shown that while teenagers are online, they are more likely to participate in social networking. According to Google, the number of active internet users presently stands at four crores, with 35 per cent of users using the internet on a regular basis. By 2020, the number of active internet users is predicted to reach nine crores. The majority of pupils in Bangladesh have acknowledged being victims of cyberbullying, according to a recent survey. Research published by the Telenor group on safe internet use found that pupils are either tormented or harassed while online or are bullied both online and offline by the same people.

The Bangladeshi government reported that 49.5 per cent of Bangladeshi teenagers were victims of cyberbullying from 2011 to 2016. As reported in this survey, 61 per cent of Bangladeshi students would never publish explicit messages online, a behaviour known as “sexting,” which is a form of cyberbullying. In general, students had positive views of parental consultation, with around 38% expressing support. The students in this thesis totalled 1,510 in Bangladesh. In Bangladesh, females are often subjected to greater bullying than boys. It is a key contributory factor in the occurrence of suicide.

The Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation (BRTC) conducted a poll, which found that the nation had more than 10 million mobile phone users and 66.8 million internet customers, representing a 22 per cent increase over 2015. Due to the launch of 3G services by telecommunications firms, there has been a remarkable increase in the number of internet users throughout the globe. Bangladesh has a population of over 160 million people, which includes ten million people who have mobile phones, and 23 million people who use Facebook.

Cyberbullying is also a criminal offence punishable under the Information and Communications Technology Act 2006. A violation of the Act is committed by anyone who intentionally publishes on a website or in electronic form any material that is false and obscene or that has the effect of corrupting persons who are likely to read, see, or hear the material, or that causes prejudice against a person’s image, or that may incite against any person. The material must be in the public domain.

In accordance with the Digital Security Act 2018, it is unlawful to provide or publish any obscene content, deceptive material, or threatening material, for example. As a result, if someone persistently publishes or communicates disrespectful, false, or threatening facts with the goal to intimidate others via the use of technology, this may be considered a criminal offence under the Act of 2018.

By sending an email to btrc@btrc.gov.bd, victims of cybercrime may submit a complaint with the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC), which oversees telecommunications regulation in the country. The BTRC must take necessary action within 24 hours of receiving a report, and the perpetrators must be brought to justice within three days of receiving the complaint. An additional service for victims of cybercrime has been developed by the government, which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Additional criminal charges may be brought against the harasser if the harassment comprises criminal coercion (threatens someone with an injury to his or her body, identity, or property), as defined by the Penal Code 1860.

If the circumstance calls for it, we will without a doubt execute the steps outlined above. The first step should be to look into the internal reporting system of the social networking website or application in question. Take, for example, Facebook. It is possible to register photographs and messages. It is common for the majority of popular social networking sites and mobile applications to have comparable monitoring techniques in place.

(Shahriar Islam Shovon is a law student of the University of Asia Pacific)


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