[PRESS RELEASE] Collective Action to Fight Cyberbullying | Digitalk #48

May 24, 2021 5:38 pm || By

Yogyakarta, Tuesday 4th, 2021 – The United Nations has declared a world anti-bullying day every May 4. However, the reality that occurs in Indonesia is inversely proportional with to the celebration. According to the Indonesian Internet Service Providers Association (APJII), 49% of internet users have experienced bullying such as being ridiculed or harassed on social media. This highlights the practice of cyberbullying, which has exacerbated since the pandemic began. At the 48th series of Digitalk, Center for Digital Society (CfDS) invited Agita Pasaribu as founder and Executive Director of Bullyid and Desintha Dwi Asriani as Lecturer in Sociology at the Faculty of Social and Political Sciences UGM to discuss issues of cyberbullying and things that people can do to overcome them. This event was held on Tuesday (4/5) via Google Meet and broadcast live on YouTube.

Cyberbullying and Mindful Social Media Practices

Agita started the first session by making a comparison between bullying and cyberbullying. The aspect of anonymity, its nature that can happen anywhere and anytime, and has a digital footprint are some of the things about cyberbullying that make the practice very dangerous. Not only insults and arguments, cyberbullying also appears in other forms such as revenge porn (the spread of private content to the public on the basis of revenge) and child grooming (attempts by someone to build relationships, trust, and emotional relationships with a child or teenager. so they can manipulate, exploit and abuse them).

The ambiguity of the definition of bullying in terms of the law and the lack of psychological treatment for victims is worsening the situation of the increasing trend of cyberbullying in Indonesia. To deal with this, Agita emphasized that victims must take actions in the form of:

1. Take a screenshot as evidence

2. Do not reply to the person who committed acts of bullying, report and block the account in question

3. Talk to trusted people

4. Report bullying to the authorities to promote a safe internet community for all groups.

Cyberbullying Among Youths

Opening the second session, Desintha explained that cyberbullying is a practice that is quite close to the lives of young people today. Many of them have become victims, but the number of perpetrators is still increasing. In a psycho-social perspective, cyberbullying persists because of the belief that the behavior is accepted in the environment by people around it (subjective norms) and also a person’s perception of his ability to do cyberbullying (perceived behavioral control).

The power imbalance between the perpetrator and the victim is one of the main factors that underlie the practice of cyberbullying, but age-based hierarchies can also be quite an important factor. Women and men are also victims of cyberbullying, although they may experience different cases in terms of expression, impact, and how to deal with it. “Cyberbullying on men is synonymous with emphasizing masculinity, while women emphasizing dominance over peers”, concluded Desintha.

Author: Christophorus Ariobumi
Editor: Ruth Simanjuntak