9 Sep 2022


Cyberbullying as a form of prejudice

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Academic level: College

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Cyberbullying, like other forms of prejudice, is a complex problem in society with no single root cause. Understanding the proper way to put an end it would call for one to be able to understand the behind the scenes happenings or the cause that eventually leads to the effect that is cyberbullying. Bullying can be viewed as a façade behind which feelings of fear, hatred, discrimination and oppression are justified. People who display tendencies that are characterized by bullying are often consciously or subconsciously trying to seek approval especially in those that they harm. It is however important to note, though on a light note, that there are certain instances where the traits of prejudice and looking down on other people can be passed down generations by way of genealogy. This however, should not be used as justification for any behavior that would inflict damage upon the esteem of other individuals that in one way or another may seem less able to defend themselves. 

One of the key factors that lead individuals to develop such tendencies is the lack of or inadequate affection from those they consider close, for example their parents. Feelings of hatred or the inability to respect and value other people may develop and if eventually channeled negatively towards other “weaker” kids in form of bullying. Other factors include stereotyping (where certain individuals form groups based on their beliefs and view others that don’t agree with them as different), cultural differences, irresponsible parenthood and the generally the media (by expressing certain forms of prejudice as being cool or acceptable). Research indicates that being the victims of bullying contributes independently to children’s mental health problems (Elisa Cantone, 2015) . Considering this, this article seeks to identify organizations that are working towards combatting this menace and the methods they are using in their support address the different causes leading to cyberbullying. 

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Organizations in the fight against cyberbullying 

One organization at the forefront in fighting cyberbullying is the Megan Meier Foundation (meganmeierfoundation.org, 2015). This organization was founded by Tina Meier, mother to Megan Meier. The initiative to start this organization was driven by Tina’s personal experience where her own daughter, Megan, fell victim and eventually succumbed to death, arising from cyberbullying. Megan was exposed to the perpetrator of her bullying through a social networking site while she was barely thirteen. At first, it started out as a subtle and friendly connection that Tina, the mother, approved since as it seemed initially, her daughter had come to know someone who appreciated her for who she was. A few weeks down the line, things began to go grim as the attacker, in this case named Josh began to say things that would acutely crush Megan’s esteem. She finally succumbed to the pressure and took her own life. Many events followed this one but in the end, in 2007, the Megan Meier foundation was birthed and has since grown to become a force against cyberbullying and bullying in general. 

Another organization in this fight is the End to Cyberbullying Organization. This is an organization started by Samuel Lam and David Zhao with the aim of creating an online communication platform that’s free from cyberbullying. The organization started to mobilize people through the cyberspace in spreading information on how to identify, prevent and mitigate the negative effect that cyberbullying has on the society. The organization boasts of thousands of volunteers worldwide who are committed to inspiring others to act and to grow in a safe cyberworld (Cyberbullying, 2011)

Ways by which the organizations are addressing cyberbullying. 

The Megan Meier Foundation believes that through empowering our society to celebrate individuality and the acceptance of others, we can work together and make a difference, creating a kinder and safer world (meganmeierfoundation.org, 2015) . The foundation has employed different ways to help fight the menace of cyberbullying. One of the methods they use to make a difference is by using presentations such as testimonials. As the famous saying goes, a problem shared is a problem half solved. Knowing that there are other people that have gone through the same experiences that one has undergone brings about a sense of security and hope that this form of bullying can be overcome. In their approach, they also use therapists that help victims cope and come out of the scaring effects of this vice. They also employ the use of workshops within schools, both middle and high schools, to reach out to kids and inform them of the negative effects of cyberbullying and to encourage victims to not be afraid to face this challenge. This foundation utilizes the social crime prevention theory that holds the view that rather than looking at the physical underlying factors leading to a crime it tries to tackle the underlying social and economic causes of crime and providing support and motivation (Criminology, 2015) . In combatting cyberbullying, this organization also puts into consideration the situational crime prevention theory based on the premise that crime is often opportunistic and that these opportunities are easily created within school environments. Setting up ways to sensitize those in middle and high schools to help identify and tackle these opportunities goes a long way to fight cyberbullying. 

On the other hand, the End to Cyberbullying Organization takes advantage of the same online platform that harbors this form of bullying to spread information and encourage more people to fight against this monster. This organization encourages people to take personal responsibility to put an end to cyberbullying and not expect that parents should take the responsibility of making sure their children don’t turn into online bullies or victims. It encourages teens, parents, educators and others to take greater measures to educate themselves about cyber bullying, the ramifications and effective preventive measures against cyberbullying (Cyberbullying, 2011) . ETCB takes advantage of the power of volunteerism by incorporating thousa nds of volunteers worldwide, who help take action and grow a safe cyber world. The organization is also responsible for initiatives in the respective communities of the volunteers, and facilitates travelling to different schools and countries teaching on the identification of this social problem and preventive measures against it. ETCB utilizes the theory of environmental crime prevention that seeks to change the characteristics of the online environment that would cause cyberbullying to occur by creating a safe online environment for interaction (Criminology, 2015)

One other main sociological theory that could be useful in handling cyberbullying is the labelling theory. It suggests that there is more behind every criminal intention or act in the sense that there are underlying factors or triggers that lead eventually to an individual committing crime. This goes a long way to support the fact that instances of cyberbullying are fueled by past experiences of the perpetrators. In Megan’s story for example, the perpetrator, Josh happened to be a non-existent entity created by the parents of a former friend of hers with whom she had broken things off with. They felt that it was unfair for Megan to break off the friendship with their daughter like that hence fueling them to bully her online (the easiest way they could access her). 


Criminology, A. I. (2015). Crime prevention approaches, theory and mechanisms. Effective crime prevention interventions for implementation by local government , 100-120. 

Cyberbullying, O. (2011). About Us . Retrieved from End to Cyberbullying Organization : http://www.endcyberbullying.org/about-us/ 

Elisa Cantone, A. P. (2015). Interventions on Bullying and Cyberbullying in Schools: A Systematic Review. Clin Pract Epidemiol Ment Health , 58-76. 

meganmeierfoundation.org. (2015). About Us . Retrieved from Megan Meier Foundation: http://www.meganmeierfoundation.org/our-mission.html 

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