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Vinnytsia State Pedagogical University named after Mikhail Kotsyubinskii, Ukraine
Championship participant: the National Research Analytics Championship - "Ukraine";
Несмотря на многочисленные преимущества ИКТ, их быстрое и постоянное развитие создало ряд весьма негативных побочных эффектов. Одним из них является проблема киберзапугивания. Киберзапугивание определяют как преднамеренный агрессивный акт группы или отдельных лиц, с использованием электронных средств общения, против выбранной жертвы, которая не может защитить себя от этого воздействия. Киберзапугивание относится к издевательству и притеснению других людей с помощью новых электронных технологий, главным образом мобильных телефонов и Интернета. На сегодняшний день, средствами массовой информации уделяется большое внимание киберзапугиванию, что привело к возбуждению гражданских и уголовных исков против тех, кто осуществлял запугивание.
Таким образом эта статья осветляет основные ограничения прав жертв киберзапугивания среди подростков и возникающие с этим проблемы. В статье рассматриваются современные практики для предотвращения киберугроз и их влияние на выбор стратегий, используемых школьным персоналом и семьей для оказания надлежащей помощи и поддержки молодым людям, которые стали жертвами виртуального хулиганства.
Ключевые слова: хулиганство, киберзапугивание, жертва киберзапугивания, ограничение прав, социологическое исследование.
Despite the numerous benefits of ICT, rapid and constant development has created a number of rather negative side effects. One of these is the problem of cyberbullying. Cyberbullying is defined as an aggressive, intentional act carried out by a group or individual, using electronic forms of contact, repeatedly and over time against a victim who cannot easily defend him- or herself. Cyberbullying refers to bullying and harassment of others by means of new electronic technologies, primarily mobile phones and the internet. To date, cyberbullying has received significant media attention as certain cases have resulted in civil and criminal law suits filed against a perpetrator and/or a school.
This article thus highlights the restriction on rights of cyberbullying victims among teenagers, and discusses potential problems with such an approach. It also discusses current practices to prevent cyberbullying.
The results have important implications for the types of strategies used to enhance the approachability of school staff and families to provide appropriate help and support for young people who are being bullied.
Keywords:bullying,cyberbullying, cyber-victimisation,restriction on rights,sociological research.
With the increase and diffusion of modern technologies a new form of aggression and bullying has emerged. Many researchers refer to these new forms with the term Cyberbullying, Electronic Bullying or Internet Bullying. These terms refer to intentional and repeated assaults against another person through electronic means, which can be: the use of offensive e-mail or text messages, insulting through chat rooms or instant messaging, isolating and excluding members from a virtual community and shooting photos or videos posted to the web.Recently, in parallel with the widespread use of new technologies, some studies have been conducted in different cultural contexts to understand the characteristics of cyberbullying. Researchers, pupils, parents, teachers, unions, and local, regional and national authorities, are all in various ways starting to grapple with the issues involved in cyberbullying, in consultation with mobile phone companies and internet service providers.
This article highlights the restriction on rights of cyberbullying victims among teenagers in Ukraine, and discusses potential problems with such an approach. It also discusses current practices to prevent cyberbullying.
Many young people who are bullied do not tell anyone. School staff therefore are often unaware of which students are being victimised and when to provide support or assistance. A critical strategy to overcome this problem is to encourage victimised students to seek help and report this bullying. This study aims to analyse dissemination of cyberbullying among young people in Ukraine and examine main strategies to master this problem.
To clear up the problem of dissemination of cyberbullying among Ukrainian teenagers we conducted the sociological research. The main results of it are represented here:
1. Theme of sociological research.Cyberbullying: coping with negative and enhancing positive uses of new technologies, in relationships in educational settings.
2. Aim of sociological research. To increase the understanding of the concept of cyberbullying; to investigate the nature and extent of cyberbullying among school pupils in Ukraine (Vinnytsia region).
3. Problem of sociological research.Detection of positive and negative uses of new technologies for relationships in the Ukrainian schools and what kinds of electronic aggression and its specific type – cyberbullying is the prevalance among Ukrainian adolescents.
4. Actuality of sociological research. Increasing use of new technologies causes that cyberbullying is becoming more prevalent. This kind of bullying is a fairly new concept, and research into cyberbullying is opportune and urgent, though it is still in its initial phases in Ukraine.
5. Practical or theoretical value of this sociological research.During research a hypothesis was confirmed about wide character of cyberbullyingin the teenagers’ environment in Ukraine.
6. Description of informative base of sociological research.The informative base of sociological research is the questionnaire. It consists of 54 questions which are united into 6 blocks: negative and positive influence of new electronic technologies, partand attitude to cyberbullying, the most widespread kinds of cyberbullying and ideas about those who can be perpetrators and targets. Some questions are analogical to the questions from the questionnaires of J.Pyzalski and P.Smith. It comprises multiple-choice closed or half-closed questionswith some qualitative sections, and takes 30-35 minutes to complete.
7. Description of method of this sociological research.The research took place in 20 schools of Vinnytsia region, among them: 4 schools in Vinnytsia, 8 schools in district towns (Illyintsi, Kozyatyn, Lypovets), 8 village schools. The research is carried out by the students of Vinnytsia state pedagogical university during their pedagogical practice. Before the pedagogical practice the students were informed about the topic of questionnaire and the conditions of its realization.
8. Description of selection of sociological research.A questionnaire was returned by 490 school pupils aged between 14-17 years, among them: 25 % –14 years,51 % – 15 years, 21 % –16 years, 3 % –17 years. Distribution according to gender: boys – 51 %, girls – 49 %.
9. Description of the received results. During research a hypothesis was confirmed about a wide character of cyberbullying in a juvenile environment: 37 % teenagers appeared in the situation, when they were cyberbullied (25 % –several (1-3) times, 12 % –more than 3 times); 48 % teenagers were the witnesses of cyberbullying (62 % adolescences didn’t interfere in the situation, 28 % –interfered and took side of those who were cyberbullied, 10 % –interfered and took side of those who cyberbullied); 12 % pupils cyberbullied others (2 % –several (1-3) times, 10 % –more than 3 times); 53 % teenagers thought that cyberbullying could have heavy results; 60 % supposed that cyberbullying took place out of school and 8% –in school; cyberbullying occurred more frequently between persons of the same year (32 %), elders who cyberbullied youngers (28 %), youngers who cyberbullied elders (18 %); among those who engaged in cyberbullying more frequently boys (54 %), girls (22 %); 28 % teenagers couldn’t appeal for help or protecting from cyberbullying to anybody (among people to whom the pupils (71 %) could appeal were: friends (33 %), relatives (20 %), police (16 %), site’s administrator (14 %) and others (small per cent)); 75 % adolescences didn’t know about the punishment for cyberbullying at the legislative level; 67 % juveniles considered the level of their knowledge how to counteract cyberbullying was not sufficient. The teenagers’ main questions which were related to cyberbullying were: how to behave in the situation, when they were cyberbullied (24 %), to whom applied, when they were cyberbullied (18%), more details about rights (19 %), about the forms of cyberbullying (18%), how to avoid cyberbullying (18 %).
As for the most widespread kinds of cyberbullying the teenagers picked up in the list what they did during the previous month and what at least once in their lives, in general: 33 % insulted others during online games, 31 %commented on Internet forum in order to hurt or make laugh of others, 32 % insulted others on the chat, 29 % sent SMSs in order to insult/hurt somebody else, 28 % sent messages through Internet in order to frighten/insult somebody, 20 % sent intentionally a computer virus to someone, 28 % lied through telephone or online in order to hurt others, 27 % made a picture/film with somebody else in an unpleasant situation and sent it to the friends or put online, 19 % used someone’s else telephone/account (without consent) to send unpleasant messages to others, 18 % changed a film/picture on another person with the help of software and then published it online.
Among the most ‘popular’ targets of cyberbullying were: accidental persons (34 %), acquaintances from school or district (29 %), acquaintances from Internet (27 %) and others (smaller per cent).
As for the perpetrator the teenagers wrote that usually they didn’t know that person (persons) (50 %), acquaintances from school or district (34 %), acquaintances from Internet (24 %) and others (smaller per cent).
Analysingdates of positive and negative influence of new technologies on school pupils it was cleared up teenagers could create a web-site (65 %), had their own web-site (51 %) and put their own creative work on Internet (42 %). At the same time 42 % school pupils spent free time sitting at the computer, 38 % got bored when one day they had no access to Internet connection, 52 % felt better when nobody knew what they did on Internet.
10. Conclusions of sociological research.Coming from the conducted sociological research, it is possible to suppose that cyberbullying is becoming increasingly prevalent, as the use of technology increases by young people in Ukraine. As for the further analyzing it is worth to compare age and gender differences and disseminationof cyberbullying among city and village school pupils.
According to the results of research and the literature reports the following findings and results on strategies for preventing cyberbullying are proposed:
1. Peer-intervention (i.e. peer support by trained student leaders) is used in school to prevent cyberbullying in school by: creating bullying awareness in the school; developing leadership skills among students; developing intervention practices in the student community to prevent bullying; developing team-building initiatives in the student community; by students behaving proactively as bystanders.
2. Technology enabled prevention strategies in use: switching a screen name, blocking a particular name and sending a warning to someone to prevent cyberbullying are some of the technology enabled strategies. Also, some students/youth argue that they know about safety strategies in cyberspace.
3. Parental supervision:
4. In addition, a number of other prevention tactics are existed, such as: trying to sort out issues face to face rather than online; better education about the Internet, something widely favoured by parents and teachers as much as by students themselves; a code of conduct for better communication amongst students, something arguably supported more and viewed less critically and less as a challenge to defy by students than introducing rules and bans at school.
Overall the literature argues that we should draw upon previous experience from face-to-face bullying prevention strategies so as to apply prevention of cyberbullying along the following lines:
1. Awareness raising initiatives in order that teachers, parents and students be made aware of cyberbullying. More specifically: professional development for teachers is needed, explaining what cyberbullying is and the real consequences of severe and continuous cyberbullying; parents also need to be made aware of cyber bullying methods, such as student texting on mobile phones under the bedcovers in the middle of the night and sending hurtful emails from the computer in their bedroom; the adults’ responsibility for making youth aware of the possible consequences of sharing personal information online.
2. School policies to respond to the challenge of cyberbullying and implement a range of prevention policies accordingly.
More specifically, it is suggested: an intensified whole school approach that requires full commitment from all stake holders and focuses on ongoing education for adults in identifying and responding to bullying; schools to include the issue of cyberbullying into the whole school policy, including specific social skills training and more effective disciplinary efforts such as restrictions of usage of mobile phones, email, chat sites and social networking.
3. School programmes are at the core of the suggestions of some literature and they are outlined as frameworks to incorporate the direct teaching of values education, empathy training and the use of stories and drama in the curriculum. Also, according to the literature, direct teaching of ‘netiquette’ and other classroom and teacher interventions could help to prevent cyberbullying .
4. More broadly, social programmes and curriculum programmes are suggested as means to motivate students towards taking action against cyberbullying. Some of the suggested programmes include peer support programmes, buddy programmes teaching values in education, empathy training, teaching of ‘netiquette’ and other anti-cyberbullying elements integrated into teaching.
5. Adult supervision is also identified as an important prevention strategy that consists of the following guidelines: teachers must be vigilant with students and supervise them when using computers; parents must have a greater role to play in supervision to prevent bullying by technology; parents need to take back the power to control the technology and should pay attention to where the home computer is located; schools could assist in parent education to this end and encourage parents to talk to young people about the technology.
6. More specifically, regarding parental intervention it is suggest the following: parents should set limits and monitor their child’s use of computers; it is not recommended that children have computers in their bedrooms; parents should be involved in their children’s use of the internet and should avoid neglecting their parenting role in this domain.
Hence, it should be stressed the importance of both family and education/schooland points out to the role that community/authority wide interventions can play in preventing andstopping cyberbullying (e.g. legal issues/rulings) [2,3]. In this respects it becomes apparenthow many of the suggested and reported prevention strategies are common or at least similar betweentraditional bullying and cyberbullying. At the same time, there is cyberbullying specific literature thatstresses the need for empowering children and making them the key actors deciding about andimplementing prevention strategies through appropriate cyberspace usage and youth’s input intorelevant psychosocial interventions [4,5].
Apart from the above-mentioned empirically based findings, it should make several recommendations for systematic education about safety strategies, ensuring support from IT specialists for children and adolescents (e.g., tracing harassers, blocking unwanted messages).These recommendations can be represented into more detailed suggestions, specifically into a list of technical actions that victimized individuals can consider:
1. Contact the mobile phone company when dealing with mobile phone bullying.
2. Contact the ISP of the bully and look on the ISP site for a ‘Contact us’ e-mail address when cyberbullying occurs by e-mail.
3. Contact the relevant webmaster when cyberbullying takes place online - or go to the host company website and file a complaint through the ‘Contact us’ e-mail address.
4. Try to identify the cyberbullying if possible (to be able to take further/legal action if needed).
Some studies report that telling a parent about cyberbullying is one of the most popular coping strategies.However, others and our on social research show that seeking support from adults was not popular although it was effective regarding helpfulness .In fact only a very modest percentage of cybervictims and of students that knew about cyberbullying told their parents or adults about it (according to our research only 20 % of teenagers). There are also empirical findings providing evidence that telling a teacher or principal was relatively effective. Empirical studies found that the percentage of cybervictims that told their teachers about the abuse was minimal .In a focus group study, students reported that they would discuss cyberbullying with their school counsellor. But the truth is they usually do not talk with their parents or other adults, including from school, about cyberbullying.
The fact is that students do have a perception that bullying is ignored or not noticed by school staff for almost half of the time. Some also perceive negatively the prevention strategies carried out by the school and believe that, because cyberbullying occurs outside school. teachers cannot do anything. But others believe that, even if it occurred outside school, school authorities should and would deal with cyberbullying. Students aged between 13 and 15 expressed their preference for dealing with problems themselves and the older ones (16-17 years) relied even more on themselves. They used various strategies to be safe on the cyberspace and considered that it was only necessary to involve adults in exceptional circumstances .
Although younger students (10-13 years) believed that help from adults was a positive solution they were more favourable to the idea of peer mediation to combat cyberbullying than to an adult intervention. Early adolescent students (13-15 years) also expressed their preference for the peer group, in particular the possibility of discussing cyberbullying with older peers. The older students considered that they had a responsibility to younger peers, in advising them, discussing their cyberbullying experiences and helping them with strategies to combat it .
These preliminary results have important implications for the types of strategies used to enhance the approachability of school staff and families to provide appropriate help and support for young people who are being bullied.