- Last Updated on 02 August 2012
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According to the director of cyber forensics, one reason college students engage in cyberbullying via Twitter profiles or memes, is because society and higher education have slowed the maturation process.
Some notable groups that can be considered cyberbullying on Twitter are “Purdue Asians” and “Greek Bitch,” as well as memes made and posted on the Purdue Memes Facebook page. These have both been used as negative platforms to make jokes, but at the expense of making fun of, or attacking, specific groups. The “Purdue Asians” twitter account was taken down twice, but the latter still stands.
Marc Rogers, cyber forensics director, said some people are not even fully maturing until their late 20s, which is why cyberbullying of individuals and groups still occurs past high school and into the college years.
“It used to be at 14, you were an adult. Then it was 16; then 18. Now, it’s not until the late 20s some people start acting like mature adults and those perspectives (of immaturity) are going into colleges,” Rogers said. “I think in cases it’s the college environment.”
Besides that, it is easier to insult people online in a multitude of areas, Rogers said, such as being able to hide behind the mask of your profile picture.
“I think it’s easier for people to do something like that, like a flamer war, but if you’re not interacting with them on a daily basis, you push it out of mind because not seeing the person,” he said. “It’s very depersonalized.”
Rogers also said this cyberbullying could have something to do with the increasingly blurry line between private and public life, changing how much people share on public forums and what kinds of information.
With all the different mediums available – Facebook, Twitter, memes, etc. – it is also easier to reach a larger audience to embarrass victims. Victoria Loong, junior in the College of Health and Human Sciences and president of the Asian Student Union Board, has been offended by the online attacks targets toward those of Asian descent and thinks Twitter is the worst offending site.
“I remember two times when someone had put up a Twitter for ‘Purdue Asians,’ representing the school, and misrepresenting Asians,” Loong said. “And there was a #PurdueAsians thing where people would make offensive remarks that might seem harmless but were really insulting.”
According to Rogers, the process is like sliding down a slippery slope of something which is meant to just be funny but turns into something much worse.
“Online, it’s like death by a thousand,” Rogers said. “It’s easy to go from simply poking fun at someone to becoming something hurtful and really trying to harm someone’s reputation.”
Personally for Loong, the most offensive remarks targeted at Asians are aspects which she feels are strongly linked to her identity.
“One of the things I find offensive is the stereotypical shape of the eyes, which is hereditary for some, they turn it into something very negative,” Loong said. “Another thing is the language. That is one of the most offensive things because language is who you are. It is such a personal thing; it’s the way people express themselves, to insult it is very, very unnecessary.”
Source Website: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/google/bully/~3/M164dPMw4wA/url