Cyber bullying is on the rise, more noticeably in the private and international school sector. With the use of social media and new apps being used every day, children are becoming more susceptible to this form of bullying. It has been reported that 25-30 incidents are reported each month in schools, with experts believing that more than 70% of cases go unreported.
The charity ChildLine states that it has seen the amount of cyber bullying cases reported increase from 2,410 in 2011-12 to 4,507 in 2012-13. But why is this happening?
In most cases of cyber bullying both the victim and perpetrator are children, with it often being older students bullying younger students at their school. Most cases of cyber bullying involve hurtful comments towards other people, with the excuse being that it is “banter”.
So why has banter become socially acceptable? The BBC reports that the word is believed to be more than 300 years old and to have originated in London as street slang, meaning “the playful and friendly exchange of teasing remarks”. Recently banter is everywhere. Banter is on TV, radio and all over the internet. If you type ‘banter’ into any social media search you’ll find hundreds of pages dedicated to abusing a person, group or organisation. With the widespread categorisation of bullying as “banter, many young people believe this type of behaviour to be socially acceptable.
What isn’t realised is the affect it has on the victims, affecting their personality and self-esteem, making the victims become hostile, aggressive and depressed. ChildLine have seen a 41% increase in calls relating to self-harm and a 33% increase in young people feeling suicidal. All of these calls can be traced back to “banter”. But how far can this be allowed to go? ITV have pulled the controversial Dapper Laughs because of his inappropriate behaviour classed as “banter” following complaints, but has it already gone too far?