PEW Research released their first study on Adult Online Harassment. We have seen many reports about adult bullying in the workplace, however there has yet to be a study that provides us with information on how an average adult deals with online peer cruelty. The cyber-bullets of grown-ups acting badly online can be devastating.
Although we can't diminish the need to continue to discuss youth bullying and cyberbullying, we also need to recognize the need to open up a dialogue about adults who are bullies and those who are targets of their online cruelty.
Pop-culture allows us to see that no one is immune to cyber-harassment. Renee Zellweger, after making some changes in her life, was a victim of what was labeled face shaming.
We can also understand why, back in August, we read about Jennifer Aniston limiting her outings due to Internet trolls.
• 60 percent of Internet users said they have witnessed someone being called offensive names. • 53 percent had seen efforts to purposefully embarrass someone.
Galit Breen knows this firsthand, as she instantly become a target of what was quickly labeled fat-shaming! This wasn't done by children, she was being criticized by grownups, likely her own peers. After publishing her wedding photos, people could only focus on her weight rather than her happiness. Is this the society we now live in?
Whether you are a celebrity or an average person, no one likes to be humiliated publicly. With the Internet, publicity has become worse than death for many people. An online smear campaign can literally destroy a person's career, business, ability to find employment, relationships -- not to mention their emotional health.
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