The number one issue that young people always bring to our attention every time we interact with them during training sessions is CYBER BULLYING and this is how they define it …
when I post a photo on the net which I believe is my best photo, all well dressed up, awaiting awesome comments and so many likes; it’s never the case; there’s that one or two people who write nasty and heart breaking comments which take my self-esteem to zero.
Another definition they give as cyber bullying is someone (bullies) downloads your awesome photos, alters them by putting humiliating texts on the images and reposting them to the web.
Ten years ago internet in Kenyan schools was almost inexistent, bullying did exist but in different forms like being told to give up all your school shopping by the senior students, being told to wash senior student clothes, being forced to do crazy things like -imagine the floor was a swimming pool, dive into it and swim….good thing this stopped after closing boarding school and going home for holidays.
First forward to this day and time if “any bullying occurs’” in schools the joy of going home and forgetting about it for a couple of hours or holiday weeks is no longer there because bullies have now taken on the internet to continue with the bullying.
Dealing with Cyber Bullying in Kenya has been a losing battle because of lack of a clearly spelled out law against this, the introduction of the Computer and Cyber Crime bill 2016 once passed to a law will come as a relieve to young people who are being bullied online. The bill clearly outlines bullying as a cyber crime which holds a hefty penalty of be a fine not exceeding twenty million shillings or to an imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years or to both. Our hope is that this will discourage harassment and negativity on online platforms and encourage awesome online experiences without fear of using online platforms by young people.