The Online Safety Commission provides a space for all Fijians to resolve concerns and complaints about online abuse such as cyberbullying, internet trolling, and much more. In recent weeks we have seen a rise in vile online communication particularly with respect to hot topics that call for action regarding prominent sportsmen in the country.
Social media provides a platform for open discussion, checking in on family and friends, networking with fellow colleagues, and more. While disagreements may occur, most social media platforms have communication standards that call for conversations on the platform to not threaten another individual, not demean another online user based on their personal attributes including but not limited to sex, gender, age, or race and to respect the space and opportunity to share differing views.
Online bullying is bullying others using technology such as social platforms to harass, to threaten, or to harm another online user. It is important to be aware of how we interact online especially if we are not fully certain about who is actually behind another online account because unlike traditional bullying, online bullying can happen anywhere, at any time including the comfort of our own homes.
Researchers have found that young people who have experienced online bullying are at higher risk than those who don’t of self-harm and we, therefore, call for Fijians to help #stopthespread of online bullying by considering other before you like, share or comment on social media, speak up if you see someone on your newsfeed being harassed, and talk to your family and friends about how we can be responsible online users.