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1.

0 Introduction

Today, we can see that the Internet and the communication technology is getting more

advance day by day. Thus, it has created a new platform which is known as the cyber. Cyber

user started to be able to bully someone in this digital space without having to face to face with

one another. This act is known as the cyberbullying. A new act of bullying is formed which is

bullying through the Internet technology which is currently viral in our status quo right now.

A survey has been conducted in one of the high schools in Ipoh about cyberbullying among

the students. Around 25 students that has helped to participate in answering a few questions in

this survey. This survey is conducted by using the google survey. The survey is to ask the

students’ perspectives on these cyberbullying acts. Some research from the Internet is also

being done to find the information about this cyberbullying.

By doing research, I could find a few information on the statistics of cyberbullying that

occur in Malaysia right now. From what I found, the case of cyberbullying has yet to be fully

research. From the latest data, 250 cases reported in 2012, 389 in 2013, 291 in 2014, 256 in

2015 and 338 in 2016. In total, there were 1,524 cyberbullying cases recorded in the past five

years. The numbers show that it has been up down through out the years.

However, I do believe that statistical number that I get is not really portraying the real

situation in the society right now. I believe that the condition of the society right now is much

direr than what has been reported. One of the main reasons is not all of the cyber victims has

been reporting their cases due to them being silence. This due to them being scared, embarrass,

helpless and they might not know the proper channel to voice out their problems.

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2.1 Definition Cyberbullying

From the survey, the students have several ideas on what cyberbullying is to them. Most of

them have the rough idea on what is meant by cyberbullying. Basically, cyberbullying is the

act of bully when someone sends negative massages which could be potentially hurtful to

others, messages that are mean, or even messages that could intimidate other people. These

messages could make the person to feel angry, sad and even scared.

Cyberbullying usually takes place over in digital devices such as cellphones, computers,

tablets and many more. It can occur in the form of short messages services, apps, text or even

online in social media, forum, a place where people can see, join and even share it to others. It

also includes sharing of personal or private information about others which is embarrassing to

them or could humiliate them. Sometimes, these cyberbullies can go over the top until it can

become an unlawful or criminal behavior.

The presence of social media and digital forums causes the comments, photos, posts of the

person being bullied to be able to be viewed by unknown people and even the people that they

know. What made the issue worse is that when we put something online, it will create a kind

of permanent public records which will forever be accessible by the public in the Internet. This

public record can be considered as an online reputation, which can be access by the schools,

employers, clubs, colleges and others who may be researching an individual now or in the

future. So, this can actually harm other reputations.

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Cyberbullying usually occurs when cyber users are at home for most of the cases. But in

some cases, places such as high school can also be a place where cyberbullying can occur.

Precautious steps by installing filtering software in school computers to prevent cyberbullies

from using the school computers to bully other students have been taken by most of the

teachers. Like normal bullying, cyberbullying is often deliberate and relentless, but it can be

even more frightening because of the anonymous nature of the assault.

Figure 1: Opinion on what is cyberbullying

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2.2 Platforms and Tactics of Cyberbullying

From the survey, we can see that cyberbullying can happen in many different platforms.

Most of the students already have their own electronic gadgets, such as mobile phone and

tablets, which have already become an integrated part of their life. Students can easily have

access to the Internet by using the wireless capabilities of their electronic gadgets. Students

usually used the Internet only just for social activities on social media.

The two most common social media sites which is Facebook and Twitter is what being

commonly used by the students to allow them to communicate freely with friends. Students

can also post their photos and video clips and share them with anyone on those sites. Similarly,

with other various mobile phone social applications like WhatsApp and Telegram also give

similar features that allow the users to chat with others using texts, photos, and videos.

Those social media allow users to keep in touch with their friends and family and, at the

same time, broaden the social networking. Even though this social media does have their own

benefits, but these social media have the risks of being the platform of the cyberbullying itself

where it might put the users at the risk of cyberbullying. According to the website

StopItcyberbullying.com, it can be said that social media sites are the platform which are the

most common where cyberbullying occur. Many people share their photos to get possible

feedback on social media. However, these cyberbullies start to makes nasty comments or

insulting their appearance.

It is important for us to understand how students are cyberbullied, so we can recognize it

easily, and we can act. There a few most common cyberbullying tactics. These are a few

examples of cyberbullying methods:

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2.2.1 Harassing Someone

For this method, the cyberbullies usually use text messages, instant messages or email to harass

threaten or humiliate the victims. Sometimes the bullies also will post rumors, make a threat,

or post an embarrassing information of the victims which is also considered as harassing a

person. In a text wars or text attacks when someone is ganged up by the cyberbullies is also

considered being harassed.

2.2.2 Impersonating Someone

For this method, the cyberbullies usually create a screen name which is the same as the victim’s

screen name and start to spread something rude or hurtful remarks, at the same time pretending

to be the victims. The cyberbullies also can steal the victim’s account password and start to

create a fight between the victims and his surroundings. They also can change the victims

profile picture to something which is sexually explicit. There are also people who pretend to

be someone else in order to get into a fake relationship. This act is also known as catfishing.

2.2.3 Using photograph

This method is when someone takes a nude or pictures of someone when they are in the locker

room, bathroom, or dress room secretly without their consent. Then, these cyberbullies can

threaten the victims to leak their photos to blackmail them. There is also this activity where

people use photo to shame people online. The most common tactics used by teens nowadays is

the slut shaming. They usually shame the other party which is usually a girl about how they

dress, how they dress and even everything about their daily life.

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2.2.4 Creates Websites, Blogs and Polls

Nowadays, almost of the people knows how to create a website. However, there is a problem

if we use this knowledge to cyberbully other people. For example, if a person creates a website

just for the sake of spreading an information that is shaming or insulting the other party. The

websites also can be used to spread gossips and rumors that is untruth about the victims. There

are also cyberbullies that can develop a blog that spread information about the victims that is

embarrassing and humiliating. Moreover, we also need to be careful with people who we

thought of as friends but is the one who stab us from behind because when we share a secret

about ourselves then these two-faced people start to spread it around. Sometimes, there are also

cyberbullies who conducted an Internet poll with questions that is badmouthing the victims.

2.2.5 Participating in Video Shaming

This is the method when someone use the camera phone to take a video of a bullying incidents

of the victims being slapped, kicked, hit or even punched. Then, the video is uploaded to the

YouTube so that they can get a bigger audience. The video also can be spread through mass

email and even text messaging to humiliate the victims. There is also activity known as

“cyberbaiting” where the cyberbullies create an incident that cause the victims to be upset or

emotional and spread it online.

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2.3 Statistics of Cyberbullying in Malaysia

The study defines cyberbullying is an act when a child or a group of children under the age of

18 intentionally intimidate or offend other children through an online platform. It is something

that we must pay attention to because Malaysia is ranked 6th in the world with cyberbullying

problem. In 2018, according to Ipsos international survey, Malaysia is ranked 6th with 23% (1

out of 4) of Malaysian parents reported that their children have been a victim of cyberbullying.

Reported by Jamny Rosli on Malay Mail 27 October 2018, Malaysia was ranked 2nd worst in

Asia, better than India with 37%. According to him, the internet allows people to hide behind

the mask of anonymity which result in growing of the number of ‘faceless evil’ doing the

cyberbullying.

In Malaysia, 47% of parents know a child (at least) in their community who has experienced

cyberbullying. It is almost half of the Malaysian parents. Ipsos also stated that 85% Malaysian

parents are aware meaning that they have heard, seen, and read about cyberbullying. On top of

it, Malaysia recorded 53% that the cyberbully is a classmate of the offended child. Thus, this

result showed that cyberbullying amongst Malaysian students are very bad.

Cyberbullying among student is a lot more serious. Based on statistics compiled by

Cybersecurity Malaysia, 250 cases were reported in 2012, 389 in 2013, 291 in 2014, 256 in

2015, and 338 in 2016. Within these five years, 1524 cases were reported and all regarding

cyberbully. Looking at the statistics, sadly that this cyberbullying problem did not seem to be

ended in the near future. In addition, a survey done by DIGI Telecommunications Sdn. Bhd.

and Telenor Group in 2016 revealed that 1 out 4 students admitted that they have experienced

cyberbullying. 37% of school students admitted that they have encountered or ever involved

with cyberbullying.

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Figure 2: Have you ever become a cyber bully

Figure 3: Have you ever been cyber-bullied

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2.4 Factors that Cause Cyberbullying

In the survey, the students were asked questions on the factors that cause these

cyberbullying activities. Several factors were stated from the survey. Cyberbullying happens

for almost the same reasons as any type of bullying. Currently, this kind of bully is very often

occurred because it is easier to be done and sometimes, the doers also hard to be recognized.

In Malaysia, almost half (47%) of Malaysian parents are aware and know a child in their

community who has experienced cyberbullying. According to Sherri Gordon which the

statement was then medically reviewed by a board-certified physician, there are few reasons

why the cyberbullying is undeniably growing and become one of the biggest issues nowadays.

First is cyberbullies are motivated by revenge. Seeking for revenge are often occur because

the victims cannot find a healthier way for their justice. The pain that they experienced

convinced them that the only way out is to do the same thing to a weaker victim. They will feel

justified as they, too, felt been treated and harassed the same way. Worse case, these kids will

go for direct bullies as they do not find the satisfaction.

Second, cyberbullies always think that the victims deserve the treatment and torture. Social

status is one of the main reasons that lead the bullies to be happened. For example, a mean boss

might be cyberbullied by the employees as they have no right to do anything beyond their

power or job scope. By keeping themselves anonymous, they can spill out what’s inside. The

anonymity that cyberworld offers provides courage and illusion that they would not get caught.

Jealous of a person succeed might also be the reason cyberbullying take place. Thinking that

the victims deserve the punishment or treatment, doers usually do not feel guilt for doing so.

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Cyberbullies also can happen because the doers are bored. National Council on Crime

Prevention reported that a survey done resulted, 81% of the respondents said that they believe

others cyberbully because they think it is funny. People tend to do something weird to entertain

themselves to add some excitement and drama in their lives. They also might not receive

enough attention or even love from their surroundings. Thus, make them think that

cyberbullying is an entertainment that they need for the time being. Lacking in supervision can

also lead to cyberbullying. Today’s easy access internet can be easily misused. Instead of using

the technology for something good, they find that it is even better to use the internet to entertain

or to create some dramas to fill up their boresome lives.

Besides that, the reasons why this so-called-phenomena happens is cyberbullies cave under

peer pressure. In order to fit a group of friends or clique, the doers do things that they

themselves know it is wrong. In order to be accepted, they try to be one of them. They are more

concerned with fitting in than the consequences of doing so. Study showed that some

cyberbullies think their behavior is normal and acceptable. They also think that everyone is

doing the same doings. So, they do not think that it is a big deal because their peer group accepts

the behavior which finally will result in increasing the number of cyberbullies.

When it comes to cyberbullying, the most important factor that drives them into

cyberbullies is they are hunger for power. Basically, this concept works when someone who is

hunger for power will try to increase their power by reducing the victim’s. They use internet to

pull the victims down. For example, people who are attractive might single out the less

attractive ones. This might kill the confidence and bring their self-esteem down. However, this

factor is often work when there is social gap amongst them. They think that they have power

to oppress the victims.

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Cyberbullies are also lack of empathy as they think that their behavior is completely normal

and not a big deal. They simply are not aware with the pain that they caused to the victims and

the impacts that they have left for their actions. In fact, many studies found that the doers did

not feel anything for the victims after bullying online. Sadly, the reported doers finally become

more popular and powerful after they get caught cyberbullying. Then, it is not something

surprise when the number of cases is rapidly increase as our surrounding however supports the

cyberbullying. We want the cyberbullies to stop, but, our doings are saying the other way

around.

Figure 4: Opinion on factors that cause cyberbullying.

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2.5 Effects of Cyberbullying

From this survey, we can see that there are levels of how these cyberbullying will affect

the person who are being bullied. We can measure these levels of effects from mild to very

severe. For example, the effect is still mild if the victims are just rejecting or avoiding the usage

of electronic devices. However, it can be very severe if the victims start to feel depress and

start to have any suicidal thought in which it could lead to the attempt of committing a suicide.

In the surveys, we can see in cases that they are being cyberbullied, most of them responded

saying that the victims of the cyberbullied will start to feel depress and start to have less

confident with themselves. Then, some of the response also says that the we will find the

victims of the cyberbullied started to experience emotional changes. For instances, the victims

start to feel sad, lonely, having anxiety and even feeling stress with their life. Thus, this will

affect their daily life on how they will interact with other people. Apart from that, there also

response saying that the victims start to lose their trust with their surroundings thus making

them overly sensitive to their surrounding especially when they are using the Internet. They

start behaving differently in which they start to avoid their family member, friends and all the

people that are close to them. There are also responses saying these cyberbullying can actually

cause someone to feel being humiliated (especially if the victim is being slandered) and start

to lose their self-esteem which is why some children find it hard to confide to an adult. This

would definitely make them feel distressed and alone as they tend to forget that help is actually

a hair's breadth away. In a worst-case scenario, a severe, long-term, or frequent cyberbullying

can leave both victims and bullies at greater risk for anxiety, depression, and other stress-

related disorders and at the end some kids have turned to suicide.

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In the current research, it is discovered that most of the cyber victims (49.4% of total cyber

victims) have the problem of becoming over sensitive to their surroundings. Other than that, it

is also reported that there are 44.7% of cyber victims that they experienced emotional changes.

Moreover, 38.1% of the cyber victims end up developing an insecure feeling when they are

surfing the Internet. The respondents also show another report of the negative effects of being

nervous when they received messages and emails (29.6%); behavioral changes (35.1%). There

are also possibilities that they avoid mixing with family, friends, and crowd (26.8%). Lastly,

the victims also start to have a sleep disorder (25.7%); avoid using computer and mobile phone

(17.0%); change of appetite (17.0%); and attempt to commit suicide (1.5%).

To make it simple the present outcomes showed that the most common effect of

cyberbullying on Malaysian students in high school is due to the development of over-sensitive

behavior towards their surroundings. Another common effect of cyberbullying is the

development of emotional changes. Emotional changes include difficult in controlling emotion

and easily get angry over little things.

Figure 5: Opinion on the effects of cyberbullying

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2.6 Prevention of Cyberbullying

Those who faced the problems of being cyberbullied really need friends in their life to

support them physically and emotionally so, friends are important in our life. According to the

surveys, 52% of the respondents do help their friends who are being cyber bullied. Moreover,

the tendency for the cyber victims to get advices from or complain to their friends is higher

compare to the cyber victims to seek helps from professional bodies, such as university

counselling centers or non-governmental organizations (NGO).

Even though the cyber victims have family members and relatives which are the closest

to them, only a few of them seek advices from family members when they were cyber bullied.

Not only that, from doing research it showed that seeking assistance from professional bodies

was not the main option for cyber victims. Only a few of the cyber victims looked for

counsellors and only a small number of cyber victims filed a police report and acquired

assistance from NGO.

Figure 6: Experience on helping victims of cyberbully

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It is important for us to prevent this cyberbullying from becoming a norm in our society

today. So, a few measures need to be taken in order for this cyberbullying to stop. There are a

few ways to curb these cyberbullying problems. Firstly, we need to talk more if ever we have

been bullied. Studies shown that some people who are being bullied tend to keep it within

themselves. Phycologist did research that the best way to help the victims is we need to have

conversations with them first. We as the friends or someone who are close to them need to be

patient and try to ask them their problem in general. This way we can know what is the situation

that the victims are currently facing.

Secondly, we can use the celebrity cards. We know that people tend to follow someone

that we chose as a role model. It can either be a singer, actor, and even sportsmen. Nowadays,

we can see most of the celebrities are supporting the cyberbullying victims. A prime example

is Miley Cyrus who have been outspoken on this problem.

Next, we need to have a better monitoring system for the online activities. Fortunately,

everything that is online we can always detect it easily especially that it can be permanent. So,

we can trace it easily and get the evidence. For example, as a parent if they cannot take away

their children cell phones for safety issues, they can install monitoring app such as Pumpic.

This application can monitor the social media activities like Facebook, Instagram, text

messages (even if they have deleted the messages), call log and much more.

Other than that, parents and youths need have better interaction and engageable with

one another. Community consist of adults and youths can be created to propagate a unified

message against this cyberbullying. Even in education institutions, the higher up need to

establish a safety committee that can control and discuss on the issues of cyberbullying.

Policies and rules, and even a cyberbullying reporting system can be created to curb this

problem.

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Lastly, we need to build a positive surrounding. In school, the school staff can have a

major role in order to prevent cyberbullying. As a teacher, they can always conduct a teacher

and parent meeting to discuss how the students doing not only on their studies but how they

behave in school. The school websites can also be used to create a page or forum for parents

and teachers to discuss the problem of the students. The teachers also need to engage with the

cyberbullies and the cyber victims and try to see each other in different perspectives.

3.0 Questions in the Survey

The students who participated in the survey were asked a few questions:

I. In your opinion, what is cyberbullying to you?

II. Have you ever become a cyberbully or still a cyberbully?

III. Have you ever been cyberbullied?

IV. In your opinion, what is the factors that cause someone to cyberbully other people?

V. In your opinion, what is the feeling of someone being cyberbullied and it will affect

them in real life?

VI. Have you ever helped someone who is being bullied?

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4.0 Conclusion

As a conclusion, we can see cyberbullying has become a trend in our society today

especially among students. We can see the evidence from the survey in which it is proven that

there are students who are being cyberbullied. The statistics of cyberbullying in Malaysia has

shown in positive increasing in numbers of the victims. The result is also the same if we

compare with the other country like UK, US and many others.

As a good Muslim, we should know that cyberbullying is an unethical act which should

be avoided and prevented. Cyberbullying is an act which is forbidden to be done not only by

Islam but all the religion because it is an act that give negative impacts toward the cyber

victims. In Surah al-Ḥujurat verse 11, Allah says, “Verily, the believers are brothers let not

some people mock others, for they may be better than themselves nor let women mock women

who may be better than themselves. And do not slander yourselves, nor revile by offensive

nickname. Evil is a bad name after faith, whoever change not is one of the wicked.” These

verses explained on the non-physical face of bullying. Sometime, bullies through verbal and

emotional can have bigger impact and last longer victims than physical bullying.

We also need to help those who are being cyberbullied. One of the hadiths also said:

As the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Help your brother, whether he is an oppressor, or

he is oppressed.” The Prophet was asked: “It is right to help him if he is oppressed, but how

should we help him if he is an oppressor?” He replied: “By preventing him from oppressing

others.” (Ṣahīh Bukhāri, Volume 3, Ḥadīth 624). This hadith explained the importance of

helping those who are oppressed but, even more profoundly, the need to assist oppressors by

stopping them from committing this infringement on the rights of others.

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5.0 References

Lai, C. S., Mohamad, M. M., Lee, M. F., Salleh, K. M., Sulaiman, N. L., Rosli, D. I., & Chang,

W. V. (2017). Prevalence of Cyberbullying among Students in Malaysian Higher Learning

Institutions. Advanced Science Letters, 23(2), 781-784. doi:10.1166/asl.2017.7492

7 Ways to Prevent Cyberbullying. (2017, August 20). Retrieved from

https://www.teachthought.com/technology/7-ways-to-prevent-cyberbullying/

Online, T. S. (2017, April 11). On the alert for cyberbullying. Retrieved from

https://www.thestar.com.my/opinion/letters/2017/04/11/on-the-alert-for-cyberbullying/

Malay Mail. (2018, October 27). Malaysia sixth-worst in global cyber-bullying ladder, survey

shows | Malay Mail. Retrieved from

https://www.malaymail.com/news/malaysia/2018/10/27/malaysia-sixth-worst-in-global-

cyber-bullying-ladder/168718

Malaysian and Global Views on Cyberbullying. (n.d.). Retrieved from

https://www.ipsos.com/en-my/malaysian-and-global-views-cyberbullying

Lynch, W. (2019, January 10). Reasons for Cyberbullying. Retrieved from

https://itstillworks.com/reasons-cyberbullying-2196.html

Cyberbullying Statistics and Facts for 2016 - 2018. (n.d.). Retrieved from

https://www.comparitech.com/internet-providers/cyberbullying-statistics/

Cyberbullying Tactics. (n.d.). Retrieved from

https://www.stopbullying.gov/cyberbullying/cyberbullying-tactics/index.html

What is cyberbullying? (n.d.). Retrieved from

https://www.commonsensemedia.org/cyberbullying/what-is-cyberbullying

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Gordon, S. (n.d.). 8 Reasons Why Cyberbullies Lash Out at Others. Retrieved from

https://www.verywellfamily.com/reasons-why-kids-cyberbully-others-460553

Delete Cyberbullying. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://endcyberbullying.net/why-do-people-

cyberbully/

Gordon, S. (n.d.). 6 Common Ways Kids Bully Online. Retrieved from

https://www.verywellfamily.com/types-of-cyberbullying-460549

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