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What to do if you are being Cyber-bullied?

 What is Cyber-Bullying?

Bullying means to deliberately and repeatedly behave in a manner intended to harass, threaten, humiliate or harm others. Cyberbullying takes place using electronic technology. Electronic technology includes devices and equipment such as cell phones, computers, and tablets as well as communication tools including social media sites, text messages, chat, and websites.


Examples of cyberbullying include mean text messages or emails, rumours sent by email or posted on social networking sites, and embarrassing pictures, videos, websites, or fake profiles.


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How to react to cyberbullying?

Record: Keep a record of bullying messages you receive in hard copy. If you can show an adult either the messages themselves or a diary of when you received them, it may be easier to verify what went on and who the bully was.


Reach out: Reach out to your parents, a favourite teacher, school administrators, counsellors, and even police officers can help you deal with cyberbullying. It’s also helpful to talk to friends or a counsellor so you can get their support when you are feeling upset by hurtful comments. There is no reason to suffer alone when you are the target of bullying.


Cut off the bully:  Stop all communication with the bully when possible. You may be able to block their phone number so you no longer receive their calls or texts. Facebook and instant messenger providers allow you to block other users so that they can no longer interact with you.


Report: If you’re being bullied via a website, chances are that the bully is going against the website’s terms of use. Reporting bullies to the website administrator may get them kicked off the site. Sites like Facebook and YouTube are some of the most popular sites for cyberbullying activity, you can report cyberbullying incidents to the sites’ “safety centres.”


Report to your nearest Police Station, get an FIR done with the relevant provisions of law.


Consult: Top Cyber Crime Lawyers in India

 


What are the legal options available against cyber-bullying?


Section 507 of IPC - Criminal intimidation by an anonymous communication

Whoever commits the offence of criminal intimidation by an anonymous communication, or having taken precaution to conceal the name or abode of the person from whom the threat comes, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, in addition to the punishment provided for the offence by the last preceding section.



Section 499 of IPC -Defamation

Whoever, by words either spoken or intended to be read, or by signs or by visible representations, makes or publishes any imputation concerning any person intending to harm, or knowing or having reason to believe that such imputation will harm, the reputation of such person, is said to defame that person.



Section 509 of IPC - Insulting the modesty of a woman

Whoever, intending to insult the modesty of any woman, utters any word, makes any sound or gesture, or exhibits any object, intending that such word or sound shall be heard, or that such gesture or object shall be seen, by such woman, or intrudes upon the privacy of such woman, shall be punished with simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine, or with both.


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Section 354 A and 354 D of IPC – These sections deal with sexual harassment, stalking, including harassment via electronic mode.



Section 66 E of Information Technology Act

Whoever, intentionally or knowingly captures, publishes or transmits the image of a private area of any person without his or her consent, under circumstances violating the privacy of that person, shall be punished with imprisonment which may extend to three years or with fine not exceeding two lakh rupees, or with both.

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