Cyber-bullying can go above and beyond regular bullying and name-calling, and it can be incredibly dangerous.
Online Death Threats
Often the most severe forms of cyber-bullying include anonymous death threats.
Sometimes the worst thing someone can think of to say to you online is to “kill yourself.” Unfortunately, in some tragic cases, victims of bullying have felt there was no other option than to do so. If someone tells you to kill yourself, your best advice is to turn off the computer for a while, and speak to someone in real life – whether it be parents, friends, teachers, etc.
Cyberbullies want to affect your life, and they can spread awful, false, and malicious rumors to try to do so. Often they might say “X person is a whore” or “X person did [something bad here]”. I’m sure you’ve encountered something like this online. What we hope you will remember is that often these rumors don’t go much further than online, and only in the worst cases move to real life. But in those cases, you have options including lawsuits or getting the police involved.
Anime Convention Harassment Examples
And our sexual harassment or bullying responses.
We will be vague on many of these stories to protect the individuals involved. We organize a handful of conventions each year, and we estimate there is only one or two noteworthy instances at each event.
One time, we had a female attendee report to us that a specific cosplayer was regularly following them, and had made certain obscene, suggestive comments. In this case, they felt very uncomfortable and almost wanted to go home. We investigated and noticed the cosplayer acting suspiciously towards others, and so we kicked that person out – and the females who reported it to us returned happily and safely to the convention.
Another time, a good looking male cosplayer was being touched inappropriately, on the chest and arms, by a couple of females that he did not know. He stated to our staff in operations that this made him uncomfortable, that he also had a girlfriend, but that he didn’t want them kicked out either. We spoke with the females in question, asked them not to do that again, and explained how their actions were inappropriate and they should have started with “May I touch you?” instead of doing it without asking. All parties then went back to the convention and when we checked up later, the male had not experienced anything bad again.
In a rare circumstance, we had a girl report to us that a boy had been stalking her and following her. When we investigated, we found out that she and he had been exchanging text messages, that very day. Some of these messages from her included “Hey, I am going to the video room, meet me there?” – however she had a lengthy conversation with our staff in which she told us she had not been texting him at all that weekend and never wanted to see him. When we found out about these messages, we asked if she sent those messages, to which she said yes. She admitted that she reported him to us to get him kicked out, because he had broken up with her. Instead, we had to kick her out for false reporting. This is an incredibly rare and sad situation, and we generally assume reports that are made to us our true – and we won’t kick someone out for a false report if simply based on a misunderstanding or if someone genuinely feels like harassment is occuring. In this case, it was a deliberate attempt to harass someone by falsely reporting them for harassment.