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Cyberbullying Case Studies

With a number of social media platform cohesively blended into our lives, our online activities can be easily viewed by friends, acquaintances, and many strangers. Cyberbullying is harder to notice at times as unlike traditional bullying, it happens in the virtual world and there is a possibility that it might not happen in publicly accessible forums and groups. When someone is bullied in the cyberspace, the victim generally starts distancing himself or herself from the internet and avoids social activities and gatherings. Moreover, cyberbullying also leads to eating disorders and improper mental health. In this post, we will discuss two infamous cases of Amanda Todd and Tyler Clementi.

The Story of Amanda Todd

Amanda Todd was a 15-year old high-school student from British Columbia. In October 2012, Amanda left behind a YouTube video in which she told her entire story with the help of flashcards. According to her, she started chatting with a man whom she met online. He continuously flattered her and she flashed him when he requested her to do so. The man took pictures of her breasts and started blackmailing her. He followed Amanda on the Internet continuously and asked her to do the same thing again. When she refused, he shared the photo with her classmates on Facebook. In order to deal with the tension and anxiety, Amanda resorted to drugs and alcohols along with multiple sexual encounters. Slowly, her classmates started ignoring her and finally ostracized her.

With no social encounters and a severe depression, she finally committed suicide in the second week of October 2012. It is also believed that she attempted suicide multiple times before finally succeeding.

The Story of Tyler Clementi

Tyler was an 18-year old student studying at Rutgers University in New Jersey. He shared his room with Dharun Ravi. Ravi used his computer’s webcam and his hallmate Molly’s computer to watch Tyler kissing another man without the knowledge of Tyler on September 19, 2010. On the very same day, Ravi posted about the webcam incident on his Twitter account and Tyler eventually found out about the tweets made by Ravi. Earlier, Ravi has also tweeted that he found out that his roommate his gay.

On September 19, Tyler asked Ravi to use their room for the evening. After the incident on September 19, Tyler again asked for Ravi to use their room for the evening on September 21. This time, Ravi invited all his friends on Twitter to watch the entire incident. He set up his webcam in such a way that it was pointed towards Tyler’s bed. When Tyler came back to the room, he noticed the webcam and unplugged the cable. Later on, Ravi claimed that he set up his webcam on September 19 as he was worried about the theft and on September 21, he himself put his computer in Sleep Mode. Even though Tyler reported the incident and his violation of privacy to the resident assistant, he left his room on September 22 and bought some food in the evening. At around 9 PM, he posted from his Facebook account that he is jumping off from the George Washington Bridge. Seven days later, his body was found in the Hudson River. He left a suicide note, along with other documents on his computer which were never released in the public domain.

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