In Kenya cyber-bullying incidences have increased steadily becoming a threat and tend to manifest itself through social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook, blogs, short message service (SMS), emails, YouTube videos and even phone calls. According to NTV Kenya, Brenda Akinyi Maone Waru committed suicide after members of a Facebook group bullied her when she sought for assistance by posting about the plight of her daughter who was defiled by her ex-boyfriend. Check the NTV Kenya tweet below;
Cyberbullying has also been targeted to media personalities and musicians. Jimmy Gait, a popular gospel singer has become a victim of cyberbullying with members of the public making fun of him in Twitter after releasing new songs as can be seen in one of the bully tweets below;
Cyberbullying is a practice where an individual takes advantage of technology to harass, stalk or threaten another individual.
It can take various forms ranging from:
- Spreading embarrassing rumours, threats, stalking that amounts to harassment
- Setting up fake social media accounts to embarrass someone by posting their humiliating photos and videos.
- Impersonating someone so as to damage their reputation
How to Protect Yourself from CyberBullying
- Reduce exposure to bullies by limiting the amount of personal information available online.
- Protecting and strengthening your password to prevent hacking.
- Enabling two factor authentications in your social network apps such as Twitter and Facebook usually involving a text message with a special code sent to your phone whenever you sign into your account.
- Awareness and sensitization programs with an example of such programs being the #KenyaAgainstCyberBullying developed by Kenyan Activist Kevin Anyango.
- Report bullying incidences to the appropriate authorities such as the law enforcement agencies, websites owners and service providers.