The Ministry of Public Security in Israel has recognized the significant effect of cyberbullying on their nation, especially teens and children, who are the ones most affected by online bullying.
In order to combat the problem, there has been a joint response from government agencies, NGOs, public organizations, and the internet industry to bring the problem to light to minimize, and hopefully eradicate, internet bullying for those who are the most vulnerable.
Israeli model and fashion influencer Anne Zivi believes in confronting cyberbullying and wants to take action by helping organizations promote awareness campaigns through the use of social media, “We need to make our society a safe and respectful place by being able to stand for each other, rather than against each other,” she states.
What is cyberbullying exactly?
Cyberbullying entails using the internet, and other types of technology, to deliberately cause emotional damage to an individual or a group. As the internet has become more widespread, the problem has seen a significant increase.
Studies have shown that 37% of teens between the ages of 12 and 17 have been the victims of online bullying – and 30% have had it happen multiple times. Instagram has been identified as the platform where most internet bullying occurs with 42% of those who have suffered online abuse stating that it occurred via the social media site. What is worrying is the fact that only 1 in 10 will tell an adult who they trust that it has happened.
These are the effects of cyberbullying
In Israel, and many other countries, it’s been noted that children and teens are those who are most affected. This type of abuse has damaging consequences and many are led to depression and even suicide. Reports indicate that young people who have been victims of cyberbullying are much more likely to suffer from self-harm and suicidal thoughts. Compared to 6% of boys who have been victims of online abuse, 15% of girls have had to face at least four different forms of online abuse.
What can be done to combat the problem?
With the actions and negative impacts of cyberbullying gaining more exposure, Anne Zivi, being a spokesmodel for fashion brand 69Slam Israel, uses her social media channels to help prevent cyberbullying. She is a strong advocate for body positivity and believes in self-care – views that she shares widely using her extensive platform.
The business owner of “Fantasy Jewelry” knows that the digital world can be a tough one. As someone who is in the public eye, she has also fallen victim to cruel comments, “Anyone can be a target of cyberbullying and the harmful comments online can really get to you. I want to spread a positive message to people so that they can build a tough exterior and not let the bullies get to them,” she encourages.
She further affirms, “I believe that influencers like myself should promote awareness to stop this because even though we have created a persona online and interact daily on social media, it doesn’t mean that we’re not human and we don’t get hurt easily.”
How to help people who are being cyberbullied
The 26-year-old Israel Bidur host sees it as her duty to actively promote her own beliefs and values to society, including the actions she wants to take towards the eradication of cyberbullying.
Her large fanbase, the majority being teenagers, gives her leverage to inspire change in the way young people relate and interact with each other through acceptance of themselves and others as they are.
She has also advised people to take action against anyone who sees bullies victimizing others by reporting the perpetrators anonymously, especially if they’re targeting people on social media. This is especially important as it has been reported that 60% of teens have seen someone being bullied online, but most do not take action to stop it.
Anne believes that victims should not be afraid to seek professional help, because it can help them express their feelings in a safe environment, “It’s important for people to speak up about their experiences because it can help decrease any chances of self-harm or harm to others,” she advises.
In 2020, Instagram introduced a new feature for personal and professional users which was designed to combat cyberbullying. Users can ‘Pin’ their favorite comments to the top of the comment section as this encourages a more positive stream of comments and minimizes ‘trolling’.
Planning the way forward
The former Amazing Race Israel contestant will be joining charities and organizations in the near future in order to put her plans into action. She says that she believes in the importance of spreading positivity through her work, and states, “I will make sure that I can do this in every way possible.”