We are increasingly hearing the term disinformation. It is information that is deliberately intended to mislead, to present false information. In the case of cyberbullying, it often becomes a tool to humiliate. 2020 Statistics on cyberbullying show that more than 30% of students in Lithuania have been victims of online aggression.
In addition, the global pandemic crisis has opened up new opportunities for cyberbullying. There was a clear division of society and insults on each other on the Internet. In many cases, offensive comments were given to socially sensitive groups, causing consequences such as health problems, lack of self-confidence, and emotional feelings such as sadness.
But is it possible to stop cyberbullying and the spread of disinformation?
Yes. Electronic bullying can be dealt with under civil or criminal law, depending on the situation. Criminal liability applies when bullying damages reputation by spreading false information about a particular person. Therefore, one way to stop them is to report harmful content online. This can be done on the “Švarus internetas” hotline. This hotline allows all internet users to report any content found on the internet that is prohibited from being disseminated or that has a negative effect on minors, including cyberbullying. All reports are investigated by RRT specialists (Communications Regulatory Authority of the Republic of Lithuania) and after assessing that the content is prohibited, it is forwarded to the Police Department for further investigation.
How can I contribute to the prevention of cyberbullying?
Unfortunately, a minority reports bullying. According to the National Cyber Security State Report, only 133 reports of bullying and violence in cyberspace were recorded in 2020. It is estimated that there have been thousands of times more real cases of cyberbullying. For this reason, sharing a Clean Internet message form can help prevent misinformation and bullying.
The opportunity to report on experienced or observed cyberbullying in Vilnius schools was also presented by the “Turn on Leaders” youth group during the “Be Kind Behind the Screen” project. Project promoters are inviting to learn how to recognize, help and prevent cyberbullying. You will find all the information on the project page.