A recent study conducted by researchers from the University of Sheffield and Nottingham University is focusing on adult workers who use internet at their workplaces. The study is representative of a smaller sample of survey only, but the issue of cyberbullying is being a challenge everywhere. Pakistan’s cyber space is regulated under the Prevention of Electronic Crime Ordinance (PECO), in which some experts have found loopholes remaining unsatisfied. The government wants to turn it into an act under the Constitution of Pakistan, but despite three revisions since 2007, its proper shape has not yet been decided upon. PECO is coming under criticism for the extent of freedom of expression it grants the internet users.
However, more than adults, it is sad that many children and younger age kids are prone to bullies while they are school. Some kids also become victims of cyberbullying, especially when they surf the internet without an adult’s supervision that can guide them better. Now it is becoming clearer that even adults themselves can be victimized by cyberbullies online.
It has to be said that social networking and online socializing is not everyone’s ball game like it is not everyone’s prime skill to be an effective communication in real life. Some people can interact really well when they face an audience, while others feel comfortable behind a screen. Something of the same feeling led Mark Zuckerberg to create Facebook, which is now the world’s largest social networking site.
Experts believe that due to increase in social networking activities, a lot of online crimes, including cyberbullying has increased. This increase in cyberbullying could be related to the fact that a lot of the people are not aware of how to keep their information private and what are other rules of interaction. They end up being picked on for these very reasons. The current study from the researchers focuses on adult workers who are being bullied in an environment they are most familiar with, unlike an online space, where things could get out of hand.
Adult workers in workplaces are also being victims of cyberbullying through emails, text messages, or web-postings which are disturbing. A lot of colleagues create troubles for their co-workers when they send them unwanted internet communication. For example, sending them a post that is ‘not safe for work’ is a common cyberbullying tactic.
Soon, there will be formal norms about how internet should be used within a company for interaction and will be supervised. Although there are certain conventions that do exist even now, but they have not been formalized as part of the work environment and company policies. Human resource departments are being asked to be vigilant in any matter of cyberbullying, but the issue has to be taken up by laws and regulations of a country overall to provide a proper framework.