News Views: Bar raising

Cyberbullying on some social media sites is something all of us can help control.

Residents at the temporary homeless shelter in downtown Maple Ridge have been pepper-sprayed, had cans thrown at them, nearly run over by a vehicle and been beaten with a pipe.

And people film and photograph them, then post those recordings on the internet.

Dealing with the physical assaults at the shelter is for the RCMP.

But the cyberbullying on some social media sites is something all of us can help control.

Cyberbullying is when individuals or groups repeatedly communicate hostile or aggressive messages intended to inflict harm or discomfort on others, according to B.C.’s Information and Privacy Commissioner and Representative for Children and Youth.

Cyberbullying doesn’t just involve kids, and how best to reduce and penalize it has not been resolved by any jurisdiction to date.

But it still has its victims.

Sometimes they retaliate.

Sometimes they can’t defend themselves.

We wouldn’t think anyone old enough to vote would engage in such bullying behaviour.

But then we wouldn’t think a presidential candidate would speak or act the way in which Donald Trump does.

So we are left with the name-calling and accusations and baiting that pass for civic involvement on some social media sites, to plead for a greater level of accountability and deeper understanding of issues.

Some may only be venting out of fear, and we accept that.

But not vigilantism.

It’s one thing to not agree with someone, no matter what side of an issue they stand on, but another to try and shame or humiliate them.

It furthers nothing.

You don’t have to tolerate such behaviour.

You don’t have to participate or comment.

You don’t have to belong to such a group.

You could start your own.

Or you could do something to help.

 

 

– Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows News