Cyberbullying and Business

Cyberbullying is it normally associated with large corporations. Now social media is a company’s downfall (David, 2018). The word cyber has anything dealing with networking and computers. It is a way someone can use computers to cause dangers or harm to anyone (Benner, 2012). This can be done by being hacked to where they can get your credit card information. This can also can destroy family and an individual’s life. Businesses cannot protect themselves from this type of illegal attack. Some people will go out of their way to cause harm to other businesses. Competitors also use this to their advantage. One of the most harmful weapons used for business cyberbullying is false or bad reviews. This can hurt a company because people check and look at ratings and reviews before choosing a particular company or business. Fake reviews are very hard to remove for some due to review cites wanting to be neutral, even if it is false information (Davis, 2018). Cyber stalking involves the use of Internet to harass someone. This can include false accusations, threats, and the use of negative comments. Cyber fraud is the use of an electronic means to harass an organization. This can include defamation, slander, or accusation of some nature. What can be done to stop cyberbullying?1 It can foster loneliness and depression, and it has even led some victims to commit suicide. On the other hand, when someone intentionally harasses, humiliates, or threatens another person online that is bullying. If a company is being cyberbullied, remember this: How you respond can make things get better or worse.

One way is to ignore the bully. The Bible says at Proverbs 17:27: A man of knowledge restrains his words, and a discerning man will remain calm. This Scripture can let the bully to lose their cool. We would not want to go back and forth online nor would we want to bring more negative attention on our business. If we lose our cool, we are giving the power to the bully. We should adhere the principles found in the Bible. The bottom line: Sometimes the best response is no response. It is best to resist the urge to retaliate. The Bible says: Do not pay back injury for injury or insult for insult. A lot of times anger shows that a person is weak and this could lead to more bullying. It will also make it seem that you are a part of the problem instead of the solution. Try not to add fuel to the fire. There are things you can do to stop the bullying, without making the situation worse. For example, if possible block the person who is sending the messages or negative, false reviews. If the problems continues make sure you save all the evidence in case you have to make a case against that bully. That includes aggressive text messages, instant messages, e-mails, posts on blogs or social media, voice messages, or any other communication. Don’t worry about them, instead build your self-confidence. Focus on your strengths rather than your weaknesses. Like physical bullies, cyberbullies prey on people who seem vulnerable (Watchtower, 2017). Cases dealing with cyberbullying In the case of Zeran vs AOL, defamatory things were said about him by an AOL subscriber. This is a prime example of cyber bullying. He wanted AOL to remove defamatory statements presented on this AOL board, so he went to court to have them removed. Cyber bullying is a big issue, especially for teens and even some adults. Some articles and research materials have proven this to be a big issue. Nancy Willard, M.S., J.D. from Center for Safe and Responsible Use of the Internet wrote a scholarly article discussing Cyberbullying and Cyber threats. She included definitions and consequences as well as ways to respond. She states: Cyberbullying is disseminating harmful or cruel speech or engaging in other forms of social cruelty using the Internet or other information communication technologies. She wrote about different types of cyberbullying activities such as Flaming (sending angry, rude, vulgar messages), Harassment (repeatedly sending messages), cyber stalking, denigration (put-downs), impersonation, and trickery.

In this case, AOL is legally considered to be a publisher. [E]very one who takes part in the publication is charged with publication. Id. Even distributors are considered to be publishers for purposes of defamation law: Those who are in the business of making their facilities available to disseminate the writings composed, the speeches made, and the information gathered by others may also be regarded as participating to such an extent in making the books, newspapers, magazines, and information available to others as to be regarded as publishers. They are intentionally making the contents available to others, sometimes without knowing all of the contents-including the defamatory content-and sometimes without any opportunity to ascertain, in advance, that any defamatory matter was to be included in the matter published. In response to the bullying, Nancy suggests that speech should be removed, and states that schools must respond appropriately. Especially when working with teens, if a school responds in appropriately, it can emotionally damage that student. Mr. Zeran apparently felt some emotional damage after AOL did not properly respond, but he is an adult and he knew how to act by filing a lawsuit. Zeran’s issue with AOL obviously evolved in North America, and other companies have learned from AOL’s mistake of failure to remove derogatory statements about Zeran. Law common principles and ways to lower the risk of cyberbullying1 Cyber law is any law that applies to the internet. Some areas that relate to cyber law is cybercrime and cybersecurity. Businesses and people can now try to protect themselves from cybercrime. Cybersecurity helps in the weakness in computers and networks. Businesses can improve in cybersecurity by offering training programs to their staff, hiring those certified in cyberbullying, and being aware of new security threats.

A very important part of cyber law is intellectual property. This includes inventions, literature, and music (Upcounsel, 2018). Laws are set in place to protect people from cyberbullying. As stated in Nancy Willard’s article, Federal Criminal Laws are as follows: 18 USC 875. Extortion and threats sent through interstate communications. 18 USC 2425. Use of interstate communications to transmit information about a minor (for sexual purposes). 47 USC 223. Obscene or harassing telephone calls in interstate communications. (Willard) Overall, the purpose of cyber law is to lower the risk. Technology is constantly updating and so laws must be updated as well. In the year 2014, five new laws were passed. Many of the new laws are used to update existing legislation. The Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2014, or CEA, is one of the most important bills passed. This law strengthens the informal mission of the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Other laws related to cyber law include electronic signature laws and information technology guidelines and their laws (Upcounsel, 2018). Other Related Articles3 The Internet today is a limitless information. It has the ability to reach wide spanning markets, collect valuable research on potential customers, and conduct business in all over the world, which has created growth in business explosion that no one could have foreseen. Along with the business sides of things, people now also have the ability to search and apply for jobs completely through the internet, which has opened up the world job market to many people with valuable skills to offer. The internet offered endless positive opportunities, but with anything positive there are also negatives. It created a space for bullying without ever having to be in the same space as someone.

The case Barnes v. Yahoo! should raise attention to anyone dealing with disgruntled ex-significant others. More importantly, it concerns those in the business of providing internet services that allow for contributions from third parties or any kind of user generated content. Unfortunately for Barnes, Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 (aka Section 230) grants immunity from liability to provider[s] of an interactive computer service for defamatory content posted to its websites by third parties, as well as for any voluntary restrictions imposed by an ISP (internet service provider) with respect to any third party content that it deems obscene or otherwise objectionable. (Merchin, 2009). This protection has systematically allowed ISPs to dispose of defamation claims quickly without ever having to go to trial. The Limitations of Section 230 Immunity Aside from the issue of contract liability, the Barnes decision, much like the ruling in Zeran v. AOL, provides a useful guide that outlines the circumstances under which Section 230 immunity is available to ISPs. After Barnes, it is probable that nearly all plaintiffs bringing defamation claims against ISPs for third-party content will concurrently bring breach of contract claims. But unlike Section 230, the Directive adopts a notice and take down approach, meaning that ISPs are afforded immunity from liability for the storage of defamatory third-party content only if they remove such content upon receipt of notice (Merchin, 2009). Sadly, one of the biggest consequences/impacts mentioned is suicide: Victims suffer poor psychological and social adjustment. Willard also mentions cyberbullying could meet the standards for intentional tort. These actions could seriously cause some emotional distress and make a person want to retaliate if they are strong enough to do so (Willard, 2018).

In The Association of Suicide and Bullying in Childhood to Young Adult, research concluded that suicide and bullying among children, adolescents, and young adults of the general population found that victims of bullying exhibited high levels of suicidal ideations and be more likely to have attempted suicide (Klomek, 2010).There have been numerous cases in the media that report suicide or attempt of, and the cause if from bullying.

In scientific research on bullying and cyberbullying, they studied and analyzed 309 articles into categories such as number of authors, country of origin, international collaboration, journal, field, and main topic. What the research concluded was, most of the highly cited papers came from Northern Europe and Northern America (Zych, 2015). The research did not conclude that these two countries are leaders in cyberbullying, but it does show majority of highly cited articles generating from there. Biblical advice Words cause a great deal of harm. We have all heard the saying that ‘sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt’. We know this saying to be untrue, especially to those who have been slandered or defamed. At Exodus 20:16 it says You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. Bearing false witness does not exclude slander, mainly because of the untruths being spread. Gossip collects someone’s secrets and passes them to others; slander makes up its own secrets and broadcasts them wherever they will do the most harm. The New Testament references slander as part of our old sinful nature. Colossians 3:7, 8 says, You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. God will not participate with us in our mess and attempts to destroy someone else with our words. Slander comes from the heart, and when we are tempted to speak untruths about someone, we should first examine our own hearts to see what ugly root is producing those desires. Jesus said in Matthew 15:18-19, But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them.

For out of the heart come evil thoughts murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. It is our duty as Christian to love one another as God has commanded of us. This includes on our jobs, with strangers, and on the internet. Proverbs 6:16-19 tells us the things that God hates. It says how God hates a lying tongue, a heart plotting wicked schemes, and feet that run quickly to evil. If we want to follow the guidelines in the Bible, we must follow this principles. We would not want to have a false tongue meaning we are lying and deceiving others. We wouldn’t want to plot against others or tell evil things about others. We must think as God does. If we learn to hate what our Heavenly Father hates, we will not have any part of cyberbullying or causing harm to anyone! Christian worldview We know we are all imperfect. Therefore, the Devil tries to tempt us but we can resist negative influences. We can do this by drawing closer to God and applying guidelines in his word, the Bible. We know for a fact that with God’s help, we can resist corruptive influences. There will come a time when corruption and bullying will end! The Bible tells us that soon God will take action and rid our earth of corruption. God will do this by means of his Kingdom. This is the same Kingdom that Jesus taught his followers to pray for. We live in a world where people intentionally cause harm to others and their business. They will take advantage of the lowly one and will led others to do the same.

Proverbs 26:20 says, Where there is no wood, the fire goes out, and where there is no slanderer, quarreling ceases. If we do not add to it, it might just go away. However, if you speak negative publicly about the bully the bullying will never stop. Romans 12:17, 18 guides us to Return evil for evil to no one. Take into consideration what is fine from the viewpoint of all men. If possible, as far as it depends on you, be peaceable with all men. Our heart should be filled with love. Having love for others and our Heavenly Father will give us the desire to think like Christ. If we think from a Christian point of view, we will be urged to resist cyberbullying. A true Christian will trust in God. If we see someone is speaking negatively of us or making false reviews about our business we must not retaliate. We must not try to pay them back, but let God fight our battles. Proverbs 11:2 says Vengeance is mine, says the Lord. Therefore, we must leave bullying, retaliating, and evilness out of our hearts.

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