Cyberbullying in Nigeria
The internet offers enormous benefits to the young population. It provides a great avenue to gain knowledge, and have more understanding of the global community. In the last two decades, the internet has proven that it plays a tremendous role in our society, but sadly it has also turned to a community where young members intimidate, threaten, insult and attack themselves.
Cyberbullying has led to emotional depression among teenagers, and they have been harassed and maligned through it. There are cases of teenagers getting abuse online by their peers, which has even resulted in them committing suicide because of the abuse as they are barely too young to have the emotional strength to accept it.
Technology has provided a great opportunity for us, but cyberbullying aspect is condemnable and it is a threat to our society. People have been called all sorts of unprintable names on the internet, and there is a lot of defamation of character happening on the social media space today.
The daughter of the billionaire and business mogul Femi Otedola, who is one of the most outstanding Disk Jockeys in the country, DJ Cuppy, is always under attack by people on the social media, particularly Twitter. DJ Cuppy is also a Nigerian Hip Hop Recording Artiste, but Nigerians have condemned her songs referring it as thrash, and they have gained notoriety for dragging her billionaire father into the attack.
Also, Nigeria’s Nollywood Actress, Funke Akindele, has been maligned on the social networking service for failing in her former relationship. Up until Saturday when the veteran thespian delivered twins, she has also been bullied by the cyber warriors and their fire-spitting minions for not having any child. Such is the negative side of the internet today.
Recently, there is one Twitter Account that is notoriously known for making mockeries of ladies’ pictures on the microblogging site, Twitter, by drawing it on paper as nude pictures and posting it to gain likes and retweets. After several complaints, Twitter put the account down. That is a confirmation lot of cyber harassments happening today. Twitter has been a site, where people are insulted, abused and attacked. The society needs to go beyond this petty game.
The Cybercrimes Act 2015 of Nigeria has prescribed punishment ranging from a fine of not less than two million naira or imprisonment for a term of not less than one year or to both fine and imprisonment, up to a term of not less than ten years or a fine of not less than twenty-five million naira or to both fine and imprisonment for cyberstalking and cyberbullying. This must be implemented to serve as a deterrent for others.
Parents and guardians must keep a close watch at their wards. They must closely supervise the activities of their kids on the internet as they are prone to stuff capable of depressing them emotionally and even damaging their future. It is even imperative for them to be careful of buying phones towards at a tender age.
Moreover, there needs to be an orientation on social networking services about cyberbullying. Social media users must be warned and sensitized on various sites through promotional campaigns.