It’s impossible to underscore the value social media has added to our lives but with that said, it has come with its own set of problems, key among them cyberbullying.
A couple of days ago, photos and videos of an alleged illicit affair among three individuals were the talk of the town on social media in Kisumu.
So popular were the images that they landed on Kenya’s most scandalous social media group, Kilimani Mums, greatly disparaging the characters of those involved.
Here are 3 reasons why you should think twice before sharing:
1. Its Cyber bullying and against the law
Cyberbullying is defined as an aggressive, intentional act or behavior that is carried out by a group or an individual, using electronic forms of contact, repeatedly and over time against a victim who cannot easily defend themselves.
The controversial Computer Misuse and Cybercrimes Act 2018, states in Section 27 subsection (1) that,
A person who, individually or with other persons, willfully communicates, either directly or indirectly, with another person or anyone known to that person commits an offence, if they know or ought to know that their conduct –
(a) is likely to cause those persons apprehension or fear of violence to them or damage or loss on that persons’ property; or
(b) detrimentally affects that person; or
(c) is in whole or part, of an indecent or grossly offensive nature and affects the person
2. Cyber bullying increases the suicide rate
The United Nations (UN) also reports that globally 7 in 10 young people have experienced abuse online at least once in their lives.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC), states that approximately 4,400 deaths occur every year as a direct result of cyber bullying.
An article by the Telegraph in 2018 reported that young people are twice as likely to self-harm or attempt suicide as a direct result of cyber bullying.
Kenya has no data at the moment on cyber bullying and it’s consequences. Yet there are cases such as that of the late Brenda Waru, who died by suicide in 2017 believed to result from cyber bullying.
3. Your action may have far reaching consequences
Once you share that post, particularly on a social media page or group, there’s no telling who will cross that information.
If the victim’s family members come across the post without prior knowledge to what has been going on online, they are likely to experience feelings of powerlessness, develop physical symptoms such as depression and stress-related headaches and become angry and agitated.
Depending on the severity of the information being shared online, it may cause someone to go into shock and even suffer from a heart attack
It’s human nature to want to share something you find interesting with a friend but before you share anything online, think of the repercussion it may have on the person involved.