n South African Journal of Criminal Justice - Formulating adequate legislation to address cyber-bullying : has the law kept pace with advancing technology?




The development of new accessible technologies and the expansion of the Internet have revolutionised communication across the world. Online users rely on the safety and security of the Internet and digital media in their daily lives. However these new technologies have exposed them to a variety of new threats and risks, such as cyber-bullying. The study reveals that cyber-bullying or online bullying has become prevalent among adolescents, and it is considered to be more harmful than typical schoolyard bullying. Cyber-bullying has a significant impact on the lives of victims, their families and friends. It is submitted that acts of cyber-bullying endanger online digital safety and erode confidence in the network technologies that are used. It is recommended that appropriate mechanisms should be put in place to ensure the safety and security of online users and address the devastating impact of cyber-bullying. However, the introduction of any anti-bullying legislation should consider the competing interests of the online user and the victim in an equitable manner. A collaborative effort by all role-players is also necessary to address the rise in cyber-bullying.


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