Anyone can get bullied or harassed online – just ask basketball superstar Lebron James. James recently declared “Hater Day” in response to racist tweets people were posting on Twitter. Some of the most offensive tweets directed at him were:
- “u r a big nosed big lipped bug eyed (racial slur). ur greedy, u try to hide ur ghettoness.”
- “hey good game last night, too bad you’re a fraud, B*TCH”
- “no one wants to hear u speak. Why don’t u speak by laying ur head under a moving car”
- “I hope your cramps turn out to be a torn hamstring” (James’ response: “Haaa, OK I’ll try that.”)
By declaring Hater Day, James encouraged other victims of bullying to “just use it as extra motivation in whatever you do best.” While Lebron used a sense of humor to highlight something negative, other black celebrities at the brunt of bullying resort to different methods. R&B artist Monica simply quit her Twitter account after repeated cyberbullying. Solange Knowles uses Twitter to take a stand against bullying, asking “Am I the only one who thinks there should be more campaigning towards PARENTS for anti-bullying?”
Knowles is right – parents should understand the seriousness of cyberbullying. If parents are more in touch with what happens online, they are more likely to recognize signs of bullying and better able to help their kids.
What are your perceptions of cyberbullying? How serious of an issue do you consider it?