Despite the popularity of social networking sites such as Facebook, Myspace, Twitter and Friendster, these sites are also a dangerous medium in which online predators prey on the young. By the year 2008, youths were spending more time on online media as they were in schools. During the earliest introduction of social media, there was a lack of online security and safety which led to multiple cases of cyberbullying.
The apex of rampant cyberbullying saw numerous cases of suicide and complaints of harassment and bullying via social media. Mean behaviors and comments were the common method in which cyberbullies taunt and belittle individuals. Many reported group cyberbullying where the bullies incessantly leave cruel remarks that degrade a victim. In the 2006 USA case of Megan Meier that shocked the online community, the cyberbullying ended with Megan's suicide.
The line between expressing one's honest opinion and bullying is finely threaded since the tightening of online safety on websites. Despite the numerous precautions, cyberbullying is still rampant and various social media platforms have now become a battlefield of words or wits. Regardless, the sharing of private photographs that ridicule a person still occurs and tweets to insinuate a person of obscenities carry similar harm to a bully victim. With every new creation on the World Wide Web, it contains a threat that can be exploited by online predators.
It has been nearly 8 years since Megan's death and yet, cyberbullying is still a serious issue that web developers face. Teenagers are more wary and cyber-savvy now when utilizing the internet as schools have also employ preventive measures to monitor internet activity and expose them to the dangers they might face on the internet. By being vigilant, we may unconsciously prevent another or a few Megan incident from recurring in the future.