Update: Chris Lao is now a full-fledged lawyer and one of the advocate partner of WSPH‘s Stop Bullying PH
I would like this post, however, to delve on the difference between Cyber Bullying and Cyber Harassment. Please note that these stemmed from the same behavior, but differs on definition so appropriate law (true to other countries) can be applied to offenders. There are laws in other countries to address these behaviors and protect it’s citizens. And in the absence of a PH law that will differentiate the three, we will go by the common international understanding.
The online behaviour being displayed on cyber bullying and cyber harassment are the same. Perpetuators use the internet, SMS, voice, picture, video messaging services, social networking sites and other forms of electronic and web based mass communication tools, as platforms to attack their their victims. The intentions are to sow fear, express hatred, damage the reputation, destroy the self worth and for their victims not to live a normal life [cyber stalkers agenda may include physical harm]
BUT they differ, on the following aspects:
- Cyber bullying is committed by a minor to another minor
- Cyber harassment and Cyber stalking is committed by an adult to a minor, or to another adult.
- Cyber harassment is purely an online activity while cyber stalking can lead to physical stalking, harassment and other non cyber related crimes.
You can read more HERE
And in the case of Mr. Christopher Lao, it is an issue of of cyber harassment.
With this in mind, the challenge for all of us is how to tilt the balance between the freedom to express our opinion, freedom to laugh or rage at a situation BUT remain civil.
We find more than ever the need for the government [executive, legislative and local] to be proactive and expedite the passing of the cyber crime and cyber bullying bills. Likewise, for the academe to include cyber bullying in their policy. These has been our call to the concerned stakeholders since we started web safety campaign and advocacy on July 2010.
We believe on the 2 fold approach- 1st] appropriate laws to guarantee our freedom but at the same time, safe guard to protect citizens from the abuses. 2nd] Educating the public. A high online intelligence reduces the risks
We believe that right information can change the mindset and a changed mindset results to a changed behavior.