There are some types of Cyber Harassment: bullying, stalking and trolling, explains Marta Martinez-Hasty, LCSW, Director of Project Gold at Kristi House. She describes trolling is when somebody wants to incite and create anger within a certain community. The expert affirms most of the time, they’re proud of being trollers and of doing this. The expert affirms kids can use trolling as well as an adult. They feel like they have a lot of power control in their life and they can feel powerful.
Marta Martinez-Hasty, LCSW, Director of Project Gold at Kristi House, explains cases of sexual assault are when the act happens to somebody. Sexual abuse could be a behavior that takes place. Normally sexual harassment is done by someone who is in a position of power, she describes. The expert affirms internet is one of the biggest concern, because it is very accessible. It’s easy for people, to sexually abuse children or harass public, because they can reach so many people and they can find somebody vulnerable on the Internet. Internet is really used widely and daily as one of the strongest means of abusing children and teenagers, she says.
Low self-esteem, loneliness, distrust in others, personality changes, withdrawal, self-harm, suicide and homicide can be effects of cyber harassment. Marta Martinez-Hasty, LCSW, Director of Project Gold at Kristi House, considers it’s important for specialists to think about different scenarios, what kids are going through and different times in their life. She is concerned about suicide rates in teenagers, because they are much higher nowadays than before. When kids or teenagers see their private information out there, they may feel their life is over.
There are potential risks of social media: cyberbullying and harassment, usually by peers, sharing sexually explicit photographs, inaccurate or harmful health and sexuality information, exposure to inappropriate and illegal content, sharing too much information and sexual solicitations. Marta Martinez-Hasty, LCSW, Director of Project Gold at Kristi House, affirms there is an over share of information about personal problems or family issues. She considers these are very dangerous for teenagers. She advises parents that if they decide to give their children a smartphone, they should limit the apps they can use.
In 2015, statistics showed cyber harassment was taking place a lot on Facebook. Nowadays, there are more apps, and Snapchat and Instagram are other concerns. Marta Martinez-Hasty, LCSW, Director of Project Gold at Kristi House, says now the parents are very worried about the Photoshop, because it is very easy for someone to take a picture of their kids and work it with that program, when the child never did what is seen there. She thinks that many times people do it because they think it's funny, but they do not stop to see the consequences of that.