Cyber bullying, a problem for adult students too

News 12 This Morning/Friday Oct. 25, 2013

(WRDW)--Cyber bullying. It's been talked about as a problem among teens, but many say it's a problem that can carry over into adulthood.

"I mean, I think it's dealt with on a daily basis--from high school to college," said Trey Carrion, a senior at USC Aiken. "Once you get into college you're still trying to deal with it. It's a big change coming here to college."

Carrion says he's never been a victim of internet harassment, but he's seen cyber bullies in action first hand.

"I think they just feel insecure about themselves honestly," he said. "What's the point in sitting behind a computer and bullying someone else? Just to make yourself feel better?"

A study by cyberbullying.org found that 39 percent of social media users report being bullied online.

"We've been reporting any abusive tweets that we see," said Lauren Couls. " We keep an eye out on different accounts that we've noticed."

Couls, coordinator of web communications and social media at USC AIken, says reporting harassing Facebook comments or tweets isn't as complex as most think.

For instance, if you're being harassed by a Facebook page

"There's a little gear symbol on the page. Click it and on the bottom there is report page," Couls explained.

On Twitter, when you hover over individual tweets click "more" and choose the "report abuse" option.

Both sites give you options to explain why you're reporting the post, with choices as specific as "This Post Makes Me Sad."

But, Carrion says he feels reporting online abuse just isn't enough.

"I've reported some stuff," he said. "Not because of cyber bullying, but because it's inappropriate and I haven't seen anything done about it. Yes, it may get deleted. But, it's already effected that person."

He says he feels the best way to combat cyber bullying is offering help to those targeted.

"Putting it on the news. Actually talking to students who actually have been cyber bullied," he explained. "I think that's more effective than just pressing report on Facebook or report on Twitter. Honestly, I don't even know what that does."

Officials at USC Aiken tell me they're currently looking at making changes to their code of conduct to include specific cyber bullying rules.


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