More youth at risk of cyber bullying

Namibian clinical psychologist, Shaun Whittaker has said that more Namibian youth are at risk of being exposed to cyber bullying with the increase and access to mobile and computer gadgets.

 

Use of these gadgets can be used to harass, shame or hurt children, he said.

 

“For example someone sending a child a nasty message via Facebook can hurt them. These also include violence, pornography and xenophobia such as sending a video of a criminal executing a victim which can be very sensitive for children.”

 

“Exposure of inappropriate content as we have witnessed in the past has a very bad image on children or a person that is being exposed. We have also witnessed in some parts of the world about adults approaching children online in order to meet them offline and then they commit a sexual offence,” he said.

 

Whittaker also said that gadgets can be used to expose children to explicit sexual content involving children, which is child pornography.

 

“There is a term that is known as sextortion, it is threatening to release sexual images or information of the victim to extort sexual favours from children. This puts them at risk as they cannot assess the cyber-specific dangers such as worldwide audience, non-retrievable record explicability of content.”

 

“For example children sharing sensitive information sharing aspects of their life which could affect employment , education opportunities , social or professional relationship,” he said.

 

He added that bullying, sexual exploitation and inappropriate content also exist in the offline world, however the online world provides for a news context with cyber –specific risks.