WHAT IS CYBER HARASSMENT?
Dan Olweus, a Swedish-Norwegian psychologist who is a reference in the fight against school bullying, defines school bullying as follows: “When the child is exposed repeatedly and in the long term, to negative actions on the part of one or more pupils. ". This violence can be verbal (insults, mockery, taunts), non-verbal (grimaces, obscene gestures), psychological (spreading rumours, process of isolation), or physical (blows, threats).
Nowadays, everyone uses new communication technologies (telephones, social networks, etc.) and bullying between students continues outside schools. We then speak of cyber-harassment. Attacks come in various forms:
- Incessant sending of messages (sms, emails, tweets)
- Dissemination of photos or video ridiculing the teenager
- Dissemination of intimate photos (a posted photo is engraved forever on the internet)
- Spreading false rumors
- Account Hacking
- Impersonation on Facebook
WHY MERCI HANDY COMMITS AGAINST CYBER-HARASSMENT?
At Merci Handy, we receive hundreds of love messages from our kittens every week, in physical letters or by message on our social networks. Some kittens even send us sweet nothings every week or even every day. This is the case of Lucas (we changed his first name for the story, as in TV shows), one of our most faithful kittens.
One day, Lucas admitted to us that he was the victim of harassment on his Instagram from several people who violently insulted him, pointing to content that was too eccentric and not masculine enough for their taste. Lucas, not knowing how to fix this problem, deleted his Instagram account and came to us. It was then that we realized that our kittens also expected this from us: To entertain them, to make them laugh, to move them, but also to help and protect them. Many kittens ask us for advice in many areas of their kitten life, from the lightest to the most serious.
We said to ourselves that it was important that we have, at our level, a role in preventing this kind of abuse. On a daily basis, we help our kittens spend time on social networks, that's where we talk to them, where they access our content; it is therefore our duty to contribute to ensuring that this space remains healthy and to avoid this kind of abuse.
Digging a little deeper, we realized that Lucas' case was not an isolated case, that many of our kittens (and even influencers we work with) had faced similar stories and had lived, to a moment in their lives, a form of cyberbullying. We launched a small story survey on Instagram: 30% of our subscribers said they had already been a victim or witness of cyberbullying and 94% told us that they wanted us to have a role to play in this cause.
OUR PARTNERSHIP WITH THE “MARION LA MAIN TENUE” ASSOCIATION
We had the chance to meet an extraordinary woman, Nora Fraisse, president of the Marion la Main tendue association, who really inspired and motivated us to get involved against cyber-harassment.
On February 13, 2013, Marion, 13, committed suicide, victim of bullying at school. Since that day, his mother, Nora Fraisse, has been fighting. So that Marion doesn't “died for nothing”, “so that school bullying is taken seriously”, so that things really change.
Nora now accompanies many children and parents, confronted with cyberbullying, through interventions in schools, conferences, workshops... And recently Merci Handy is committed to her side in everyday life! For the national day against harassment, we will also donate 100% of our profits to the association for the project of Marion's house
You want to know a little more, Nora answers all your questions here
HOW YOU CAN GET INVOLVED TOO KITTEN:
With Nora, we want the internet to remain a place of love, where benevolence takes precedence over everything else. And for that, we need you.
On your scale, you can have an impact so that the internet remains a world of benevolent kittens:
- If you see someone isolated (in the canteen, in the sports class of Jean Michel, your favorite teacher) say a nice little word to him and sit down next to him. You never know what he's going through, and a smile is free!
- Harassment has no rules, anyone can be harassed. For anything and everything, and on the basis of any criteria: too smart, too tall, too short, too thin, too fat... Always put yourself in the place of the person who is being harassed, that could be you, so stand up for him!
- If you see a situation of harassment, talk about it around you! To your parents, or to school. There is also a number you can call: 3020.
Closing remarks: Always be yourself. Unless you can be a unicorn. In that case, be a unicorn.