Cyber Bullying and Violence toward Minority Ethnic

Cyber Bullying and Violence toward Minority Ethnic

Herri Mulyono


The word “bullying” suddenly came out as national issue particularly in education community as Erie Rachman, an academy student run by ministry (previously: department) of home affair found dead in last 2000. Since then, bullying cases have colored media and educators are challenged for finding best solution to overcome. Whilst many people see bullying as representation of violence, Whitted and Dupper (2005) extends its coverage of bullying for verbal or non-verbal abuse as well as harassment proceeding violence. The environment of bullying also broadens as 13-year old Megan Meier was committed to suicide as sequence of cyberbullying act in internet social network last 2006.

With number of more than 55 million users in early 2012 as reported by Internet World Stat, Indonesia posits 8 of 20 top internet countries. This number of internet users may figure out how information is massively distributed and consumed by millions of people with varied backgrounds. For certain intellectuals, this massive access of internet is seen as potential media for sending ideas or thoughts and claiming their rightfulness. Unfortunately, this potential of internet usage has been applied to spread hates towards groups that claim against others. In many group discussions at internet webpages, number of cyberbullying attempts increases.

Indonesia has been much respected for its successful political transformation since past 1998 and well recognized as one of most democratic countries over the world. Exclusively, British ambassador once appraised the country for its democratic political transition that British would have spent for hundred years. However, Indonesian’s flourishing name as most democratic country has not completely brought the country out from conservative social class onto even upper modern or post-modern community classes. The way people think and behave in such traditional social class are apparently driven by ideas or thoughts of certain intellectuals on behalf of religion or other faith rather than either logical reasons or respect of individual uniqueness characterized by modern and post-modern communities. This diversity of opinion would then raise number of claims for being the rights and bring people’s force to approve.

Long before the violence towards Ahmadiyah and Syia’ group of people, for example, war of claims has been existing for years over internet webpages. Different groups or ethnics involved in the war claims to be the right out of 73 sects mentioned by Prophet Muhammad. Every group uses different standard in justifying their rightness and others’ faults as different of view points widely spread after the first khalifa’ Abu Bakr was chosen to lead muslim community at the time. The propaganda of being the right has been worked out over internet webpages as this act would be efficient in cost, time and able to reach great number of attention. Unfortunately much propaganda is often constituted by number of harassment of other group contradicted and misbehavior that has been directed purposefully as cyberbullying.

As nature of bullying act, cyberbullying is also part of group activity that Besag in 1989 once noticed for such aggressive behavior would excessively insult other groups in order to achieve supremacy over their foes. Information about opinions, thoughts and claims and number of misbehave comments made are used to bully other groups, and expect to posit certain group for the right claim.

The excess of cyberbullying unfortunately does not only harm group in virtual community but also real violence attempt in real life. Looking back at the Meier’s 2006 cyberbullying case has put evidence how the cyberbullying is able to reach real life violence. Furthermore, linkage between the traditional bullying and cyberbullying proven by Steffgen and Konig from University of Luxembourg may indicate that cyberbullying attempt toward minority groups in Indonesia would possibly impact on real violation as experienced previously by the Ahmadiyah and Syia’s.

Growing maturity in internet behavior may minimize attempt of cyberbullying toward certain group or ethnic and prevent its impact on real life. Maturity in accessing internet may be reflected upon open-minded behavior to admit plurality as shown by other advanced modern and post-modern communities. Respecting people for their own uniqueness in practicing belief or faiths is seen as alternative for avoiding any kind of bullying and keep life in peace and harmony. Furthermore, the maturity in internet behavior is also grown by doing cross-checking toward information distributed in internet webpages. As number of hoax or wrong (fabricated) information increases, it is wise for not filing judgment on the first impression and objective decision shall be made from varied perspectives.


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