A few years ago, while I was busy scanning the internet for a suitable Slouch from the Couch topic, I stumbled on a story about a young American girl who had committed suicide as a result of bullying. A strange phenomenon to me, especially as I was bullied at school for having lips the size of melons, but never once did I consider suicide. In fact I returned the slander with one of my own and reminded my schoolmate that his head confused myself and the creator as it is not a “four” head but a six head due to its size. The banter would end with both of us having a laugh and calling it a day. Never once had I considered killing myself because of teasing or as I read in the American news bullying.

I was tempted to write about it in the magazine, knowing full well that it wasn’t an issue currently affecting our youth. I was happy I listened to my gut because now we are seeing the bullies coming out and attacking our young people in full force. The string of “leaked” pornographic material making its way to facebook is just a tip of the iceberg. Persons are becoming more creative in their planned attacks on unsuspecting individuals.

The advent of camera phones so advanced that you can now shoot an entire Mercedes Benz commercial with one;it has given malicious individuals a tool to further enhance their dirty work for a few cheap likes and comments at the expense of an individual’s reputation – an individual they may have once called a friend.

In search of the 15 seconds of self-gratification they have also devised a way or so they think of not getting caught. By formulating a burner account or fake profile, it is perceived that anything said under that pseudo won’t be traced to its place of origin and in some other under developed country they would be correct. In fact you would be surprised to know that a first form student at any secondary school who is well versed in Information Technology can track I.P addresses as easy as saying 0 and 1, hence finding the individual who has hacked into someone’s profile or a user who had willing let a few videos and photos slip through a window.

Hackers have been known to be sentenced more than 25 years in prison for their crimes and although it is unheard of in St. Lucia and as a young person you may feel untouchable; you must be cognizant of the fact that that is how many of those people who now refer to prison as home started out. To refer to acts a lot closer to home. Posting statuses, photos or videos with the intention to destroy one’s reputation could land you in prison for almost five years as one can interprate that to Obscene Publication or Offending Public Morality.

Let’s use the internet for what it was intended ya’ll. Be safe and God bless.


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