Digital bullying on the rise
Hundreds of people have reported personal harm caused by digital communications.
Online safety organisation Netsafe has managed over 900 complaints of personal harm caused by digital communications since the launch of its online bullying, abuse and harassment service.
Netsafe was announced as the agency to manage complaints under the Harmful Digital Communications Act.
The Harmful Digital Communications Act was passed in 2015 to provide a quick, efficient and affordable legal avenue to get help for those receiving serious or repeated harmful digital communications.
Around 17 per cent of the complaints Netsafe has managed were from 10-15 year olds, 16 per cent were from16-21 year olds, 36 per cent from 22-40 year olds and 27 per cent from 41-64 year olds.
Over the past six months the not-for-profit organisation has faced two key misconceptions about the service.
Netsafe chief executive Martin Cocker said the agency is an advocate for the complainant, when it is actually an independent intermediary. The second misconception is that the service is being used to stifle people’s rights.
‘‘Our role is to help both parties understand their rights and responsibilities under the Act, and to help resolve complaints without the need for cases to go through the district court.’’
‘‘Our role is to help both parties understand their rights and responsibilities under the Act.’’
The emergence of social media has made the effects of bullying even more harshly felt.