The topic for our debate is ‘that no one should post online comments anonymously.’ We, the affirmative team, believe that this statement is true.
Now I will explain to you what the effects of online anonymity can have on the young. First of all, the only reason anyone would be posting anonymously is that they don't want to be associated with what they’re saying and you can make the assumption then that what is being said is unethical, illegal, controversial, and immoral. By hiding behind a computer, people think that they can’t be held accountable for the things they say online however, as has been proven, cybercrime police units are able to track people down, even anonymous people and prosecute them.
An example of this follows the death of a middle school student named Gabriella Green who hung herself on January, 10th, 2018. Two weeks later, 2 12-year-olds were arrested and charged with cyberbullying Gabriella and contributing majorly to her suicide. Police were made aware of the potential cyberbullying against the girl when considering suicide, which prompted them to investigate multiple cell phones and accounts on social media, the news release stated. “With permission from their parents, they investigated two suspects, and they say both admitted to cyberbullying”
A police report says one of the suspects told an investigator she had begun to spread rumors about Gabriella in person and online. “Her rumors consisted of Gabriella possessing sexually transmitted diseases, derogatory name-calling, and threats of revealing Gabriella’s intimate and confidential details of life.” The other suspect, a boy, told police that “after she told him she had tried to hang herself and had red marks on her neck” he replied by saying, “If you're going to do it, just do it” and ended the call.” “He immediately regretted the comment and started to call and text her but did not receive a response.”
Even though in this particular case the suspects were not posting these comments anonymously, however, many cyberbullies would choose to post anonymously, thinking they can’t be linked to their words. Nowadays there are special police investors dedicated to cybercrime who can easily trace even anonymous comments back to a source thanks to our advanced technology and now, more and more of these anonymous online bullies are being held accountable for their actions.
No one should post online comments anonymously because it can result in suicide. Amy Everett a 14-year-old schoolgirl also took her own life after she had been tormented by relentless online bullying. Unfortunately, Everett’s tragic death is not an anomaly. Every year teenagers all over the world are taking their own lives, leaving behind devastated families and communities. News reports highlight how each week eight children aged five to 17 die by suicide in Australia. Even children as young as 5 years are killing themselves!!
Although these suicides may not all be linked to cyberbullying, cyberbullying has been found as a significant contributing factor in many youth suicides. Online bullying is often referred to as the worst form of bullying as It can affect a person’s mental and physical state. Research into the impact of cyberbullying compared to face-to-face bullying shows that 4720 teenagers consider online bullying to be worse than face-to-face bullying. It often leads to a state of mind where a person feels shameful and gains low self-esteem.
Another reason why cyberbullying is known to be the worst type of bullying is that it can happen anywhere and forces the victim to feel as if there is no escape. This often leads to a sense of helplessness, anxiety, and depression and so the victim feels that there is no other way to escape this forcing them to commit suicide to relieve the pain. The pain that the victims are put through and the number of young suicides because of online criticism from anonymous people proves that no one should post online comments anonymously.
So, students, teachers, adjudicator, and chairman, in conclusion, we strongly believe that no one deserves to be put through what Gabriella Green and Amy Everett experienced and that the act of releasing comments about others online anonymously should never take place again. Thank you.