Here are two stories about two young people who were cyberbullied.
TEXT 1: "I slit my wrists because I was cyberbullied"
When Carney Bonner was 14, he was cyberbullied on Facebook. An anonymous cyberbully wrote, "You should go and kill yourself because you don't mean anything to anyone". This and other vile messages made Carney's life very difficult, and the cyberbullying destroyed his self-confidence. He started to cut his wrists and his arms. After a while, one of his friends saw the cuts on Carney's wrists and took him to the school counsellor, who helped him overcome the bullying. Carney found out who the bully was and confronted him. The bully was actually someone Carney had believed to be a friend.
Now Carney works as a "cyber mentor" and helps other victims of cyberbullying. He believes that cyberbullying has taken over from physical bullying, and he thinks that the reason for this is that every single teenager has access to the internet.
TEXT 2: "They were anonymous so they thought they could get away with it"
A new study shows that a third of all teenagers in the UK have experienced cyberbullying. Natalie Farzaneh, who is now a "cyber mentor," is one of these victims. She was cyberbullied on Facebook and a social networking site called Formspring. Before the cyberbullying started, she had already been bullied at school. She had been bullied for her weight, and because Natalie is half-Iranian, some people also bullied her for her Middle Eastern looks. The messages she got were so harsh that they caused her to suffer from depression and anxiety. Natalie started to self-harm and even thought about taking her own life.
The messages from the bullies were sent to her anonymously, and later she found out that some were from people who had been nice to her at school. When Natalie told her parents and her teachers about the bullying, her teachers tried to do something about it, but they were unable to stop the cyberbullying. Natalie tried to get help from Facebook and Formspring, but they did not help her much. She says that Facebook should have done more to help her.
It has helped Natalie to become a cyber mentor. Helping others has helped her feel better about herself. When she started doing this work, the cyberbullying stopped too.