Public opinion on cyber-bullying laws in Canada
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The proliferation of the Internet raises concern over the misuse and abuse of information and communication technology. A downside to the rapid adoption of hyper-connectivity is the potential danger resulting from the use of technology and the internet. The bulk of cyberbullying literature often overlooks how relationships are constructed, maintained, and policed over new technological platforms. This study attempts to understand whether the public perceives cyber-bullying as a problem, whether they feel stakeholders are taking sufficient action against cyber-bullying; and, finally whether they feel special laws should be introduced to deal specifically with cyber-bullying. Through a random digit survey, data was collected from twenty participants residing in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada. The results of this study reveal that the participants trust certain stakeholders to take cyber-bullying seriously (e.g. mental health professionals), but remain unconvinced regarding the seriousness of politicians. The study suggests that a lack of clarity in definition, prevalence, and legislation has the potential to hamper and/or confuse the public’s understanding of what constitutes cyber-bullying.