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Digital Self-harm - The Little Talked About Self-Cyberbullying

Cyber Safety Cop Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Last week, I posted a blog article about an Instagram threat, targeting a student in San Dimas. Today, it was revealed by ABC News, the victim had posted the threat herself. This may come as a complete shock to most of the people in San Dimas and reading this article, but this is not as uncommon as they may think.

I have spent numerous hours investigating an online threat. I interviewed student after student, only to discover that my "victim" had concocted the whole threat. It was a kind of digital Munchausen. They were seeking attention and sympathy.

In a 2012 study in Massachusetts, 10 percent of college freshmen reported they had cyber-bullied themselves in High School. The self-reported self-harmers said they were attempting to gain attention of a peer, encourage others "to worry about me," or to "get adult attention. Ultimately, the self-harming strategy is not successful. More than half of the digital self-harmers said that they felt worse afterwards. 

The San Dimas case only reinforces the fact that parents need to be in their child's social media world.

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