When you go online…who can you trust… who should you fear…?
Cyberbully is British television Channel 4’s most recent TV docu-drama, which first aired in January. Maisie Williams (most commonly known for her role of Aria Stark in HBO’s Game of Thrones) stars in the film. She plays Casey, a teenage girl who “lives her life out online”. She partakes in cyberbullying, as well as falls victim to it. She eventually comes in contact with a hacker that accesses personal information on almost all her technological devices. Casey is eventually manipulated into taking part in cyberbullying. If she does not comply, the hacker threatens to post personal pictures of her online. As mentioned in danah boyd’s reading, “Those who subscribe to Olweus’s definition view bullying as a practice in which someone of differential physical or social power subjects another person to repeated psychological, physical, or social aggression.” Towards the end of the film, Casey is almost led to overdose on antidepressants because of the eventual power the hacker holds over her.
I have yet not seen this film, but it’s available online to view for a few more days. After coming across the article on the film a few days ago, it made me think that this TV thriller is literally every parent’s nightmare. From hackers accessing personal information and ruining someone’s image, these are present day issues that are on the minds of every online user today. The most interesting aspect of this film is that it’s based on true “online horror” stories. Though the film acknowledges that it may be an exaggeration, I think it aids in the incorrect way of dealing with the internet. How should we be teaching teens about the internet?
More importantly, the film addresses common issues related to the internet such as “hackers”, “the who you can trust question”, and ultimately “identity”.