If you’re anything like me, I am a sucker for documentaries, especially Channel 4 ones. Usually known for their sensationalised and biased take on real life; I was sceptical about Cyberbully which was aired on 15th January. Shockingly, 69% of young people in the UK have experienced some form of cyberbullying. This can be the light hearted stuff, you know the ‘oh you look so grim in that photo.’ It received fifteen likes and is now on the web, with people all in agreement and before you know it you’re standing in the mirror seeing what everyone else sees. This is the power of the internet and it has the power to change your life, in a bad way.
In Cyberbully, the famous Game of Thrones actress Maisie Williams, plays Casey Jacobs who battles severe torment and ‘suicide trolling’ from a computer hacker. Originally starting with Casey hacking into her ex’s, Nathan, twitter account quoting, “You’ve told the world about my being on anti-depressants? Fine: I’ll spread the word about your erectile dysfunction.” This may cause a lack of sympathy for Casey, I mean; she’s just as bad as the dark, unnerving computer hacker that torments her, right? However, we soon come to know that it wasn’t Nathan who started this trolling, but a secret imposter that has it in for Casey who claims to help the ‘victims of cyberbullying.’ The digital voice of the imposter adds a layer of eeriness and turns Casey into the bully; revealing that she was in fact the one that caused school pupil Jen to commit suicide because of the online torment that Casey started. The hacker tells Casey that for every anti-depressant pill that is swallowed, he would refrain from posting topless selfies of her and her best friend Megan. This shows how much of our private and personal stuff is stored online and how easy it is for someone to get into that, a warning to all young people. So, it may seem perfectly normal to send your crush a nude photo, but be careful and think of the consequences. You don’t want them showing their mates; all it takes is for one shallow person to pass it around. Predictably, Casey learns her lesson and is redeemed. Annoyingly. Although Maisie William’s played the character well, I couldn’t help wanting to reach into the TV and tell her to stop being so ‘woe is me.’ A very selfish girl, I thought.
Although fictionalised, it shows that there are no limits to the internet and cyberbullying is now a phenomenon. The horrible truth is that everyone can be a victim and everyone can be the bully without realising it. I guess, just be careful with who you share stuff with online. So, instead of Kim Kardashian ‘breaking the internet,’ through nudity, maybe we should all get together and break the internet by stop hiding behind it and show a little bit of love for each other.