Shut up by The Black-Eyed Peas

I gotta feeling everyone knows what I am talking about. The Leeds Student Group on Facebook exploded over the weekend and I’m sure the majority of people reading this know why. 

If you don’t, let me put it like this. Two people got into a disagreement. Things were said. It was plastered all over social media. And everyone and his mum decided to get involved. However, it’s raised some important points that need to be addressed because to say things got out of hand is an understatement. In fact, the entire thing was out of control. 

We are all angry right now. We have a right to be. We are angry at the university, to whom we are paying £9,250 for zoom classes and recorded lectures. We are being denied facilities and societies that we are still supposedly paying for. We are frustrated as we try and get out of leases for student accommodation that we are unable to live in. We are being blamed by the government for spreading a deadly disease after they encouraged us to ‘eat out to help out’. We are bored. We are locked up. Our anger is justified. 

But, attacking a fellow student is never justified. 

The fault here is irrelevant. When someone is told that they are the most hated person in their area, it is no longer a joke. When endless memes are created to ridicule someone, it is no longer a joke. When people are looking for this person’s house, it is no longer a joke. 

What must feel like the entire Leeds student population on your back is the last thing from funny. I don’t care what they did – it is cruel. 

Cyber-bullying can cause serious damage. Yes, I am calling it that. 

As defined by Unicef, ‘Cyberbullying is bullying with the use of digital technologies. It can take place on social media, messaging platforms, gaming platforms and mobile phones. It is repeated behaviour, aimed at scaring, angering or shaming those who are targeted.’  

Sound familiar? 

We have all watched the videos they showed us in school, where the kid was picked on by the bullies. We watched in horror as he was driven to the unthinkable and we swore to ourselves we would never be part of that. 

So why are we allowing this to happen? It is the same. The fact that we are now at university makes no difference. 

By Annie Hart

Featured Image Source: Unsplash