A study in a Chinese university population has examined the relationship between having been cyberbullied and later becoming a cyberbully. It seems that such a connection exists, a phenomenon known as the “reversal of evil“.

According to the study, this relationship is influenced by two key factors:
Insensitive Traits: Students with insensitive traits (coldness, indifference, lack of empathy) are more likely to go from being victims to perpetrators of cyberbullying.
Internet morality: The values and principles of behaviour that guide a subject’s internet activities (cyber-ethical perceptions, emotions and intentions in relation to how we interact and behave in the digital world. That is: how we apply our principles and values to online behaviour) also have an influence.

The author of the study proposes measures to break this cycle and reduce the risk of “reversion of evil” occurring.

These include:

Regulate online speech and implement a real-name system for online communities.
EstablishRegulate Strengthen accountability and responsibility of users for their online actions.
Establish an early warning and monitoring system on internet platforms to protect the health of the online ecosystem.

Today’s cyberbully could be tomorrow’s victim, and vice versa.”

This reflection invites us to rethink how we navigate the digital world and how we can build safer online communities.

What can we think about these findings and proposals: can or should we control negative behaviour on the internet? And furthermore, can we identify the authors of the different publications that are made online?

It is complicated, but perhaps we should consider that, just as we can be held legally responsible for our behaviour in the street, we should be responsible for our online behaviour, since its repercussions can be equally negative, or even more serious (having a greater reach and duration in time).

The complete study:



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