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Distance learning: cases of cyberbullying and "zoombombing" on the rise

Distance learning: cases of cyberbullying and "zoombombing" on the rise


In the last month, 121 cases have been reported by the Carolina Foundation, one of the associations that monitors and fights harassment and illegal activities on the web.

The last one dates back to a few days ago.

A teacher, referent of legality in a large institute including Brianza, denounced: «We were doing a music video lesson. As we listened to Beethoven's Ninth Symphony and spoke to the boys about the message of universal brotherhood contained in the Hymn to Joy, we discovered that, at that very precise moment, some students chatted with each other on smartphones. In the secret whatsapp group, from which teachers were excluded, the very young students - all between 13 and 14 years - were offending a disabled girl, with heavy and unrepeatable insults against her physical defects ».

To signal all this was the girl's mother, in tears in front of the computer connected with the video conference and with the teacher who was still talking to the pupils.

«Unrepeatable insults and profanity, thoughts and feelings that we would never have suspected of finding in our students» - this is, as reported by the Headmaster - of a "model" class with high school average students.

But it is just the last case: distance teaching is causing the cyberbullying alarm to explode in all the virtual classes in Italy.

"The reports come to us from schools, speakers, associations, sports clubs and are ever more numerous," reports the Foundation again.

Among the 121 cyberbullying cases with victims among the boys and 89 with victims among the teachers we find 9 cases of "sexting" e 4 of "revenge porn"; 23 groups on Telegram in which images of minors with an episode of baiting are unduly disseminated.

Just to clarify:

It is indicated by neologism sexting the sending of sexually explicit messages, texts and / or images through the internet or in an even faster way smartphone.

Of course, if the parties involved are of age and consenting, the sexting It is legal.

The sending of such materials to non-consenting subjects can instead configure the extremes of the crime of harassment or stalking.

Il Revenge pornInstead, it is pornography for revenge: to publish personal photos of the ex partner on social networks to take revenge.

The "Youth and Quarantine" survey, promoted by the National Association of Technology Dependencies and Cyberbullying, in collaboration with Skuola.net, which interviewed 9.145 young people between 11 and 21 years of age, helps us understand how much the excessive use of technology perceived as necessary in 90% of cases as the only way to maintain contact with friends in this period, however, appears to be nothing socializing.

<< We are taking over - underlines Giuseppe Lavenia, psychologist, psychotherapist and president of the Association - l'increased noise d'anxiety and depressive states, resulting in real panic attacks, among teenagers >>.

Bulli Stop, the National Center against Bullying, has launched an initiative to make known faces of the show talk with the boys who are locked in the house: and has already collected some complaints.

<< Last Tuesday in just over two hours, during the live broadcast with Leo Gassmann, winner singer of the youth section of the last edition of Sanremo, and the guys from Bulli Stop, three teenagers they took courage and in private they wrote to ask us for help >> - explains Giovanna Pini, president of the Center.

Save the Children also warns: lockdown and self-isolation measures are exposing children to serious risksespecially girls and girls, how to be victims of cyberbullying.


And then there is the last frontier of online bullying, «Zoombombing», that is intrusions during online lessons, that « puts a strain on the work and serenity of our teachers and pupils during the hours of distance learning during the course of'health emergency caused by the new coronavirus ", as denounced Rosa D'Amelio, president of the Regional Council of Campania during the Webinar "Distance Education" which involved the students of the comprehensive institute "Can. Samuele Falco »of Scafati.

The Zoom platform itself, alerted to the increase in cases, announced an update to ensure greater security from 9 May.

For video calls organized through PMI or Personal Meeting ID (the unique code that identifies the "virtual room" of each account) a sort of "waiting room" will then be activated so that even if an attacker or an uninvited user were to enter in possession of the code could not break in because his entry into the conversation would still be subject to a green light.

However, one must always remember that l'insult and online violence are considered crimes.

Although, in fact, there is no one in our system unique case that punishes these behaviors, in their entirety and specificity, or that the forms, places and methods of bullying can be the most varied and desperate, the latter can, however, arise in different forms of crime such as: threats, defamation, harassment or disturbance of the person, damage, beatings, injuries.

However, the strong conditioning of the psycho-physical integrity of those who suffer it remains a common denominator.

When we talk about bullying, we repeat, we do refer to a set of acts of intimidation, oppression, physical and psychological oppression, committed in a completely voluntary way by a subject (prevaricator) towards another weaker subject (victim).

As we have already anticipated these behaviors fall, very often, in the alveolus of the crimes pursued and punished by the penal code and, therefore, if reported, I end up opening procedures under the jurisdiction of the Juvenile Court.

However, if the cd. "Bully" was less than fourteen years old (therefore not a chargeable subject) can be carried out a reporting to the Quaestor, asking that the latter intervene with a warning.

The Quaestor, in fact, having carried out preliminary investigations aimed at verifying the truthfulness of the narrative, summons the under-fourteen-year-old, together with the operators of parental responsibility and warns him orally, inviting him to cease his activities or to conduct in compliance with the law. Specific minutes of this meeting are drawn up.

However, the data remains extremely alarming.

In the final analysis, the data regarding the personality of the child victim and / or author of these criminal cases is also interesting.

from'analysis of the examined samples would seem completely split by variables such as: ethnic origin, economic status, uncensoredness and family environment, and destined to undergo a drastic increase.

The Cecatiello Law Firm advises its clients for the best management of juvenile criminal proceedings.

Cecatiello Law Firm, Milan. Marriage lawyer, divorce lawyer, specialized in family law, child rights, juvenile criminal. Contact us.