With over half of the world’s 8 billion people having some form of internet access, a wide audience is available. Someone in the United States can converse with someone from New Zealand without ever stepping foot outside of their home. This is what the internet and many cyber technologies were designed to accomplish. Unfortunately, this ease of communication also lends itself to some rather nefarious deeds. Being able to harass and bully an individual in days past was typically limited by geography. Without the means to move beyond their local area, aggressors went after those around them. The internet and other cyber technologies removed that boundary.
Another boundary that was removed is the lack of access. For example, a child that was bullied at one school could move to another school. This removed the bully’s access. With current technology however, that is simply not the case. The bully could follow the victim around online. The bully can post to the victim’s social media accounts, as well as their friends’ and family’s account.
On the other end of this, technology has enabled victims to stand up to their assailants. I’m reminded about a story recently where a man had his car vandalized. What the vandal didn’t realize is that car, a Tesla, had cameras that record its surroundings. The man uploaded the footage of the crime onto social media and it went viral. It did not take long before someone recognized the vandal. Without the internet, that video footage might not have made any difference in man’s outcome. Even if it did, it likely would have taken much longer for the criminal to be caught or in this case shamed into turning themselves in.
Technology has had massive impact in the way criminals and victims interact, but not all of them are negative.