Cyberbullying Article Critique

Ruiz, R. M. N. M. (2019). Curbing Cyberbullying among Students: A Comparative Analysis of Existing Laws Among Selected ASEAN Countries. PEOPLE: International Journal of Social Sciences, 4(3), 1285-1305.

As the title of the article suggests, the purpose of the study is to compare existing laws on cyberbullying among selected ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. It also aims to identify each country’s anti-cyberbullying measures that might fit other ASEAN countries’ needs. The author begins with a brief review of the literature that supports and identifies selected ASEAN countries cyberbullying law, age of cyberbullied citizens, kinds of online platforms used for bullying attacks, strategies employed in dealing with these attacks, accountability of educators, and measures of efficacy. This provided an overview of the research, and the goals and objectives are clear. The methodology is logically presented.

    The author states that she used a qualitative case study approach. Data collection methods are described in succinct detail as one would expect in qualitative research. It presented a discourse analysis of cyberbullying laws and alternative strategies addressing said concern; and literature review of online journals, online publications, and online news articles. It provided shreds of evidence why the Philippines is the only ASEAN country that has explicitly addressed the students by ordering the involvement of schools to make policies, rules and regulations, and why only general laws may be applied for cyberbullying cases in other target countries. It also gave importance to the advancement of technology, bullying attacks have reached the cyberspace and it commonly occurs in different online platforms. The whole case study is described in considerable detail. Cohesive devices are effectively used. Reliability and validity issues were addressed by the author who ensured the reliability of sources of data obtained. The author’s explanation is presented convincingly. The flow of ideas is smooth; sentences are well structured and free of error.

    The author concluded the study that the advancement of technology increases the chances of cyberbullying. This usually occurs in social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, gaming sites, phone calls, text messages, and email. The comparison of existing laws among selected ASEAN countries to curb cyberbullying among students highlights the fact that the Philippines is the only ASEAN country with a cyberbullying law that explicitly addresses the rights of students. The author clearly indicated the implementing procedures with guidelines and corresponding consequences once school has detected any offender. To further ensure its effectiveness, strict and firm implementation was required. Otherwise, the act of non-compliance will face consequences. Although not all of the selected ASEAN countries implement a cyberbullying law that addresses’ students, through government and school efforts, other countries have developed programs as anti-bullying measures. But as the study puts it, no literature was found to measure the effectiveness nor indicate any accountability of schools for any oversight.

     Since most of the ASEAN countries do not implement a cyberbullying policy, it is recommended therefore to develop a cyberbullying law, such as in the Philippines, to help prevent negative effects on students. Literature suggests that social media may trigger “deadly problems” due to cyberbullying, if not supported by clear school policies and regulations among students, as well as a sense of digital responsibility. This concern causes “permanent psychological scars” as cyber victims may result in suicide. It elucidates cyber bullying as dangerous to our society; therefore it must be addressed. Finally, the author highly encourages future researchers to conduct studies on the effectiveness of each country’s current anti-bullying strategies for better reference in the future. This clearly states the overall impression of the study. It presents feasible course of actions. All the sources and evidences used are sufficient to support the author’s claim.

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