“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.” Desmond Tutu
One may call the above quote from Archbishop Desmond Tutu a warning, but it sounds more than that. It equally captures the lingering – and often neglected – social problems facing the world today, especially African countries, which the human rights icon has often criticized. Technological advancement has come with its downsides in many countries; amongst the flaws, cyberbullying has rather grown astronomically with the development of modern technology. Rather than using social media to engage in self-promotion and direct interaction with friends, family, and the public, it has been turned rather into a pugnacious platform for bullying, harassing and intimidating of other users.
What makes cyberbullying so dangerous is the fact that in most cases, the incidents are hardly reported. Some victims are bullied into being afraid to report the cases. Often when the unacceptable violence is eventually reported, law enforcement agencies hardly take quick and appropriate steps needed to resolve the aggression and stop it from happening again or getting out of hand. Worse still, some victims even feel ashamed to expose the terror. Result? Intimidation and harassment continue. This social behaviour must stop!
The most challenging question is how exactly have we as government, organisations, individuals responded to this unacceptable asocial threat? Sadly, not as much as we ought to have reacted. If we keep quiet or become nonchalant when others are being bullied, we become bully ourselves. We, therefore, must speak up. How many of us do? If you are noncommittal in the face of oppression, you become an oppressor yourself.
The time has come for all of us – irrespective of our gender – to wake up from our long slumber and take collective and decisive action against cyberbullying. The first step we must take to achieve this task is by creating awareness on different levels.
Using the same platform where cyberbullying takes place, we at Kata Kata have provided an online platform to showcase the online magazine fully dedicated to end cyber harassment. The link will be available on the campaign social media platforms. We shall also print thousands of copies and flyers that will be disseminated in various places such as bookstores, supermarkets, and churches for the benefit of all users.
Kata Kata has the intention to still use the cyberspaces such as the website, Facebook and Twitter to communicate change and therefore, I would like to call on more partners and individuals to embrace the campaign.
With many interested and dedicated partners such as the Uganda Communication Commission, Peer to Peer Uganda, Women 4 Her etc, onboard, we are determined to aggressively fight cyber bullying and win the worthy battle. Please join the campaign: https://www.facebook.com/tukikomye/?referrer=whatsapp
Likewise, we look forward to a mutual collaboration with other different organisations to combat other social problems. Together, we can fight and defeat social ills. Let us start today!