How to discover cyber bullying on Twitter


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 To date, Internet users from all over the world utilize and access varieties of social media and social network services (SNS) as a fundamental of their personal networking, relationship collaboration, transferring and sharing of knowledge within the communities. To further discuss on this, firstly, the term “Online Social Networking” is defined as social software that has been used to develop social networks (L.Q.L. Mew, 2009). Also, the sites that provide “Online Social Networking” services assists users in forming an impression or perception, in maintaining and acquiring new relationships in the SNS (S. Tom Tong, et al, 2008). We can deduced that the online community is a place for the SNS users to meet people allow users to meet other people in the other sides of the world in cyberspace, allowing users to demonstrate their social networks clearly and maintain connection and networking with others, in real world and virtual world. Social networks such as microblogging is a broadcast medium that exists in the form of blogging. Twitter is a microblogging service that evolved as a disruptive platform that is meant for the users to broadcast their daily activities, feelings and opinion by posting simple tweets (messages) within their friends circle. The topics range from daily life to current activities, personal opinions, experience sharing and other interests. The social networks, i.e. Twitter has turned into something that is indivisible to these 645,750,000 active Twitter users (Statistic Brain, 2014) and becoming part of their life, where everyone can share the information and opinion on, as anyone of this amount of users can’t live without Twitter. Hence, we can see that microblogging tools, i.e. Twitter, facilitates the sharing of one’s user short messages either publicly or within a social network, depending on the user’s privacy setting.

With the recent popularity of Twitter, it is important to know why and how people use these tool, as Twitter can sometimes used to abuse for unethical by irresponsible users to cyberbully and post something bad and harm individual’s personally. The emergence of these SNSs has caused an increase in cyberbullying circumstances, particularly among the teenagers (Livingstone et al., 2004). Hence, it is important to identify the cyberbullying event and the attacking messages in social media.

Though cyberbullying might not cause any physical damage initially, however, it likely caused destructive psychological effects, like low self-esteem, mental depression, suicide consideration and even suicide (S. Hinduja and J. W. Patchin, 2010). A fatal cyberbullying incident had happened on MySpace SNS (Tavani, Herman. T. , 2013), whereby Megan Meier, a 13-year-old teen became increasingly distressed by the online harassment being directed at her, and eventually decided to end her life by hanging herself in her bedroom in 2006. Hence, recognizing the cyberbullying event itself is not efficient in combating cyberbullying per se, as we need to identify the real user of the cyberbully in order to arrest them for justice, and to prevent further similar cases to happen.

It is reported in The Star Online (2014) that a total of 389 cyberbullying reports were lodged by Internet users to the Cyber999 Help Centre in 2013 in Malaysia, which draw a 55.6% upsurge from 250 cases in 2012. Hence, by referring to this statistic, we can deduced that cyberbullying not only happened to the foreign teenagers (as mentioned earlier), it has haunted the SNS users especially in Malaysia and caught the attention of the government in addressing this social problem. However, currently there’s no any existing system that can detect the cyberbullying event based on the location of the cyberbullying event happened in our country and report the mentioned cases to police.

Thus, it’s a motivation to create a web-based application, i.e. the Cyberbullying Detection System on Twitter, with the key function to effectively discover the cyberbullying related tweets from Twitter and providing reasonable solution thereafter. With this system, the users can identify the cyberbullying related tweets based on the keywords and populate it in a news feed form. By doing this, it allows users to determine the identities of the cyberbullies and the victims from the cyberbullying tweets.

Besides that, the cyberbullying detection system is effectively useful in detecting the locations of the cyberbullies and/or the victims thru a demographic representation, by processing the captured tweets. Also, it will allow the users to generate reports to higher authorities, i.e. police reports, based on case’s severity and needs.

In conclusion, with the advent of this cyberbullying detection and solution system in Twitter, it will help the authorities to monitor, regulate or at least decrease the harassing incidents in cyberspace in Malaysia. With the implementation of this system, this will also help to raise the cyberbullying awareness among the Twitter users, and posting the tweets responsibly in the social media, as posting irritating tweets is illegal and bullies can be convicted under the Computer Crimes Act, the Penal Code or the Juvenile Act, depending on the nature or severity of the case (Anandarajah, Anita, 2004).

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