The internet is not an outlaw place,Please Say no to cyberbullying


With the development of modern science and technology and social media, many new scientific and technological products have undergone a new round of renewal and entered the lives of ordinary people. The popularity of the Internet has to a large extent satisfied the basic needs of the people to adapt to the new era of understanding the world, and guided the practical actions of human beings to understand and transform the world. However, it is undeniable that the anonymous function of the Internet has enabled the problem of cyber violence to be highlighted. In a sense, cyberviolence is a new form of cyber phenomenon, but at the same time it is also an extension of traditional tortuous behavior on the Internet.

Image 1. Cyberbullying

The rapid expansion of online communications and self publishing has rendered the issue of hate speech a growing and urgent problem for regulators and platforms. With around 4 billion internet users globally (ITU 2020), a 122% rise within a decade, and increasing social media use in the Asian region (We Are Social 2021), online platforms have become vital arenas for communication, connection and freedom of expression. At the same time there has been a burgeoning incidence of hate speech online across the globe, interlinked with misinformation and extremist political material, particularly in politically turbulent countries, countries with a history of racism, religious and gender discrimination, and in association with mass migration due to war, famine, political persecution and poverty (Brooking and Singer 2018). (Sinpeng, A., Martin, F., Gelber, K., & Shields, K. (2021, July 5). Facebook: Regulating hate speech in the Asia Pacific.)

Definition and concept of cyber violence

Cyber violence refers to violence on the Internet in the form of words, pictures and videos, and it is another form of social violence on the Internet.

(Baidu Encyclopedia,2023 Concept of Cyber Violence.)

Image 2. Experiencing cyberbullying

Causes of cyber-violence

First is the anonymity feature of the Internet. Due to the large group of registered users and the protection of personal information security, Internet products are usually used with anonymity. For example, in microblogs, short video platforms, blogs and other related online media where nicknames are used to indicate personal identity, cyber violence occurs from time to time. Anonymity, which is supposed to protect users’ legitimate right to privacy, has provided cyber-violence perpetrators with convenient conditions. This results in an anonymous environment that, on the one hand, is conducive to the expression of the true inner thoughts of Internet users and their participation in reasonable discussions of a professional or social nature, but on the other hand, it also serves as a “barrier” for cyber-violators to cover up their attacks, hurl insults and abuse at other people, disclose the privacy of other people, and cause reputational damage and mental harm to other people, and even extend to a series of illegal and criminal acts. There is no doubt about the rationality of anonymity on the Internet, but at the same time, it also brings about a series of problems of online violence, emboldening the abusers to break through the constraints of the social rules and commit reckless acts of verbal violence.

The second point is that human beings pursue freedom of speech. Users of the Internet often express their own opinions after certain events have fermented in the public opinion, and such opinions have a certain group tendency. That is to say, when caught in the circle of public opinion and starting a group of people’s “revelry”, it is very likely that other people will have a herd mentality and tend to the direction of the group’s value concept, thus ignoring their own rational thinking behavior. This is the kind of behavior that, in order to show that one is on the side of absolute moral correctness, accuses and denounces the center of public opinion. Because it is merely self-selected and blurs the consciousness of the group, and the self-belief that the majority represents the correct value tendency, it can be said that everyone may become the driving force to push forward the network violence. The idea of freedom of speech is a human aspiration for freedom, but when it happens on the internet, it becomes difficult to control.

Even when we place a very high value upon free speech as an indispensable manifestation of freedom of thought and an instrument of human development, political life, and intellectual advancement, hate speech does appear to be objectionable because it promotes mistrust and hostility in society and negates the human dignity of the targeted groups. As hate speech fosters intimidation, discrimination, contempt, and prejudice, its victims ‘find it difficult not only to participate in the collective life, but also to lead autonomous and fulfilling personal lives … the target group is unable to relax and lead a life without fear and harassment’ (Parekh, 2012, pp. 43, 45) (Flew, Terry (2021) Hate Speech and Online Abuse. In Regulating Platforms. Cambridge: Polity, pp. 91-96)

The third point is the misguidance of some social media. The spontaneity of the cultural market and the commercial nature of the media have brought a certain degree of influence to social opinion as well. In order to pursue traffic and attention, some unscrupulous media outlets use one-sided reporting and deliberate distortion of facts to enhance the topicality of the issue, catering to the public’s tastes, while losing the basic professional quality of truthfulness and pragmatism as a news media. Perhaps these undesirable media are not directly responsible for the generation of online violence, but they play the role of disseminating information to Internet users, and the lack of truthfulness and rational thinking of the report will bring about the wrong guidance of public opinion, and ultimately become a “booster” of online violence.

In my opinion the fundamental reason for the existence of cyber violence at this stage is that the punishment is not strong enough to make these cyber violators fearful, and many of them are not punished accordingly after following the storm of public opinion and publishing their hate speeches on the Internet. This has led to the present-day Internet environment becoming somewhat worse, where Internet users can do whatever, they want in their discussions on the Internet without caring about other people’s feelings.

In the following, I will analyze the measures taken to combat online violence through a real case study that took place on social media in China.

Case studies of cyber violence

October 14, 2023, Shanghai, a woman surnamed Yu and her husband had a car accident during their honeymoon trip to Tibet, after the woman posted an article on the Internet that the newlywed couple of 2 people in the Ali region due to a car accident seriously injured, in order to save her, her husband contacted the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Health through a relative, and then by the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Health contacted the relevant departments in the Ali region, the mobilisation of the Ali region’s public servants to donate blood for her.

Image 3. Ms. Yu’s car accident

What Ms. Yu did not expect was that, after posting the article, some social media accounts, in order to attract traffic, began to spread rumors that the victim had an intimate relationship with a member of the Shanghai Municipal Government. Upon verification, the rumor information seriously misled the public, causing distress to the lives of some unrelated people with the same name, and at the same time causing great harm to Ms. Yu’s daily life and triggering a bad social impact.

(Chenwei. D,2023 Five questions about the truth of Ali’s blood donation incident, to restore the whole process of saving a woman’s life in a car accident in Shanghai. )

Retrieved December 6, 2023, from

The first penalty: social media that publish false news. Without regard to the concrete presentation of facts, the media in question fabricated and altered the facts and gave misinformation to Internet users without deeply investigating the authenticity of the video. These unscrupulous media outlets should be held liable for violating the basic network service regulations and generating wrong public opinion.

The second target of punishment: some Internet users. The openness of the Internet has given Internet users more room to speak, which is in fact a citizen’s reasonable right to freedom of expression that should be ensured. However, an individual’s freedom of speech should not be detrimental to the interests of others. For the retweeting of inaccurate statements by the parties concerned and the media, and bringing a certain degree of retweeting, clicks, “big V” (big “V” is the social media in the relevant platforms certified and has a large number of fans of the user), should also be criticized and warned.

Hate speech laws of Governments around the world

Attempts to curb online hate speech in the Asia Pacific are built into telecommunication, electronic information and cyber-criminality laws, in some instances to directly address hate speech, while in others hate speech comes under their broader remit. For example, The Philippines 2021 Cybercrimes Act does not mention hate speech specifically but is a safeguard of online information. Similarly, The Philippines 2018 Safe Spaces Act prohibits terrorizing and intimidating persons based on gender and sexuality. In Indonesia, the 2008 Electronic Information and Transactions Law was amended in 2016 to allow the government to terminate a person’s access to “electronic information or documents with content that violates applicable laws and regulations, such as immoral content, hate speech, insult or defamation” (Molina et al. 2019).

These legal measures are not concerned directly with criminalising hate speech insomuch as hate speech is just one form of undesirable online content, but they see hate speech as a possible outcome of telecommunication and social media platforms that might warrant investigation akin to insulting or defaming a person.

Lastly, across the region the only nation to include the term ‘incite’ or ‘incitement’ in their laws in relation to acts of discrimination is state/Territory legislation in Australia. Other nations have opted for softer language including ‘the promotion of’, ‘to offend’, ‘to insult’ or‘the dissemination of information.’ (Sinpeng, A., Martin, F., Gelber, K., & Shields, K. 2021, July 5,Facebook: Regulating hate speech in the Asia Pacific.)

The Internet is not a place that we can avoid the law, and no matter how much tolerance humans give to freedom of speech, if that freedom of speech threatens a person’s daily life, then that speech should be considered illegal.

Image 4. Stop cyberbullying day (Third Friday in June)

Approach of the Chinese Government

In recent years, the Chinese Government has continued to improve its laws and regulations to provide legal safeguards for the punishment and circumvention of cyberviolence. Due to the special form of the Internet, the regulation of Internet users has always been in a relatively “vacuum” state, and the “Provisions on the Ecological Governance of Network Information Content”, which came into effect on 1 March 2020, have in fact filled some of the gaps in the regulation of the Internet. In the future, we should see more and more legal improvements and enrichment, so that online violence in the strict regulation of the law nowhere to hide.

The Chinese government has also continued to step up its efforts to rectify the situation in accordance with the law. The Central Internet Information Office conducts full-chain governance through the establishment of measures to improve monitoring and identification, real-time protection, intervention and disposal, traceability and accountability, and publicity and exposure.2022 In November, the Notice on Effectively Strengthening the Governance of Cyberviolence was issued, and key websites have established and improved mechanisms for preventing and controlling cyberviolence, intercepting and clearing 28.75 million pieces of cyberviolence information, and severely punishing more than 22,000 accounts of perpetrators of such violence.

(Sibei. W, 2023 Rectifying online violence and building a clear online home)

Retrieved March 21, 2023, from

Thinking and Looking Forward

To begin with, Cyber violence involves many subjects, and the harm it brings cannot be ignored, and its social impact is extremely bad. Verbal attacks, insulting the human dignity of others, and ultimately causing mental harm to others, or even giving up or endangering their lives, is not what we would like to see. Cybercrime is often a targeted attack, and the abuser never considers how much harm he or she will bring to the abused. to be honest, when an avalanche comes, no snowflake is innocent, and in the midst of a highly topical social media discussion, people tend to think that the law is not to be blamed for the masses, and neglect rational management of their own words and actions.

Secondly, in the period of traditional media, people’s understanding of news and information mainly came from the mainstream media, and then with the rise of the Internet and the arrival of the social media, the sources of information have become diversified, and people’s exposure to information has also become richer. The arrival of the social media has undoubtedly increased the discussion and dialogue space of the general public. But at the same time, the probability of people coming into contact with false information has also increased, thus being misled by some rumours, which requires the mainstream media or the official media to come forward in time to play the function of guiding the correct public opinion. They should lead the public to set up the correct values, and guide public opinion in the right direction.

I believe that the future of mankind is bright, the quality of Internet users will be improved, and the cultivation of social responsibility and sense of justice will be steadily promoted. I believe that in the near future, the network environment will be able to get effective governance and control, the probability of cyber violence will also be greatly reduced.


Sinpeng, A., Martin, F., Gelber, K., & Shields, K. (2021, July 5). Facebook: Regulating hate speech in the Asia Pacific.

Baidu Encyclopedia,2023 Concept of Cyber Violence. Retrieved April 6, 2023, from

Flew, Terry (2021) Hate Speech and Online Abuse. In Regulating Platforms. Cambridge: Polity, pp. 91-96

Chenwei. D, (2023) Five questions about the truth of Ali’s blood donation incident, to restore the whole process of saving a woman’s life in a car accident in Shanghai.

Retrieved December 6, 2023, from

Sibei. W, (2023) Rectifying online violence and building a clear online home

Retrieved March 21, 2023, from

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