Anti-bullying NGO’s warning against ‘alarming’ language of hate on social media

Cyberbullying has reached new heights, anti-bullying NGO bBrave says of last week's political turmoil

Cyberbullying is alarmingly widespread, and social media and online comment boards are replete with the language of hate, the anti-bullying charity bBrave said. 

In a scenario of driven partisanship in Malta, bBrave said hateful comments often stem from individuals moulding their views according to the political category they sorted themselves in. “Politics will likely always remain divisive, but a mature society should be able to rise above odious behaviour. We are witnessing everything from insults to death threats, and unequivocal incitement to hatred. Cyberbullying has reached new heights, and it is no achievement to be proud of,” the NGO said.

It made reference to scuffles, “some between individuals that we should be looking up to”, alluding to a tussle between Labour parliamentary secretary Clifton Grima and Nationalist MP Karol Aquilina outside parliament, when Grima accused Aquilina of inciting violence amongst protestors. 

“We have been carefully observing society’s reactions to the current political turmoil that has hit Malta... we are constantly observing so much hate being spread in the Maltese community. We must stop moulding our views according to the political category we have sorted ourselves in. There is no us and them. We are but one nation, one big family, so why must we constantly strike at each other?” bBrave wrote.

Even Dutch MEP Sophie in ‘t Veld during a visit she paid to Malta on a fact-finding mission on the rule of law in the country said that Malta was a victim of “bipartisan toxicity”, an issue which should be addressed as quickly as possible.

Last November bBrave launched a national anti-bullying week in Malta, targeting schools and youth organisations. The NGO said that hate-related bullying has shot up over the past few weeks, a good portion of which amounts to criminal behaviour.

“This behaviour cannot be eradicated if the perpetrators believe that their bullying conduct will go unpunished. It is in the public interest to have the peace of mind that crimes are investigated and prosecuted.

“If you truly cherish your country, do something good today for the betterment of society.”