“I will put a knife to your throat if I see you in the street”. It is with this sentence read by Ira Losco that the video starts. It was followed by many other comments written to kids aged 12 – 16 on social media. The video which features Losco as well as Maltese representative in Eurovision 2019 Michela Pace and Maltese influencer Tamra Webb is one among few dealing with teenagers and cyber issues. The campaign, which was created by Tech.Mt, an organisation established in 2019 by the Government of Malta and the Malta Chamber of commerce, enterprise and industry with an aim to promote Malta as tech centre for innovative technologies within industry verticals was created in order to raise awareness of the rising rate of teens exposed to cyber-bullying which got to 45% in Malta.
Watch the video here:
We approached Ira Losco to hear her opinion about cyber-bullying.
I have been an active artist/performer/songwriter for 20 years and I have had my fair share of online abuse. You never learn to accept it- because of course you should never! You do learn to eventually live with it- but you also learn to stand up for yourself and to create awareness. Unfortunately millennials are growing up in a world which has made online communication not only about the positivity of making contact globally- but also of being able to target people in their own society or even globally and attack them. They are a generation who can hide behind a screen and think they can say whatever they want using hate speech, and unhinging personal attacks on those they think are a minority, individuals they do not like for whatever reason and also to be able to abuse others depending on their skin colour, race, sexual orientation, disability, mental health or physical appearance. Many a time the abuse goes unnoticed by those close to the perpetrators or the victims. One is not murdering the victim in plain sight so to speak. But one is planning a carefully meticulously and premeditated attack on their online victims, behind their screens. There is no gunshot, no visible wound, no weapon. These are⁸ words, on a screen, sometimes on private message, sometimes for everybody to see. It’s just as dangerous.Ira Losco for ESCBubble
ESCBubble stands against any kind of bullying. Cyber-bullying is the worst way to use the internet and we will never tolerate its use for any reason or purpose. The internet can be used for much better aims than attacking and hurting others from behind the screen.