GROWING ISSUE: Lyn Laskus talks about the impacts of cyber bullying in the wake of 14-year-old Dolly Everett's death.
GROWING ISSUE: Lyn Laskus talks about the impacts of cyber bullying in the wake of 14-year-old Dolly Everett's death. Chris Ison ROK190118claskus1

CQ animal rights activist falls victim to cyber bullying

LYN Laskus is well known in Central Queensland as giving a voice to animals who can't speak for themselves.

But this week, Ms Laskus said she was the one under attack by a cyber bully.

It comes after 14-year-old Dolly Everett died by suicide after cyber bullying, prompting nation-wide outrage.

Ms Laskus has now turned her attention to social media giant Facebook, lobbying them to warn users about cyber bullying.

The animal rights activist says cyber bullying has much worse effects than the old school forms of bullying she grew up.

"We had name calling and physical bullying but the bullying today is more social media, I think it is more detrimental," she said.

"It's almost brainwashing, they know you can't walk away and they use something that they have power over you."

"The worst part is the person is sitting behind a keyboard and you don't know who they are.

"You don't even know if the person you are talking to is a real person."

Earlier this week, Ms Laskus fell victim to a cyber bully.

"I'm not a vulnerable person and I felt vulnerable," she said.

"I've never seen such bullying.

"It knocked me for six."

Ms Laskus was managing a Facebook page to save a dog from death row from a Queensland Council.

The page had over a 1,000 people and one person contacted Ms Laskus wanting to become admin, to which she unknowingly obliged.

Soon after, the Facebook user was messaging Ms Laskus saying only she should be page admin.

"She said 'I think I can help that dog better than you'," Ms Laskus said.

The woman also suggested Ms Laskus was "killing the dog" by not handing her control.

"The blows just kept coming, she didn't stop," she said.

"It's like they get obsessed.

"I felt miserable, it was very hurtful."

At 64, Ms Laskus said her life experience gave her the strength to walk away from the cyber bully.

"I can recognise the cyber bully, a person my age can because we have had enough life skills to be able to," she said.

"The best thing for me to do was seek legal advice."

Ms Laskus said she found it hard to understand what drove people to become cyber bullies.

"I think people who do the bullying are jealous of your life," Ms Laskus said.

Someone needs to take responsibility for the issue that is spreading out of control, Ms Laskus says.

"Particularly with the situation with Dolly, and there has been a few deaths now because of cyber bullying," she said.

"I think Facebook to put up a warning when you sign up, how to identify what cyber bullying is.

"They(young people) rely on Facebook for their social contact and we need to look at ways how we can protect them from the effects and mental health issues cyber bullying can create," Ms Laskus said.

"I think people could lobby Facebook, if this occurs on your page, what you need to do about it."



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