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The dark web, cybertrauma and more…

May 25, 2019

This blog post is important. Very important. Cybertrauma needs to be taken more seriously.

We can’t use the internet or online platforms without being aware of the undercurrent of humanity and the existence of the dark web.

The dark web is real. The dark web is “world wide web content that exists on darknets and overlay networks that use the Internet, but require specific software, configurations, or authorizations to access” (Wikipedia).

We also need to mention here – the deep web. For more about the deep web, click here to check it out. The deep web exists under the surface of our standard internet, where for example, information exists about government records, private data and information. Information on the deep web is not always criminal in nature, as it may just be private information that the general public should not access.

According to Truthfinder, the dark web exists deep under the umbrella that is the deep web, though the dark web often holds illegal activity. ANY criminal activity that you can consider – exists on the dark web.

Consider the internet to be like an iceberg (like Freud’s iceberg of consciousness) – where the surface layers and ego is where Google, Facebook, social media sites and all standard internet traffic is. Move a little deeper and that is the deep web, like the subconscious and unconscious mind processes and that which is just below surface. Though, even deeper again is the deep, dark unconsciousness – and THAT is where the dark web exists.

In other words – not just a little below our awareness – well below our awareness is the dark web – and it’s a place where anything goes.

Here is an unfortunate example of a recent sting from the dark web. I’m glad that Interpol was onto this one – and that people have been caught. A job well done for international law enforcement!

This is important to know about – and give as an example; as cybertrauma is real, and there are now countless examples of people being abused and traumatised due to the internet, though especially on the deep and dark webs.

Why do we need to know about this?

It’s important to be informed and that it is possible to be hurt and harmed from internet and online use – and that it exists – and that even more sinister materials are available to internet users. Therapists in particular will need to know about this in years to come, as clients more and more will require support for cybertrauma.

Personally, I stay away from the deep and dark web, though it’s imperative for parents and law-abiding citizens to know of its existence and that it really is possible to be impacted by it, without being involved in the dark web.

Catherine Knibbs, a cybertrauma expert from the UK, insists that parents need to be aware of what their children are doing on the internet, and also suggests that digital devices will have permanent records and digital footprints of ourselves and it can be brought up against us – now and into the future.

What is cybertrauma?

Cybertrauma is “any trauma that has been elicited through cyberspace” (Knibbs on The Trauma Therapist Project podcast). Such trauma will not end, as the internet has no expiry date, and the impacts will continue to follow these children well into the future.

Where could you obtain help if you are impacted by cybertrauma, cyberbullying, or any kind of digital trauma, exposure, or grief?

Catherine Knibbs suggested on the above mentioned podcast – a few things to consider doing…

  • Read and engage in the virtual world and about e-safety.
  • Do your own personal therapy and obtain therapy for anyone affected.
  • Become educated in cybertrauma.
  • Consider the impact on your body – for all forms of trauma.


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