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What is Cyberbullying?

Cyberbullying is defined as:
threats or other offensive behavior sent online to the victim. This includes threats and other offensive behavior sent or posted online about the victim for others to see. (Wolak, Mitchell, Finkelhor et al., 2006).

Cyberbullying may be in the form of one of the following or something similar:

  • Threatening to hurt someone through email, instant messenger (IM), or a social networking site
  • Posting or spreading rumors, real or false, online for others to see
  • Deleting someone from a “buddy list” to make them feel left out
  • Pretending to be someone else through a fake profile
  • Or hacking into someone’s profile and pretending to be that person

In short, cyberbullying is bullying or harassing that happens online. Much of it is similar to the bullying that experienced offline in schools, homes, or the community, but has the additional aspect of the Internet.

Cyberbullying occurs in many different places online
including instant messengers, social networking sites, email, and chat rooms. The most common place bullying occurs online is over instant messenger, but it also can occur via new phone technologies such as text messaging and applications (apps).