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Gone are the days when a child’s home is a refuge from playground or neighborhood bullies. The Internet is the new playground, and there are no off-hours. Tech-savvy students are turning to cyberspace to harass their peers using a new method of bullying—cyberbullying.
The popularity of instant messaging, e-mail, web pages, text messaging, and blogging means that kids are potential targets—all day, every day. Victimization on the Internet through cyberbullying is increasing in frequency and scope. Electronic bullies can remain “virtually” anonymous. Temporary e-mail accounts and pseudonyms in chat rooms, instant messaging programs, and other Internet venues can make it very difficult for adolescents to determine the identity of aggressors. Individuals now have the ability to hide behind some measure of anonymity when using their personal computer or cellular phone to bully another individual.
What is cyberbullying?
Cyberbullying is willful and repeated harm (i.e., harassing, humiliating, or threatening text or images) inflicted through the Internet, interactive technologies, or mobile phones.
43% of teens aged 13 to 17 report that they have experienced some sort of cyberbullying in the past year.
Gossip: Posting or sending cruel gossip to damage a person’s reputation and relationships with friends, family, and acquaintances
Exclusion: Deliberately excluding someone from an online group
Impersonation: Breaking into someone’s e-mail or other online account and sending messages that will cause embarrassment or damage to the person’s reputation and affect his or her relationship with others
Harassment: Repeatedly posting or sending offensive, rude, and insulting messages
Cyberstalking: Posting or sending unwanted or intimidating messages, which may include threats
Flaming: Online fights where scornful and offensive messages are posted on websites, forums, or blogs
Outing and Trickery: Tricking someone into revealing secrets or embarrassing information, which is then shared online
Cyberthreats: Remarks on the Internet threatening or implying violent behavior, displaying suicidal tendencies
Internet Safety 101® Program Video: 'Cyberbullying'