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Cyberbullying

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Cyberbullying is broadly defined as willful and repeated harm inflicted through an electronic medium, such as a personal computer or cellular phone.

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Contents

Overview

Cyberbullying involves tormenting, threatening, harassing, humiliating, embarrassing or otherwise targeting another child, preteen or teen through usage of the internet or interactive and digital technologies. By definition, a minor must initiate this form of contact with another minor.[1] An individual, for example, can send text messages or emails containing threatening or lewd content directly targeted at the victim. 

Research on cyberbullying indicates it appears to be a growing problem in middle- and upper-middle class communities, where a "cyberbully" misuses online technology to harass, intimidate, bully or terrorize others. For social networking giants such as Facebook and MySpace, cyberbullying can be a common phenomenon leading to disruptive behavior on user profiles.[2] Users can send emails, post notes, comment on someone's wall, and try other means to harass another user.

Some "cyberbullies" go one step further to create websites targeting specific individuals, where they post humiliating stories, jokes, and defamatory comments. Such websites are abound and create an inappropriate online environment.[3]

In several states, school officials are charged with the responsibility of enforcing cyberbullying laws. The laws empower school administrators to punish minors who violate the law and help law enforcement investigate the crime.[4]


References

  1. http://www.wiredsafety.org/cyberstalking_harassment/cyberbullying.html
  2. http://www.rand.org/pubs/rgs_dissertations/2009/RAND_RGSD240.pdf
  3. http://www.ebasedprevention.org/toolbox/bullying/cyberbullying-legal-issues
  4. http://www.cyberbullyalert.com/blog/2008/10/cyber-bullying-state-laws-and-policies/

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