Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place through the use of technology. It may include online threats, harassment and humiliation. It is not uncommon for cyberbullies to send, post or share harmful, false or private information about someone else. Below, our cyberbullying attorneys discuss the definition of cyberbullying, where it occurs and how it is different from traditional bullying.

What Is the Definition of Cyberbullying?

According to a bullying awareness and prevention website managed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the definition of cyberbullying is “bullying that takes place over digital devices like cell phones, computers, and tablets.” However, the definitions of cyberbullying and bullying vary from state to state. According to the Cyberbullying Research Center, cyberbullying generally includes the following factors:

  • Electronic devices. This may include bullying through the use of a phone, tablet or computer.
  • Intent. The action cannot be accidental. It must be willful or deliberate.
  • Repetition. Cyberbullying is not an isolated event. It is persistent or repetitive.
  • Harm. The victim must perceive that harm has occurred from the cyberbullying.

Where Does Cyberbullying Occur?

Cyberbullying can occur in many online spaces, including, but not limited to:

  • Text messaging or messaging apps
  • Social media platforms
  • Image-sharing and video-sharing platforms
  • Online forums or chat rooms
  • Online gaming communities

Some of the most popular online platforms and apps for teenagers include:

Messaging Apps

  • GroupMe
  • Kik
  • WhatsApp
  • SnapChat
  • Discord
  • Rave

Social Media Platforms

  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Image-sharing and Video Platforms

  • Instagram
  • YouTube
  • TikTok
  • Houseparty

Online Forums

  • Reddit
  • Tumblr
  • ASKfm

Cyberbullying vs. Bullying: What Is the Difference?

The main differences between cyberbullying and traditional bullying include:

Anonymity

The main difference between cyberbullying and traditional bullying is that cyberbullying does not have face-to-face interaction because it occurs through digital devices. This can give online bullies partial or total anonymity. Anonymity may make the bully less empathetic since he or she cannot see the immediate impact of his or her actions. Additionally, it may make the bully harder to catch or detect.

Persistent and Pervasive

Traditional bullying is generally limited to physical spaces like school. However, cyberbullying may be more pervasive. Bullies can target victims at any time on any online platform. This may leave the victim feeling helpless and without relief.

Public and Hard to Remove

Once a cyberbullying message is out on the internet, it is often public, easy to spread, and can be hard to stop or remove. The audience for online bullying is oftentimes much larger than traditional bullying. Additionally, the message, picture or video may be difficult to delete. If left online, these actions may follow a victim for years.

Contact Our Cyberbullying Attorneys to Schedule a Free Consultation

If your child sustained mental or physical injuries or took his or her own life after being cyberbullied, contact a compassionate, knowledgeable cyberbullying attorney at Grant & Eisenhofer P.A. today. We can discuss the legal options you may have during a free consultation. Call (844) 394-3624 or fill out our online contact form to get started