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A project under the School of Social Welfare's Center for Children & Families

What is cyberbullying?

Cyberbullying is any intentional negative action or threat inflicted through the use of electronic communication devices including, but not limited to, e-mail, instant messaging, text messages, social media sites, blogs, mobile phones, pagers, online games, and websites.

Research suggests a significant relationship between school-based bullying and cyberbullying, with approximately 40-80% of youth reporting that they are subjected to both cyber and traditional bullying.

Some forms of cyberbullying behavior include:

  • Online harassment is the sending of repetitive abusive messages
  • Cyberstalking entails continuous harassing messages and threats that lead an individual to fear for his/her safety 
  • Denigration is the posting of insulting or false information with the intent of humiliating the victim or harming his/her reputation and friendships
  • Impersonation is using another individual’s online identity to send or post inappropriate or humiliating information about others
  • Outing is the forwarding or posting of private information
  • Trickery is where an individual is tricked into revealing confidential information that is then shared with others
  • Exclusion is leaving the victim out of or excluding him/her from an online group or community
  • Griefing is bullying others in online gaming communities
  • Trolling is the continuous posting of offensive comments on a website

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