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What is cyberbullying?

Adolescents have been bullying each other for many generations. The latest generation has been able to utilize technology to expand the level and harm associated with bullying. This phenomenon is being referred to as cyberbullying.

“Cyber” is a prefix meaning of or related to the computer. “Bullying” commonly refers to acts of aggressive behavior that cause physical or psychological harm or discomfort to another person. Such aggressive behavior may directly target a specific person or group of people or it may be more indirect, such as spreading rumors or lies about the targeted person or group. Cyberbullying, then, is defined as the willful use of computers or computerized machines as tools to intentionally and repeatedly cause harm or discomfort through verbal or relational aggression that target a specific person or group of people.

Cyberbullying is when a child, preteen, or teen is tormented, threatened, harassed, humiliated, embarrassed, or otherwise targeted by another child, preteen or teen using the Internet, mobile phones, interactive and digital technologies. It has to have a minor on both sides, or at the least instigated by a minor against another minor. Once adults become involved, it is called cyberharrassment or cyberstalking. Adult cyberharrassment or cyberstalking is never referred to as cyberbullying.

The methods used are limited only by the child’s imagination and access to technology. The cyberbully one minute may become the victim the next moment. The children often change roles, going back and forth from victim to bully. Children have taken cyberbullying so far that it has resulted in killing each other and suicides after being involved in a cyberbullying incident.

Cyberbullying is usually not a one time communication, unless it involves a death threat or a credible threat of serious bodily harm. Cyberbullying may arise to the level of a misdemeanor cyberharassment charge, or if the child is young enough may result in the charge of juvenile delinquency. Most of the time the cyberbullying does not go to that extreme, at times parents will often try to pursue criminal charges.

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EmpowHER Guest

After 23 years in juvenile court, I believe that teenagers often learn from the experiences of their peers, not just from being lectured by those in authority. Consequently, “Teen Cyberbullying Investigated” was published in January, 2010.
Endorsed by Dr. Phil ["Bullied to Death"], “Teen Cyberbullying Investigated” presents real cases of teens in trouble over their online and cell phone activities. Civil & criminal sanctions have been imposed on teens over their emails, blogs, text messages, Facebook and YouTube entries and more. TCI is interactive and promotes education & awareness so that our youth will begin to “Think B4 U Click.”
Thanks for looking at “Teen Cyberbullying Investigated” on http://www.freespirit.com [publisher] or on http://www.askthejudge.info [a free website for & about teens and the law].

Regards, -Judge Tom

November 17, 2010 - 8:21pm
EmpowHER Guest

this sia serious and timely issue thank you very much for the excellent information parebnts have more issues than ever before to watch for and now this we all need to be vigi,ant thias article point sout how vulnerable our children are in the computer age keep this type of information coming!

November 17, 2010 - 2:01pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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