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What is cyberbullying

Definition of cyberbullying

Cyberbullying: Bullying is deliberate harm, and electronic is an activity that occurs on digital devices such as tablets, mobile phones, and computers, by sending messages on e-mail, on social media, or through games and applications through the Internet, and includes several things that may cause harm to the bullied person, including sharing embarrassing personal information, to annoy or spread fear in the bully's psyche.

What is cyberbullying

Types of cyberbullying

There are several behaviors that fall under the types of cyberbullying, but we may not know that these behaviors are considered bullying, and the types of bullying are:

  • Exclusion: It is not deliberately inviting a person to an event and leaving it out, for example, not inviting someone to a group of his friends, or excluding him from some conversations and messages that include his friends.
  • Harassment: It is constantly sending threatening messages that harm the bully and deliberately intend to harm him, and many types of bullying fall under this item.
  • Trickery: It is the bully's attempt to gain the bully's trust, illusion, and confidence to obtain his secrets and private information and then share it with other people or publish it on the Internet.
  • Impersonation: It is when the bully creates a fake account in the name of the bully on social networks and inserts some embarrassing and inappropriate things on him that harm him greatly and may also publish some insults that cause the destruction of his reputation.
  • Revealing the secrets of the bully (Outing/Doxing): It is the disclosure of sensitive and private information about the bully without obtaining his consent in order to annoy, embarrass, and humiliate him, by publishing photos, documents, or personal messages in public.
  • Cyberstalking: It is the pursuit of the bully-targeted person online, which includes monitoring him, sending false threats and accusations, and may reach following him in the real world, and inflicting physical harm on him, this type is a criminal offense that leads to the restriction and surveillance of the bully and may reach his imprisonment.
  • Direct insult (Flaming): It is when the bully insults the bully directly by sending profanity or insults directly to him in an offensive manner to incite him to fight.
  • Fake profiles: It is when the bully creates an account under a fake name with the intention of hiding his true identity to bully someone online, and the bully usually knows the bully personally.
  • Trolling: It is deliberately posting annoying comments or insults to others over the Internet with the intention of harming them and provoking them to get them to respond in the same abusive way.

Causes of cyber bullying

There are several reasons for cyberbullying between personal, family, and others, which we mention as follows:

  • Personal reasons: These include age, gender, well-being, empathy, length of use of the Internet, and social behavior.
  • Family reasons: include the relationship between family members, the economic and social status of the family, as well as parental support and parental supervision.
  • School reasons: This includes the type, environment, culture, and management of the school, the quality of teaching, the student's relationship with his or her teachers, as well as school safety and the level of Internet security.
  • Social and environmental causes: include the education system, the influence of society, cultural norms and the student's relationship with his colleagues, cultural differences, and work pressure.
  • Other reasons: It is difficult for the bully to feel empathy for others, the bully feels strong when he goes too far and bullies the victim, tries to gain popularity through cyberbullying, the bully may have a bad relationship with his parents, or he is not monitored enough by the parents.

Effects of cyberbullying

Cyberbullying causes many great damages that affect the individual and society in different ways, which we detail in the following:

Effects of cyberbullying on the individual

The effects of cyberbullying on the individual are as follows:

  • Lack of self-esteem: It causes low self-confidence and low self-esteem, especially when the bully bullies them because of the appearance of their bodies or features, which makes them feel less attractive than those around them, which makes them feel ashamed and reduces their interaction with others.
  • Depression: It causes anxiety and tension to the victim and makes him feel unhappy, which increases his feeling of sadness and resentment, and this leads to his feeling depressed and thus affects his mental health, especially since the victim is afraid to talk about being bullied so as not to be ridiculed by those around him.
  •  Physical diseases: Bullying may cause some diseases such as headaches, insomnia, chest pain, some skin diseases and other symptoms that reduce the individual's self-esteem.
  • Suicidal thoughts: Bullying encourages suicidal thoughts in some victims, which cause them to feel hopeless due to being subjected to constant harassment online, making them feel that death is their only escape.

Effects of cyberbullying on society

The following are the effects of cyberbullying on society:

  • The existence of a revolution in electronic communication methods has led to increasing anxiety in society due to the exposure of adolescents in particular to cyberbullying that increases the anxiety of society and may lead to family abuse of adolescent children.
  • Cyber exposure of students to school bullying has reduced students' academic, emotional, and social development.
  • Cyberbullying is one of the challenges that have emerged and affected society, especially after the development of the digital age, and it needs constant vigilance and society must develop its awareness of this matter and its impact when it occurs on victims.

Cyberbullying Penalty

Cyberbullying is not a crime, but at the same time the bully is a criminal, and we include the following as the penalty for cyberbullying:

Protection from Harassment Act 1997

Cyberbullying is a crime if the bully seeks to harass and harass the victim, including sending an email that the victim may feel upset and anxious, and the penalty for this crime is imprisonment for 6 months or a fine or both, and a larger and more severe penalty may be imposed if the harasser tries to scare the victim and use violence against him and this leads to imprisonment for up to 5 years with a fine.

Improper Communications Act 1988

This law states that any abusive and inappropriate communication that contains threats or false information that causes distress and anxiety to the victim is an offence, and if the bully is convicted of committing these acts, he will be sentenced to 6 months in prison or a fine of up to £5,000 or both.

Tips for cyberbullying

There are several tips for cyberbullying so that he can treat and overcome cyberbullying, and we list the following are the most important solutions to cyberbullying:

  • Not to blame the victim for being bullied repeatedly, and to know that it is not their fault.
  • The victim should not respond to the bully, as the response makes him feel empowered and empowered, but he must try to withdraw himself from the situation quickly.
  • Maintain evidence of cyberbullying by taking a screenshot, saving it, and showing it to someone who can help them, and it can be used if things get worse.
  • Asking the bully to stop doing what they are doing completely and can practice this with another trusted person such as a close friend or parent.
  • Ask someone who can listen to them and help them resolve the matter.
  • Bullies are banned on social media applications and can also be reported to get rid of their harassment, but if the threats are related to causing bodily harm, in this case you should contact the police.

Shocking facts about cyberbullying

Ipsos analyses the results of a survey conducted between 23 March and 6 April 2018 of 20,793 people aged 18-64 in the United States and Canada and 28 other countries, which showed that their children had been exposed to one or more forms of cyberbullying.

A 2019 study by the Center for Cyberbullying Research published that people aged 12-17 in the United States have been bullied by 36% in the last 30 days, and of these incidents nearly 22% involved spreading rumors online.


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