Bullying Goes High Tech
November 10, 2010
“It’s one thing when you get made fun of at
school, but to be bullied in your own home, via
your computer, is a disgusting thing for people to
do.” Sixteen year old from Alabama
What is Cyberbullying?
Being cruel to others by sending or posting
harmful material using technological means
An individual or group that uses
information and communication involving
electronic technologies to facilitate
deliberate and repeated harassment or
threats to an individual or group.
Also known as:
‘Electronic Bullying’ &
‘Online Social Cruelty’
Tools for Cyberbullying
Cell Phones – calls
The Internet has become a way of life
for most teens, and an easy tool
for harassing others.
91% of 12 – 15 year olds use the
99% of teens 16 – 18 use the Internet
Available 24 hrs/day, 7 days/wk
Victim is a perpetual target
Why Cyberbullying? (cont)
Traditional bullying – the bully is
usually stronger than his or her
victim either physically or
socially. Usually occurs in the
school setting (classroom,
playground, or bus).
Cyberbullying - Internet tends to
level the playing field, affording
less dominant teens the means
they need to bully others.
Sometimes used in revenge for
How Big a Problem Is It?
42% of teens surveyed admitted to being
35% claim to have been threatened.
53% confessed to having said something
mean or hurtful on-line. (I-Safe 2007)
More girls than boys are cyberbullied.
For teens that are regular visitors to
social networking sites, the chances of
them being cyberbullied goes up.
Only 15% of parents knew what
Types of Cyberbullies
Avenging Angel - use technical means to get
back at someone who has been bullying them,
or one of their friends.
Power Hungry - Closest to traditional school
yard bully. Tends to feel superior, and exerts his
or her strengths over the victim.
Types of Cyberbullies (cont.)
Mean Girls - Work in
groups, and need an
audience to play to. The
group tends to approve
of the actions, or do
nothing about them.
Inadvertent Bully –
Probably don’t even
realize they are doing
something wrong. Ex :
passing on gossip or
pictures or answering
Forms of Cyberbullying
Flaming – Saying mean or hurtful things
Harassment and cyberstalking - repeated
actions such as sending messages, or threats to
Denigration – putting someone down
Outing – spreading secret or embarrassing
information or pictures
Exclusion - intentionally excluding a person by
leaving them off of the list.
Impersonation – pretending to be someone else
Cyberbullying – It’s Illegal
All of the following forms of cyberbulling
can lead to arrest & prosecution:
Making threats of violence to people or
Making obscene or harassing phone
Harassment or stalking
Hate or bias crimes
Creating or sending sexually explicit
images of teens
Posting real or doctored photos of
someone without their permission
Taking a photo of someone in place
where privacy expected
Impacts of Cyberbullying
Feelings of guilt or self
Poor performance in
tormentors. Victims are
8X more likely to bring a
weapon to school
What Should You Do?
Do not respond in a similar
manner. Block the screen names if
Do not forward anything
Do not delete messages
Consult an adult
Safeguard user ID’s and
“A password is like a tooth brush.
Choose a good one, and don’t
share it.” (Yahoo Security Center)
What Should You Do?
Take the situation seriously,
and be supportive.
Don’t blame the victim.
Increase tech awareness.
Monitor computer use.
(Software & placement of
Contact ISP and cell phone
provider. Contact law
enforcement, if threatened.
What Should You Do?
Teachers and Schools
If the incident occurs during
school, investigate and
Respond if the incident
Provide counseling to the
perpetrators and the
programs to educate
Teach Our Children
All actions have consequences
Cyber bullying hurts
They are just being used and
manipulated by cyber bully
Cyber bully and accomplices
often become the target of
cyber bullying themselves
Care about others and stand
up for what’s right
Legal Issues for Schools
Privacy Issue – Does a school have the right to
search a student’s computer for evidence.
Free Speech Issue – Does the school have the
right to discipline a student for remarks published
on the Internet during non-school hours.
Sending sexually suggestive messages or images to
others via cell phone, or posting them on social
Surveys of teenagers :
- 20 percent have sent or posted picture of themselves
- 40 percent of teenagers have sent sexually
- More girls than boys
Technology is much more far-reaching and permanent,
and teenagers are not consequential thinkers . . . They
Sexting – Legal
Worst Case scenario
Possession or distribution of Child
Possible inclusion on sex offenders
Suspension or expulsion from school.
Probation and attend counseling