Cyber bullying can be done through picture or post messages.
Cyber-bullying may also include threats, sexual remarks, hate speech, ganging up on victims by making them the subject of ridicule, and posting false statements as fact aimed at humiliation of the victim.
Some cyber bullies harass the victim by constantly sending threatening or derogatory emails and instant messages to the victim
Other cyber bullies have been known to instigate gossip and rumours via social network sites in order to get others to dislike and gang up against a victim.
Simply, cyber-bullying is done via means of communication, this includes the internet.
Online forums, email accounts, social network sites, and instant messaging systems are all involved in cyber-bullying via the internet, as long as a bully can get in contact with a victim or make someone a victim using the internet, then cyber-bullying will continue to exist.
The difference between traditional, physical bullying and cyber bullying is that via the internet a bully can remain virtually anonymous and unknown to the victim.
Temporary or secondary email accounts can be used, a ‘blocked’ mobile number can be used to send abusive text messages and a false instant messaging account can easily be set up so the victim has no clue who their bully is.
Mainly, it has been the younger generation affected by cyber-bullying, this is because today’s teenagers and younger generally know more about computers than adults do and so can mask from their parents that they are involved in cyber-bullying (as victim or bully) if they know their way around computer technology.
Older youth use the internet more than younger children and are more likely to be cyber-bullied but there have been reports that children as young as 8 years old have been victims of cyber-bullying.
The Youth Internet Safety Survey-2, conducted by the Crimes Against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire found that 9% of youth (10-17 y.o.) claimed to be victims of cyber bullying
Sameer Hinduja and Justin Patchin completed a study in the summer of 2005 of approximately 1,500 Internet-using adolescents and found that over one-third of youth reported being victimized online, and over 16% of respondents admitted to cyber-bullying others
According to a 2005 survey by the National Children's Home charity and Tesco Mobile of 770 youth between the ages of 11 and 19, 20% of respondents revealed that they had been bullied via electronic means. Almost three-quarters (73%) stated that they knew the bully, while 26% stated that the offender was a stranger.
Following a mean from these statistics, at least a quarter of people in this class will have been cyber-bullied at some point in their lives.
Reports from people being cyber-bullied claim to start feeling uncomfortable in public (especially if they don’t know who their bully is), and are found to be more distressed, often leading to social problems.
Often those being cyber-bullied don’t tell a figure of authority for fear that their technology will be taken from them to stop any further harassment.
After his death transcripts from AIM conversations were found in which a popular girl pretended to like him but later told him at school that he was a "loser". Ryan later found out she only pretended to like him in order to retrieve personal information about him. Their private exchanges were copied and pasted into other IMs among his schoolmates to embarrass and humiliate him. After he went up to the girl and she called him a loser, he said "It's girls like you who make me want to kill myself".
Halligan's father discovered some disturbing conversations between Halligan and a boy with a screen name he didn't recognise. Ryan had begun communicating online with a penpal about suicide and death and told him he was thinking about suicide. They had also been exchanging information they had found on sites relating to death and suicide including sites that taught them how to painlessly kill themselves. The penpal answered " Phew. It's about fucking time." shortly after Ryan told him he was thinking about suicide, 2 weeks before he killed himself. This was the last conversation he ever had with the penpal. Online they would talk about how much they hated the popular kids and how they made them feel and then the penpal pitched the suicide idea saying that "If you killed yourself you would really make them feel bad."
Ryan’s penpal, though seemingly ‘helpful’ to Ryan, was in fact a bully too, manipulating Ryan to think about suicide, linking him up to sites showing him how to do and putting idea’s in his head. Without this form of manipulative bullying, Ryan may never have killed himself.
In England no official regulation or legislation has been put in place to punish those who are causing harm to others via communication devices.
Campaigns are in place however to raise awareness of the growing problem;
The aim of this campaign is to counteract and reverse the growing trend of cyberbullying by making a conscious effort to encourage and reward 'niceness on the net'.It was launched at the House of Lords on Armistice Day 2009 by Baroness Hayman and Lord Grocott.
The CyberKind campaign is part of the Act Against Bullying charity. There is no law in place to counteract or stop cyberbullying, nor are forums particularly regulated and looked over by officials but campaigns and charities are in place to try and raise awareness of the problem
It tells us that regulation of the internet may not be strict enough, three cases of suicide by 12-13 year olds have been reported in the USA as a result of cyber bullying, including Ryan Halligan and Megan Meier.
Regulation should really be stricter with ways of communication over the internet as far too much takes place, sometimes with dire and terrible consequences.
Campaigns are in place in the UK but charities have no real power, just a voice to try and get a law to come into place, without a law in place then cyber-bullying will continue to go on and the bullies will be able to go on anonymously and unpunished.