Cyberbullying


Cyberbullying is bullying that is carried out through the internet or mobile phones.

The Young Devices

A short cartoon created by Cranbourne-Carlisle primary school that follows a day in the life of the young devices at their primary school. Someone has been posting humiliating pictures online using someone else's account. Watch the video to see the outcome.

Transcript (pdf - 87.57kb)Transcript (docx - 73.05kb)
 

Types of cyberbullying

Cyberbullying is bullying using digital technologies including mobile phones, email and social media tools. Cyberbullying includes:

Pranking

Repeated hang ups, anonymous, mocking or threatening phone calls.

Image sharing

Forwarding or sharing unflattering or private images without permission.

Sexually explicit images

People of any age, who forward or share images of a sexual nature of a person under 18 need to be aware that this is a criminal offence (child pornography) that may result in prosecution.

Text and email

Sending insulting or threatening text messages or emails.

Personal online information

Publishing online someone's private, personal or embarrassing information without permission, or spreading rumours online.

Identity theft

Assuming someone’s identity online and negatively representing them in a way that damages their reputation or relationships.

Hate sites

Creating hate sites or implementing social exclusion campaigns on social networking sites.

Other types of cyberbullying

It is also cyberbullying when a student, or students, uses technology to run a multi-step campaign to bully another student. For example, setting another student up to be assaulted, video-recording their humiliation, posting the video-recording online and then sending the website address to others.

Cyberbullying vs bullying

While cyberbullying is similar to bullying in some ways, there are also differences.

Differences:

Cyberbullying is invasive

Cyberbullying can be difficult to escape and is incredibly invasive. It is more likely to occur outside of school, including while at home, and can happen at any time.

Cyberbullying can involve a large audience

Cyberbullying can involve harmful material being widely and rapidly shared to a large audience, for example, rumours and images can be posted on public forums or sent to many people at once. This material can also continue to be available and harmful long after the cyberbullying has ceased.

Cyberbullies have a sense of anonymity

Cyberbullying can provide the bully with a sense of relative anonymity and distance from the target, so there is a lack of immediate feedback or consequences.

Similarities:

Power imbalance

The power imbalance between the ‘bully’ and ‘target’, the repetitive nature of the bullying behaviour and the intent to harm, humiliate, embarrass, ostracise, or isolate can occur in bullying and cyberbullying.

Types of behaviour

Types of behaviour including spreading rumours and making threats or insults, can occur in bullying and cyberbullying.

Reasons for behaving in a bullying way

People often engage in cyberbullying for the same reasons they engage in bullying.

Further information

For more information, see: Cyberbullying