Home    Cyber Bullying   Social Networking Online    Digital Lives of Kids    Parents' Corner   

What is Cyber Bullying?

"A kid from school sent me a message on the internet saying, 'Hey Dave, look at this website,'" says David. "I went there and sure enough there's my photo on this website saying 'Welcome to the website that makes fun of Dave Knight' and just pages of hateful comments directed at me and everyone in my family. "(http://www.cbc.ca)

Any Email, Instant Messenger (IM) message, text message, or online communication that intimidates, scares, insults, antagonizes, or threatens another person or people constitutes cyber bullying.

The stories are heart breaking and there are no walls in these attacks. Cyberbullying can mean receiving messages in the middle of the night, during family dinner, while playing catch with your dad.

Some forms that this takes are “Impersonation”, “Outing and Trickery” and “Exclusion.”

{Nancy Willard, M.S., J.D., Director of the Center for Safe and Responsible Internet Use}

  • Sending cruel, vicious, and sometimes threatening email, IM, text messages.
  • Creating web sites that have stories, cartoons, pictures, and jokes ridiculing others.
  • Posting pictures of classmates online and asking students to rate them, with questions such “Who is the biggest ___ (add a derogatory term)?”
  • Breaking into an e-mail account and sending vicious or embarrassing material to others.
  • Engaging someone in IM (instant messaging), tricking that person into revealing  sensitive personal information, and forwarding that information  to others.
  • Taking a picture of a person in the locker room using a digital phone  camera and sending that picture to others.


How Does It Happen

All a bully needs is a phone or a computer to damage another person's life. In some cases, a bully assumes another person's identity and attacks the victim using cell phone or the computer. Sometimes, the bully just contacts their target.

How can a bully act anonymously?

  • A cyber bully can hijack another person's identity and pose as that person.

  • Friends share passwords and IDs, and pass them on.

  • A user will forget to log off, exposing access to their account.

Stats and Facts



Links to Articles and Sites

Article about the boy pictured above

Aftab.org (Parry Aftab, Esq. is the Czar of Internet Safety)



10 Things To Do

1. Do not assume a threatening message will amount to nothing.

2. Save and print any threatening Email, IM, text, webpage. (Copy / Paste always works.)

3. Try to identify the cyberbully (This may involve contacting your ISP or detective work.)

4. Tell the Cyber bully to stop.

5. Contact the cyberbully's parents.

6. Respond to the cyberbully as an authority figure.

    "I am Xavier's mother. I have saved this message and information about it. If this number is used again in this way I will prosecute."

7. Block or filter the sender. (Changing email address or IM may be necessary.)

8. Leave the online area, stop the activity (close out Internet, gaming, IM, Chat session, Log off. Don't return to that chat room.)

9. If the message includeds physical threats, contact the police.

10. Tell a parent or trusted adult.

11. Look out for your friends. Sometimes a threat will be indirectly given to a person through a friend or third party.