Bullies


Bullies As there has been a bit of this going on for awhile now but I felt it was time to step up and do some research. Contained will be about bullying, both physical and cyber.

What is bullying?

This source comes from: clicky

Bullying is the use of force, threat, or coercion to abuse, intimidate, or aggressively dominate others. The behavior is often repeated and habitual. One essential prerequisite is the perception, by the bully or by others, of an imbalance of social or physical power. Behaviors used to assert such domination can include verbal harassment or threat, physical assault or coercion, and such acts may be directed repeatedly towards particular targets.

Rationalizations for such behavior sometimes include differences of social class, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, appearance, behavior, body language, personality, reputation, lineage, strength, size or ability. If bullying is done by a group, it is called mobbing.

Bullying can be defined in many different ways. The UK has no legal definition of bullying, while some U.S. states have laws against it. Bullying is divided into four basic types of abuse – emotional (sometimes called relational), verbal, physical, and cyber. It typically involves subtle methods of coercion, such as intimidation.

Bullying ranges from simple one-on-one bullying to more complex bullying in which the bully may have one or more "lieutenants" who may seem to be willing to assist the primary bully in his or her bullying activities. Bullying in school and the workplace is also referred to as peer abuse. Robert W. Fuller has analyzed bullying in the context of rankism.

A bullying culture can develop in any context in which humans interact with each other. This includes school, family, the workplace, home, and neighborhoods. In a 2012 study of male adolescent American football players, "the strongest predictor was the perception of whether the most influential male in a player's life would approve of the bullying behavior".


Definitions

Bullying may be defined as the activity of repeated, aggressive behavior intended to hurt another individual, physically, mentally or emotionally. Bullying is characterized by an individual behaving in a certain way to gain power over another person. It can be classified into four types:

1. Physical (hitting, punching, or kicking)

2. Verbal (name-calling or taunting)

3. Relational (destroying peer acceptance and friendships)

4. Cyber-bullying (using electronic means to harm others)

Physical, verbal, and relational bullying are most prevalent in primary school and could also begin much earlier. Cyber-bullying is more common in secondary school than in primary school.

Norwegian researcher Dan Olweus says bullying occurs when a person is "exposed, repeatedly and over time, to negative actions on the part of one or more other persons". He says negative actions occur "when a person intentionally inflicts injury or discomfort upon another person, through physical contact, through words or in other ways."


Etymology

The word "bully" was first used in the 1530s meaning "sweetheart", applied to either sex, from the Dutch boel "lover, brother", probably diminutive of Middle High German buole "brother", of uncertain origin (compare with the German buhle "lover"). The meaning deteriorated through the 17th century through "fine fellow", "blusterer", to "harasser of the weak". This may have been as a connecting sense between "lover" and "ruffian" as in "protector of a prostitute", which was one sense of "bully" (though not specifically attested until 1706). The verb "to bully" is first attested in 1710.


Characteristics


Of bullies and accomplices


Studies have shown that envy and resentment may be motives for bullying. Research on the self-esteem of bullies has produced equivocal results. While some bullies are arrogant and narcissistic, they can also use bullying as a tool to conceal shame or anxiety or to boost self-esteem: by demeaning others, the abuser feels empowered. Bullies may bully out of jealousy or because they themselves are bullied. Psychologist Roy Baumeister asserts that people who are prone to abusive behavior tend to have inflated but fragile egos. Because they think too highly of themselves, are frequently offended by the criticisms and lack of deference of other people, and react to this disrespect with violence and insults.

Researchers have identified other risk factors such as depression and personality disorders, as well as quickness to anger and use of force, addiction to aggressive behaviors, mistaking others' actions as hostile, concern with preserving self-image, and engaging in obsessive or rigid actions. A combination of these factors may also be causes of this behavior. In one study of youth, a combination of antisocial traits and depression was found to be the best predictor of youth violence, whereas video game violence and television violence exposure were not predictive of these behaviors.

Bullying may also result from a genetic predisposition or a brain abnormality in the bully. While parents can help a toddler develop emotional regulation and control to restrict aggressive behavior, some children fail to develop these skills due to insecure attachment with their families, ineffective discipline, and environmental factors such as a stressful home life and hostile siblings. Moreover, according to some researchers, bullies may be inclined toward negativity and perform poorly academically. Dr. Cook says that "a typical bully has trouble resolving problems with others and also has trouble academically. He or she usually has negative attitudes and beliefs about others, feels negatively toward himself/herself, comes from a family environment characterized by conflict and poor parenting, perceives school as negative and is negatively influenced by peers".

Contrarily, some researchers have suggested that some bullies are psychologically strongest and have high social standing among their peers, while their targets are emotionally distressed and socially marginalized. Peer groups often promote the bully's actions, and members of these peer groups also engage in behaviors, such as mocking, excluding, punching, and insulting one another as a source of entertainment. Other researchers also argued that a minority of the bullies, those who are not in-turn bullied, enjoy going to school, and are least likely to take days off sick.

Research indicates that adults who bully have authoritarian personalities, combined with a strong need to control or dominate. It has also been suggested that a prejudicial view of subordinates can be a particularly strong risk factor.


Of typical bystanders

Often, bullying takes place in the presence of a large group of relatively uninvolved bystanders. In many cases, it is the bully's ability to create the illusion that he or she has the support of the majority present that instills the fear of "speaking out" in protestation of the bullying activities being observed by the group. Unless the "bully mentality" is effectively challenged in any given group in its early stages, it often becomes an accepted, or supported, norm within the group.

Unless action is taken, a "culture of bullying" is often perpetuated within a group for months, years, or longer.

Bystanders who have been able to establish their own "friendship group" or "support group" have been found to be far more likely to opt to speak out against bullying behavior than those who have not.

In addition to communication of clear expectations that bystanders should intervene and increasing individual self-efficacy, there is growing research that suggests interventions should build on the foundation that bullying is morally wrong.

Among adults, being a bystander to workplace bullying was linked to depression, particularly in women.

Children who bully typically show signs of an aggressive behavior, a need to dominate others, and have a positive attitude towards violence.


Of victims

Dr. Cook says that "A typical victim is likely to be aggressive, lack social skills, think negative thoughts, experience difficulties in solving social problems, come from a negative family, school and community environments and be noticeably rejected and isolated by peers". Victims often have characteristics such as being physically weak, as well as being easily distraught emotionally. They may also have physical characteristics that make them easier targets for bullies such as being overweight or having some type of physical deformity. Boys are more likely to be victims of physical bullying while girls are more likely to be bullied indirectly.

The results of a meta-analysis conducted by Cook and published by the American Psychological Association in 2010 concluded the main risk factors for children and adolescents being bullied, and also for becoming bullies, are the lack of social problem-solving skills.

Children who are bullied often show physical or emotional signs, such as: being afraid to attend school, complaining of headaches or a loss of appetite, a lack of interest in school activities and spending time with friends or family, and having an overall sense of sadness.


Effects

Mona O'Moore of the Anti-Bullying Centre at Trinity College in Dublin, has written, "There is a growing body of research which indicates that individuals, whether child or adult, who are persistently subjected to abusive behavior are at risk of stress related illness which can sometimes lead to suicide".Those who have been the targets of bullying can suffer from long term emotional and behavioral problems. Bullying can cause loneliness, depression, anxiety, lead to low self-esteem and increased susceptibility to illness. Bullying has also been shown to cause maladjustment in young children, and targets of bullying who were also bullies themselves exhibit even greater social difficulties.


Suicide

Even though there is evidence that bullying increases the risk of suicide, bullying alone does not cause suicide. Depression is one of the main reasons why kids who are bullied commit suicide.It is estimated that between 15 and 25 children commit suicide every year in the UK alone because they are being bullied. Certain attributes of a person are correlated to a higher risk for suicide than others such as: American Indian, Alaskan Native, Asian American, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender. When someone is unsupported by his or her family or friends, it can make the situation much worse for the victim.

While some people find it very easy to ignore a bully, others may find it very difficult and reach a breaking point. There have been cases of apparent bullying suicides that have been reported closely by the media. These include the deaths of Ryan Halligen, Phoebe Prince, Dawn-Marie Wesley, Kelly Yeomans, Jessica Haffer, Hamed Nastoh, April Himes, Cherice Moralez and Rebecca Ann Sedwick.


Violence

Bullied students Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold carried out the 1999 Columbine High School massacre. Since then, bullying has been more closely linked to high school violence in general.

Serial killers were frequently bullied through direct and indirect methods as children or adolescents. Henry Lee Lucas, a serial killer and diagnosed psychopath, said the ridicule and rejection he suffered as a child caused him to hate everyone. Kenneth Bianchi, a serial killer and member of the Hillside Stranglers, was teased as a child because he urinated in his pants and suffered twitching, and as a teenager was ignored by his peers.


Positive development

Some have argued that bullying can teach life lessons and instill strength. Helene Guldberg, a child development academic, sparked controversy when she argued that being a target of bullying can teach a child "how to manage disputes and boost their ability to interact with others", and that teachers should not intervene, but leave children to respond to the bullying themselves.

A few studies have pointed up some potentially positive outcomes from bullying behavior. These studies have found that with some individuals, as a result of their having been targeted with bullying behavior, this certain minority of former bullying "targets" have actually experienced being "enabled" through their experiences with bullying to develop various coping strategies, which included "standing up for themselves" in ways which acted to "re-balance" former imbalances of power. Such former bullying targets have reported such things as "becoming a better person" as a result of their former bullying ordeals. The teaching of such anti-bullying coping skills to "would-be-targets" and to others has been found to be an effective long term means of reducing bullying incidence rates and a valuable skill-set for individuals.


Source for cyberbullying: clicky


Cyberbullying is the use of information technology to repeatedly harm or harass other people in a deliberate manner. According to U.S. Legal Definitions, Cyber-bullying could be limited to posting rumors or gossips about a person in the internet bringing about hatred in other’s minds; or it may go to the extent of personally identifying victims and publishing materials severely defaming and humiliating them.

With the increase in use of these technologies, cyberbullying has become increasingly common, especially among teenagers. Awareness has also risen, due in part to high-profile cases like the suicide of Tyler Clementi.


Definition


Legal definition

Cyberbullying is defined in legal glossaries as actions that use information and communication technologies to support deliberate, repeated, and hostile behavior by an individual or group, that is intended to harm another or others.

use of communication technologies for the intention of harming another person use of internet service and mobile technologies such as web pages and discussion groups as well as instant messaging or SMS text messaging with the intention of harming another person.

Examples of what constitutes cyberbullying include communications that seek to intimidate, control, manipulate, put down, falsely discredit, or humiliate the recipient. The actions are deliberate, repeated, and hostile behavior intended to harm another. Cyberbullying has been defined by The National Crime Prevention Council: “When the Internet, cell phones or other devices are used to send or post text or images intended to hurt or embarrass another person."

A cyberbully may be a person whom the target knows or an online stranger. A cyberbully may be anonymous and may solicit involvement of other people online who do not even know the target. This is known as a "digital pile-on."


Cyberbullying vs. cyberstalking

The practice of cyberbullying is not limited to children and, while the behavior is identified by the same definition when practiced by adults, the distinction in age groups sometimes refers to the abuse as cyberstalking or cyberharassment when perpetrated by adults toward adults.Common tactics used by cyberstalkers are performed in public forums, social media or online information sites and are intended to threaten a victim's earnings, employment, reputation, or safety. Behaviors may include encouraging others to harass the victim and trying to affect a victim's online participation. Many cyberstalkers try to damage the reputation of their victim and turn other people against them.

Cyberstalking may include false accusations, monitoring, making threats, identity theft, damage to data or equipment, the solicitation of minors for sex, or gathering information in order to harass. A repeated pattern of such actions and harassment against a target by an adult constitutes cyberstalking. Cyberstalking often features linked patterns of online and offline behavior. There are consequences of law in offline stalking and online stalking, and cyberstalkers can be put in jail. Cyberstalking is a form of cyberbullying.


Comparison to traditional bullying

Certain characteristics inherent in online technologies increase the likelihood that they will be exploited for deviant purposes. Unlike physical bullying, electronic bullies can remain virtually anonymous using temporary email accounts, pseudonyms in chat rooms, instant messaging programs, cell-phone text messaging, and other Internet venues to mask their identity; this perhaps frees them from normative and social constraints on their behavior.

Additionally, electronic forums often lack supervision. While chat hosts regularly observe the dialog in some chat rooms in an effort to police conversations and evict offensive individuals, personal messages sent between users (such as electronic mail or text messages) are viewable only by the sender and the recipient, thereby falling outside the regulatory reach of such authorities. In addition, when teenagers know more about computers and cellular phones than their parents or guardians, they are therefore able to operate the technologies without concern that a parent will discover their experience with bullying (whether as a victim or offender).

Another factor is the inseparability of a cellular phone from its owner, making that person a perpetual target for victimization. Users often need to keep their phone turned on for legitimate purposes, which provides the opportunity for those with malicious intentions to engage in persistent unwelcome behavior such as harassing telephone calls or threatening and insulting statements via the cellular phone’s text messaging capabilities. Cyberbullying thus penetrates the walls of a home, traditionally a place where victims could seek refuge from other forms of bullying. Compounding this infiltration into the home life of the cyberbully victim is the unique way in which the internet can "create simultaneous sensations of exposure (the whole world is watching) and alienation (no one understands)." For youth who experience shame or self-hatred, this effect is dangerous because it can lead to extreme self-isolation.

One possible advantage for victims of cyberbullying over traditional bullying is that they may sometimes be able to avoid it simply by avoiding the site/chat room in question. Email addresses and phone numbers can be changed; in addition, most email accounts now offer services that will automatically filter out messages from certain senders before they even reach the inbox, and phones offer similar caller ID functions.

However, this does not protect against all forms of cyberbullying. Publishing of defamatory material about a person on the internet is extremely difficult to prevent and once it is posted, many people or archiving services can potentially download and copy it, at which point it is almost impossible to remove from the Internet. Some perpetrators may post victims' photos, or victims' edited photos featuring defaming captions or pasting victims' faces on nude bodies. Examples of famous forums for disclosing personal data or photos to "punish" the "enemies" include the Hong Kong Golden Forum, Livejournal, and more recently JuicyCampus. Despite policies that describe cyberbullying as a violation of the terms of service, many social networking Web sites have been used to that end.

Cyberbullying is sometimes used by the targets of bullying to retaliate against their bullies, since factors such as anonymity, absence of the bully's supporting friends, and irrelevancy of physical strength in the online environment, make it safer to counterattack the bully by that means. Nancy E. Willard notes in Cyberbullying and Cyberthreats, "Unfortunately, students who retaliate against bullies online can be mistakenly perceived as the source of the problem. This can be especially true under circumstances where the original victimization left no tangible evidence, but the cyberbullying did."


Methods used

Manuals to educate the public, teachers and parents summarize, "Cyberbullying is being cruel to others by sending or posting harmful material using a cell phone or the internet." Research, legislation and education in the field are ongoing. Basic definitions and guidelines to help recognize and cope with what is regarded as abuse of electronic communications have been identified.

Cyberbullying involves repeated behavior with intent to harm.

Cyberbullying is perpetrated through harassment, cyberstalking, denigration (sending or posting cruel rumors and falsehoods to damage reputation and friendships), impersonation, and exclusion (intentionally and cruelly excluding someone from an online group) Cyberbullying can be as simple as continuing to send emails or text messages harassing someone who has said they want no further contact with the sender. It may also include public actions such as repeated threats, sexual remarks, pejorative labels (i.e., hate speech) or defamatory false accusations), ganging up on a victim by making the person the subject of ridicule in online forums, hacking into or vandalizing sites about a person, and posting false statements as fact aimed a discrediting or humiliating a targeted person. Cyberbullying could be limited to posting rumors about a person on the internet with the intention of bringing about hatred in others' minds or convincing others to dislike or participate in online denigration of a target. It may go to the extent of personally identifying victims of crime and publishing materials severely defaming or humiliating them.

Cyberbullies may disclose victims' personal data (e.g. real name, home address, or workplace/schools) at websites or forums or may use impersonation, creating fake accounts, comments or sites posing as their target for the purpose of publishing material in their name that defames, discredits or ridicules them. This can leave the cyberbully anonymous which can make it difficult for the offender to be caught or punished for their behavior, although not all cyberbullies maintain their anonymity. Text or instant messages and emails between friends can also constitute cyberbullying if what is said or displayed is hurtful to the participants.

The recent use of mobile applications and rise of smartphones have yielded to a more accessible form of cyberbullying. It is expected that cyberbullying via these platforms will be associated with bullying via mobile phones to a greater extent than exclusively through other more stationary internet platforms. In addition, the combination of cameras and Internet access and the instant availability of these modern smartphone technologies yield themselves to specific types of cyberbullying not found in other platforms. It is likely that those cyberbullied via mobile devices will experience a wider range of cyberbullying types than those exclusively bullied elsewhere.


In social media
Cyberbullying can take place on social media sites such as Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter. “By 2008, 93% of young people between the ages of 12 and 17 were online. In fact, youth spend more time with media than any single other activity besides sleeping.” There are many risks attached to social media sites, and cyberbullying is one of the larger risks. One million children were harassed, threatened or subjected to other forms of cyberbullying on Facebook during the past year, while 90 percent of social-media-using teens who have witnessed online cruelty say they have ignored mean behavior on social media, and 35 percent have done this frequently. 95 percent of social-media-using teens who have witnessed cruel behavior on social networking sites say they have seen others ignoring the mean behavior, and 55 percent witness this frequently. ”The most recent case of cyber-bullying and illegal activity on Facebook involved a memorial page for the young boys who lost their lives to suicide due to anti-gay bullying. The page quickly turned into a virtual grave desecration and platform condoning gay teen suicide and the murdering of homosexuals. Photos were posted of executed homosexuals, desecrated photos of the boys who died and supposed snuff photos of gays who have been murdered. Along with this were thousands of comments encouraging murder sprees against gays, encouragement of gay teen suicide, death threats etc. In addition, the page continually exhibited pornography to minors.”


In gaming

Sexual harassment as a form of cyberbullying is common in video game culture. A study by the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology suggests that this harassment is due in part to the portrayal of women in video games. This harassment generally involves slurs directed towards women, sex role stereotyping, and overaggressive language.

In one case, in which Capcom sponsored an internet-streamed reality show pitting fighting game experts against each other for a prize of $25,000, one female gamer forfeited a match due to intense harassment. The coach of the opposing team, Aris Bakhtanians, stated, "The sexual harassment is part of the culture. If you remove that from the fighting game community, it's not the fighting game community… it doesn't make sense to have that attitude. These things have been established for years."

A study from National Sun Yat-sen University observed that children who enjoyed violent video games were far more likely to both experience and perpetrate cyberbullying.

Law enforcement: cyberbullying, cyberstalking and electronic harassment A majority of states have laws that explicitly include electronic forms of communication within stalking or harassment laws.

Most law enforcement agencies have cyber-crime units and often Internet stalking is treated with more seriousness than reports of physical stalking. Help and resources can be searched by state or area.


Schools

The safety of schools is increasingly becoming a focus of state legislative action. There was an increase in cyberbullying enacted legislation between 2006–2010. Initiatives and curriclulum requirements also exist in the UK (the Ofsted eSafety guidance) and Australia (Overarching Learning Outcome 13). In 2012, a group of teens in New Haven, Connecticut developed an app to help fight bullying. Called "Back Off Bully" (BOB), the web app is an anonymous resource for computer, smart phone or iPad. When someone witnesses or is the victim of bullying, they can immediately report the incident. The app asks questions about time, location and how the bullying is happening. As well as providing positive action and empowerment over an incident, the reported information helps by going to a data base where administrators study it. Common threads are spotted so others can intervene and break the bully's pattern. BOB, the brainchild of fourteen teens in a design class, is being considered as standard operating procedure at schools across the state.


Protection for victims of any age

There are laws that only address online harassment of children or focus on child predators as well as laws that protect adult cyberstalking victims, or victims of any age. Currently, there are 45 cyberstalking (and related) laws on the books.

While some sites specialize in laws that protect victims age 18 and under, Working to Halt Online Abuse is a help resource containing a list of current and pending cyberstalking-related United States federal and state laws. It also lists those states that do not have laws yet and related laws from other countries. The Global Cyber Law Database (GCLD) aims to become the most comprehensive and authoritative source of cyber laws for all countries.


Children and adolescents

Kids report being mean to each other online beginning as young as 2nd grade. According to research, boys initiate mean online activity earlier than girls do. However, by middle school, girls are more likely to engage in cyberbullying than boys. Whether the bully is male or female, his or her purpose is to intentionally embarrass others, harass, intimidate, or make threats online to one another. This bullying occurs via email, text messaging, posts to blogs, and web sites.

The National Crime Prevention Association lists tactics often used by teen cyberbullies.

Pretend they are other people online to trick others

Spread lies and rumors about victims

Trick people into revealing personal information

Send or forward mean text messages

Post pictures of victims without their consent

Studies in the psychosocial effects of cyberspace have begun to monitor the impacts cyberbullying may have on the victims, and the consequences it may lead to. Consequences of cyberbullying are multi-faceted, and affect online and offline behavior. Research on adolescents reported that changes in the victims' behavior as a result of cyberbullying could be positive. Victims "created a cognitive pattern of bullies, which consequently helped them to recognize aggressive people." However, the Journal of Psychosocial Research on Cyberspace abstract reports critical impacts in almost all of the respondents’, taking the form of lower self-esteem, loneliness, disillusionment, and distrust of people. The more extreme impacts were self-harm. Children have killed each other and committed suicide after having been involved in a cyberbullying incident.

The most current research in the field defines cyberbullying as "an aggressive, intentional act or behaviour that is carried out by a group or an individual repeatedly and over time against a victim who cannot easily defend him or herself" (Smith & Slonje, 2007, p. 249).Though the use of sexual remarks and threats are sometimes present in cyberbullying, it is not the same as sexual harassment, typically occurs among peers, and does not necessarily involve sexual predators.

Some cases of digital self-harm have been reported, where an individual engages in cyberbullying against themselves.


Adults

Stalking online has criminal consequences just as physical stalking. A target's understanding of why cyberstalking is happening is helpful to remedy and take protective action to restore remedy. Cyberstalking is an extension of physical stalking. Among factors that motivate stalkers are: envy, pathological obsession (professional or sexual), unemployment or failure with own job or life; intention to intimidate and cause others to feel inferior; the stalker is delusional and believes he/she "knows" the target; the stalker wants to instill fear in a person to justify his/her status; belief they can get away with it (anonymity). UK National Workplace Bullying Advice Line theorizes that bullies harass victims in order to make up for inadequacies in their own lives.

The US federal cyberstalking law is designed to prosecute people for using electronic means to repeatedly harass or threaten someone online. There are resources dedicated to assisting adult victims deal with cyberbullies legally and effectively. One of the steps recommended is to record everything and contact police.


Research on preventative legislation

Researchers suggest that programs be put in place for prevention of cyberbullying. These programs would be incorporated into school curricula and would include online safety and instruction on how to use the Internet properly. This could teach the victim proper methods of potentially avoiding the cyberbully, such as blocking messages or increasing the security on their computer.

Within this suggested school prevention model, even in a perfect world, not one crime can be stopped fully. That is why it is suggested that within this prevention method, effective coping strategies should be introduced and adopted. As with any crime, people learn to cope with what has happened, and the same goes for cyberbullying. People can adopt coping strategies to combat future cyberbullying events. An example of a coping strategy would be a social support group composed of various victims of cyberbullying. That could come together and share experiences, with a formal speaker leading the discussion. Something like a support group can allow students to share their stories, and allows that feeling of them being alone to be removed.

Teachers should be involved in all prevention educational models, as they are essentially the "police" of the classroom. Most cyberbullying often goes unreported as the victim feels nothing can be done to help in their current situation. However, if given the proper tools with preventative measures and more power in the classroom, teachers can be of assistance to the problem of cyber-bullying. If the parent, teacher, and victim can work together, a possible solution or remedy can be found.

There have been many legislative attempts to facilitate the control of bullying and cyberbullying. The problem is due to the fact that some existing legislation is incorrectly thought to be tied to bullying and cyberbullying (terms such as libel and slander). The problem is they do not directly apply to it nor define it as its own criminal behavior. Anti-cyberbullying advocates even expressed concern about the broad scope of applicability of some of the bills attempted to be passed.

In the United States, attempts were made to pass legislation against cyberbullying. Few states attempted to pass broad sanctions in an effort to prohibit cyberbullying. Problem include how to define cyberbullying and cyberstalking, and if charges are pressed, whether it violates the bully's freedom of speech. B. Walther has said that "Illinois is the only state to criminalize 'electronic communication(s) sent for the purpose of harassing another person' when the activity takes place outside a public school setting." Again this came under fire for infringement on freedom of speech.


Harmful effects

Research had demonstrated a number of serious consequences of cyberbullying victimization. For example, victims have lower self-esteem, increased suicidal ideation, and a variety of emotional responses, retaliating, being scared, frustrated, angry, and depressed. People have reported that Cyberbullying can be more harmful than traditional bullying because there is no escaping it.

One of the most damaging effects is that a victim begins to avoid friends and activities, often the very intention of the cyberbully.

Cyberbullying campaigns are sometimes so damaging that victims have committed suicide. There are at least four examples in the United States where cyberbullying has been linked to the suicide of a teenager. The suicide of Megan Meier is a recent example that led to the conviction of the adult perpetrator of the attacks.

According to Lucie Russell, director of campaigns, policy and participation at youth mental health charity Young Minds, young people who suffer from mental disorder are vulnerable to cyberbullying as they are sometimes unable to shrug it off:

When someone says nasty things healthy people can filter that out, they're able to put a block between that and their self-esteem. But mentally unwell people don't have the strength and the self-esteem to do that, to separate it, and so it gets compiled with everything else. To them, it becomes the absolute truth – there's no filter, there's no block. That person will take that on, take it as fact.

Social media has allowed bullies to disconnect from the impact they may be having on others.


Intimidation, emotional damage, suicide

According to the Cyberbullying Research Center, "there have been several high‐profile cases involving teenagers taking their own lives in part because of being harassed and mistreated over the Internet, a phenomenon we have termed cyberbullicide – suicide indirectly or directly influenced by experiences with online aggression."

Cyberbullying is an intense form of psychological abuse, whose victims are more than twice as likely to suffer from mental disorders compared to traditional bullying.

The reluctance youth have in telling an authority figure about instances of cyberbullying has led to fatal outcomes. At least three children between the ages of 12 and 13 have committed suicide due to depression brought on by cyberbullying, according to reports by USA Today and the Baltimore Examiner. These would include the suicide of Ryan Halligan and the suicide of Megan Meier, the latter of which resulted in United States v. Lori Drew.

More recently, teenage suicides tied to cyberbullying have become more prevalent. The latest victim of cyberbullying through the use of mobile applications was Rebecca Ann Sedwick, who committed suicide after being terrorized through mobile applications such as Ask.fm, Kik Messenger and Voxer.


Adults and the workplace

Cyberbullying is not limited to personal attacks or children. Cyberharassment, referred to as cyberstalking when involving adults, takes place in the workplace or on company web sites, blogs or product reviews.

Cyberbullying can occur in product reviews along with other consumer-generated data are being more closely monitored and flagged for content that is deemed malicious and biased as these sites have become tools to cyberbully by way of malicious requests for deletion of articles, vandalism, abuse of administrative positions, and ganging up on products to post "false" reviews and vote products down.

Cyberstalkers use posts, forums, journals and other online means to present a victim in a false and unflattering light. The question of liability for harassment and character assassination is particularly salient to legislative protection since the original authors of the offending material are, more often than not, not only anonymous, but untraceable. Nevertheless, abuse should be consistently brought to company staffers' attention.


Recognition of adult and workplace cyberbullying tactics

Common tactics used by cyberstalkers is to vandalize a search engine or encyclopedia, to threaten a victim's earnings, employment, reputation, or safety. Various companies provide cases of cyber-stalking (involving adults) follow the pattern of repeated actions against a target. While motives vary, whether romantic, a business conflict of interest, or personal dislike, the target is commonly someone whose life the stalker sees or senses elements lacking in his or her own life. Web-based products or services leveraged against cyberstalkers in the harassment or defamation of their victims.

The source of the defamation seems to come from four types of online information purveyors: Weblogs, industry forums or boards, and commercial Web sites. Studies reveal that while some motives are personal dislike, there is often direct economic motivation by the cyberstalker, including conflict of interest, and investigations reveal the responsible party is an affiliate or supplier of a competitor, or the competitor itself.


Global cyberbullying

Cyberbullying is not necessarily confined to a particular location or even to a region. Climate scientists and climate activists, for example, may be confronted with abusive emails from any location in the world. These emails may be responses to public statements that merely report the widely accepted findings of climate science and their implications for the future production of greenhouse gases by humans and for the survival of future generations. Such emails may be sent in response to suggestions posted on climate denial websites, which are effectively requests to engage in cyberbullying. Climate scientists and climate activists may also be confronted with libelous Internet reports that aim to silence them or destroy their reputations.