How is Cyberbullying Different than other forms of bullying?

How is Cyberbullying Different than other forms of bullying?

There are many differences between traditional face to face bullying (hereinafter referred to as “traditional bullying”) and cyberbullying. For example, cyberbullying allows bullying to take place outside of school and on the weekends. Traditional bullying normally occurs in school, during school hours or immediately after school, when children are more likely to be interacting with one another. Conversely, cyberbullying can occur at any time due to the accessibility of the Internet and cell phones.  Additionally, cyberbullying offers a level of anonymity that is not available in traditional bullying. The anonymity gives the cyberbully the confidence to commit mean or hurtful cyber acts (such as the acts mentioned above) that he or she would not possess in a traditional bullying situation.

In contrast to traditional bullying, which is concentrated in one class or school, cyber bulling typically deals with information placed on the Internet, which is widespread. Cyber bullies also have the advantage of choosing many different media through which to bully, such as email, texting, and social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace, which allow them to reach a wider audience. Neighboring schools and students can quickly learn about harmful jokes against another student. The wide dissemination of information allows millions of people to become bystanders to cyberbullying. These bystanders can, in turn, alert others to the information found on Facebook or MySpace, for example, or forward vicious texts or hurtful videos and pictures, making the cyberbullying viral. The many forms that cyberbullying can take, and the many places in which cyberbullying can occur, make it apparent that cyberbullying is not only prevalent among youths today, but will also continue to be a problem in the future.Bethan Noonan, DEVELOPMENTS IN THE LAW: TECHNOLOGY AND SOCIAL MEDIA IN THE 21ST CENTURY: SOLUTIONS FOR MINIMIZING THE RISK TO CHILDREN: CRAFTING LEGISLATION TO PREVENT CYBERBULLYING: THE USE OF EDUCATION, REPORTING, AND THRESHOLD REQUIREMENTS, 27 J. Contemp. Health L. & Pol’y, 330-364 (2011).

See also, Sameer Hinduja & Justin W. Patchin, Cyberbullying Fact Sheet: What you need to know about online aggression, CYBERBULLYING RESEARCH CTR., http://www.cyberbullying.us/cyberbullying_fact-sheet.pdfWhat is Cyberbullying?, NAT’L CRIME PREVENTION COUNCIL, http://www.ncpc.org/topics/cyberbullying/what-is-cyberbullying.