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Types of Cyberbullying

cyber bullying

What Is Cyberbullying?

Cyberbullying is a pervasive and destructive form of harassment that operates in the digital sphere. It's characterized by the use of electronic communication to bully a person, typically by sending intimidating or threatening messages.

The Different Types of Cyberbullying

Cyberbullying can manifest in various forms, which we will discuss in greater detail below. Here are seven types of cyberbullying:

  1. Trolling involves posting inflammatory comments online to provoke, upset, or cause discomfort to others. While often dismissed as harmless pranks, trolling can lead to significant emotional distress and can contribute to a toxic online environment.
  2. Harassment involves repeatedly sending offensive and malicious messages to someone. This can lead to severe emotional distress and anxiety for the victim. Examples include sending threatening emails or hate-filled comments on social media.
  3. Outing refers to sharing private or sensitive information about someone without their consent. The impact can be incredibly damaging, leading to embarrassment, shame, and loss of reputation. For instance, sharing someone's private messages or photos on a public platform counts as outing. In many cyberbullying case involving outing, a bully will befriend a person in order to maliciously learn private information and secrets.
  4. Doxxing is a severe form of outing where personal identifiable information, such as addresses, phone numbers, or workplace details, is published online. This can lead to real-world harassment or stalking, creating a deep sense of fear and insecurity for the victim.
  5. Exclusion involves deliberately leaving someone out of a group or activity online. This can lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness. An example would be excluding a classmate from a group chat or an online gaming session.
  6. Fraping, which is a mix of the words Facebook and rape, occurs when a person hacks into a person’s online accounts (like Facebook) to share content on their page that is embarrassing, humiliating, and/or false. This type of cyberbullying can also occur if someone gains access after a person leaves their computer or phone open/accessible to others.
  7. Masquerading involves pretending to be another person online without their consent to send or publish harmful or embarrassing content while posing as a fake version of the victim.

Cyberbullying can also turn into cyberstalking, which involves intensely pursuing and spying on someone online, leading to intense fear and paranoia. Cyberstalking is a federal crime and typically involves posting harassing or threatening statements about a person online, tracking a person’s online movements and actions (and making them aware of this tracking), and making threats via online or cellular communication. It can escalate to real-world stalking and physical harm.

Understanding the Effects of Cyberbullying

The effects of cyberbullying are far-reaching and can leave indelible scars on individuals. Research suggests that these effects encompass mental health issues, increased stress and anxiety, depression, violent behavior, and low self-esteem. A study published in BMC Psychiatry also highlighted that victims of cyberbullying are at a higher risk of not only depression but also suicidal ideation.

The physical effects of cyberbullying can manifest in the form of sleep disturbances, loss of appetite, and even psychosomatic symptoms like headaches and stomachaches. The American Society for the Positive Care of Children reports difficulties in concentration and decreased academic performance among victims.

Taking Legal Action Should Your Child Face Cyberbullying

At the Law Offices of Charles R. Gueli, we offer counsel to clients seeking to file a lawsuit because of bullying. Should you wish to take legal action against your child’s bullies or the school (for failure to notify you or intervene), we can discuss your legal rights and options.

Call (516) 628-6402 to schedule an initial consultation today.

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