Cyber Bullying and Online Harassment

Cyber Bullying and Online Harassment

Cyber Bullying: Definition and Impact

Cyberbullying refers to the use of information technology to repeatedly harm or harass others in a deliberate manner. According to U.S. Legal Definitions, cyberbullying can range from spreading rumors or gossip about an individual online to explicitly identifying victims and publishing materials that criticize and humiliate them. With the increasing use of technology, cyberbullying has become more common, particularly among teenagers. Heightened awareness of the issue has been fueled by prominent cases such as the suicide of Tyler Clementi.

Legislative Response and Initiatives

The issue of school safety has become a focus of state legislative action, leading to an increase in the enactment of cyberbullying legislation between 2006 and 2010. Additionally, initiatives and curriculum requirements addressing cyberbullying exist in countries like the UK (e-Safety guidance by Ofsted) and Australia. In 2012, a group of teenagers in New Haven, Connecticut developed an application called "Back Off Bully" (BOB) to combat bullying (Nepstad, 2021). This web application allows users to anonymously report bullying incidents using a computer, smartphone, or iPad. When an incident is reported, the application collects information about the time, location, and nature of the bullying.





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