Cyberbullying Overview

For most youth, the internet is all about socializing, and while most of these social interactions are positive, some use the technology to intimidate and harass others – a phenomenon known as cyberbullying.

How Kids Cyberbully

Verbal or emotional abuse is the most prevalent form of bullying online. Social bullying, another pervasive form – particularly with girls – includes social exclusion and spreading gossip and rumours.

Who Cyberbullies and Why

It’s important to note that there is no single profile of a child who bullies. While some fit the traditional image of someone who is generally aggressive and has poor impulse control, others may be very sensitive to social nuances and are able to use that understanding against their targets. Others may be motivated simply by boredom.

Strategies for Fighting Cyberbullying

Cyberbullying is everyone’s business and the best response is a pro-active or preventative one. From the outset, we can reduce the risks associated with internet use if we engage in an open discussion with our children about their online activities and set up rules that will grow along with them. Cyberbullying is strongly connected with moral disengagement – the ways we can fool ourselves into thinking it’s all right to do something we know is wrong or to not do something we know is right – so activating kids’ empathy and moral judgment is a key aspect of preventing both offline and online bullying.

Cyberbullying: The Role of Witnesses

Witnesses play a critical role when they witness acts and forms of bullying” and may suffer negative effects that are as bad as or worse than those suffered by the target. At the same time, there is evidence that youth who witness some kinds of cyberbullying may actually be more likely to perpetrate it themselves later.

Cyberbullying Posters

These posters are freely available to print and hang in your schools, in libraries, or community centres.