Cyberbullying: Exploring Online Bullying and Means of Preventing It

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Bullying is a national public health problem affecting millions of students. Bullying that involves emotional or physical intimidation is associated with a major public health concern facing youth today. With the rapid increase in electronic or online communication, bullying is no longer limited to schools; cyberspace has been implicated as a new risky environment for bullying. This paper will review what is known about cyberbullying and what can be done to prevent it.

Bullying can be described as repeated harmful events, which over time are directed at usual persons that are carried out by one or several other people who are stronger than the victim. Harmful events can be aggressive physical contact in the form of fights and shoving, and verbal threats. Behaviors of a bully will consist of actions such as hitting, kicking, pushing, teasing, or threatening an individual, also bullying can be relational social segregation, harming friendships, spreading rumors, although physical bullying cannot happen by the use of technology, both verbal and relational bullying can be accomplished using a variety of technological tools. The most complete definition is that of Bill Belsey (2004): it sates that cyberbullying involves the use of information and communication technologies such as e-mail, cell phone and pager text messages, instant messaging, defamatory personal web sites, and insulting online personal polling web sites, to support deliberate, repeated, and hostile behavior by an individual or group, that is intended to harm others.

The majority of bullies have common characteristics; they are children who are popular in school, some of them are on the athletic teams at schools. Bullies have the ability to attra...

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