Cyberbullying or cyberharassment is a form of bullying or harassment using electronic means. Cyberbullying and cyberharassment are also known as online bullying. It has become increasingly common, especially among teenagers, as the digital sphere has expanded and technology has advanced. Cyberbullying is when someone, typically a teenager, bullies or harasses others on the internet and other digital spaces, particularly on social media sites. Harmful bullying behavior can include posting rumors, threats, sexual remarks, a victims' personal information, or pejorative labels (i.e. hate speech). Bullying or harassment can be identified by repeated behavior and an intent to harm. Victims of cyberbullying may experience lower self-esteem, increased suicidal ideation, and various negative emotional responses, including being scared, frustrated, angry, or depressed.
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Cyberbullying is in many cases an extension of already existing traditional bullying. Students who are bullied via the Internet have, in most cases, also been bullied in other more traditional ways before (e.g., physically or verbally). There are few students who are bullied exclusively over the Internet; these cyber victims are often physically stronger students, which causes bullies to prefer online confrontations over face-to-face contact at school.
Awareness in the United States has risen in the 2010s, due in part to high-profile cases. Several US states and other countries have passed laws to combat cyberbullying. Some are designed to specifically target teen cyberbullying, while others extend from the scope of physical harassment. In cases of adult cyberharassment, these reports are usually filed beginning with local police. The laws differ by area or state.
Research has demonstrated a number of serious consequences of cyberbullying victimisation. Specific statistics on the negative effects of cyberbullying differ by country and other demographics. Some researchers point out there could be some way to use modern computer techniques to determine and stopping cyberbullying.
Internet trolling is a common form of bullying that takes place in an online community (such as online gaming or social media) in order to elicit a reaction or disruption, or simply just for someone's own personal amusement. Cyberstalking is another form of bullying or harassment that uses electronic communications to stalk a victim; this may pose a credible threat to the victim.
Not all negative interaction online or on social media can be attributed to cyberbullying. Research suggests that there are also interactions online that result in peer pressure, which can have a negative, positive, or neutral impact on those involved.