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Unlike other forms of bullying, cyberbullying follows victims wherever they go. Electronically circulated messages are difficult to control and they reach a wide audience very quickly. Once in 'cyber-space' communications are hard to delete.

Technology has a distancing effect, meaning that those responsible don't always understand the effect of their actions. Bystanders quickly become perpetrators by passing on humiliating and hurtful messages or images.

The traditional profile of the bully and victim may not apply as the cyberbully won't necessarily hold a position of power over or be stronger or older than the victim. It is their technological capability which gives them power.

On a more positive note, cyberbullying leaves a digital footprint which can be traced and used as evidence - hence the important message re not deleting abusive messages.

Incidents of cyberbullying should be recorded and monitored in the same way as other forms of bullying. This information can be used to inform policy and practice.

Unit contents

  • What is cyberbullying?
  • Forms of cyberbullying
  • A case study
  • Cyber safety dilemmas
  • Prevention, response and plenary