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Cyberbullying is a form of bullying that takes place over digital platforms. These platforms include devices such as cell phones, computers, tablets, and laptops, as well as communication applications such as social media sites, online chat services, text messages, public forums, and other websites.

There is no one form of cyberbullying. Therefore, it is essential to identify what constitutes cyberbullying. Posting harassing messages, sending threatening emails, posting mean tweets, spreading rumors on multiple social media sites, posting embarrassing pictures and videos online, creating insinuating memes, stealing information from online profiles and posting them in a damaging manner, and creating fake profiles misrepresenting a person are a small but representative subset of cyberbullying.

Access to social media and other online content is widely prevelent globally. Results of multiple surveys suggest that more than 50% of young adults have been cyberbullied and more than 50% have taken part in cyberbullying. Many of these individuals regret their participation in cyberbullying.

Cyberbullying Infographic

Who is more likely to get cyberbullied? Why are they cyberbullied?

Bullying can happen anywhere and to anyone. Some groups—such as youth with disabilities, socially isolated youth, and minorities may be at an increased risk of being bullied. Boys and girls are equally likely to be bullied; However, boys are more likely to be threatened by cyberbullies than girls. Bullies are experts at finding our 'hot buttons': things that flip us. Cyberbullies identify such things, exaggerate them, and use them to shame us, putting the individual being bullied into a negative headspace.

The Lasting Effects of Cyberbullying

Not unlike bullying in the physical space, cyberbullying can be very damaging. The main difference is that cyberbullying can have lasting damage both online and offline. Since media can be accessed virtually anywhere, cyberbullying victims may find it hard to escape. Another effect of cyberbullying is that the bullies may publish the victim's private information, which could end up in the hands of cybercriminals and predators who may further victimize the already battered victims of cyberbullying, who may have already found themselves isolated from groups. Cyberbullying can have negative effects on one's mental health, leading to depression, anxiety, or even suicide.

The solution may seem to be deleting these harmful posts. But are these posts ever really gone? The short answer is no. Once something is on the net, you can never guarantee that the information can be truly deleted. In fact, the majority of Social Media Companies keep backup copies. In addition, there is the possibility that the post could have been screenshotted or shared through other means. These things can resurface any time in the most unexpected manner.

How We Can Prevent Cyberbullying

• Don't respond to the bullies. If someone bullies you, remember that your reaction is usually exactly what the bully wants. Responding to messages may provoke even more messages.
• Don’t bully back
• Don't delete any evidence. You may want to delete any harmful posts, but remember that you don't want to delete any evidence that shows the bullying. In fact, it is a good idea to screenshot any such posts. This can be used later to find the bully and to report to the appropriate authorities.
• Talk to an adult you trust. Tell the adult about the bullying and how that makes you feel. The adult can be a parent, teacher, principal, coach, or school advisor or counselor. Remember that adults are there to help you!
• Report the cyberbullying. You can report the bullying to the Social Media site administrators. You can also work with adults to file a report against the bully.
• Be a friend, not a bystander. If you see other kids being cyberbullied, you can do something. Encourage them to tell an adult and assure them that no one deserves to be bullied.



  • More than 40% of the teens get cyberbullied.
  • More than 70% have witnessed cyberbullying.
  • More than 3/4 of the victims were bullied because of their appearance.
  • About 1/4 of the victims were bullied because of their race or religion.