CyberBullying Or CyberBuddies? Can Technology Teams Help Bring Greater Peace and Prosperity to the World? Yes, They Can! Part Two

Tulane SSWLast week, courtesy of The Tulane University School of Social Work, our RE@L Blog brought you Part One of of a Three-Part Resource Guide on the topic CyberBullying: “What is Cyberbullying?”

Click the graphic at the left to read Part One if you missed it.

Unknown-3Our readers discovered that this Cyberbullying blight across our K12 communities has diminished the many, positive results of technology everywhere, and most particularly, in K12 education.

Tens of thousands of students have been subjected to serious bullying by others, often resulting in serious depression, mental illness and even suicide. Incredibly, we often find that those who bully others, are also bullied themselves. It has become a disease that keeps on spreading more disease!

imagesCyberbullying is a contagious spread of abusing others by using the power of technology and social media to belittle, diminish, hurt and endanger vulnerable youth everywhere.

Educators, parents and communities must work together everywhere to counteract this spreading malaise and refocus our youth instead on the positive powers of Cyber-Teaming and Cyber-Collaboration.

Now that, having read Part One, we have a better idea of what CyberBullying is, let’s examine the many tragic examples found in schools and communities around the world! To eradicate it, we need to know it when we see it!

Read on for Tulane University’s School of Social Work, Chapter 2: “Examples of Cyberbullying:”

“Cyberbullying, because of its reach into the personal lives of victims, can impact every aspect of life, and affect everything from school performance to relationships with peers and family members.

imagesThat’s why it’s so important to look at examples of cyberbullying and remember that these victims (many of whom have committed suicide) had their whole lives ahead of them—lives that were destroyed by cyberbullying.

Because there are so many mobile devices, digital platforms and mediums that can be used for bullying, several different types of cyberbullying have emerged. It’s important to differentiate and understand them, although any type of cyberbullying can cause the victim to become depressed, anxious, or self-harm.

Types of Cyberbullying

images-31. Social Media Bullying

Cyberbullies thrive on social media because the entire social network is interconnected, and there are opportunities to shame their victims in front of their social circles.

Mean comments, making fun of the victim publicly on social media, gossiping, and even threatening through private messages are all ways social bullying occurs.

While some of these platforms allow users to block specific people from communicating with them, cyberbullying can still continue even if the bully has been blocked by the victim. They can still spread malicious rumors, share humiliating pictures, and make fun of the victim to their other connections, continuing their patterns of social media bullying without the victim even being directly accessible.



2. Harassment

Harassment is an extremely common component of most types of cyberbullying. This is because harassment is the repeated and unrelenting negative threats, mean comments, and other hurtful activity, which is a defining characteristic of cyberbullying: repetition.

Harassment can occur over all different channels, including text messaging, instant messaging, as part of social media bullying, or on gaming platforms.

Specifically, harassment can mean sharing private communications online with others, targeting the victim relentlessly in group communications, or simply sending hurtful private messages.

An extreme but common form of harassment is posing or impersonating. The bully creates a fake profile of the victim and poses as them (often on dating sites), posting their name, phone number, and other personal details, putting the victim at risk for further harassment and danger. 

3. Unknown-3Flaming

Instead of taking place over private messaging or texts, flaming usually occurs in a more public setting online, such as a chat group, gaming chat, or forum. The cyberbully (or bullies) send hurtful, angry, or shaming messages to the victim directly, but within the group so others can see.

In addition to the effect of the hurtful message itself, the victim has also lost some of their credibility and reputation within the group, and may feel like they cannot be part of the community anymore.

Unknown-54. Exclusion

Social bullying doesn’t even have to include talking to the victim—sometimes, cyberbullies torment their victims by doing the opposite.

Instead of directing harassment at the victim directly, cyberbullies sometimes use exclusion, deliberately cutting their victim out of an online group. It’s common for the group to then make fun of the victim and harass them with malicious comments and discuss the victim among themselves.

Additional Resources

  • Cyberbullying Checklist – A guide to help individuals find out if they are being cyberbullied.
  • Types of Cyberbullying – Looking for more information on the different kinds of cyberbullying? Check out this resource by cybersecurity leaders The Kaspersky Lab.
  • Negative Effects of Cyberbullying – A quick overview of cyberbullying and the negative effects that it can have on victims.”


Stay tuned for the Chapter 3 on Cyberbullying coming soon to our RE@L Blog.

Keep these Anti-Bullying Guides and pass them on to your colleagues and communities.

These three blogs provide a great resource for creating more CyberBuddies. 

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Tom King & Dale LaFrenz

Dr. Tom King has served for over 40 years as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Saint Thomas in the School of Education. The Saturn School of Tomorrow, formerly a St. Paul Public School, and his visionary response to educational reform, was a lighthouse on the frontier of school change. Tom was an experienced high school teacher of mathematics, a school administrator, and Director of Technology for the St. Paul MN Public Schools. He is also a member of the RE@L Team. Dr. Dale LaFrenz is Chairman of RE@L and one of the founders of MECC Software who brought “Oregon Trail” to millions of K12 kids everywhere. He has written extensively on the history and evolution of Ed Tech. His work in forging new paths for MECC’S “edutainment" software was instrumental in connecting school-markets, kids, teachers and consumer-markets/kids/parents, and now serves as the new launching pad for RE@L apps and software.