A Brief Note On Cyberbullying And Its Effects On Society

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2.0 Literature Review
2.1 Definition
Various researchers and bodies have taken different but closely related definitions of this phenomenon. Dueck (2006) uses the definition found on Cyberbullying.com, which seems to be one of the most comprehensive. It defines cyberbullying as “the use of information and communication technologies such as e-mail, cell phone and pager text messages, instant messaging, defamatory personal websites, and defamatory online personal polling websites, to support deliberate, repeated, and hostile behavior by an individual or group, that is intended to harm others”
2.2 Forms of Cyberbullying
One of the most widely studied aspects of cyberbullying is the different forms it takes. Hoff and Shariff (2007) note
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Impersonation is another form of Cyberbullying. The bully assumes the identity of another person with malicious intent. Closely related to this is outing where someone gains personal information about the victim using impersonation. The bully then publicizes that information with the aim of humiliating the victim. There is also cyberstalking, which involves following the victim online in an unjustified way (Beran and Li, 2005; Li, 2005). Dueck (2006) also adds cyberostracism to the list. This is where a victim is ostracized online to humiliate him or her.
2.4 Causes and Effects
Dueck (2006), Shariff and Hoffman (2007), Wiseman (2011), WG3 COST Action IS0801 (2012) outline some of the causes and effects of cyberbullying. Online bullying may happen for several reasons. First, bullying by popular kids happens because they want to maintain their popularity. Such people use bullying to validate their popularity. Often, this requires the support of backers and henchmen who remain on the sidelines cheering actively and passively as the bully brings down the victim. The other group of online bullies is people who are less socially successful. This group forms the bulk of cyber bullies. They find solace in bullying as it helps them cope with their low self-esteem. Their objective is to fit in with their peers and bullying provides a chance to help them achieve this goal. Cyberbullying requires even less courage than
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