The Problem of Cyberbullying

2482 Words Jul 13th, 2018 10 Pages
Bullying has been a social problem since the beginning of civilized man. There have always been people in society who intentionally harass and abuse others, either physically or emotionally. Traditional bullying was an act of verbal or physical harassment between a bully and their victim. Usually the bully was an individual who held more power or strength than the person they were bullying. In the last couple of decades, bullying has transcended into an act that can be performed virtually through electronic devices. Cyber-bullying is a relatively new term that describes the act of bullying through the use of an electronic medium such as e-mail, instant messaging, websites, or texting. This new form of bullying is no longer …show more content…
On the other hand, anonymity offers adolescents the opportunity to harass other people without repercussion. Cyber-bullying differs from traditional bullying because it forms a proxy between the bully and their victim. It is much easier for adolescents to bully other people when they have the luxury of doing it anonymously via an electronic medium.

Overall it is hard to distinguish what acts constitutes as cyber-bullying. The intent of a person when using electronic devices to socially interact with others plays a major role in identifying cyber-bullying, but it is not the only factor. A person whose intent is malicious is definitely a cyber-bully, but a person whose intent is not malicious could also be a cyber-bully.
Even when the intent is not malicious, a person who is affected negatively by the actions of another person through an electronic medium could just as easily be a victim of cyber-bullying.
Jokes at the expense of others are a prime example of a case where the initial intent may not have been malicious, but the person the joke was directed at can be emotionally harmed. While different cases of cyber-bullying consist of different intent, the cases with the most negative impact are generally those where the intent is malicious.

Cyber-bullying can be classified as either direct or indirect.