Cyber-bullying is the deliberate offending, threatening, exposing, or harassing of others through the Internet and mobile phone services over an extended period of time. The perpetrator - also called "bully" is looking for a victim who cannot or only difficult to defend against the attacks. There is thus an imbalance of power between the perpetrator and the victim, which the perpetrator exploits while the victim is socially isolated.
Cyber-bullying takes place on the Internet (e.g. in social networks, in video portals) and via smartphones (for example through instant messaging applications such as WhatsApp, annoying calls, etc.).
Often the bully acts anonymously, so the victim does not know who the attacks came from. Especially in cyber-bullying among children and adolescents, victims and perpetrators know each other but mostly from the "real" personal environment such as school, neighborhood, village or ethnic community. The victims therefore almost always suspect who might be behind the attacks. If you or your child is one of the victims, you should contact to cyberbullying expert for further actions.
Special characteristics of cyberbullying:
Cyber-bullying takes place around the clock: The harassment does not end after school or work. Wherever digital media are used, cyberbullying takes place even at home. Internet or cell phone is no longer to use is usually not an option for those affected.
Cyberbullying reaches a large audience: rumors or verbal abuse published on the Internet are spreading rapidly to a large audience. Especially common is the spreading of embarrassing photos or videos. However, content posted once online can hardly be removed.
Cyber-Bullys act anonymously: Often the perpetrators believe that they are anonymous on the Internet.
No clear distinction between roles: The roles of perpetrator and victim are not always clearly separated. Attacks can return as counterattacks and make the offender victim.
"Unintentional" cyber-bullying: Not every person feels the same: what is funny for one person can be offensive to someone else, so jokingly called "clownish photos" can have unpleasant consequences.
Especially because the bully is mostly from the immediate vicinity of the victim, the cyber-bullying often goes hand in hand with bullying in the offline world: Part of the bullying continues online, partly bullying starts online and then continues in school life. For this reason, bullying and cyberbullying are inseparable in the majority of cases.
If you are one of the victims, do not hesitate to contact the bullying expert at the earliest.