Cyber bullying is defined as the harassment or bothering of someone through electronic devices such as instant messaging, text messaging, e-mail, message boards, chat rooms, or any other means of electronic communication. Millions of people are bothered by these bullies every day.
There are many different ways that cyber bullying can take place on the internet besides an email. Internet social profiles like MySpace, Facebook, Xanga, and others allow users to post comments to people so everyone can read. The only moderators for the comments are the person who receives the message or the person that writes it.
There are many examples of cyber bullying. These include sending cruel, vicious, and sometimes threatening messages, breaking into an e-mail account and sending vicious or embarrassing material to others, or engaging someone in IM (instant messaging), tricking that person into revealing sensitive personal information, and forwarding that information to others.
However, do people actually understand what cyber bullying and is there a line that must be crossed for it to be considered bullying?
"I think any type of personal attack over the internet or any type of mocking is uncalled for. Since you are typing and not actually speaking, it is hard to differentiate and can even unintentionally hurt someone. I don't think it is a fair way to attack someone and if it is done online there is no real way to work it out or display emotion properly," said
"I consider it to be harassing someone over the internet with malicious intent, not like teasing between friends," said
"I think in general, courteous conversation is the only kind that's not going to be some form of bullying on the Internet, because if you choose not to be present online, the person cannot defend themselves," said Vin St. John, 19, of Manalapan. He currently has a MySpace, Facebook, Purevolume, Xanga, and AIM. He said that he currently hasn't experienced any serious forms of cyber bullying. However, he does know that he has said things over the internet when he was younger that were mean.
Neither can recall a situation of where there friends were hurt over the internet. However, there have been instances where students have been cyber bullied before.
"…threatening to kick someone's a$$ and mean it, but them not show up, then yes. But we were for real, not "(cyber) bullying," said
"Before it gets to that point, I normally block the person or delete them," she said. She said that she doesn't like to start controversy if it can be avoided. However, she said that she does joke and say mean things to her friends, but in a comical way and by no mean should be taken as malicious.
Whatever the case is, cyber bullying is wrong, whether intentional or not, and can hurt someone no matter what the intention of a certain comment was.
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