What is cyber bullying?
Cyber bullying is bullying that can occur over:
- mobile phone text messages or phone calls
- instant messaging like Messenger, WhatsApp, WeChat
- internet forums or blogs like Reddit
- social media apps such as Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, TikTok and YouTube
- Online gaming, whether they are on a computer, game console, phone or tablet
Cyber bullying is common, with research showing that 1 in 5 Australian young people reported being socially excluded, threatened or abused online. The majority do not tell anyone about it.
Cyber bullying is just as serious as schoolyard bullying, and can result in depression, shame, embarrassment and even suicide. Victims can be cyber bullied anytime and any place, unlike schoolyard bullying where children can find refuge at home.
Over the internet, bullies can remain anonymous or pretend to be someone they are not. This can often result in the bully being less inhibited by normal social constraints. They cannot see the look of pain and humiliation on the victim’s face, and being relatively anonymous, they are less likely to have to deal with the consequences of their actions. Less courage and energy is needed to cyber bully than to bully someone in person, and size, strength and age are not barriers. If others on the site do not respond, the child may interpret this as a sign that everyone agrees with the bully.
⬇️ Download this information as a fact sheet
eSafety – Australian Government
This information is for educational purposes. As neither brochures nor websites can diagnose people it is always important to obtain professional advice and/or help when needed.
This information may be reproduced with an acknowledgement to WayAhead – Mental Health Association.
The Association encourages feedback and welcomes comments about the information provided.