21 February, 2016

Cyberbullying: Meaning and Types

Cyberbullying is an attempt by one or more minors to threaten, intimidate, belittle or make fun of other minors using a mobile phone or computer, and can be a criminal offence. This must take place between two minors, if an adult is involved it is considered harassment, stalking or sexual grooming, not bullying. Cyberbullying is considered as bad as any other kind of bullying in the real world.
Types of Cyberbullying:-
There are different types of cyberbullying as following-
(1) Mobile phone-Using a mobile phone to send threatening or abusive text messages, video messages, photo messages and phone calls. This includes sending of anonymous text messages using Bluetooth technology and distributing phone video footage of physical attacks on people, or happy slapping.
(2) Email- This includes abusive or threatening emails sent to a single target, or to a group in order to encourage or incite others to take part in the sending of abusive emails or phone messages to individuals.
(3) Instant messenger and chat rooms- This includes the use of instant messaging or chatrooms to send abusive or threatening messages or to encourage others to send abusive or threatening messages to individuals.
(4) Social networking sites-This includes the creating of profiles or contributing to pages on social networking sites that abuse or threaten individuals. The posting of images or emails of others on social networking sites without their expressed permission, or assuming the identity of others by getting hold of their account details and sending or posting messages on their behalf are also the examples of cyberbullying on social networking sites. (In Brief.co.uk)
In order to determine as a question of fact whether a message is grossly offensive, that in making this determination the Justices must apply the standards of an open and just multi-racial society, and that the words must be judged taking account of their context and all relevant circumstances. Usages and sensitivities may change over time. Language otherwise insulting may be used in an unpejorative, even affectionate way, or may be adopted as a badge of honour. There can be no yardstick of gross offensiveness otherwise than by the application of reasonably enlightened, but not perfectionist, contemporary standards to the particular message sent in its particular context. The test is whether a message is couched in terms liable to cause gross offence to those to whom it relates.[1]
Courtesy:- Legal Point Foundation

[1] Director of Public Prosecutions vs Collins [2005] EWHC 1308 (Admin)]

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