Cyber bullying is when kids/teens are tormented, made vulnerable, humiliated, harassed, hassled, embarrassed, and targeted using e- mail, texting, chat rooms, camera phones, Facebook and other websites or other sources of technology. It only counts as cyber bullying when both the victim and the aggressor are minors.
There does not have to be one clear victim in cyber bullying. The two sides can switch roles back and forth; alternating positions of superiority. There are serious threats involved and generally they are not a one-time thing. It is often a repeated event and can even contain terrifying death threats. Cyber bullying allows for those not necessarily intimidating in appearance to release bottled up anger, frustration, and hatred in the form of threats – sometimes empty, sometimes not – and other scare tactics. Cyber bullying also comes in a more mild form, with rude language and “basic” harassment. If an adult is contacted early on- cyber bullying does not have to escalate to an intense level. When dealt with immediately, most harm is avoided. The perpetrator often loses their IM accounts if convicted of juvenile delinquency. In some more serious cases where hacking/password/identity theft are involved, it may be dealt with under state or federal law.
There are two kinds of cyber bullying; direct attacks and cyber bullying by proxy (AKA using others to help bully the victim, either with or without the accomplice's knowledge). Cyber bullying by proxy often gets more complicated and is very dangerous.
Learn to Identify Cyber Bullying Tactics
Here are just a few methods that bullies may use:
Some may use a form of identity theft, impersonating someone by stealing their screen name to spread rumors and write demeaning messages.
Others may change messages to make fun of someone or Photoshop pictures to tell a different story. ABC News reported an incident where a cyberbully altered a photo of three girls to show each of them using drugs and alcohol, saying that they prostituted themselves for drugs.
Another tactic that some bullies use is to secretly record cell phone conversations and then play the recording for the person being discussed.
National Crime Prevention Council