October is National Bullying Prevention Month, and schools across the United States are standing up against bullying, and educating on prevention. But before we work to prevent it, it’s important to understand what cyberbullying is.
10 Types of Cyberbullying
Exclusion is the act of leaving someone out deliberately. Exclusion exists with in-person bullying situations, but is also used online to target and bully a victim. For example, your child might be excluded/uninvited to groups or parties while they see other friends being included, or left out of message threads or conversations that involve mutual friends.
Harassment is a broad category under which many types of cyberbullying fall into, but it generally refers to a sustained and constant pattern of hurtful or threatening online messages sent with the intention of doing harm to someone.
Outing, also known as doxing, refers to the act of openly revealing sensitive or personal information about someone without their consent for purposes of embarrassing or humiliating them. This can range from the spreading of personal photos or documents of public figures to sharing an individual’s saved personal messages in an online private group. The key is the lack of consent from the victim.
Trickery is similar to outing, with an added element of deception. In these situations, the bully will befriend their target and lull them into a false sense of security. Once the bully has gained their target’s trust, they abuse that trust and share the victim’s secrets and private information to a third party or multiple third parties.
Cyberstalking is a particularly serious form of cyberbullying that can extend to threats of physical harm to the child being targeted. It can include monitoring, false accusations, threats, and is often accompanied by offline stalking. It is a criminal offense and can result in a restraining order, probation, and even jail time for the perpetrator.
Fraping is when a bully uses your child’s social networking accounts to post inappropriate content with their name. It can be harmless when friends write funny posts on each other’s profiles, but has potential to be incredibly harmful. For example, a bully posting racial/homophobic slurs through someone else’s profile to ruin their reputation.
Masquerading happens when a bully creates a made up profile or identity online with the sole purpose of cyberbullying someone. This could involve creating a fake email account, fake social media profile, and selecting a new identity and photos to fool the victim. In these cases, the bully tends to be someone the victim knows quite well.
Dissing refers to the act of a bully spreading cruel information about their target through public posts or private messages to either ruin their reputation or relationships with other people. In these situations, the bully tends to have a personal relationship with the victim, either as an acquaintance or as a friend.
Trolling is when a bully will seek out to intentionally upset others by posting inflammatory comments online. Trolling may not always be a form of cyberbullying, but it can be used as a tool to cyberbully when done with malicious and harmful intent. These bullies tend to be more detached from their victims, and do not have a personal relationship.
This type of online bullying constitutes of posting about or directly sending insults and profanity to their target. Flaming is similar to trolling, but will usually be a more direct attack on a victim to incite them into online fights.
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