The Issue of Cyber Bullying

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Cyberbullying is one of the fastest-growing trends in the field of cybercrimes among teens, in recent times, and often leads to disastrous consequences for the victims ranging from long term psychological damage to physical and emotional distress and at times even death (Kowalski, Limber, and Agatston, 2012). The widespread reach and scope of cyberbullying among teens are apparent from various worldwide polls and surveys conducted over the years, which highlights the gravity of the issue. According to data made available by the Cyberbullying Research Center (Cyberbullying Research Center, 2011) approximately 20% of students reported experiences some sort of cyberbullying in their lifetimes, about 13.7% of them reported experiencing hurtful or insulting comments made against them. 12.9% of them reported being victims of rumors spread against them. which is incidentally one of the most common forms of cyberbullying. According to another customer research survey conducted in the U.S. in the year 2011, about 1 million children were reported to have been harassed, threatened or subjected to various forms of cyberbullying on social networking sites such as Facebook during the period of one year (Consumer Reports, 2011).According to Trolley and Hanel, (2009) Cyberbullying is defined as any activity involving the use of information and communication technologies such as e-mail, cell phones, and pager text messages, instant messaging, defamatory personal web sites, and online personal polling web sites to support deliberate, repeated and hostile behavior by an individual or group, that is intended to harm others (pp. 33).It has also been defined to include the use of any form of internet media, or electronic device to cause intentional harm or injury to others. It includes but is not limited to, the acts of cyberstalking, impersonating, virtual threatening and/or hacking into others’ personal accounts such as email ids or social networking site accounts, etc., with a sole intention of damaging the other person’s reputation and causing mental, emotional or social distress/harm.