Cyberbullying Defined

Tracy Webb (bio) warns about the difficulties of controlling technology-based bullying.

Cyberbullying obviously has a very broad interpretation, but for the most part, if we wanted to get very specific about it, it's going to be any use of technology to annoy, threaten, harass, or otherwise hurt or harm another person.

I think if you break it down and you think about the Internet as sort of this vast world of cyberspace, anytime you are on the Internet or part of the Internet, you can reach other people, communicate with other people, send messages to other people. And within that is the potential for a lot of good and, potentially, some bad.

So if you put a smartphone or a keyboard or an Internet-enabled video game or something along those lines in the hands of a person, specifically a child, or anybody else who wants to use it for no good, if you will, you have the potential of sending messages, posting images, sending something that might harm somebody or somehow hurt the other person.

So we see a lot of it, obviously in chat rooms, a lot of it on a lot of the social networking sites, a lot of it where people actually build a website for the purposes of cyberbullying or any number of things that's open to people's imagination when it comes to technology.

It's very hard to control. It's very hard to control as a parent. It's very hard to control as sort of a layperson. It's actually, as a forensic computer expert, it's probably very hard to control because it's — there's such a wealth of information out there and there's such an amazingly quick, 24/7 ability to access that technology and use it to potentially harm somebody else.

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Excerpted from an interview at CBITS Summit 2013 in Santa Monica, CA.


More About "Bullying / Cyberbullying"


More From Tracy Webb (bio)

  • Digital Immigrants Teaching Digital Natives

  • Resources for Dealing With Cyberbullying in Schools

  • Talk to the Digital Natives

  • The Proof Is in the Technology