Cyber bullying can take many different forms. Find out here what the 5 main types of cyber bullying are and how you can help our children and young people to stay safe online.
1 - Exclusion
In this type of cyber bullying, a group is created which excludes the person being bullied. The group then send malicious messages or post malicious content singling out the individual being bullied.
2 - Harassment
In this scenario, the bully sends offensive or abusive messages or posts images which degrade, humiliate or offend the person being bullied. This may be in direct messages/emails or may be in groups/public forums on social media sites. This is a very common form of online bullying.
3 - Flaming
Flaming is a type of cyber bullying that is similar to harassment. However, this is usually a 2-way scenario. For example, the bully may post abusive comments directed towards a group or individual (thereby fueling the fire). When the group or individual respond in a similar way, an online “fight” breaks out, where both parties exchange insults or abusive language with each other over the internet. This is generally what is meant by the term “Flaming” on social media but some people make no distinction between harassment and flaming.
4 - Masquerading
Masquerading on internet or social media sites is exactly what it sounds like it is. This is the act of creating a fake social media account or user profile with the specific intention of abusing either individuals or groups. The ability to be anonymous often inflates a person’s sense of security and allows them to post comments which are more abusive than they otherwise might be if the user could be easily identified. This is why it can be such a damaging form of online bullying – and can be particularly upsetting to the recipient. “Trolls”, or people who post inflammatory comments with the specific intention of getting a rise from people will often do this with a fake account so as to avoid detection or repercussions for their actions.
5 - Outing
Outing is the process of sharing private or personal information about someone else. When this is done with the direct intention of upsetting or humiliating the person being outed, it can most certainly be considered to be a form of cyber bullying. For example, compromising photographs may be posted on social media sites or personal facts may be shared publicly.
How can we protect children against cyber bullying?
In a recent post, we discussed how to keep children safe online – in this article, we share several practical ideas and resources which should help you to prevent and manage online bullying if it happens with your own children or family.
We also recently shared a post about some free training which schools can access to help combat bullying. Part of this training covers online bullying, so if you are not already aware of this, it’s worth taking a look.
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