Online Harassment and Cyberbullying

Online Harassment: Threats or other offensive behavior, sent online to the youth or posted online about the youth for others to see.

Awareness of online harassment has increased since the first Youth Internet Safety Survey (YISS) was published. Stories about people using the Internet to threaten, embarrass, harass, and humiliate youth have been widely reported in the media.

Click here for more information about the Youth Internet Safety Surveys:

Increased time spent online among the youth population could account for at least part of this increase; however, we expect a considerable portion of the increase reflects a real rise in online incivility among youth. In addition to the youth who said they were harassed, we found a marked increase in the number of youth who admitted to being rude and harassing to others online.

These behaviors are highly related to being harassed online (Ybarra & Mitchell, 2004a). The Internet is apparently being used more and more for the bullying and harassment widespread among many youth peer groups.

Although the term cyberbully is often used interchangeably with online harassment, there are some important differences to take note of. 
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What Can We Do?

There are worrying signs about the increasing numbers of youth experiencing online harassment, including bullying, threats, and other offensive behavior. We need to do more to head off this trend; we need to:

To view our publications about online harassment and cyberbullying click here.