Cyberbullying and Social Media

Updated on January 7, 2018


The electronic posting of mean-spirited messages about a person (such as a student) often done anonymously

\ˈsī-bər-ˌbu̇-lē, -ˌbə-\ noun or verb

— Merriam Webster Dictionary

What is Cyberbullying?

Bullying, according to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, is aggressive behavior that seeks to control or harm others.

  • In order for harassment to be considered bullying there must be an apparent imbalance of power between the victim and the perpetrator or perpetrators and occur over an extended period of time.
  • Bullying is characterized by the repetition of the abusive behavior- the harassment has to have happened more than once or have the potential to happen again in order to be considered bullying.
  • Cyberbullying follows these same general rules but refers to incidents of bullying that occur through forms of electronic communication such as websites for social networking, e-mail, etc.

Who is affected?

Just How Far-Reaching is This Issue?


With the advancement of technology and the rise of social media, today’s youth are bringing their bullies home with them. What used to be a safe haven has become a whole new battleground where bullies are guaranteed anonymity and direct access to their victims on a consistent basis. Almost 60% of children aged 10-17 have reported being bullied or harassed over the Internet and via social media outlets, and 90% of these victims will never report the incidents.

Where Does Cyberbullying Take Place?


Cyberbullying takes place across virtually every social media platform. Facebook, with its 1,000,000,000+ active users, is unsurprisingly the most common social media network used by bullies. The age requirement for the site is 13, yet a staggering 5,000,000+ accounts are owned by users under the age of 10. The age restriction is rarely enforced. Many argue that children so young are not socially or emotionally mature enough to appreciate the consequences of what they post online or send to others via private messenger.


Statistics on Social Media Useage

  • 94% of young people who have access to mobile internet use it on a daily basis
  • 71% of young people report to have multiple social media accounts
  • A survey conducted in 2012 found that nearly all of the participants shared personal information on their profiles- including birthdate, name, occupation, school, etc.


What Are The Effects?

According to WebMD

The Bullied
The Bullies
-Emotional issues (i.e anxiety, depression)
-Emotional issues
-Concentration issues
-Concentration issues
-Behavioral issues
-Behavioral issues
-Trouble getting along with peers
-More likely to be hyperactice
-Some experienced physical symptoms such as frequent headaches and stomach pain
-More likely to abuse drugs/alcohol

Cyber Aggression & Social Competence

One major point to be drawn is the strong negative correlation between cyber aggression and social competence. Reasearchers in a particular study summarized their results by reporting “there is a clear-cut relation between being aggressive through electronic media and experiencing problems at (at least) four different levels of social functioning.” This study makes the argument that cyber aggression is dangerous for not only the victim but also the aggressor.

Schoffstall, C. (2011). Cyber Aggression: The Relation between Online Offenders and Offline Social Competence. Social Development, 20(3), 587-604

What Is Considered Cyberbullying?

Behaviors that are considered to be cyberbullying include, but are not limited to:

  • Exclusion
  • Harassment
  • Outing
  • Cyberstalking
  • Impersonation
  • Dissing
  • 'Trolling': Intentionally provoking a negative response
  • 'Catfishing': Using fake profiles to deceive others


How Can We Help

Protecting Ourselves and Others

  • Keep your profiles set to private; monitor and update privacy settings regularly
  • Don't accept requests or messages from users you don't know
  • Protect your password- prevent others from gaining access to your profiles and private photos
  • Educate yourself and others on the negative impact of cyberbulling
  • If you see it, report it.

For more tips on prevention visit:

Questions & Answers


      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment
      • profile image


        5 months ago

        Thank you for this article that you've shared, a lot of values I've learned and hopefully you make more of it for the good of many and to our mysterious world. :)


      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

      Show Details
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)