Consequences to cyber bullying

What Is Cyberbullying |

Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place over digital devices like cell phones, computers, and tablets. Cyberbullying can occur through SMS, Text, and apps, or online in social media, forums, or gaming where people can view, participate in, or share content. Cyberbullying includes sending, posting, or sharing negative, harmful, false, or mean content about someone else. It can include sharing personal or private information about someone else causing embarrassment or humiliation. Some cyberbullying crosses the line into unlawful or criminal behavior.

The most common places where cyberbullying occurs are:

  • Social Media, such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Tik Tok
  • Text messaging and messaging apps on mobile or tablet devices
  • Instant messaging, direct messaging, and online chatting over the internet
  • Online forums, chat rooms, and message boards, such as Reddit
  • Email
  • Online gaming communities

Special Concerns

With the prevalence of social media and digital forums, comments, photos, posts, and content shared by individuals can often be viewed by strangers as well as acquaintances. The content an individual shares online – both their personal content as well as any negative, mean, or hurtful content – creates a kind of permanent public record of their views, activities, and behavior. This public record can be thought of as an online reputation, which may be accessible to schools, employers, colleges, clubs, and others who may be researching an individual now or in the future. Cyberbullying can harm the online reputations of everyone involved – not just the person being bullied, but those doing the bullying or participating in it. Cyberbullying has unique concerns in that it can be:

Persistent – Digital devices offer an ability to immediately and continuously communicate 24 hours a day, so it can be difficult for children experiencing cyberbullying to find relief.

Permanent – Most information communicated electronically is permanent and public, if not reported and removed. A negative online reputation, including for those who bully, can impact college admissions, employment, and other areas of life.

Hard to Notice – Because teachers and parents may not overhear or see cyberbullying taking place, it is harder to recognize.

Laws and Sanctions

All states have laws requiring schools to respond to bullying. As cyberbullying has become more prevalent with the use of technology, many states now include cyberbullying, or mention cyberbullying offenses, under these laws. Schools may take action either as required by law, or with local or school policies that allow them to discipline or take other action. Some states also have provisions to address bullying if it affects school performance. You can learn about the laws and policies in each state, including if they cover cyberbullying.

Frequency of Cyberbullying

There are two sources of federally collected data on youth bullying:

  • The 2019 School Crime Supplement to the National Crime Victimization Survey (National Center for Education Statistics and Bureau of Justice) indicates that, nationwide, about 16 percent of students in grades 9–12 experienced cyberbullying.
  • The 2019 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) indicates that an estimated 15.7% of high school students were electronically bullied in the 12 months prior to the survey.

See also "Frequency of Bullying."

Facts About Bullying |

This section pulls together fundamental information about bullying, including:

  • Definition
  • Research on Bullying
  • Bullying Statistics
  • Bullying and Suicide
  • Anti-Bullying Laws

Definition of Bullying

In 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Department of Education released the first federal definition of bullying. The definition includes three core elements:

  • unwanted aggressive behavior
  • observed or perceived power imbalance
  • repetition or high likelihood of repetition of bullying behaviors

This definition helps determine whether an incident is bullying or another type of aggressive behavior or both.

Research on Bullying

Bullying prevention is a growing research field that investigates the complexities and consequences of bullying. Important areas for more research include:

  • Prevalence of bullying in schools
  • Prevalence of cyberbullying in online spaces
  • How bullying affects people
  • Risk factors for people who are bullied, people who bully others, or both
  • How to prevent bullying
  • How media and media coverage affects bullying

What We’ve Learned about Bullying

  • Bullying affects all youth, including those who are bullied, those who bully others, and those who witness bullying. The effects of bullying may continue into adulthood.
  • There is not a single profile of a young person involved in bullying. Youth who bully can be either well connected socially or marginalized, and may be bullied by others as well. Similarly, those who are bullied sometimes bully others.
  • Solutions to bullying are not simple.  Bullying prevention approaches that show the most promise confront the problem from many angles. They involve the entire school community—students, families, administrators, teachers, and staff such as bus drivers, nurses, cafeteria and front office staff—in creating a culture of respect. Zero tolerance and expulsion are not effective approaches.
  • Bystanders, or those who see bullying, can make a huge difference when they intervene on behalf of someone being bullied.
  • Studies also have shown that adults can help prevent bullying by talking to children about bullying, encouraging them to do what they love, modeling kindness and respect, and seeking help.

Bullying Statistics

Here are federal statistics about bullying in the United States. Data sources include the Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2019 (National Center for Education Statistics and Bureau of Justice) and the 2017 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).

How Common Is Bullying

  • About 20% of students ages 12-18 experienced bullying nationwide.
  • Students ages 12–18 who reported being bullied said they thought those who bullied them:
    • Had the ability to influence other students’ perception of them (56%).
    • Had more social influence (50%).
    • Were physically stronger or larger (40%).
    • Had more money (31%).

Bullying in Schools

  • Nationwide, 19% of students in grades 9–12 report being bullied on school property in the 12 months prior to the survey.
  • The following percentages of students ages 12-18 had experienced bullying in various places at school:
    • Hallway or stairwell (43.4%)
    • Classroom (42.1%)
    • Cafeteria (26.8%)
    • Outside on school grounds (21.9%)
    • Online or text (15.3%)
    • Bathroom or locker room (12. 1%)
    • Somewhere else in the school building (2.1%)
  • Approximately 46% of students ages 12-18 who were bullied during the school year notified an adult at school about the bullying.


  • Among students ages 12-18 who reported being bullied at school during the school year, 15 % were bullied online or by text.
  • An estimated 14.9% of high school students were electronically bullied in the 12 months prior to the survey.

Types of Bullying

  • Students ages 12-18  experienced  various types of bullying, including:
    • Being the subject of rumors or lies (13.4%)
    • Being made fun of, called names, or insulted (13.0%)
    • Pushed, shoved, tripped, or spit on (5.3%)
    • Leaving out/exclusion (5.2%)
    • Threatened with harm (3.9%)
    • Others tried to make them do things they did not want to do (1. 9%)
    • Property was destroyed on purpose (1.4%)

State and Local Statistics

Follow these links for state and local figures on the following topics:

  • Bullied on School Property, Grades 9-12
  • Cyberbullied, Grades 9-12

International Statistics

According to the UNESCO Institute of Statistics:

  • One third of the globe’s youth is bullied; this ranges from as low as 7% in Tajikistan to 74% in Samoa.
  • Low socioeconomic status is a main factor in youth bullying within wealthy countries.
  • Immigrant-born youth in wealthy countries are more likely to be bullied than locally-born youth.

Bullying and Suicide

The relationship between bullying and suicide is complex. The media should avoid oversimplifying these issues and insinuating or directly stating that bullying can cause suicide. The facts tell a different story. It is not accurate and potentially dangerous to present bullying as the “cause” or “reason” for a suicide, or to suggest that suicide is a natural response to bullying.

  • Research indicates that persistent bullying can lead to or worsen feelings of isolation, rejection, exclusion, and despair, as well as depression and anxiety, which can contribute to suicidal behavior.
  • The vast majority of young people who are bullied do not become suicidal.
  • Most young people who die by suicide have multiple risk factors.
  • For more information on the relationship between bullying and suicide, read “The Relationship Between Bullying and Suicide: What We Know and What it Means for Schools” from the CDC.

Anti-Bullying Laws

All states have anti-bullying legislation. When bullying is also harassment and happens in the school context, schools have a legal obligation to respond to it according to federal laws.

how to deal with cyberbullying, the psychological consequences of bullying children on the Internet

What is cyberbullying

According to UNICEF, cyberbullying is bullying using digital technologies. If ordinary bullying occurs live, as a rule, in a group of children or teenagers, then cyberbullying is a phenomenon peculiar to the Internet.


Both adults and teenagers can be subject to cyberbullying, but children are at particular risk. nine0005

“Features of Internet bullying are systematic and purposefulness, persistence and the inability to find the offender. The psychological consequences of cyberbullying in adolescents can be different: from a depressed state to panic attacks, increased anxiety, and serious emotional trauma. If you are faced with such a situation, please seek support and help for yourself and your child.”
Elena Petrusenko, psychologist at Foxford Home Online School

How to understand that you are experiencing cyberbullying

Here are some signs that the child has problems communicating online:

  • The child has stopped using gadgets or, on the contrary, uses them more often than usual.
  • The child looks upset, irritated, depressed after interacting with gadgets.
  • The child's grades have deteriorated sharply.
  • The child has become closed, alert, does not make contact.

Cyberbullying of teenagers: laws and statistics

In the fall of 2020, the State Duma received a draft law that will help victims of bullying and legally regulate the fight against cyberbullying. According to the authors of the bill, more than 70% of Russian schoolchildren have been bullied, harassed or insulted on the Internet. nine0011

There are other statistics. In 2019, Group conducted a study on cyberbullying dedicated to the Anti-Cyberbullying Day, which is celebrated on November 11th. According to the study, 58% of Russians have experienced online bullying. At the same time, about 76% of teenagers do not tell their parents about bullying.

However, there are currently no laws in Russia that regulate the legal liability for online bullying. This makes it difficult to help victims. For example, there is no concept of a screenshot in the law - even if you provide evidence of bullying, the court may not accept it. A screenshot will be considered as evidence only in the case of notarization - and this is an expensive service. nine0005


How to protect children from cyberbullying

Tell your child how to complain about content

All popular social networks have already realized the scale of the problem of cyberbullying. There are tools on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, VKontakte and other platforms to help limit interactions with unwanted users, report violations of the law and harassment.

Examples of Twitter and Instagram content reporting windows

Teach your child effective communication

All people are responsible for what they do, watch and post online. Explain to your child that the apparent anonymity of the Web is no reason to overstep boundaries. Otherwise, there is a risk that the teenager will become an accomplice in the cyberbullying of students.

Talk to your child and tell them that they should behave the same way on the Internet as they do in real life. In ordinary life, no one stands in the middle of the street and shouts insults at everyone around. You don't have to do this on the web either. nine0005

At Foxford Home Online School, mentors teach effective online communication skills. These are senior comrades who help the child throughout the learning process. The mentor will teach you to communicate competently and politely on the Web, defend boundaries and follow the rules of conduct.

And during online lessons, there is a moderator in the students' chat - an employee who monitors the communication of the children, resolves misunderstandings if necessary and explains how one can and cannot behave in online correspondence. nine0011



Write down the hotline numbers

policy of the city of St. Petersburg of the government of St. Petersburg of the Russian Federation. In Moscow, this is +7 (800) 250-00-15 from 9 am to 6 pm on weekdays - the Children Online service. If necessary, call - you will be provided with free professional psychological and informational support. nine0005


Cyberbullying of children is an acute problem. On the Internet, it is easier to maintain apparent anonymity, and this, in turn, breeds permissiveness, coupled with related problems. It is important to track in time that the child has problems on the Web. Some symptoms indicate this: depression, constant use of gadgets, anger or unusual isolation. There are different ways to protect yourself from cyberbullying - hotlines, complaints about content on the Internet.

If you feel that the situation is out of control, contact the police and a child psychologist. nine0005

What is it, signs and methods of struggle


  • What is cyberbullying on the Internet

  • Differences between cyberbullying and bullying

  • Types of cyberbullying

  • Consequences of cyberbullying

  • What does cyberbullying mean for a victim

  • What does cyberbullying mean for an aggressor

  • How to protect yourself from cyberbullying

  • Working on relationships with the child

  • Interaction with teachers and school psychologist

  • Child monitoring on the Internet

According to researchers, 67% of Russian schoolchildren have experienced cyberbullying over the past year, and the number of articles about cyberbullying on educational portals has almost doubled. Given this urgency of the problem, in 2020 a legislative initiative to introduce legal liability for cyberbullying was sent to the State Duma and the Federation Council. nine0005

Currently, the problem of cyberbullying among Russian teenagers is quite relevant

However, the drafting of the bill, its adoption and “running in” will take more than one year, even if the initiative is approved ... So far, children are not protected by law from any type of cyberbullying. So, parents have to take care of their safety on their own.

From which side to expect trouble? The answers are below in our article on cyberbullying. nine0005

What is cyberbullying on the Internet

Cyberbullying is bullying on the Internet. It can occur in any Internet services - from instant messengers to websites and online games, and sometimes even goes into real life. Bullies on the Internet can get the number or address of the victim and turn her life into a real nightmare.

Especially vulnerable to all types of cyberbullying are children who are used to depending on the opinions of others and do not yet have their own moral “backbone”. And the peak of aggressiveness of poisoners, according to researchers, falls on grades 5-8 - when the child has no idea how to react to cyberbullying. nine0005

Differences between cyberbullying and bullying

What is Cyberbullying on the Internet? With the usual bullying at school, you can influence the ringleader, enlist the support of teachers, or, at worst, transfer your son or daughter to another educational institution where classmates will be more friendly. In contrast, cyberbullying can involve thousands of people! There are cases when the pursuers found the victim even on a new page and in a new school, resuming their attacks. nine0005

Cyberbullying and bullying often go hand in hand in real life, and it is initiated by the same people. But there are also differences that separate these phenomena:

  1. Psychologists consider cyberbullying to be even more dangerous for the psyche, because it is continuous. After leaving school or from the yard, the child can return home, relax, meet friends or get into a friendly group of interests. But the phone is always with him - and messages and notifications constantly come to this phone. And how without it? They postponed the lesson, sent homework, asked me to pass on an assignment from the class teacher - now all this happens in chat rooms. Therefore, getting up in the morning and going to bed in the evening, the child checks his account in social networks. And he meets threats or mockery there. Often parents are at home at this time, friends are busy, and the victim is left to herself, left alone with her thoughts - and her pursuers. And how to protect yourself from cyberbullying in such a situation? ..

  2. In digital harassment, bullyers often try to recruit new people - through the dissemination of defamatory data or immoral actions on social networks under the guise of a victim. For example, they leave her phone number on dating sites, initiate a discussion of her behavior, or send slanderous information to the victim's acquaintances. Sometimes people don't even realize that they accidentally connected to digital bullying. Mass bullying in this case is dangerous - it seems to the child that the whole world has turned against him. The question of how to react to cyberbullying does not even arise for the victim - she is usually too depressed and begins to take humiliation for granted. nine0005

  3. Aggressors often use fake pages (fakes) to remain incognito. Anonymity breeds a sense of impunity, so poisoners easily go further and further, doing things that they would not dare to do in real life. Having practically no means of real protection against cyberbullying, the victim cannot even signal his condition to the persecutors - sometimes they cross the line because they do not even know what is happening with the persecuted. nine0005

Types of cyberbullying

Regardless of the type, the purpose of cyberbullying is to morally suppress the victim. Perpetrators take pleasure or advantage in causing the victim to feel fear, impotent anger, or shame.

It is important to distinguish from cyberbullying a single episode or a conflict between the victim and one person or group (if it does not go beyond this group). Cyberbullying is always a series of repetitive episodes. Often it happens with the involvement of more and more new people in the process of harassment. nine0005

Cyberbullying techniques include:

  • dissemination of false, slanderous or simply impartial information about a person, incl. distribution of real or fake obscene photos on social networks;

  • threats to the life and health of the victim or her relatives, family well-being;

  • impersonating the victim on social networks and on dating sites in order to defame her reputation. nine0005

In terms of intensity, cyberbullying can vary from offensive jokes to continuous online terror with more and more participants joining.

Types of cyberbullying include:

  1. Trolling (for example, relatives of a deceased or condemned member of society) - in this case, poisoners spread negative information about the victim or her relatives in order to hurt her personally or arrange a social provocation. Often trolling is carried out by those teenagers who themselves have already suffered from bullying. nine0005

  2. Hating - criticism (often unfounded) and negative comments about a person under his photo or in correspondence.

  3. Flaming - a public outburst of aggression, a confrontation between the poisoner and the victim, which usually includes other people, adding fuel to the fire. Often the victims of flaming are children and adolescents who find it difficult to find mutual understanding with their peers. Any actions on their part misinterpreted by the poisoners or manifestations of non-standard character traits give rise to a new wave of ridicule and insults. nine0005

  4. Cyberstalking - stalking, stalking, collecting data to harass the victim on the Internet, in which the stalker constantly reminds himself of himself with alarming messages / posts.

  5. Griefing - interference with the gameplay in online games, when the player is literally "not allowed to pass" in order to deprive him of the pleasure of the game.

  6. Sexting - posting a photo or video with a semi-naked or naked victim (for example, a photo from a locker room, a toilet, with pants down or by negligence, sent in personal correspondence with a trusted person). Often, poisoners are very inventive, trying to get such photos - for example, they pretend to be doctors and intimidate an inexperienced schoolboy with fatal or embarrassing diseases that can only be reliably diagnosed from photos of intimate areas, they put pressure on the fact that "mother will cry / get angry." nine0005

There are several types of cyberbullying

Consequences of cyberbullying

Since there is still no legal prosecution of cyberbullying in our country, researchers single out mainly psychological consequences. Less often - material or direct consequences for the health and life of the victim.

What does cyberbullying mean for the victim

The main consequences of cyberbullying for the victim are a decrease in self-esteem and an increase in anxiety. The combination of these factors leads to closed, unsociable behavior (the child ceases to trust parents, friends, reacts negatively to all attempts to get close), worsening academic performance, leads to victim behavior (the so-called “victim behavior”, when a person unconsciously puts himself in situations where it can get hurt, or just stop fighting back). The inability to punish the offender causes the victim to feel powerless, which extends to all areas of life. nine0011 Schoolchildren who have been subjected to cyberbullying are more prone to early alcohol consumption and the onset of sexual activity, smoking. They are more likely to seek solitude or inappropriate company, skip school, become more irritable and aggressive.

Often such children resort to self-harm (self-harm), have suicidal tendencies that they can put into practice.

What does cyberbullying mean for an aggressor

Psychologically, cyberbullying also changes the aggressor - this is partly facilitated by an underlying fear of being caught, a sense of guilt and the wrongness of one's actions (according to researchers, every 2nd or 3rd poisoner experiences them). Also, aggressors and witnesses of bullying experience high social anxiety (after all, they “cook” in a social circle where bullying is acceptable and normal, and they themselves can become its object), are prone to psychosomatic problems, become more irritable and aggressive. Oddly enough, poisoners become more inclined to the behavior of the victim - as if they accept the whole system, and, having fallen into the conditions of bullying, they also become weak-willed, offended, depressed, and do not try to fight. nine0011 Also, an unpunished network aggressor at a later age is more often formed as a person prone to illegal actions. Articles about cyberbullying, which preceded the commission of crimes against a person, are increasingly appearing in the media.

As for other consequences, unlike regular bullying, which rarely leaves “evidence” (even if the abusers go from words to actions - how to prove the origin of a bruise or abrasion?), cyberbullying, as a rule, leaves a digital trail. It can be correspondence, writing on the wall, or a screenshot taken on time. Such things can already become evidence and a reason for contacting support and other authorities. nine0005

How to protect yourself from cyberbullying?

Parents are often the last ones to know about their child's problems - but they are also the only ones who can really help him. 4 out of 5 children refuse to tell their parents about bullying (“what do parents understand about the Internet”, “they don’t give a damn about me, they’ll just cut off the Internet” or because they don’t want to let their parents into their cyberspace). But what can be done to protect against cyberbullying in order to avoid the consequences of this sad paradox? nine0005

Working on relationships with the child

Developing a child's healthy self-esteem and ability to stand up for themselves is one of the best ways to avoid both regular bullying and online harassment. A self-confident, surrounded by attention and informed child survives bullying easier (alas, no one is safe from it), knows how to respond to cyberbullying. After all, he can at least take a break from the troubles at home, with his family. Such a child is not inclined to succumb to the tricks and cruel pranks of scammers. He is less likely to become a victim of blackmail, because he is unlikely to trust someone on the Internet for attention. Especially dangerous for children who lack attention, the so-called. grooming (approx. - confidential communication of the offender with the child for the sake of seducing the victim). According to foreign studies, every 5th child is harassed when communicating on the Internet. At the same time, about half of the children affected by grooming face real persecution, when the offender continues to blackmail them with photos and videos, threatens to destroy relationships with parents and peers, and sometimes becomes the real initiator of cyberbullying (often sexting). nine0005

Cyberbullying is characterized by high latency. There are several reasons for this: the secrecy of the victims who are afraid to confess to their parents, the anonymity of the criminals (“whom to complain about?”), the imperfection of legislation in the field of social networks. The sooner the problem is detected, the less serious will be the consequences for the psyche and health of the child who is being bullied.

Therefore, family relationships will always be the main talisman against cyberbullying and its dire consequences. A trusting, open relationship between parents and children without judgment and strict punishments will help the child quickly and calmly admit the problem, ask for help. How do you know if you're doing the right thing with your son or daughter? nine0005

  1. Do you listen to your child? Probably yes. But do you show him that you are listening? Are you distracted from everyday affairs and worries for at least 5 minutes - just for his sake, when he tells something?

  2. Does the child get enough personal space?

  3. Does he not become a witness, or even a participant in family quarrels, does he have to take on “adult” problems for which he is not yet ready? nine0005

  4. Do you behave predictably for a child, does he understand the “rules of the game” in your relationship - or can you sometimes break loose “for nothing”, make a contradictory act in relation to him?

  5. Do you pay attention to the grievances of your son or daughter - or do you think that children's tears dry quickly?

  6. Do you accept your child as he is, or do you constantly compare him with your expectations against him? nine0005

  7. Does the child receive an adequate response from adults? It is important to remember that for a child and a teenager, parents should be an “emotional container”. A son or daughter does not always say nice things, sometimes they admire what, from the point of view of their parents, is worthy of condemnation. But criticize the child, forbid him what he enthusiastically shared with you - and you will lose his trust. A parent should be a good listener first and a good adviser second. Avoid moralizing - it's better to help the child himself answer his questions in a dialogue with you. nine0005

These communication rules are especially important with teenagers who want to be independent from their parents. Be for them the closest friend - otherwise they may become someone else, with bad intentions.

Controlling a child on the Internet is an effective way to protect him from cyberbullying

Interaction with teachers and school psychologist

If classmates or students in the same school are involved in cyberbullying, contacting teachers and school administrators can have a beneficial effect on resolving the situation. No less important is the individual child of a school psychologist with child victims - the timely intervention of a specialist helps to develop constructive defense mechanisms of the psyche instead of destructive ones, avoid psychological trauma, and change the way affected children relate to cyberbullying techniques. Support, even provided only by a psychologist, helps to change the picture of the child's world, to show him that there are good people who should be trusted. It is important to talk to a school psychologist and parents - a specialist will tell you how to respond to cyberbullying if your own son or daughter has become a victim. Like parents, teachers and school psychologists help to form an adequate self-esteem, in which the child is less dependent on the opinions of others - this is the main defense against cyberbullying and its consequences. nine0005

In addition to teachers and school psychologists, support services in some social networks can become your supporters. Contact them yourself or explain to a teenager how to leave complaints about accounts and groups from which cyberbullying is being carried out. For example, in 2020, Roskomnadzor deleted over 6,000 entries qualified as cyberbullying and blocked the pages associated with them.

It is often not enough to simply delete a page. Firstly, attackers can blackmail a child (“if you delete the page or complain, we will post your photos”), and secondly, even on a new account, the victim can be found through mutual friends, social network algorithms, or simply by photo. nine0005

Child monitoring on the Internet

Special applications and services that allow you to control your child's activity on the Internet are one of the most effective ways to detect cyberbullying. Has there been an offensive comment on a child's page? From a real account or a fake one? How often do these comments appear? Who and what write to the child in private messages? All this can be found out thanks to control services - and correctly assess the situation and the scale of cyberbullying.

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