Cyber bullying, or online bullying, continues to be a significant problem for teen and child-focused online communities. What are the steps a site owner can take to prevent or minimize this type of behavior in their online community?
First, let’s give a quick overview of cyber bullying. Cyber bullying is similar to “regular” bullying, but is done through electronic means (e.g., cell phone, computer, tablet). There are many avenues for cyber bullying: social media sites, text messages, forums, and chat rooms are among them. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services Cyberbullying Research Center, a stunning 52% of students reported being cyber bullied. It may be difficult for adults to relate to cyber bullying as the sheer speed and scale is much greater than bullying that we grew up with. No longer is bullying just done face-to-face. Being able to disparage someone online provides not only anonymity, but also, an extremely wide audience.