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Cyberbullying

For most youth, the Internet is all about connecting and socializing. Online activities can allow youth to explore their identities and reduce feelings of social isolation. And while most of these social interactions are positive, increasing numbers of kids are using the technology to intimidate and harass others – a phenomenon known as cyberbullying.

Cyberbullying is bullying using technology such as texting and social media to threaten, harass, embarrass, socially exclude, or damage reputations and friendships. Cyberbullying has unique features compared to traditional, offline bullying. Messages can stay online forever, for potentially large audiences. Each time the message or image is seen, the person who is targeted may re-experience pain and humiliation.   

Because the aggressive behaviour does not occur face-to-face, the person who cyberbullies may believe they are anonymous. They also may feel a sense of power and feel able to be more aggressive. The anonymous nature of cyberbullying can also lead the person harmed to feel heightened anxiety, unsure of who might know, who is involved, and who should be feared.

Check out our resources below to learn more about cyberbullying, how to recognize it, and what to do if you think your child is involved in cyberbullying.

 

Resources:

What is Cyberbullying?

Parents’ Guide to Cyberbullying
For most youth, the Internet is all about socializing and while most of these social interactions are positive, increasing numbers of kids are using the technology to intimidate and harass others – a phenomenon known as cyberbullying.

Parenting in a Digital Age: Understanding Kids and Technology
As children get older and their social needs change, how they use technology will also change. Here, find three broad transitions that kids will typically experience, as well as ideas to support your child as they become more independent online.

TELUS Wise: Empowering Canadians to Stay Safe in a Digital World  
TELUS Wise® is a free digital literacy education program that offers informative workshops and resources to help Canadians of all ages have a positive experience as digital citizens.

Technology Facilitated Violence: Criminal Case Law Lesson Plan
This lesson plan for Grades 11 and 12 is a joint project of MediaSmarts and The eQuality Project, a project funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. It explores the relationship between technology and the law by examining how the criminal law responds to technologically facilitated violence (TFV).

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