Cyberbullying happens when an individual, or group, uses the internet to harass or threaten another person. While it primarily happens through social media, it can also occur through text messages, online gaming, and other forums. Cyberbullying is especially dangerous because it’s difficult for the victim to escape from it once it is posed online.
With the internet, and social media in particular, containing such personal details, it’s simple to gain access to content that can be misconstrued, and misused, however one may choose. The information that people post on the internet is also difficult, if not impossible, to remove. This consistent reminder of abuse is another reason that cyberbullying is so harmful.
Examples of what constitutes cyberbullying include communications that seek to:
● Put down
● Falsely discredit, or
● Humiliate the recipient.
A cyberbully may or may not know their target, and sometimes will solicit the involvement of other people online, known as a digital pile-on.
How Criminal Law Deals with Cyberbullying
Cyberbullying can be addressed under criminal law, depending on the situation. Instead of discussing how each aspect of the law deals with cyberbullying, we’re going to focus our discussion on criminal law. Under criminal law, there are three approaches to cyberbullying:
A Cyberbully May be Engaged in Defamation
Defamation is when a bully causes harm to someone’s reputation by spreading false information about that person. Typically, defamation that temporarily appears online is called slander, whereas permanently placed defamation is called libel.
The Cyberbully May Create an Unsafe Environment
In Ontario, the Safe Schools Act has been changed to specifically include online behaviour, resulting in students being able to be expelled or suspended for cyberbullying, even if it’s done outside of school. The negative effects of the bullying towards the victims can be lasting.
People are Responsible for the Consequences of Their Actions
A cyberbully who suggests that a depressed person should kill themselves would be liable if the victim did. This only applies if the person who was bullying had reason to believe that this was the likely result of their harassment.
Protecting Against Cyberbullying
One of the best ways to protect against cyberbullying is by being careful about the information you share online. Always remember that it’s nearly impossible to remove something once it hits the internet. Parents also need to be vigilant about discussing the dangers of social media and online activity with children and teens.
Cyberbullying is a serious problem that has a lasting impact on the lives of young people across the country. If you’re dealing with harassment on any level, speak to your parents or a trusted adult.
If you find yourself or your child threatened by a cyber bully, do not hesitate an eminent criminal lawyer to take action against the cyber bully. The sooner you contact a criminal lawyer the better are your chances to be relieved from the clutches of the cyber bully. You can check out the webpage http://smordinlaw.com/ontario/st-catharines-criminal-lawyer/ to get the help of an eminent criminal lawyer at the well-known law fim, Smordin Law.